Just to taking a job in this bad bush era. AutoZone really is a bad place to work. Most of the time as management you are cutting hours of the staff. This is the reason that management is there for more than 50 hours a week.
Working many hours if your staff does not show up for duty. No career advancement oppotyunities
Advice to Management
Hire more people that will work retail.
Most District Managers are very respectable. Some store managers are great and work around employee schedules.
Employees get discounts.
Autozone makes money. It is a fortune 500 company that will be around tomorrow.
The computer system to look up parts is far better than the competition.
You usually get a decent raise for moving up to the next higher position.
A District Manager or Store Manager won't get mad at you for taking good care of a customer or for doing the right thing. A great Store Manager can make a huge positive impact for the good or the bad of nearly every aspect of the store.
The Autozone Rewards program is great for customers if the employees explain how it works before the first purchase.
Many good policies are in place by corporate.
It can make a good 2nd job.
The health benefits are below average. Part time/new employees get benefits immediately but you are better off buying much better insurance on your own. You have to work as full time for one full year before being eligible for the better health benefits.
You are required to test parts before returning or exchanging them. Many employees have a poor understanding of parts due to lack of training and may not warranty something like a bad starter with a faulty solenoid. They think if it tests good on the tester there is no way it is bad, even if it really is. The same thing is done with batteries. You are monitored on visible reports with testing warranty returns. You are highly monitored on what you sell with a new report coming out each week, but you aren't rewarded for your hard work besides getting a star next to your score that is above average.
Pay is comparable to a fast food. Your annual raise is usually a joke. I would say 6-24 cent raises are common with an average to great annual review. The only way to get a decent raise is to move up to a higher position. You will then again get stuck with a measly raise after a year in the higher position.
The company is suppose to pay for your uniform/shirt in my state but they don't. Everyone knows this but nobody follows it nor dares to bring it up. Many good policies are in place by corporate but these policies are rarely followed by local management. This year we were told to stop salting icy sidewalks because it wasn't in our budget. A slip in fall accident would cost more than the salt but common sense doesn't prevail. Store manager bonuses are based on profit so some Mr. Scrooge type of store managers won't pay to have things done or replaced that should be.
When ringing someone up at the register during the holidays you have to ask them if they want to donate money. You then have to ask them if they have an Autozone Rewards card. You then have to ask them if they want the current promotional item. You are expected to ask these questions at every purchase. Customers get frustrated if they are in a hurry of if the store is busy when you ask them a question, then follow with another question and finally third question. In the non-holiday season you only have to ask two questions.
The stores have a poor/worsening appearance on the inside. The floors need to be redone in any store that isn't relatively new. You would think for being a fortune 500 company things would be nicer but they aren't.
You are expected to answer the phone by the third ring. In busy stores this is impossible unless you can interrupt the customer you are helping multiple times to answer the phone and listen fully to what the customer on the phone wants before placing them on hold. It seems that the busy stores don't have enough employees to help during busy times and that Autozone wants to have their cake and eat it too.
The loss prevention people consider you guilty until proven innocent. Don't dare drink or open something before paying for it. Autozone is hell bent on thinking their number one cause of theft is employees. If there is a loss prevention blitz and they visit your store expect to get interrogated like you just murdered the presidentand you have something to hide.
In the past Autozone had a just say yes policy where you would do whatever the customer wanted. Crooked people took advantage of this so you will get some cracked out people who took a part of a car at a junk yard and are now wanting to return it for cash although there is no warranty or receipt. Autozone is just like Wal-mart and has had to make adjustments because of return abuse. Some customers still feel like they should be able to return a 50 yr old kitchen sink for cash without a receipt.
The turnover rate is high and job morale can be absolute crap if you have a poor store manager. If I would have started at a fast food joint compared to Autozone I could probably be in a higher position making more money. If you are retired and don't care about management , reports or pay then Autozone may be a better option if you like cars.
Advice to Management
Read my entire response to the downside. Realize that store managers make a night and day difference to every aspect of the store. Your visits don't reflect what things are truly like in the store. You need to make sure the employees are happy and taken care of then customer service and sales will increase. Eliminate 50 hour work weeks for store managers and commercial specialists.
Great for gaining expirience on automotive parts and developing customer service skills. You get to interact with customers and get personal satisfaction when you give advice and solutions.
Poor pay with minimal chances for career growth.They have zero training resources for career development thus you are stuck with whatever skills you get with expirience.
Advice to Management
Make time to interact your employees,they goals,concerns and career goals. Some incentives for sale of related items rather than stupid stars would be appreciated,a gift card or something. If there is a bonus from sales everybody should get a piece of the pie.Stop shoving numbers at sales people and giving then stars in return.
Since I am a college student, our store manager has been really great at scheduling my hours around my school schedule. We also get a generous 20% discount on parts for our own cars.
Our stores really do look great. Our computer system really is the best in the industry that I have seen. We can order almost everything that we carry in only two days. And everyone in my store truly does enjoy helping our customers with their cars.
We had a record year in 2008, set sales records every month, and almost every week. Our store manager got a HUGE bonus. Capital HUGE!! And what did the rest of us get? A pizza party for which the company only picked up about half the tab, and then our hours were slashed.
And it wasn't slow business that they cut our hours for, they started slashing hours at least three months before the winter slowdown, while we were still setting sales records. Not only have all the employees been struggling, but customer service has been terrible. I have literally heard the question "Are you the only one here?" several times, during the mid-day rush, while the only other employee in the store was the manager, who was taking care of massive amounts of paperwork while the phones were ringing off the hooks and impatient customers were walking out the door. I have had to turn away customers that needed go-out-to-the-car service, and told them to come back later for our free testing services, all because we simply were understaffed, all during the same time when my hours were cut from around 30 to around 10.
We are expected to do cheers, chants, and acrobatics like a bunch of middle-school cheerleaders, while at the same time receiving NO benefits for part-timers, getting our hours slashed on the whims of management during our busiest months in the fall, then struggling to keep up with bills all winter long.
On my last two performance reviews, I have actually been criticized for spending too much time providing personal customer service to particularly needy customers, when I am one of the few employees with hands on mechanic experience.
We do price changes that mark products up to gouging levels, and then mark them down again a few months later when they stop selling.
And wages are nearly unchanged from what they were 10 years ago.
Advice to Management
Share the profits with the employees. The manager doesn't run the store himself, it is ALL of the employees who are responsible for providing great service and encouraging repeat business. When times are good, let those of us on the front lines share in the rewards.
Stop pushing junk at the cash registers. This isn't AMWAY. NAPA and Schucks don't do it. It sets ridiculous hoops for the employees to jump through, annoys the customers, and is contrary to the professional service that you expect us to give. Have some respect for the customers and treat them like adults, and your employees too, for that matter. If you must persist with the "Checkout Challenge" then push the candy and pop, or air filters and other things that are actually necessary. Lay off the fuel cleaners, as most of them are snake oil anyway.
If you really want to shake things up, get rid of the glitter crap, the stick-on "port holes", the neon tubes. All that trash is just shoplifter bait.
Get some class. Fewer vinyl snakeskin steering wheel covers and more leather. I got a beautiful, high quality leather steering cover... over at Walmart. We can't even order a nice leather piece without the gaudy logos on it. Get rid of the cheap vinyl "Type R" seat covers and get some nice sheepskins in there, and maybe some wool floor mats. The local feed and grain store has a better selection of truck accessories, mudflaps, tow hitches, tool boxes, etc, than we do.
Pay more attention to the competition. And I don't just mean Schucks. This is the internet age, and we are getting our doors blown off in both price and selection by our online competition.
steady job if you can live on low pay or are young and begining your career and have limited obligations
very low pay, want a lot for very little or no reguard for employees if you dont ike the way we are you can leave there are plenty of others looking.
Advice to Management
learn to speak up on employees behalf to upper management
If one can live on low pay, retired or semi-retired persons looking for activity and some extra cash, young people starting out who enjoy the automotive field, young people who need a stopover point while they develop their main interest or career, college students who need extra cash. Basically, it's a short term solution for earning. The work environment is clean, though one will be dealing with grease, oil and potential battery acid problems during the work day. The benefits are minimal but they can offer some incentive for certain people such as a 20% discount for employees on products (excluding oil), plus other consumer discounts at other companies.
I will discuss one aspect at this time and post other aspects later.
1 - The company calls what we wear a "dress code", but it is and can be legally defended as a "uniform". Calling it a "dress code" means they don't have to pay for it. Black shoes, black socks, black pants (Dickey's, not jeans). black belt, red or gray shirt (of a specific style), in addition to some ancillary and optional items like sweaters and caps, plus how we must wear the useless pins they give us as motivation for our service (instead of cash).
We deal with battery acid, grease and oil almost every day. The shirts get stained and after a while can not be washed clean enough to remove the stains, besides the holes that are created by getting caught on something or by battery acid (which despite best efforts will spill at times. Yes, i know they require us to wear goggles, aprons and gloves when dealing with batteries, but the reality is no one has time for such precautions during a work day. It is unrealistic to assume an employee will put on and remove these extra items before connecting a battery for charging, or removing a battery for testing after it has been charged. The process of putting on goggles, aprons, and gloves itself would take longer in time than the job one is about to do, not to mention more customers walking in, phone ringing, etc etc).
Now back to the "dress code" - The shirts alone may last about 2 months. We are paid low wages, barely enough to live on, and they expect us to continue to purchase and pay for these clothing items to maintain the neatness and newness of their "dress code". 6 billion plus in gross revenue, about 9-10% in net after tax earnings and they won't even provide shirts for us, but expect us to "look our best" at all times.
(You can also wear an Autozone labeled custom shirt that must be ordered. To this end they recently posted a most laughable concept - "Now it costs less than ever to look your best". They cut the price of shipping an Autozone labeled shirt by as much as 50%. So we still have to pay for the shirt and the shipping, but our "shipping costs" have been reduced. How generous of them!!
I will be blogging further on many aspects of this company and their policies which will show the absolute abuse and disrespect they condone when it comes to their employees. Basically, we are "human capital" and as "capital" they expect a return on it without any regard to our well being while covering it all up under their umbrella of corporate propaganda (which I will discuss in a further blog). This company is not alone in its policies, but it is a primary reason why unions came into being. The "dress code" policy is a mere tip of the iceberg.
Advice to Management
Be a capitalist. However, when the need or desire to make money exceeds the well being of the employees (which can be defined in many ways, including compensation, personal needs, respect, etc.) the balance has shifted, and the result is a general population that become nothing more than "worker bees" and do not truly obtain or produce any lasting benefits to them selves or to society on the whole.
On a more specific note:
1- Management must include all employees in a monetary compensation plan by giving commissions on certain aspects of product sales and service provided.
2 - Treat employees as adults. Eliminate this laughable and childish corporate culture. Their idiotic cheer, for example. One CAN develop a corporate culture that truly embodies corporate ideals and employee participation.
3 - Explain their actions and intentions to employees so employees can share in the goals instead of just demanding more.
4 - Define all duties specifically instead of demanding and expecting everyone to do everyone else's job which includes cleaning the toilets.
5 - Equal pay scale for everyone instead of all employees earning different pay scales for the same position.
6 - Paid benefits after 3 months instead of having to work there full time for a year or more for some of these current benefits. For example, paid holidays.
7 - Respecting family values and closing the store for more holidays (such as Easter Sunday, July 4th, Memorial Day). A compromise can be met if employees want to work these days by paying overtime for example)
8 - Pay for our uniforms instead of calling them a "Dress Code".
Job when there are very few in in this area.
Many issues with very little respect to employees race. Auto Zone does not comply with wage and hour laws employees are expected to work off the clock. Also the policies are unfair treatment, fringe benefits such as overtime are un-equal. Auto Zone does not comply with EEOC laws, they claim that they they are like the army and do what ever they want. Conduct is willful careless racist, offensive remarks are very common. The environment is very hostile, racist symbols are very common and are all over there property they refuse to correct issues like this and they do retaliate very much so.
Advice to Management
A professional approach would help.
never a problem getting paid
they expect a person to work as many hours as needed in a day but refuse to pay overtime instead leave early or extend a lunch hour to loose the extra time worked. pay is very low and they tell us the way to higher pay is thru promotion but promotions are very rare and they always hire new people to fill these positions
Advice to Management
respect your employees as you demand to be respected
20% discount, that is about it
rampant age & gender discrimination, little or no training, poor working conditions, contradictory policy, for example:
You will not be allowed to take a break, except and unless explicitly provided by law and then there will be no place to sit unless you leave the premises.
You will be expected to provide excellent customer service, except when it conflicts with the minimal staffing levels that are maintained.
You will be expected to sell the "check out challenge" items regardless of the customers needs.
You will not be provided with training materials, but you will be expected to know and implement the procedures and policies.
Advice to Management
Take a close look at your Pledge and take a stab at living that yourselves. Try some positive leadership techniques instead of constant nagging. Remember that "what it takes to do the job right" is timely onsite information, real customer service, not packs of grease!
good health insurance, 20% off most things, paid vacation
Insufficient staffing levels as dictated by corporate, ridiculously high sales expectations from low paid non-commision employees, too many bosses, too many/frequent phone conferences, long hours 50+ is common, favoritism for women and good ole' boys, little actual training, No actual sick leave (seriously you won't ever get sick leave), and vacations are tightly controlled, contradictorial policies, convenient policy enforcement, Frequent rule violations by upper mgmnt to appease fraud and theft by many clients which directly effects your bonus, vastly unfair pay as you will discover in private conversations (FYI you are threatened with termination for discussing pay), Inconsistent policy enforcement at all levels and situations, internal awards not paid unless in click, labor law breakage common and reporting is treated with secretive threats.
Advice to Management
just try to give great customer service at peak times with a customer count of 25+ with one employee while recieveing a secret shopper call. Stop the humiliating Cheer please, no one likes it because it is dehumanizing.
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