James Hardie Reviews in Fontana, CA | Glassdoor

James Hardie Fontana Reviews

8 reviews

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Fontana, CA

1.1
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James Hardie CEO Louis Gries
Louis Gries
6 Ratings

8 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great Job, great benefits, lots of upward mobility (in 22 reviews)

  • Free lunch every Friday, happy hours every so often (in 16 reviews)

Cons
  • work/ life balance, not much training for jobs (in 15 reviews)

  • No work life balance, no training, the plant is dirty, no room for growth/ long term development (in 8 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Work is called work for a reason!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Mechanical Designer in Fontana, CA
    Former Employee - Mechanical Designer in Fontana, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    I worked at JH until 2007, Everything about this place was great! Sure it was a tough work load, had to travel at times but that is what I signed up for. It's called work for a reason.

    Cons

    None, this was and probably still is a great company to work for. The downfall is they lost a great designer when i was released. But I fell into a good spot. Changes happen, it's all on how you adapt.

    Advice to Management

    Everything is negotiable! Call me anytime.


  2. Helpful (16)

    "A very sad day. Employee lost his arm"

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

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

    Pros

    The employees have a very strong bond. We look after one another, backup eachother, and support eachother.

    Cons

    We were told in June we are working 6 days a week--12 hour shifts. It was to end at end of June. July 7, we were told that we would continue to work 6 days a week==12 hour shifts until August. We are all exhausted. We are all waiting for our annual reviews. We are all waiting for our I-Care agreement to be remembered. When we were hired, we were promised an emphasis on family/work balance, a minimum hours between shifts, a maximum number of days per week., As it turns out, the new management does not care about our well being, they only care about production, bottom line, and the bonuses they get. This cost one of our coworkers their arm the other day. It is terrible. A terrific young man now must face the rest of his life with one arm because he was doing what we all were doing despite our complete exhaustion and going against our better judgement--we were doing our job. I do not know how we get past this grave betrayal of management not to care about the level of our exhaustion.

    Advice to Management

    I am at a loss of words. You should have known better. This accident was not an operator error--it was due to exhaustion and working 100 hours a week. Are you happy now?


  3. Helpful (3)

    "Employees are captive to disrespectful management"

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

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

    Pros

    We get paid on time, coworkers are very supportive of one another when management is berating us.

    Cons

    Work schedules will change with 1 week or 1 days notice. We went to 6 days a week suddenly in June. Suddenly, we were told our Father's Day was cancelled with 1 days notice. We were told our 4th of July holiday was cancelled - 2 days notice. We have had to cancel vacation plans that have been set since January - based on "what was supposed to be our schedule". The current management is dismissive, disrespectful, and handles OSHA standards loosely. We are very frusratrated as we are also not getting our annual reviews.

    Advice to Management

    Treat us better or you will be constantly replacing employees instead of trying to add to the staff.


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  5. "Satisfied, as long as I am physically fit to deal with work and environment."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Maintenance in Fontana, CA
    Current Employee - Maintenance in Fontana, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Safety is a priority, and average compensation.

    Cons

    Strenuous work and dusty environment

    Advice to Management

    Add tuition reimbursement to the benefits.


  6. Helpful (8)

    "Toxic Corporate Culture"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Mechanical Engineer in Fontana, CA
    Former Employee - Mechanical Engineer in Fontana, CA

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

    Pros

    James Hardie has a good product that provides a true performance advantage over other building products. The company pays well and has good health insurance benefits. You are given a fair amount of responsibility and can really make a lot of difference if you are motivated.

    Cons

    James Hardie has a corporate culture that goes beyond professional candor to scary behavior in the name of accountability. The executive management lacks any sort of tact or decorum and are regularly verbally abusive to the employees. In the early days there were employees threatened with 2 x 4s in their performance reviews and taken outside to settle matters. National sales meetings were essentially bachelor parties. Today things are more tame but it is still very much a good ol' boys club with an alpha male complex. Employees are pitted against one another to compete and the winner is the survivor.

    Advice to Management

    Most of the management team today has only ever worked for James Hardie. I think it would do them good to work for another company and learn how to lead people with professional decorum.


  7. Helpful (16)

    "This engineer learns they want smart, aggressive people, just not too smart..."

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

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

    Pros

    The environment is truly dynamic, many might say chaotic. There is always a crisis or a problem to solve. If you are involved in the right project you will be allowed to take charge and make decisions. If you like a high-pressure environment, this may be a place for you - for a while. The product is at the top of the market - mainly because there is not a really solid company competing with them. If politics is your game, you are willing to work hard, step on others, and can still sleep at night, you will progress into management. Those that are the best at it will rise quickly.

    Benefits are quite good. The medical/prescription/dental plan is one of the best in the industry. Bonus system helps the mediocre salaries.

    Cons

    The culture is harsh and can be extremely abusive. Upper managers will dress down employees publicly. This may be done by simple, unprofessional, sideways insults or full-blown screaming fits punctuated with 'F' words. If there is a "Hardie" word, it begins with 'F'. It is not uncommon to be in a company meeting with over 50 people and have a senior manager drop a half-dozen 'F'-bombs. Some seem to do it to maintain a folksy persona, some do it just because they want to have the maximum degrading impact. "Operate with Respect" is one of the company values and is pushed hard on everyone at the bottom of the food chain. Many "individual contributors" or team leads have been demoted, fired, or sent to Anger Management for similar behavior. For some reason those above the first level of management get a pass on this behavior.

    Salary structure is highly skewed. Similar to the rules for behavior, all individual contributors top out in salary at moderate levels. Upper management does not play by these same rules. The only true skill valued at Hardie is what the call "Leadership", which has absolutely no link to empathy.

    Technology is mediocre. The method of development is usually so rushed that the shot-gun approach is the most used method of development - fire lots of blasts in the air and hope to hit something. The company fell into a market in the late 90s that was so hungry for the product, they could sell every scrap they made. Growth was by sheer dumb luck driven by extreme bullies. Production rate was key at all times. Quality was the minimum we could get away with. That philosophy still prevails in a lot of places.

    Safety is discussed a lot and there are lots of numerical measures for behavior. Everyone has to fill out so many cards or on-line forms every week identifying safe or unsafe behavior. Unfortunately, if engineering controls will fix a truly unsafe situation, and they require significant effort or investment, the fix will typically be ignored. The first response to any accident or incident is to "look for the root cause Behavior", in other words, "who's fault was it?"

    Finally, management does not like anyone they believe to be smarter than they are. Even if one does not flaunt it or push it in their faces, they are intimidated by it. Jokes will be made at project reviews about "ask the 150-IQ guys", with a sneer. Those in technology-driven careers are not really respected (see salary caps), they are tools to be used and discarded. If you are truly good at what you do, eventually you will "get the stink on you" (a phrase coined by several engineers and scientists when referring to treatment by management once you intimidate one of them). Once that happens, you will find your duties and responsibilities reduced, be ignored or openly insulted, your ideas will be discarded...

    Advice to Management

    Upper management at Hardie will never take advice from individuals outside of their clique but this may influence others in the company or someone considering taking a job there...

    Many people in the company (we are talking about engineers, scientists, low-level managers) consider you to be sociopaths, completely lacking in empathy, valuing individuals as machines or tools. My faith in humanity keeps me from believing this. Maybe you are just unaware of this perception. Please take a solid look at yourself, your values, your behavior and the good people around you. The recession is not going to last forever. When it is over, your core strength will flee, like I am doing soon.


  8. "James Hardie was a challenging, but rewarding place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Fontana, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Fontana, CA
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    As a mid-size company, I had access to upped management and the chance for my ideas to be heard. They made decisions quickly and didn't wait months or years to act, as I had experienced in a Fortune 50 company previously. Most of my co-workers were very smart, competent and fun to work with. (Of course, there are always a few exceptions, no matter where you work.) Overall, I enjoyed working there and would go back if the opportunity presented itself.

    Cons

    The biggest downside was since they can act quickly, some decisions are made by a small group with little input from others. In a few instances, this was very detrimental to projects or personnel.


  9. Helpful (5)

    "Good employer, but lacks empathy."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Fontana, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Fontana, CA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Even with the housing market at its lowest point in years, James Hardie is still profitable. They are a good company and offer exceptional benefits including fabulous heath care insurance, 6% matching 401K, and even free lunch on Fridays (although that may be disappearing). They hire high caliber employees and look to hire the very best.

    Cons

    When downsizing 22 corporate positions, they gave the staff NO advance notice. A meeting with HR and you were walked out the door -- not even a chance to say good-bye to friends. Good luck trying to get all of your personal effects back.

    Advice to Management

    Have respect for the people that gave their all for the company for years. Give them notice of planned lay-offs and thank them for their service and let them leave with dignity.


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