Vermont Teddy Bear Reviews

Updated May 26, 2015
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John F. Gilbert
3 Ratings

10 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    Great

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Seasonal Sales Associate in Charlson, ND
    Current Employee - Seasonal Sales Associate in Charlson, ND

    I have been working at Vermont Teddy Bear

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great job really nice place

    Cons

    None Great job really nice plcae


  2. Helpful (1)

    Enthusiastic people, but overworked and without overall direction

    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Shelburne, VT
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Shelburne, VT

    I have been working at Vermont Teddy Bear part-time (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Seasonal call center employees receive paid training and benefit from at least 2 or 3 people on the floor who can answer questions, no matter how trivial you think they are. Floor leads and managers are overall approachable and helpful with questions, though they're frantically busy, especially during peak. As of December, 2014, employees including seasonal ones can take advantage of a surprisingly large employee discount on everything the company sells except coffee.

    Cons

    Seasonal call center employees' pay has started at $10.00 an hour for years now, apparently. Sure, this is above state minimum wage, but it's still not that much, even compared to other data entry or call center jobs in the vicinity. In more general terms, I don't think the company knows where it's going. Its revenue depends largely on sales during Christmas, Valentine's and Mother's Day [it's mostly bears and pajamas, after all!], so it's all hands on deck, with everyone working late and running around frenetically during this peak period, with a two-month "black-out" period from October through end of December where core employees [i.e., non-seasonals] have difficulty taking time off. Then, for the rest of the year, everything is much quieter. Factory tours and the Bear Shop bring in a much smaller stream of money, and the company hasn't really figured out how to diversify its offerings or somehow generate more consistent sales throughout the year. This leads to a lopsided, sort of panicky feeling to the whole organization.

    Advice to Management

    Though it trumpets perks like bocce tournaments and picnics, I get the sense too the company doesn't really know how to truly reward, support and promote its employees. Free bears to employees of the month are great, but the company needs to focus on training and development to. They don't seem to have a dedicated corporate trainer, which I find odd, especially since they have high numbers of seasonal employees every single year. If it's going to get out of its reactive mode, the company really needs to invest in its employees.


  3. Helpful (1)

    Good place to work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Developer in Shelburne, VT
    Former Employee - Developer in Shelburne, VT

    I worked at Vermont Teddy Bear full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great benefits, work life balance, awesome people

    Cons

    The coding is not cutting edge technology


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  5. Helpful (1)

    Great culture and great peopl

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Shelburne, VT
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Shelburne, VT

    I have been working at Vermont Teddy Bear full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Everyone really gets along; everyone wants to see success in their coworkers; great and competitive benefits (vacation time) etc. Flexible work environment.

    Cons

    Not challenged enough; no real room for movement or growth

    Advice to Management

    More training would be great


  6. Helpful (2)

    Think twice before considering.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Various Positions in Shelburne, VT
    Current Employee - Various Positions in Shelburne, VT

    I have been working at Vermont Teddy Bear full-time (More than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    Some of the benefits are nice, such as discounts, contribution to a CSA share, health club membership. And many of the folks there are very nice.

    Cons

    Oh, where to begin. Some members of the Leadership Team have been at this company far too long and make decisions without fully understanding the consequences of how they will impact the rest of the company or if they will even be able to be executed given the inefficient and antiquated systems that are currently being used. There is an incredible lack of processes in place creating an atmosphere of constant chaos. I have worked in several departments and can only sum up my various positions as constantly putting out fires with little time to do the jobs I am actually supposed to be doing. The company atmosphere is that of crisis management and I often hear coworkers crying, complaining and constantly saying they have to get out of there. I know many employees who have skills and abilities far beyond what they are able to use in their current positions yet they are denied the ability to advance within the company. And then they just leave. Depending on the department, the 30 minute lunch break is impossible to take and most people sit in their cubicles through lunch and are there well beyond 5 at night. In my many years there, I rarely was able to take lunch as there were too many crises to tend to and much pressure to work faster and get on to the next emergency. The "peak" times leading up to Christmas and Valentines Day (and Mother's Day somewhat) are even crazier with the expectation to put family/home life on the back burner--for example, we are told to do all of our Christmas shopping in October because there's minimal time off as the holiday approaches months away. People have often said what a fun place Vermont Teddy Bear must be to work at and all I can say is perhaps fun from the outside but not so much on the inside.


  7. Helpful (1)

    No chance of being hired past seasonal

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Vermont Teddy Bear

    Pros

    Easy way to make extra money during the holidays Not really too much else. That's the only pro I can think of.

    Cons

    If you are a smoker, you have 10 minutes to walk to the farthest part of the property. You can get fired for smoking in your own car! There is no room to move from seasonal to full or part time. Long commute from Burlington.


  8. A frustrating place to be.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Shelburne, VT
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Shelburne, VT

    I worked at Vermont Teddy Bear full-time (More than a year)

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

    Pros

    Decent product discounts in the store.

    Cons

    The environment can best be described as a culture of chaos. The people making decisions are completely isolated from daily operations so you're constantly turning on a dime and operating in panic mode. The company's success is tied to three holidays per year: Christmas, Valentines Day, and Mother's Day. To be fair, this is a tough niche VTB has built for themselves and it does require fiscal prudence to survive. However, there's a difference between fiscal restraint and penny wise and pound foolish. Much effort is given to building out the marketing and product development side of the business, and many people with very impressive resumes are brought on board to help drive new business, but they don't stay. If you're going to grow a business you need to invest in the infrastructure as well, and there was a steadfast refusal to expend much effort here. Huge micromanagement by upper management in certain departments, deep seated resistance to new ideas and fresh thinking.


  9. Helpful (1)

    Very good place to work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Shelburne, VT
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Shelburne, VT

    I worked at Vermont Teddy Bear

    Recommends
    Recommends

    Pros

    Great work culture and a great team atmosphere. The company does a great job of promoting from within and offers strong advancement potential. A lot of employees tend to stay with the company for a long time. Pretty good benefits.

    Cons

    The pay is pretty low and should be more competitive. Salary increases are usually very low and pay rates are often capped at pretty low amounts.

    Advice to Management

    Increase salaries for new hires to attract a high level of talent.


  10. Helpful (1)

    Vermont Teddy Bear - A Sinking Ship

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Burlington, VT
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Burlington, VT

    I have been working at Vermont Teddy Bear

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    It is a fun place to work in the summer time since the company is not very busy. There is Bocce and BBQ's and the people who work here are generally good people who share common lifestyles and interests.

    Cons

    In the busy season (October-May) we are required to work longer hours even though there is no financial compensation for working extra time. It was implied that "turning the walls" (working in other departments such as the warehouse) would increase overall profits which would in turn end up in our year end bonuses. However, year end bonuses have been canceled so now we are required to work extra hours with no hope of financial compensation. For example, I worked 4, 17 hour days during Valentine's Day Peak, but was not compensated in any way.

    Advice to Management

    Senior management needs trust their employees, allow them or their managers to make decisions and end the system of micromanagement that has been in place here for so many years. We have lost a lot of good employees over the past few years, most of which have not been replaced. The fact that people are leaving should speak for itself. There is no promise of advancement and the pay scales aren't very good. A 2-5% wage increase is barely enough to cover cost of living increases which leaves employees in the same position they were in a year before their review. Increase wages, instill confidence and command respect or continue to lose qualified, hardworking employees.


  11. Helpful (1)

    Love my job at VTB!

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

    I have been working at Vermont Teddy Bear

    Recommends
    Recommends

    Pros

    The people are nice to each other here. I like feeling part of a company that brings happiness to the many visitors to the factory during the summer. BBQs, Bake-offs and Bocce Ball. I love it. The benefits package is standard but they do go the extra mile providing gym membership, free passes to a lot of stuff, good discounts for other Vermont companies and occasional give-aways. I think the politics is pretty minimal too.

    Cons

    We have been hit by the recession and the slow-down in retail because of it. So people had to be laid off and so good people are gone.

    Advice to Management

    Thank you for making announcements about changes happening here.



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