Unilever

  www.unilever.com
  www.unilever.com

Unilever Reviews

Updated December 21, 2014
Updated December 21, 2014
792 Reviews
3.6
792 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Unilever CEO and Director Paul Polman
Paul Polman
442 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work-life balance can be excellent depending on which category you work on (in 69 reviews)

  • Good working culture and Flexible working hours (in 30 reviews)


Cons
  • Work-life balance, lack of opportunities to move up unless you relocate (in 57 reviews)

  • decision-making can be complicated & slow since this is a matrix organisation (in 30 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Great company with lots of development and growth opportunities

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate Finance Manager in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Associate Finance Manager in New York, NY

    I have been working at Unilever full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The biggest plus working at Unilever is its culture. Very collaborative and provides multiple opportunities to develop and grow in different areas. The career planning process is also somewhat structured, albeit very competitive. The people are fun and good to work with.

    Cons

    Systems and IT resources could be a lot better. The salaries are on the lower end of the scale and far from competitive.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Peoples prior experiences and accomplishments matter and they are very proud of them. It is important to take that in consideration when planning moves and promotions.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Crazy out of control Plant Manager, Cut costs including head Count.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Safety and Manufacturing Specialist in Little Rock, AR
    Current Employee - Safety and Manufacturing Specialist in Little Rock, AR

    I have been working at Unilever full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Free food (Start-up and non-retailable) and company store

    Cons

    Long hours and minimal raises and promotion opportunities

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    I am a current employee of 10+ years.

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

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

    Pros

    Great managers, agile work environment, opportunities to gain technical and cross functional experience. Great benefits and the people are stellar.

    Cons

    Going global has reduced the roles for technical opportunities in North America. New processes are not in place and the overwhelming trend is do what we say don't question. There is no dialogue to address local concerns or markets. Working agile now means working 24/7 to support all regions and although managers understand this, at the VP and SVP level they question why no one is in the office during a snow storm. The leadership team is primarily white males and it is ruled without a heart or sense of family. They are fortunate that the day to day managers have the heart to retain what talent they can.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You need to stem the bleeding of leaving talent and finalize ways of working in the latest structure. Truly embracing agile working and realizing core hours in a global environment is no longer 9-3. Senior management needs more people management training.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Complicated matrix

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

    I have been working at Unilever

    Pros

    Work life balance is great

    Cons

    complex matrix can make it hard to get goals accomplished

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Not so great any more, headed downhill fast... and now I hate it...

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

    I have been working at Unilever full-time

    Pros

    Nice name to add to the resume
    Experience and exposure to learn so much.
    You have lots of tools and training (until cut backs)
    Health benefits are good
    Retirement benefits are pretty good
    Company perks, like cars and covered expenses for certain positions are good (but beware they are starting to cut back and dwindle)
    Salaries to start off are okay, but raises are so minimal and the work load increases exponentially in the same position
    Some WFH flexibility in some positions

    Cons

    Micro-managers
    Worklife balance is horrid
    People who work till the wee hours of the night and weekends are looked upon highly as if that's what defines work ethic and if you refuse to join this craziness, people think you don't take your job serious or you don't care which is so far from the truth - Unilever has no idea what work ethic is and how to instill that in people
    Budget cuts are ridiculous - everyone is always out of money and you have to get permission to do anything now
    Ways to move up are getting harder and more competitive as Unilever is going "lean" - they claim they brought "oxygen" to the organization (aka a bunch of consultants to figure out where to cut staff to cut costs as opposed to investing more to generate more, just rely on the tried and true tactics of bad corporations, so basically they miss a sales goal, then they cut back expenses and start with the staff and quality of products, but don't dare touch the CEO bonuses or VP perks)
    Unilever has cut staff but preach that you don't need to worry you'll keep a healthy work life balance, yet Unilever expects the same amount and level of work to get done - SO RIDICULOUS
    Salaries are becoming less competitive but since Unilever likes to compare themselves to industry "averages" they think they are above, which is ridiculous - Unilever as a global company and one of the largest CPG companies in the US should hold their standards far higher than the industry averages, if they want to attain and retain good talent, it's complete BS
    Raises are so minimal & bonuses aren't much any more - but super competitive to get
    Rating system is so flawed - pretty much every one will fall in to average buckets, those on growth businesses will get higher ratings
    Directors and Managers can be very judgmental
    Sales goals are ridiculous - they like you to increase sales but wont invest even a little more to make more - typical issues in selfish corporations, Unilever wants to generate more profit, cut cost but not invest in anything
    Staff working in HQ drink the Unilever kool-aid and become criticizing know-it-alls (not all them but a lot)
    Product quality is questionable some times especially when you aren't drinking the kool-aid
    Supply chain is a nightmare - they expect you to sell more product, but they can't even keep up with manufacturing it and getting it out there, lacks so much credibility
    Lots of pointless calls to get on and pointless discussions
    Always connected - every one wants something from you ALL the time and if you don't get back to them people freak out, emails at all times of the day
    Unilever is now a place to stay 2 to 3 years max, get some great experience but you'll need to broaden your horizons

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    DON'T micromanage, stop being judgmental, fake and trying to intimidate, be real leaders and down to earth...AND PLEASE stop the criticism of everything, do you think we don't see business issues we need to address - it's insulting and we can't snap our fingers and solve everything...trust in your people and they will deliver. Fight for us, don't accept the direction the organization is taking, stand up for us - you want good people and good results, voice what it takes to get there - write a controversial white paper or something, get your hands dirty.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    can be great, with limitations

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Brand Manager in Englewood Cliffs, NJ
    Current Employee - Brand Manager in Englewood Cliffs, NJ

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

    Pros

    It's a good place to grind your teeth when you start out in brand management. Great resources, talented people, lots of education and networking opportunities, ability to gain experience in various categories and brands, all while learning 'classical marketing' which sets you up well to move onto most companies.....as long as they respect classical marketing, and many do not.

    Cons

    The company goes through changes quite often. The culture changes, strategies change, everything. The intent is clearly change for the better, but this isn't always the case. Each new leader brings their own agenda, and often their own buddies, displacing people who are well respected long-timers, and tossing them out. There's been a tendency to flatten the pyramid....more and more at the lower levels, and fewer positions as you try to move up. From assistant to associate to manager isn't too difficult. It's trying to move up to sr. mgr. or worse yet, director where things seem to grind to a halt. Too few positions, too much politics. Politics exist in any organization, some worse than others. Overall its collaborative here depending on which group / category you work with, but it often doesnt feel like a meritocracy. The goal posts seem to move. Despite your best efforts and accolades/kudos, you can get a horrible rating or bonus based on factors that were out of your control. The attrition rate in marketing the past couple years is quite telling. Also, more Europeans and South Americans seem to be brought in especially at director level. The common sentiment is that this is because the pay rate for expats is much lower. The downside is a feeling of frustration among the Americans waiting to move up, and also given that these folks know there rotation is limited in time, there tends to be much less focus on building strategies and long term viability for a brand, and more on doing whatever it takes to deliver this years numbers, since they wont be living with the long-term repercussions of a lack of strategy/vision.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Golden Handcuffs is used by many to describe working here

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

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

    Pros

    Flexibility. They truly embrace agile working... allowing people to have better work-life balance. The motto is that work is what you do, not where you go every day. There are several social initiatives that the company support. These are all very commendable. They've saved lives, made commitments to improve the environment and supported developing countries in the development of new business initiatives.

    Cons

    Minimal advancement. In order to get ahead in an extremely competitive environment, you are practically killing yourself by working crazy hours and doing the work of 3 or more people. Have seen cases where people are with the company their whole career (30+ years) and never get a promotion. Opportunities for advancement are scares in certain functions and specific countries. Very UK/IN focused.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You've run your organisation so lean that you put yourself at risk. As well, some of the recent promotions and reduction in force practices are putting you at risk for legal actions. Making someone redundant but filling their role is very unethical.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Awesome

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

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

    Pros

    great pay awesome opportunities as far as growth

    Cons

    gives out alot of over time

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    keep up great work

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Huge company with a small company feel

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Lead Scientist in Trumbull, CT
    Former Employee - Lead Scientist in Trumbull, CT

    I worked at Unilever full-time

    Pros

    It's a huge corporation, with a global presence. They do a lot of community involvement and charity work, which always made me proud to work there. It's also one of the most diverse workplaces I've ever worked in. The department was relatively small (30) and the site was relatively small (400), so you could get to know a significant portion of your colleagues. Benefits were on the high side of average.

    Cons

    R&D was funded like a small company, and so actually had less money to budget than some smaller companies. Upper management is overwhelmingly white male. There was a significant push to "work lean, work smarter" in other words, they cut back on the number of people in the department, but not on the amount of work they expected to be done. No-one worked 40 hour weeks.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    They talk a good talk, and overall the values are sound. However, the implementation of the policies depended on the managers, and varied widely. Some managers let people work from home if their kids were sick, others did not. Some managers would let you work from home if the weather was gross, others would make you call it a vacation day.

    Recommends
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Procurement Manager

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

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

    Pros

    Opportunities to learn and grow your career experience. Collaborative environment within a performance culture. Appreciate agile working for work/life balance. Strong company values

    Cons

    Compensation is lower than average and challenges to be recognized for hard work to achieve results. Cost of living near corporate office is high, so commutes are long.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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