The Standard Reviews

Updated October 16, 2014
Updated October 16, 2014
94 Reviews
2.5
94 Reviews
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The Standard President & CEO J. Greg Ness
J. Greg Ness
50 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great location in downtown Portland (in 14 reviews)

  • Good people, good benefits, fair location (in 9 reviews)


Cons
  • Of course, upper management received healthy salary increases while non-management salaries stagnated (in 8 reviews)

  • The news that layoffs were coming in favor of outsourcing to India was announced by the IT VP a few months ago (in 4 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Great Mutual company that transformed into an "Okay" public company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Actuarial Associate in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Actuarial Associate in Portland, OR

    I have been working at The Standard full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Deep roots in the community
    Conservative

    Cons

    Shrinking currently
    Benfit erosion since becoming a public company

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Return to being a mutual company--people seemed to really love this place back then.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Used to be a good company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Portland, OR

    I have been working at The Standard full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Good people, good benefits, fair location

    Cons

    Morale has been on the down slide for the last few years. Mid to upper management making poor decisions, big turn over lately

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay attention to why the turnover, listen to employee's, toss the toxicity

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 9 people found this helpful  

    "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all"

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at The Standard full-time

    Pros

    *Company has been very humane during recent layoffs, providing decent severance packages and outplacement services.
    *Generous PTO policy.
    *HQ is in a nice downtown location.
    *Most employees are well educated and sincerely want to make the company successful.
    *Claims department does a great job despite being understaffed and inundated.
    *Claims are paid in a timely manner and using ethical standards.

    Cons

    *As many have said, company culture is passive-aggressive.
    *People are labeled as having "poor attitudes" when they express a contrary opinion. Once branded, there is no salvaging your career.
    *Conflict ("negativity") is discouraged, which means creativity and risk taking die. Workers keep their heads down to protect their jobs.
    *H.R. is there to protect the company, not to help employees, and some H.R. staff appear annoyed when they have to deal with employee issues.
    *Some leaders use fear as a management strategy. Without a safe environment for discussion and honest communication, morale and productivity plummet.
    *There are constant reorgs in some departments, leading to lost productivity and lack of vision.
    *Many leaders are not seen as trustworthy by their direct reports, and this is warranted.
    *Company is slow to react to economic realities and changes in the business environment, and hasn't invested in needed technology infrastructure to support growth and change.
    *Company invests in stupid ventures without doing their homework, while not investing in core business to stay competitive.
    *Cronyism runs rampant - the best way to be promoted is to befriend someone in power.
    *"Talent Management" is a joke. There is plenty of talent, but people are not encouraged to move around the company to learn new things. Smart people languish while managers hire and promote their buddies.
    *Employees work long hours while some VPs arrive at 9 and leave at 4.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get out of the ivory tower and actually walk around so you can meet/talk to employees on the front lines. This will only work if you make it safe for them to tell you what's really going on in the company without retaliation; otherwise they'll just tell you that everything is "fine." Hint: it's not. Quit hiring and promoting narcissistic bullies who don't "care about people" and only know how to manage up. Settle on a company strategy and have the balls to communicate your vision and invest wisely toward the goals you've set.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Solid company with a strong grasp on employee appreciation

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Portland, OR

    I have been working at The Standard full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Management is appreciative of their workforce

    Cons

    Can take awhile to advance out of positions within the company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Maintain the benefits packages and employee appreciation incentives, and the workforce will reciprocate with high quality products.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Short, but nice.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sourcer in Portland, OR
    Former Employee - Sourcer in Portland, OR

    I worked at The Standard as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    Great team. Downtown. Comfortable space. Was there only nine days so, not there long enough to cover all the pros. But was looking forward to becoming part of the team there.

    Cons

    Contract to hire ended too soon.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Nothing at this time. My immediate manager was great!

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Stability

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Supervisor in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Supervisor in Portland, OR

    I have been working at The Standard full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    I've worker here for about 20 years, through ups and downs, demutualization, recession, etc and it has always been a solid company to work for.

    Cons

    Things have changed over the years; not always for the good. Annual raises for the past 4 years have been low or zero. Staff reductions have resulted in more work for everyone, with not much more pay.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Share the wealth.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    An insurance company should not be publicly traded.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Benefits in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Benefits in Portland, OR

    I have been working at The Standard full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Standard has done a great job hiring smart, experienced and well-balanced people at the lower levels.

    Cons

    As the company is publicly traded we are always having to answer to the shareholders and the bottom line. What drives us isn't always about what is best for the company as a whole, but what is more profitable.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You have a smart, educated and experienced workforce, use them! Decisions are being made from the top, but the people who are making these decisions are so far removed from the things they are making decisions regarding, it is almost ridiculous when we hear what they have come up with. One problem I see that influences this is there are too many layers of middle management. A few layers of middle management needs to be done away with so people who are making process and procedural changes are working more closely with the people who are actually carrying out the work.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    The Standard is awful for IT jobs!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Data Analyst in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Data Analyst in Portland, OR

    I have been working at The Standard full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    You can get away with doing nothing.

    Cons

    No accountability, passive-aggressive, better to be nice than to be productive, software is all ancient and out of support.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Quit and get some people there with balls, especially David ??? the CIO!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Extremely poor management. It's all about who you're friends with in order to advance in your career

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - RFP Specialist in Portland, OR
    Former Employee - RFP Specialist in Portland, OR

    I worked at The Standard full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great location in downtown Portland.

    Cons

    As I said before, poor management practices (at all levels).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take some management classes at a nearby college or university.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Great

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - QA Intern in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - QA Intern in Portland, OR

    I have been working at The Standard as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    Interesting projects, great people to work with

    Cons

    old systems, compensation can be better

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    have like a leadership program

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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