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Brady Reviews

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Brady President, CEO & Director J. Michael Nauman
J. Michael Nauman
12 Ratings

27 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • High turnover in engineering due to lack of progress on product lines and limited opportunity to advance (in 5 reviews)

  • Another clueless senior management team that has no idea how to reverse the fortunes of this once great company (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (7)

    "Chicago office - bad HR, worse management"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Brady full-time

    Pros

    A VERY small handful of good employees remain
    An almost-stunning view of the city from the windows
    Lots of good reataurant choices nearby

    Cons

    I joined the Chicago office of Brady Corp with high hopes for what I could do to help the company reach its goals. Those expectations were quickly adjusted as round after round of layoffs and firings occurred, most with little explanation or justification to remaining employees.

    Employee turnover (from people leaving on their own) is also extremely high. Valuable employees quickly realize the office is failing and they move on to better spaces.

    The remaining management (and their cohorts/allies) is incompetent and the majority (but certainly not all) of the remaining individual contributors are ineffective. The Chicago office has a knack for letting go of its best employees at all levels (management, middle management and individual contributors), while keeping those with tenure but very little skills for running a successful e-commerce business.

    HR is a terrifying joke. Collusion between employees and HR almost seems encouraged as a way to push valuable employees out. Conversely, real HR complaints (about favoritism, inappropriate manager-employee relationships [including promotions for the employee], harassment by management) are not taken seriously. Frankly, I'm surprised the company hasn't been sued numerous times, based on the events I witnessed in my short time with the company.

    The saddest part is that management will see this review and spend all their time trying to figure out who wrote it, instead of fixing the situation and culture they've created. (Also, as a result of this review, I fully expect to see a rash of flowery rebuttal reviews for the Chicago office. It wouldn't be the first time they tried to bury a truthful review.)

    In the end, I'm convinced that the only thing keeping the office open is that they signed a five-year lease for the office space. (For those still with the Chicago office, the lease was signed in spring 2013. Tick tock.)

    Tl;dr -- management will probably fire you to cover for their incompetence and HR will be happy to do it.

    Advice to Management

    Fix the terrible culture you've created
    Take HR complaints seriously
    Quit moving the target
    You've got a few good employees left -- value them!!!


  2. Helpful (8)

    "Total disregard for the employees"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Milwaukee, WI
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Milwaukee, WI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Brady full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Better income than the recent recent past

    Cons

    Total disregard for the employees; cut, cut, cut! Continue with takeaways to improve the bottom line, . No real long term plan. Is Brady for sale? Reductions based on age? Age discrimination?
    Poor pay, and pay increases. HR and management are developing a toxic environment; employees are just out to protect their jobs. Working as a true team no longer exists; everyone is watching their backside rather than working towards common goals.

    Advice to Management

    Bravo!


  3. Helpful (23)

    "Don't bother unless you are desperate"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Brady full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Nice views of the city! Decent free coffee.

    Cons

    This office is a joke, and you can see it in the reviews. All of the people that wrote bad reviews are the new hires that left or were run out of the company. The two positive reviews are clearly from the veteran employees that turned the office into a dumpster fire.

    The WPS division had difficulty attracting ecommerce talent in Buffalo, NY, and Branford, CT. The Chicago opened with the intent of hiring a bunch of new talent to improve the quality of the team. New digital VP, new search managers, new site managers, the whole works. The new hires all had relevant experience at bigger, better companies (and coincidentally have gone on to work at bigger, better companies after leaving).

    The employees that relocated to Chicago from Buffalo and Branford poisoned the well. They acted like a body rejecting an organ transplant. Anyone from the outside in a position of authority was undermined, undercut, and rejected. Now the veterans are in the leadership roles. The untalented people that oversaw the decline of the business in the first place are once again in charge of overseeing the decline of the business, but this time in Chicago. Oh by the way none of the site managers, manager of digital experience, or search manager work in Chicago. Some digital center of excellence!

    If that was the worst of it then it could be understood. No, the worst part is that they have created a toxic atmosphere that sucks the life out of everyone working here. They are literally bullies that will hound a person they see as a threat until they leave or are fired. Numerous complaints to HR have been made, as well as reports to the ethics hotline. Nothing has been done. The notion that they've "gotten rid of the bad apples" is hilarious.

    Here is the pattern to watch out for: you're brought in to clean up their mess, you suggest improvements, they ignore you, they undercut you, then marginalize you so you don't have the organizational support to do your job, the bad results they created are blamed on you, they take responsibility away (never called a demotion, just a refocusing), and finally your role is eliminated. Enjoy your minimal severance.

    If for some reason you temporarily lose your mind and decide to take the job, make sure to negotiate hard on base pay. You will not receive any of that bonus money they like to talk about and raises are nonexistent.

    Advice to Management

    Start tidying up that resume and adding people on LinkedIn. The terrible financial results point to you needing a new job in the near future.


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  5. Helpful (6)

    "Engineer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Brady full-time

    Pros

    Still a few good people there, most of those will leave in Dec 2015

    Cons

    Most short sighted management team I know of, BOD knows how to take of itself, has no concern for the employee

    Advice to Management

    Turn over the BOD and bring in a new CEO


  6. Helpful (8)

    "Corporate greed and maladroit management have ruined this once stellar company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Milwaukee, WI
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Milwaukee, WI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Brady full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Well, the one positive thing I can say is that working for BRADY provides an excellent lesson on how *not* to run a company. And since you will end up doing the work of 2-3 people (for one low salary) you will develop strong work habits which you can bring to your next employer when you eventually quit or are laid off (one or the other is inevitable).

    Cons

    I could write an essay length review here, many many other commentators have accurately described this company's faults so i will try not to be repetitive. Of course, it can't be stated enough times that upper management is incompetent & arrogant (the worst combination for leadership). They are only focused on numbers and have a myopic business vision. They are not in touch with a global economy, they continue to charge premium prices for average (at best) products. As a result, many of Brady's longtime customers (with large accounts) have fled to the company's smaller, less expensive competitors. They also commit one of the worst errors of customer service - they over promise and under deliver. They have outsourced much of their manufacturing, and dismantled their smaller subsidiary companies along the way.

    As for the work culture - the rank and file employees (i.e. the people who do the actual WORK) are undervalued and treated as disposable. Middle management is comprised of sycophants who refuse to take proactive initiative when problems arise and simply tell upper management what they want to hear (and blame the workers when the precious daily numbers aren't met). There is no positive momentum in the workplace in Milwaukee, just a feeling of impending doom.

    Advice to Management

    Just give up. The prior CEO (and his cronies) did irrevocable damage to the corporation (and was rewarded with a generous golden parachute for his effort). BRADY"s best days are behind it,and it will be lucky to survive the decade.


  7. Helpful (11)

    "Chicago ecommerce office review"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Brady full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The view is amazing. It is Southeasterly and overlooks the lake and McCormick Place. I highly recommend seeing the view for yourself. It's stunning.

    Cons

    The worst apples in the Chicago office is the management, both on site and in Milwaukee. Employees that were passed over for leadership positions when the office was opened mounted a campaign to discredit the new employees by any means necessary, including fabrication of all types of misconduct. When the long-term staff took over management, professionalism - heck, common decency - went right out the window. Ask anyone who's had Tupperware thrown at them by new management.

     In the year since the management team hired in 2013 left the office has had 90% turnover. That should tell you what you need to know about what it's like to work there. Complaints to HR are either met with threats or are totally ignored.

    Advice to Management

    Install hidden cameras and conduct surprise visits.


  8. Helpful (10)

    "Horrible"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Digital in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Digital in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Brady full-time

    Pros

    Cannot think of anything positive to say. Came aboard with high expectations. The true colors came through very quickly and saw an immediate need to get out.

    Cons

    Political
    Layoffs
    Won't be heard
    Poor management
    Corrupt
    Political
    No promotions
    No transparency
    No bonuses
    Corrupt
    Political
    No promotions
    No bonuses
    Layoffs
    No structure
    Poor management
    High turnover
    Corrupt
    Political

    Advice to Management

    Close Chicago office. No one knows digital.


  9. Helpful (14)

    "Sinking Ship for the Digital Team in Chicago"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - ECommerce Digital Team in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - ECommerce Digital Team in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Brady full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great location in the loop near public transportation and great view. Excellent pay and benefits.

    Cons

    Completely absent decision making by leadership. Keep being told we are meeting numbers when they just lowered the bar to make it appear as if they are doing well when in reality it is a sinking ship. Unstable platform, unusable CMS, constant fire drills and micro-managed to the extreme. Bullied all the time by leadership and constant immature behavior. Strategy seems to change every quarter, so real progress is difficult to come by. Waves of high turnover lead to knowledge loss and reinventing wheels.

    Advice to Management

    Start firing leadership or put in some hidden cameras in the office because it would make for a great sitcom.


  10. Helpful (11)

    "Horrible Work Environment"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Absolutely none that I can see.

    Cons

    Working at the Brady Digital office in Chicago was without a doubt the worst experience of my professional career. If you want to experience true bullying in the workplace, then this is the place for you. I have never seen anything like this outside of high school. Inappropriate relationships between management and employees create favoritism leaving highly qualified employees unable to to do their job. This office has been operating on negative profits with turn-style management. The team has no direction or strategy and will not listen to those who know how to turn things around. Management is as juvenile and unprofessional as I have ever seen.

    Advice to Management

    Pay attention to the many complaints officially filed with HR instead of dismissing a true problem if you want your business to survive.


  11. Helpful (11)

    "eCommerce"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Culture & Values
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    There were flexible work hours at one point, but now those hours and working from home options only apply to the "favorites" in the office.

    Cons

    This is specifically for the digital office in Chicago.
    This is absolutely the worst work experience I have ever had. Management in the office is incredibly disrespectful and ineffective. Favoritism run rampant. Bullies are supported as they force people out of the office. Experienced digital professionals were hired for their expertise, then stripped of all real responsibility and ignored when voicing ideas and opinions. While the people and personalities cause issues, the numbers also continue to decline. I am not sure how senior management allows the office to continue to run this way. After many exit interviews and complaints to HR, nothing has changed.

    Advice to Management

    Take a look at all the exit interviews and HR files on this office. It will paint a clear picture that has just been ignored up to this point.



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