Eastman Reviews | Glassdoor

Eastman Reviews

Updated March 23, 2017
1,235 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

4.0
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Eastman Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mark J. Costa
Mark J. Costa
538 Ratings

1,235 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Work-life balance of employees is acknowledged to be important for business to flourish (in 138 reviews)

  • Eastman provides a work environment where it's possible to do different types of jobs over one's career should one want to do so (in 95 reviews)

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

  • Too many layers of decision making process (in 53 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (1)

    "Eastman is a great place to work!"

    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

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

    Pros

    Good benefits, allows balance between work and family life, great coworkers. Eastman as whole has a reputation for ethical and fair business practices.

    Cons

    Every company has it's down side, but nothing specific comes to mind.


  2. "Benchmarking downward"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate in Kingsport, TN
    Current Employee - Associate 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

    Eastman has many different opportunities for engineers. It has a history of treating its employees better than many competitors.

    Cons

    For several years, Eastman has been reducing benefits and engaging in negative performance feedback and rewards, due to "benchmarking" against the industry averages. We have better than average benefits, so management views this as a cost savings opportunity. In the last two years they have started forcing the lower management to reduce the bonuses of more people, by larger amounts, as a way to provide funds to reward the high performers. This year there is a forced distribution of "exceeds", "meets", and "does not meet" expectations, with the further addition of "partially meets." They say this doesn't mean "does not meet", but what other conclusion is an employee to come to? They also claim this isn't a forced distribution, but the implementation of the system does indeed force it at very low levels. This is moving to a system where it is necessary for one of your coworkers to lose, for you to gain. This kind of system has been rejected as not workable by companies like GE that used it for years.

    Advice to Management

    Eastman is behind the curve on performance management, and should immediately discard this poor system. Morale is at an all time low, since Eastman Chemical separated from Kodak. Some people will stay at jobs that depress them, because the money is great (it isn't) or because the location is great (it isn't). This new system is going to chase good people away and get lackluster performance from the people who stay.


  3. "New Higher With Eastman Chemical"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Eastman full-time

    Pros

    Very helpful and accommodating throughout the hiring process

    Cons

    nothing as of now thanks


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. "Marketing Communications Manager"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Marketing Manager
    Current Employee - Marketing Manager
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    In the global office, North America, goals seems to be clear and strategy clear.

    Cons

    from a regional standpoint, things may not be the same as in the north america region.


  6. "Great Company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Lab Analyst in Kingsport, TN
    Former Employee - Lab Analyst in Kingsport, TN

    I worked at Eastman (More than a year)

    Pros

    I worked with great people who were very willing to teach and help you advance in your career.

    Cons

    No real con to share.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Work culture, compensation, and morale improvements needed!"

    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
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Hardworking, talented, and collaborative coworkers

    Opportunity for a variety of roles as a chemical engineer

    East Tennessee is a great area for families

    Cons

    The employee performance rating system (forced distribution) is significantly undermining the work culture. I have no problem with a common sense rating system and agree with rewarding better performers. The current performance rating system is flawed in many ways and needs to be replaced.

    Employee compensation has remained relatively flat in the last 5-10 years (always "benchmarked" to remain average or slightly below average). This is inconsistent with management goals to outperform other companies and relentlessly pursue record earnings.

    Too often, employee performance and promotions are judged based on who can talk well (sell themselves well). Supervisors need to be seek out peer feedback so they can accurately judge work performance.

    Senior management constantly talks about the value of Eastman's people, but labor reductions imply otherwise.

    Advice to Management

    Scrap the current performance management system

    Implement changes to enhance the work culture, not undermine it

    Eliminate the spin in corporate/management communications


  8. Helpful (4)

    "Good people, broken management structure"

    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
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Potential for great opportunities, provides great resources for certain jobs, great learning environment given the variety within one company. Headquarters is not in a major metropolitan area. Surrounded by incredible people in my group.

    Cons

    Good old boy system in many areas, getting fair chances at success becomes game of who you know and not how well/hard you work, required to sell yourself and get your name out there to achieve success, top heavy with young ladder-climbing managers not interested in actually helping the people they manage. PMP system completely broken with biased and uncontrollled management decisions allowing for inconsistent ratings/rankings that negatively affect employee morale. Ranking against "peers" has created unhealthy competitive environment where people will step on their teammates to benefit theselves. Creating unfair peer groups to be ranked against when the playing field is really not level (SMEs vs. generalists, any discipline vs. chemical engineers or chemists). Forced distribution ranking in small high-achieving groups where ALL members exceed expectations otherwise they would not last long in the group.

    Advice to Management

    DITCH the forced distribution of year-end ratings! Create checks-and-balances in first and second level staff management in order for employees to rate/rank their supervisors. Redevelop the classification system to level the playing field, especially with significant amount of acquisition sites in last few years.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Negatives far outweigh positives"

    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
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Eastman full-time

    Pros

    Harmonious work environment, you will never hear yelling or swearing among coworkers. Good starting salary.

    Cons

    Lacking diversity, and the efforts to address are laughable. While they say there is no forced performance distribution, in reality, it coerced distribution; managers draw a line to meet the "suggested" distribution. Too much wasted effort on metrics to justify existence. Even the two pros are so extreme they end up being cons, need for consensus and harmony stifles creativity, empowerment, and challenging status quo, ultimately slowing change to a snail's pace. Good starting salary is quickly eroded by basically non-existent raises (once you account for benefit losses). Top heavy management, with senior management scared of shareholders. Unless you are a white, Christian, male, with stay at home wife and two kids, don't bother.

    Advice to Management

    Cut about 30% of the directors and VPs.


  10. Helpful (4)

    "Good ole boys and yes men"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Kingsport, TN
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Kingsport, TN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Kingsport is a beautiful area and a great place to live if you like small towns and enjoy the outdoors. The cost of living is low. Eastman allows a flexible work 9/80 work schedule with half days on Friday if the supervisor agrees to it and if you're lucky enough to finish enough of your work to feel that you may leave early.

    Cons

    Often it is not about what you know or what you contribute, instead those that know the right people and talk a good game (without even doing good work) are the ones that tend to be recognized and promoted. Many managers are more interested in advancing their careers than growing the individuals under them. This leads to them kissing up to their management chain, while those under them are doing the hard work and not getting recognized. Employees' true feelings and different perspectives are not encouraged; the executive leadership team and many of the managers only want to hear ideas from those that think just like them, or say what they want to hear.

    Managers also rotate out of their positions on average about every 3 years, which means they can't coach their employees to be more successful because they don't have enough time to get to know them. Many managers seem to treat women with less respect than men. Women are afraid to announce pregnancies for fear of being penalized for it. Some women have been accused of doing lower quality work because they have children. Eastman has too many layers of management. This leads to employees spending more time explaining/justifying what they do, rather than doing “real” work. It also encourages micromanaging and not trusting employees to do the jobs they were hired to do.

    Morale is at an all time low. Two layoffs occurred in 2016. In the second round, good talent was purged. The stability that was once found at Eastman is gone. Employees are at risk of being let go, regardless of their ability to perform. Forcing employees to fit on a distribution curve (meaning someone has to be on the bottom) for pay raises and promotions is also decreasing the morale which is demotivating employees, especially since there are not good checks and balances to ensure that managers are ranking employees on actual performance rather than just the manager's perception of the performance.

    Advice to Management

    Stop managing the company to meet short term stock holder expectations. Start managing the company to retain the top talent and grow the company for the future, even if it means taking a hit in the near term. Get rid of the grading system where too many employees are labeled as “does not meet expectations” or “partially meets expectations”. You are sending the wrong message that too many employees are under performing and those that survive the layoffs will decide to leave on their own to seek more fairness and stability.


  11. Helpful (4)

    "Lost plenty with Eastman"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Eastman full-time

    Pros

    Could have potential to be good company

    Cons

    When Eastman bought or company all they did was cut things out. All employees lost our pensions which was very hard to swallow. Yearly bonuses were reduced to less then half. Certain overtime pay was taken away, Job is just a paycheck, no future for young people to start a career.

    Advice to Management

    Management seems to ignore the problems at hand. Money is wasted on projects that seem to have little value and money not spent where it is needed. It takes forever for anything to happen. Still waiting years on equipment upgrades that were suppose to happen.



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