HNI Reviews | Glassdoor

HNI Reviews

Updated June 28, 2017
84 reviews

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3.1
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HNI Chairman, President, and CEO Stan Askren
Stan Askren
49 Ratings

84 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great people to work with and they provide the resources to be successful (in 8 reviews)

  • As a new graduate engineer it's a great place to learn (in 7 reviews)

Cons
  • On top of that, they are expected to prioritize work, always, and a healthy work-life balance is pretty much nonexistent at this organization (in 4 reviews)

  • All of the operating companies are in locations that I would consider very rural (in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Good place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great opportunities to move up.

    Cons

    nothing to offer members who are at the max pay.


  2. Helpful (8)

    "Manager/Director/Vice President"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Vice President in Muscatine, IA
    Former Employee - Vice President in Muscatine, IA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at HNI full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    There are some great people at HNI. Talented, hard working, and customer-focused, but not empowered to contribute at a high level.

    Cons

    A toxic culture, which starts at the top. People are berated and humiliated publicly which leads to top management surrounding themselves with "yes men." They congratulate themselves on being dynamic and aggressive, and strong leaders because everyone is aligned; the reality is there is a lot of CYA going on and no one wants to be exposed to a beat down from the top. Management surrounds themselves with "like minded" people that are willing to play the game. Meanwhile the talent drain is evident with top management collecting their checks and retiring early and other talent either leaving on their own, or asked to leave. A classic example of the emperor having no clothes! Some stay because the people are good and it's easier to collect the paycheck and go through the grind vs. the alternative.

    The company delivers ok results because Stan is extremely smart with incredible bandwith and can drive the company; the cost is that the organization could be great instead of just OK if people were engaged and empowered. This model isn't sustainable for the long-term as there isn't a strong, collaborative leaderhship team as much as individuals who have successfully maneuvered the culture vs. delivered results.

    There is talk of "servant leadership" and transparency. In reality, Stan is the customer, not the external customers. It's a short-term, outdated management/leadership perspective.

    Advice to Management

    Walk the talk. Truly allow constructive conflict focused on organizational success vs. saying what Stan and upper management wants to hear. Stop beating people up and then wondering why there isn't more collaboration and open communication. Focus on the success of the organization and its customers rather than individual success or success of individual operating companies at the expense of "members" and/or the corporation.

  3. "Objective as Possible"

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

    I have been working at HNI full-time

    Pros

    Good pay supplemented further by incentive opportunities and consistent raises.

    Cons

    Growing pains in company can cause changes in standard work processes, sometimes within a week of a previous change.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to the thoughts that members have, and be willling to admit when you have made a mistake.


  4. Helpful (2)

    "Very poor leaders"

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

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

    Pros

    The people that do the manual labor are hard working and have a strong sense of producing the very best.

    Cons

    The company values external candidates more than internal employees. The internal posting process is not followed. There are very few internal promotions that happen. The CEO publicly berates his direct reports and has little regard for the people that work for the company. No emphasis on employee recognition.

    Advice to Management

    Stop calling employees "members". The culture does not support the "membership" philosophy that you tout. Employees are not a priority. You will never be a "great place to work" until you realize the importance of treating employees with dignity and respect. It would benefit all of leadership (including Stan) to learn and focus on servant leadership training.


  5. "Financial Analyst"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Benefits were solid and great people to work with.

    Cons

    Unless you are in the development program they really aren't interested in training you in the finance department. Working at an operating company you have no freedom to do what you want, it's the HNI way or nothing. There are a bunch of yes people. Executives leave because they can't put there own stamp
    On there own operating
    Company. They only care about profits not there members. Pay isn't great left the company for 40% raise and performance bonuses that could reach a 60% raise. Mostmolerating companies are 1 hour plus from a a city, so locations aren't ideal.


  6. "Excellent"

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

    I have been working at HNI full-time

    Pros

    Fair pay, good environment, flexibility

    Cons

    No work from home option


  7. Helpful (5)

    "Great place to start a career but then move on."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Lead Product Design Engineer in Muscatine, IA
    Current Employee - Lead Product Design Engineer in Muscatine, IA
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Strong culture, almost family like. Leadership really wants to produce high quality, effective, relevant products. Regular exposure to senior leadership. As a new graduate engineer it's a great place to learn. Plastic/aluminum extrusions, injection molding, die casting, sheet metal (brake presses, stamped, roll formed, punched), laminates, tables, seating (lots of mechanics, machine design principles). Work is fast paced and engaging. Product cycles are 12-24 months so if you don't like your current assignment it won't last long and you'll move onto the next. 401k contribution is nice in that 4.5% guaranteed+deferred profit sharing with no member contribution required; free money! Stock purchase plan at discounted price.

    Cons

    Benefits are archaic; especially vacation time. Just started offering vision plans in the last couple of years. No real maternity/paternity time; maternity leave is vacation/short term disability combination. Pay raises are small but if you're lucky enough to be singled out as a "high potential" employee you can see significant pay raises in short periods. Definitely not an innovative company. CAD/PDM software when I started was 20 years old. Manufacturing operations program most things from drawings by hand; again at least decades behind. This also leads to problems with career advancement; they will take the "safe" bet/status quo/yes man candidate over someone who wants to improve processes and grow capabilities every time. Positions in senior leadership of operating companies shifts constantly. In almost 7 years I've had 6 different supervisors, 3 company presidents, 2 VPs and 2 directors over my functional area alone. This is consistent in all business function areas. Hard to keep a consistent strategic plan in place with so many high level changes over such short periods of time.

    Advice to Management

    Its hard for members to see the value in their work with so many changes in leadership and thus strategic direction. Value your members more by actually working with them to create and execute career development plans. Your mid-level directors/managers only see members as a resource like a printer or brake press. Update your benefits package; especially vacation and paid leaves such as maternity/paternity.

  8. "Finance Analyst (Finance Development Program)"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Temple, TX
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Temple, TX
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

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

    Pros

    work-life balance, opportunity to change roles within the corporate structure, multiple operating companies with various product lines

    Cons

    Located in Muscatine, IA. The organization as a whole does not prioritize innovation in their strategic planning (though some of its subsidiaries place a larger focus on innovation, it is not a primary component of the culture at HNI).


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Early Career Development Program"

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

    Pros

    The program is an exciting, challenging, and robust 1-year program where the program member is given opportunities to gain large outlooks on the overall business. In the program, you are given the ability to gain experiences in logistics, quality, operations, strategic materials, strategic manufacturing, and any other electives of you and the development program manager's choosing. They try to mold the program member on what they're good at while making sure it's good for the business. Through the rotations, you are able to gain exposure to many senior leaders including the CEO and can build an incredibly large network at HNI.

    Cons

    I don't have much to complain about. The program is exactly what I needed to understand how the business works and gain exposure to different areas. This has allowed me to understand what I'm good at and what I like to do.

    Some things that are Cons:
    Muscatine, Iowa - I didn't like it at first but it has started to grow on me. It is nice that the Quad Cities, Cedar Rapids, and Iowa City are only an hour away. The commute from those places is never fun though.

    Leadership: The CEO and leadership are incredibly smart with great insight. Sometimes though, they get overly passionate and can be intimidating at times.


  10. "They know how to get you in the door..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Emphasis on developing young talent right out of college, multiple locations allow for some opportunities to move around, leader in their market, exposure to upper management

    Cons

    Compensation still lagging larger companies, little emphasis on career development, limited collaboration between operating companies, knee-jerk reactions comprise most business decisions, unclear vision developed by management, siloed work environment, zero work life balance, business processes put in place but rarely followed

    Advice to Management

    Set a clear direction, then follow through with it along with your reports, rather then giving nice speeches then walking out the door not to be heard from until a crisis arises.


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