Watkins Inc
2.5 of 5 4 reviews
www.jrwatkins.com Winona, MN 150 to 499 Employees

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2.5 4 reviews

                             

50% Approve of the CEO

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Mark E. Jacobs

(2 ratings)

33% of employees recommend this company to a friend
4 Employee Reviews
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    Good products to sell, but mainly make money if you recruit others to sell.

    Sales Representative (Former Employee)

    ProsIndependent sales representative, you can set your own hours. Great way to make friends and be involved with other business people.

    ConsWages increase by recruiting others to sell. Gas expense and use of your private vehicle cuts into any profits and paying shipping costs also decreases what your make off sales. You have to continually build your customer list and contact them often. Building a team instead of selling on your own is only way to make good money.

    Advice to Senior ManagementAbsorb the shipping costs for representatives,

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    I work full time at Watkins Incorporated

    Chemist (Current Employee)
    Winona, MN

    ProsNot much here, one of the main advantages is that management is too busy in meetings and other useless tasks to know where you are and when you leave and get in. You could easily work 20hours and get paid for 40.

    ConsThe cons include poor upper management, very poor middle management. One gets penalized for being smart at this company, because most entry level workers do not want to work hard (or not bright enough), so the more experience/education you have, the more work load you will get...without any recognition or wage increase. Also, the only way management knows, is to motivate people by negative reinforcement. This, as well as other poor choices, makes Watkins a place where one has no benefit or desire to work hard in his job; because working hard just gives a person more busy work/duties for NO gains.

    Advice to Senior ManagementWow, where to start. I would give many demotions to management personnel whom have no business in their positions, due to lack of knowledge or people skills. Also, try for once to interview people more effectively, and give lower management a louder voice in the personnel they have and how to best utilize them. By the way, a few extra dollars top the people whom actually work hard and effectively, not just give the largest raises to the people whom "brown nose" and call out co-worker's mistakes.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Great wages, if you can tolerate the terrible management and antiquated equipment.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsWages are good, if static. The factory workers who produce the famous Watkins brand goods, are compensated above the local prevailing wage. The supervisory staff (with one exception) is good, knowledgeable and organized.

    ConsThe Human Resources department is a total mess. They fail at their mission 9 out of 10 times. New hires were stalled for an entire quarter leading up to the busy season, forcing the outsourcing of jobs to local companies and the pel-mel hiring of people from a job fair, while walk in applications were lost, claimed to be in places they weren't and or completely ignored.

    The busy season on, the upper level management has moved the manufacturing staff to 12 hour days, six or seven days a week - even during the record heat this year. (Note: There are only three air conditioned production areas and some of the lines have recorded heat upwards of 120 degrees during production hours i.e. 24 hrs per day.)

    When the supervisory staff provided Gatorade and told the workers they could have 10 minutes per hour to hydrate and use the air conditioned lunch room? The company "Green" director removed all the Styrofoam cups from the lunch room without suitable replacements - posting a letter on the door about it being a new policy in line with the corporation's "green," goals. This of course, left the 50 or so production employees (operators and utilities) with Gatorade... and no way to drink it.

    Though the production plant is union, and there are rules and guidelines for the posting of overtime, it is often left until the very last minute to post it (by union rules), which inconveniences nearly all the production staff - and often leads to those with Seniority to "take occurrences," and forcing additional days of overtime due to understaffed shifts.

    Overall, the volume of production and the rate of growth have far outstripped the current employee base - and the upper level management has left the supervisory staff to scramble in order to find employees to cover the surge in production that is in addition to the seasonal demand. Everyone, in the manufacturing plant stressed, over heated and worked beyond reason.

    Though I love my co-workers and even my supervisory staff, I feel that the "suits" are completely out of touch with the manufacturing climate and employees and to be very honest? Could care less, they see us as hands and backs - not people who have lives, who are human, who have a right to some kind of reasonable expectation for sleep and a healthy work environment.

    Contractually mandated raises are very slow in coming. Again, apparently the coding in the company data base is done by Human Resources - the department is a disgrace and so those who work in production - new hires primarily are often waiting a month or more to get their raises for being permanently hired and shift differential pay is also often left to back pay.

    To be honest, I will stay... only and I do mean only, because I cannot possibly leave. However, discussion this morning suggests that some of the most talented and dedicated workers I work with are planning to jump ship as soon as possible - which might explain the other end of the Human Resources dilemma... Winona is a small town, people hear and say things... the company has a deplorable reputation as far as all the issues I've presented here so attracting and retaining skilled people or even dedicated unskilled people definitely has to be excruciating.

    Advice to Senior Management1. Hire
    2. Keep mandatory overtime to a reasonable minimum
    3. Consider the work environment before enforcing "Green Policy"
    4. Fire everyone in HR. The people in that department are not worthy of their salary.
    5. A clear mission statement with a clear goal needs to be established and adhered to. The company seems to be going in too many directions at once with little or no real sense of purpose besides making as much money as possible.
    6. Hire a full time gani

    – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    OK

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    Prossmall company, small town, inexpensive to live in

    ConsNo chance for advancement, low pay

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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