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Garmin Employee Reviews about "upper management"

Updated Nov 13, 2020

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Found 18 of over 1,048 reviews

4.2
87%
Recommend to a Friend
96%
Approve of CEO
Garmin President and CEO Clifton Pemble
Clifton Pemble
473 Ratings
Pros
  • "great staff great benefits beautiful weather(in 106 reviews)

  • "The work life balance is great with no one asking you to put in extra time(in 86 reviews)

  • Cons
  • "Non engineering positions do not have much of an opportunity for career path development/growth(in 22 reviews)

  • "Hard to stay aware with what is happening in upper-management(in 18 reviews)

  • More Pros and Cons
    Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.

    Ratings by Demographics

    This rating reflects the overall rating of Garmin and is not affected by filters.

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    Reviews about "upper management"

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    1. 5.0
      Former Intern, less than 1 year

      Awesome internship experience!

      Mar 8, 2018 - Mechanical Engineering in Olathe, KS
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Fun people, great culture, everyone works hard, inspired me to exercise more and eat healthier because everyone else does.

      Cons

      Large company means you don't interact with upper management which can be a bit dissapointing

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    2. 4.0
      Former Intern, less than 1 year

      Great people, and a great place to work.

      Nov 13, 2020 - Software Engineer(Internship) in Olathe, KS
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      It's a really great environment where everyone is welcomed and valued.

      Cons

      Hard to stay aware with what is happening in upper-management.

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    3. 3.0
      Former Employee, more than 3 years

      The perfect place for the less ambitious career path.

      Jun 16, 2020 - Software Engineer in Olathe, KS
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Incredible 401k match. I have yet to see a tech company get anywhere near it. Great work life balance. I never saw anyone (engineering or management) ever working over 40 hours a week and the building would be pretty empty at 5pm every day. Great horizontal job opportunities as an engineer. If you are working in one tech stack and want to move to another, there is likely another opening somewhere else in the company you can switch to. A lot of responsibility and valuable experience from day one. If you're starting your career and want to have the stability of a large corporation while also getting opportunities to work like a startup this is a great place to be.

      Cons

      Extremely conservative. The phrase I heard often was "Garmin likes to bet on base hits, not home runs". This does result in some pros like being extremely stable through downturns, but also results in ambitious projects being turned down and frequent pushes to maintain the status quo. Not a lot of diversity. Most decision makers in the company are white males, which can (and has by their own admission) resulted in a lot of missed opportunities in some market segments. A lot of groupthink due to a culture of promoting from within the company. Cliff (the CEO) was once a software engineer and a lot of upper management started out in engineering as well. There are also numerous examples of leaders being hired from outside of the company who end up leaving because they have a tough time adjusting to the culture. The performance review process was a waste of time. Your goals were set at the beginning of the year with little to no guidance from management and then never refined or discussed again until your performance review at the end of the year. Your manager would then leave a small blurb about the goal (sometimes as short as one sentence) and that was it. Garmin is very strict about promotions until you fit their job description. The general engineering path is around 2 years to become a Software Engineer 2A/B, 5 years to become a Senior Software Engineer, and 10 years to become a Tech Lead (with even further levels available, but it is generally rare). I was told by multiple managers that despite me exceeding expectations for multiple performance cycles and already operating at the next level, I would have to wait until I hit my years of experience requirement to advance to the next level. Olathe (and generally Kansas) does not have a lot of large tech companies, so it is challenging to advance your career long term while staying in the area (dependent on tech stack). If you're committing to moving to the Olathe HQ, you should be prepared to stay at Garmin for the duration of your stay because there are not very many places to move to if you're unhappy.

      10 people found this review helpful
    4. 3.0
      Former Employee, more than 8 years

      Great company to work for as long as you're passive and don't mind a slow career path.

      May 17, 2019 - Team Leader in Olathe, KS
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      The benefits are amazing, lots of great people, the prestige that comes with working here so much so that every time you interview elsewhere in the KC Metro you get asked "Why would you ever want to leave Garmin?" - Well, watch a movie on the downfalls of a Utopian society and you'll begin to get the picture.

      Cons

      Pay can be below what you are expecting but this is likely because emphasis is placed on benefits - not a bad trade for most but I would have gladly let go of some of the benefits to have more money. The career path is very long for associates and almost invisible if you're in low-level management. If you have a good idea, get ready for it to be brushed aside only for it to resurface months later by a member of upper management claiming it as their own. Yikes! I detected unsafe levels of hypocrisy in upper management. I'd be lying if I said I didn't begin to go down that path myself. I'm working on that though!

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      8 people found this review helpful
    5. 2.0
      Former Employee, more than 5 years

      Worth the employee discount?

      Jun 13, 2019 - Senior Electronics Technician in Salem, OR
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      -45% off Garmin store products -The actual technician work can be rewarding -Company gyms and parties are decent -Retirement benefits are excellent

      Cons

      -Upper management is clueless -Solution to bad employee surveys is to stop doing surveys rather than address concerns -Pay for the job/area is low -Dental and Eye insurance are subpar -Overtime is often mandatory with vacation time penalties if you can't work -Good managers who listen to employees are let go -A large amount of your time is spent fixing others mistakes -Management is non-confrontational and rarely addresses issues -Excessive employee turnover, I wouldn't bother learning a temps name unless they are there more than 3 months -Plenty of "Good old boy" culture in middle and upper management

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      8 people found this review helpful
    6. 2.0
      Former Employee

      A paycheck.

      Nov 6, 2011 - Product Support Specialist in Kansas City, MO
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Benefits are good, but have been decreasing. Generally nice people to work with, but you do have to watch your back. Good holidays.

      Cons

      Almost no opportunity for advancement or moving to other departments within the company. Decent Christmas bonus, but they promise a huge bonus for performance, which they make impossible to meet. Was there 4 years and never saw it. To many HR people and it is really hard to find out who to go to for help with what. Intimidation tactics from upper management to enfluence performance. Increasing amount of micro management. Hard to get time off when needed. Sick time and vacation time are in the same pool, and if a day is not scheduled in advance, ie. sick, it counts against you. Supervisors can generally get a customer taken care of, but the reps on the phone are given little leverage as far as being able to truely assist a customer. This wasn't always the case. There are an awful lot of firings, which causes unease with employees and creates poor morale.

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      2 people found this review helpful
    7. 2.0
      Current Employee

      Once a great company. Now, implosion is imminent.

      Dec 12, 2009 - Senior Software Engineer in Olathe, KS
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Great benefits. Pay is okay. People are extremely nice and fun to work with. Most engineers are very bright. Some, not all, of 1st level management, "team leads", are easy to work for. Proud to work in consumer electronics field.

      Cons

      Upper management once seemed strong and flawless. Now, they have no clue how to fend off competition. No realistic vision for the future. Management problem solving technique is to require more overtime rather than using creative solutions. Mandatory 60 hour work weeks. Canceled holiday weekends. Still think solutions and processes that were successful in the 90's still work today. Middle management are typically yes-men. Consistently make short-sided decisions. Avoid difficult decisions and hope they go away, but rarely do. Unwilling to invest in tools and process. Never willing to pay for on the job education. Some 1st level management promoted too soon in their careers, lacking leadership skills, and left hanging on difficult projects, with little training and support from management.

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      9 people found this review helpful
    8. 3.0
      Current Employee, more than 1 year

      Not bad overall, but not much forward movement.

      Jan 10, 2016 - Product Support Specialist 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      The company looks after you and compared to other customer service jobs, customers are generally not unpleasant to work with. Employees get to exercise their brainpower by troubleshooting and have some decision-making leeway. Supportive peers and supervisors who accommodate employees' health needs and back them up rather than put them down when customers make excessive demands. Decent medical benefits and fairly generous perks. Employees feel freer to speak frankly about company processes than at other companies.

      Cons

      Increasingly limited opportunities for advancement as more arbitrary hurdles are placed along the career path. Inconsistent communication from upper management about requirements and opportunities for advancement. Training on new products and processes can be insufficient and is often delivered right before or several weeks after the new product is publicly announced. Upper management does not appear to have a clear idea of what processes best help their employees to help their customers, favoring counterproductive cost-cutting measures over solutions that would be efficient for both employees and the bottom line. Employees may be able to speak more freely about processes, but their feedback seems to have little to no impact on company policy.

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      3 people found this review helpful
    9. 1.0
      Former Employee

      Worst job I've ever had.

      May 10, 2012 - Software Engineering in Olathe, KS
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Decent health care package, but you'll need it to to deal with the stress of working at Garmin. Some fairly competent co-workers, but their best efforts are squandered by management.

      Cons

      Upper management lacks strategic vision. Case in point is the Garmin smartphone debacle. Management can't decide what product strategy to pursue, so they demand that engineering work on all possible combinations, and then they complain when it doesn't come together on time. Middle management is populated by people who have no clue how to manage people, much less show any leadership traits. Work at Garmin degenerates into a rat race of competing with your fellow co-worker for projects, appreciation, promotions, and ultimately your salary. Favoritism is rampant, and promotions and project assignments are mostly based on the buddy system. Young recruits straight from college are favored over experienced professionals, as they don't seem to realize how horrible things have become at Garmin.

      Continue reading
      13 people found this review helpful
    10. 2.0
      Current Employee, more than 10 years

      Was a great company to work for, now it's only average to below average.

      Jul 25, 2013 - Software Manager in Olathe, KS
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Probably the best thing about Garmin is it's relaxed work environment. Casual dress code, friendly people, etc make working there relaxing. Benefits are great though it's been indicated that the health care may be getting cut some. After the Best Place to Work survey disaster last year they have made some effort to correct some issues. It's not a bad place at all to work, just significantly below what it used to be unfortunately.

      Cons

      Where do I start? Basically, the main problem is compensation. Almost every review on here mentions it, yet they do nothing about it despite ridiculously high turnover rates. They don't value employees at all, we're just a commodity. If someone gets offered a better position, most companies will try and match that offer to keep that person. Not Garmin, they'll just tell you to pack your bags and good luck, which is really insane when for $10k more you could have kept your 10 year veteran. Instead, they'd rather just replace them with another new hire (who ironically won't even make it close to 10 years, most of the new guys bail about year 5 due to the out of whack pay scale). Probably the second biggest problem is actually the fact that the upper level management is so oblivious to the problems. When they hear a problem, by far the two most common responses are to a) sweep it under the rug and ignore it or b) pretend it's just an isolated case and not representative of Garmin as a whole. Just like this review, they'll pretend like it's an isolated case and not representative of the company as a whole. In their minds, Garmin in 2013 is an awesome and great place to work at, just like they thought last year before they gave that survey. They've totally lost touch with reality unfortunately. The only time I've ever seen the company actually respond to issues is when the Best Place to Work survey was a complete surprise disaster last year. Unfortunately, it was only a surprise to upper management, as people had been trying to tell them there were problems for almost 2 1/2 years but no one upstairs paid any attention. Other items: Flexible work hours are very limited compared to most companies, and some managers are very strict on them. There is no advancement path for anyone. In most jobs, advancement means taking on new responsibilities and getting a nice pay raise. At Garmin, you can get a title change but there's very little to no financial reward in it, so what's the point? We make no attempt to keep employees who get other jobs There are zero bonuses for doing a good job, working lots of overtime, innovating a new project on your own time. Basically no incentive to actually do more than the normal job.

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      11 people found this review helpful
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