Eastman Reviews | Glassdoor

Eastman Reviews

Updated May 5, 2017
54 reviews

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2.0
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Eastman Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mark J. Costa
Mark J. Costa
18 Ratings

54 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Very good company culture and work-life balance (in 140 reviews)

  • Salary seemed even with or better than internship positions with other companies despite a low cost of living in the TN area (in 39 reviews)

Cons
  • Depending on your job, the work/life balance may sometimes be off (in 27 reviews)

  • Complex hierarchy, slow decision-making process (in 55 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (3)

    "Overrated"

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

    I have been working at Eastman full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The pay is better than average for the area
    Free gyms
    401k match

    Cons

    No time for family
    terrible benefits

    Advice to Management

    Hire more people
    Go back to how Eastman was 20 years ago towards its employees


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Welder"

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

    I have been working at Eastman full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Pay, coworkers, available overtime (when not slow), safety and training, having good and reliable equipment and tools to work with.

    Cons

    Management is clueless and undercuts the lower employees. Management also gets switched around so much they try to change where they are moved to and it doesn't work

    Advice to Management

    Eat your own words, and learn some respect. We are not your servants we are employees.


  3. Helpful (22)

    "Prospective employees should reconsider; current employees are preparing resumes."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Chief Cook and Bottle Washer in Kingsport, TN
    Current Employee - Chief Cook and Bottle Washer in Kingsport, TN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Eastman full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Small vestiges of the former company remain, and people are at least currently pretty good. They still give 5 weeks of vacation if you can hold out that long. Currently investing in R&D, but I'm not sure how long that will continue.

    Cons

    Where do I begin? Eastman is sick and getting sicker. Executive management is trying (and succeeding!) to change the culture, and the effects on the company are really hitting us. There has historically been too much management, and that continues to be the case. The company continues to disempower people,and that's probably the primary issue right now. Eastman is disturbingly internally focused, and management especially seems only concerned with process. People from larger chemical companies (BASF, Dow, DuPont) are stunned by the amount of internal processes Eastman has. So if you're a prospective employee and really want to show what you can do, look elsewhere.

    Things have been going downhill for a while, but the pace has accelerated. They have started getting rid of some good people; people forced out after long, successful careers in what are obviously political purges. If you're not loved and on either the promotables list or the 'early career high potential' list, there's a ceiling you'll hit regardless of your performance and you'll watch those who have contributed much less than you get those promotions you want (and have earned).

    The company seems to be taking advantage of the poor job market (especially poor in the chemical sector) to suppress wage growth. Structure (assigned 'average') salary increases are at inflationary levels. You're told that if you work really, really hard - lots of extra hours - and beat out your 'competition' (i.e., coworkers) then you might get 1% above that. Most folks have gotten tired of being responsible employees and dutifully working that much harder for that small amount - they might as well head home at a decent hour and enjoy their families. This is especially true of very successful, high achieving employees, who are now told that the competition is even higher and harder at their level, and while they've been exceeding expectations all of their careers are now told they only meet expectations, BUT! they should feel great about achieving their cost-of-living pay increase. These people obviously aren't stupid, and I've never seen so many people actively discussing leaving the company. People are quickly disengaging.

    Morale is obviously very, very poor, and this can only be management's intent.

    Advice to Management

    Please, please, please change course before you run off all of the good people who still remain, and if you hold out any hope of attracting new talent.

    Eastman Response

    Apr 12, 2017 – Communications Rep.

    Thanks for your review. Eastman does offer great vacation benefits! Our regular, full-time employees start out with two weeks (80 hours) of vacation in their first year. Regarding our investment ... More


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  5. Helpful (26)

    "On the Decline"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Chemical Engineer in Kingsport, TN
    Current Employee - Chemical Engineer in Kingsport, TN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    The people here are truly remarkable. There are many employees who are known industry-wide for their expertise, but almost all of these bright stars are humble and happy to teach new employees.
    Despite management's best efforts, a collaborative, team environment persists.
    The company cares about safety and environmental issues.

    Cons

    Currently implementing a forced distribution ranking system to determine raises and promotions.
    No matter what happens (changing market conditions, overall economic slowdown, etc.) the employees take the hit in the form of layoffs, cost reductions (no training for you!), and canceling raises and promotions

    Advice to Management

    Asking your first-line supervisors to rank their people against objective criteria to determine who is meeting expectations and who is not is fine. Taking those rankings and declaring that 20% of the population fails to meet expectations is arbitrary and wrong. You are negatively impacting morale and productivity today. If you don't get rid of this system soon, you will lose anyone who can get a job elsewhere (especially the young people you've worked so hard to recruit), the performance of the employees who stay will continue to decrease, and you will irreparably damage or destroy the culture you claim to value so much.
    Most of us could be making more money somewhere else. We are here because we believe in this company. Please stop making us feel like fools for caring about this place.

    Eastman Response

    Mar 17, 2017 – Communications Rep.

    Thank you for your review. We believe in this company too and also believe that our people are truly remarkable and makes us successful. Contrary to some postings here, Eastman does not have a ... More


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Technician"

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

    I have been working at Eastman full-time

    Pros

    Paycheck. That's about it.

    Cons

    The company used to be great to work for until they brought in new management. Now all the company does is look to make your work life miserable. Monongahela is one of very few to be union, but you would never know because everyone is against each other. The people will kiss the companies butt,then turn around and lie to their union members on how they hate management. Its a kindergarten here.

    Advice to Management

    Let the workers run the plant. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

    Eastman Response

    Apr 12, 2017 – Communications Rep.

    Thanks for your very candid review. Merging company cultures is always difficult, but we strive to create an inclusive environment where every voice is heard. Creating a collaborative, respectful ... More


  7. Helpful (13)

    "Great Employees, Poor Management"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Advanced Chemical Engineer in Kingsport, TN
    Former Employee - Advanced Chemical Engineer in Kingsport, TN
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The strength of Eastman will always be the boots on the ground. Coworkers are friendly and genuinely motivated to help you succeed. Front line management is focused on providing their employees with the tools they need to do their jobs. They also excel at mentoring and growing their employees. Driven and successful people are highly rewarded.

    Cons

    There are many layers of middle management, and from the bottom it is unclear how much value they add. Lower middle management (just above front-line supervisors) tends to be populated by yes-men that have little understanding of the processes or people they manage. Ineffective managers who have impressed somebody in the past are shuffled around to where they can do the least damage. Kingsport is a small town, and those who's parents work at Eastman get promoted with uncanny regularity. Decision-making is slow (except in the case of a manager's pet project!) such that most good ideas are not commercialized until the market has moved on and the product will no longer be profitable.

    The Executive Suite like to talk about the strength of Eastman's employees and how they are the reason for the company's success, especially before and after announcing layoffs or benefit reductions so the company can meet its earning growth targets. Layoffs are often done quietly. What was once a very paternalistic company where "Uncle George" Eastman took care of his employees is quickly becoming an investor-focused profit machine.

    Advice to Management

    To the executive team, remember that a company's stakeholders need to win in order for the company to succeed. Pursuing profit at the expense of employee benefits damages moral and hurts the company just as much, if not more, than neglecting maintenance on equipment.

    To non-executive management, continue to advocate for your people. Give them the room to thrive and reward them for meeting company objectives. Make those objectives useful and achievable.


  8. Helpful (2)

    "Management is slow"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Advanced Applications Scientist in Kingsport, TN
    Current Employee - Advanced Applications Scientist in Kingsport, TN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Eastman (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Flexible hours. Good pay. Rich product portfolio. Strong roots.

    Cons

    Meritocracy needed. Insecure, incapable and desperate management is paralyzed to give any useful decisions.

    Advice to Management

    Give faster entrepreneurial decisions! Nobody seems to take responsibility at the top. Your decisions are limited with the cost reduction attempts. You see that your cash cow is dying; and the only worry about is your job security. Obviously, why should you risk yourselves? Just do not take initiative and wait for another Friday to come (Being ironic). Well done! You can always blame the outcome to the others (while you are the ones to be blamed).

    Also, one final word about the incapable and non-technical people at the mid-level management (group leaders, directors and vp's): how do you expect these mediocre people to give any useful decisions while they cannot understand the technology and materials applications?

    Eastman needs a proper change.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "EMN traditional Business Model proves to be a Nightmare for Martinsville Manufacturing Site."

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

    Pros

    Eastman has many training programs to offer employees that express interest in adding to their personal skill set.

    Cons

    Traditional EMN business model and leadership styles were forced down the throats of a once profitable Manufacturing site in Martinsville. EMN forced B2B model on a B2C business, forces major downsizing to long time loyal employees.

    Advice to Management

    Study business model of the next purchased victim and if it is "printing money"..... leave it alone... maybe this would limit the need in the future of loyal employees having to became collateral damage due to poor leadership and business decisions.


  10. Helpful (16)

    "Company continues to make poor decisions"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in Kingsport, TN
    Current Employee - Engineer in Kingsport, TN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Eastman full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Really good people work for Eastman - people who care about the company's success and have made great sacrifices to make Eastman successful.

    Cons

    Senior management continues to make poor decisions on the future of the company. They seem to believe that long-range planning is to the end of the week. The latest is the $100 million reduction that will focus on labor - details to follow. Amazing. We just received a 2% raise and they have hired approximately 400 people since the Jan 1. We used to be told that the employees are the company's greatest asset. Ha! No more.

    Advice to Management

    Get a Board who will actively manage the company with some foresight and not be entirely driven by Wall Street. Recognize that without the employees, you don't have a company - and how about making some of the sacrifices yourself instead of expecting the working people to constantly sacrifice. Also, building the CBC in these economic times was a bad mistake and sent the message to the employees that THEY DO NOT MATTER.


  11. Helpful (5)

    "Management Continues to Lower Moral and Trust in Their Leadership"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Chemical Engineer in Kingsport, TN
    Current Employee - Chemical Engineer in Kingsport, TN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Eastman full-time

    Pros

    Collaborative work environment. I feel like everyone (mid level management and below) generally care for their coworkers.

    Cons

    The downward trend of Eastman continues. CEO Mark Costa gets a 25% raise yet we are headed towards a second round of cuts and lay offs this year alone. When the stock holders say "jump", Eastman management now says "how far?" The company spends a ridiculously low amount of money on R&D to be claiming they are a top "innovator" in the chemical space. Its all smoke and mirrors. To be a top performing specialty chemical company, the salaries of engineers and scientists sure don't reflect it. Whats going to happen is a mass exodus of young talent that has been acquired because of the moral, budget cuts and weak compensation packages. So many cuts have been made that very shortly investors are going to see a drop in safety performance and quality of our products.

    Advice to Management

    If top executives don't have any skin in the game, why should those under you trust your decisions? Be very careful about the environment you are setting for the next several years. If things don't change, the smoke and mirrors concerning Eastman innovation is going to crumble. Ask yourself this, why should a talented young entry to mid level engineer or scientist want to come to Eastman? Things will be said to them during interviews about the current situation. Eastman doesn't pay that well, so what is there to draw the talent that is needed to innovate?


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