Merle Norman Reviews | Glassdoor

Merle Norman Reviews

Updated July 27, 2017
72 reviews

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2.3
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Jack Nethercutt II
33 Ratings

72 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • If you work at home office, 25 cent lunch, but only 45 minutes and always at a set time (in 8 reviews)

  • 25 cent lunch, can't really list anything else, but have to make it twenty words (in 8 reviews)

Cons
  • no room for growth, not a place for you if you're looking to take your career to the next level (in 6 reviews)

  • No benefits, moderate to low pay (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Enjoying my experience working for Merle Norman Cosmetics"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Beauty Consultant in Cross Lanes, WV
    Current Employee - Beauty Consultant in Cross Lanes, WV
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great employer to work for

    Cons

    No cons about this employer


  2. "Merle Norman Cosmetics and Wigs"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager
    Current Employee - Manager
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great working atmosphere and clients.

    Cons

    No downside to working in this Independently owned franchise.

    Advice to Management

    Management is obviously doing the right things, having employed the same people for 10 and 14 years.

  3. Helpful (24)

    "Los Angeles Corporate Office"

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

    I worked at Merle Norman full-time

    Pros

    There are some truly nice, down-to-earth people that work here.

    If you're not quite up on the latest technology, enjoy eating unhealthy and fattening cafeteria food and you prefer to work at the pace of a snail with outdated equipment ... THIS is the job for you!

    Cons

    Oh boy, where do I start?

    If you are thinking of accepting a job with this failing company, please do so at your own risk & make sure you read all of the negative reviews here. They pretty much accurately describe the work environment and culture.

    I can't imagine any of the more-than-one-star reviews were actually written by employees. It's obvious the owners are falsely trying to make their rating higher, which doesn't surprise me based on their history of having very questionable morals.

    Anyway, I will try to make this short and to the point ...

    Let's start with the owners because it ALL starts here. They basically took a once growing and thriving company and they're currently running it into the ground. More studios are closing rather than opening and the number of bad business decisions I witnessed while there were shocking. Unless something radically changes soon, there is no way this business will last much longer.

    Instead of letting a competent team of people run the company, they micromanage & run the company themselves ... down to every last minute detail and bad decision.

    Not only do they do this, but they do it by ruling with fear. The only people in top positions at this company are "yes people" with no spines & they are anything but respected.

    Anyway, without going into too much detail, any bad, uncomfortable thing that you can image in a workplace goes on here. Just do a quick Google search on the owners' names.

    If you decide to work here, be prepared to be treated like "The Help" and don't be surprised if you are talked down to, or even yelled at.

    The physical workspace ... be prepared to work with ancient equipment.

    Need a better desk or chair for ergonomic reasons? Don't ask ... because, wait for it ... your boss will have to call the owner and ask her!!
    (she will say no just because she can)

    HOWEVER ... luckily, you won't have to get the owner's permission to go to the restroom. That is the only thing I can think of at the moment that she is not in control of ... oh, but don't worry, there will be many signs on the way to the restroom warning you of what you cannot do in the meantime.

    If you decide to work here, be prepared to have A LOT of free time because time moves slooooooowly here. Nothing gets done efficiently. There is no real internal structure and so much time and money is wasted every single day.

    The owner is more concerned with punishing time clock users for being a minute late after a holiday (if they are, they don't get paid for the holiday.) She also has an obsession with what people are wearing or not wearing when NOBODY at corporate office is interacting with the public!?

    There are people in "leadership" positions that literally have no clue what their team is doing on the daily. Not only that, but at least a couple of them don't even know what their team does at all! Communication is poor and leadership is unheard of. I didn't witness a single true LEADER the whole time I was there.

    If you must work here for some reason, get in & collect your check and get out as fast as you can. Keep to yourself and don't work late or bend over backwards for them b/c they will drop you like a hot tamale in the blink of an eye. Oh and watch out for the owner's goons who will run and tattle on you like grade school kids.

    Want to be a part of a company that respects your ideas and actually wants to use your talent, skills and experience to help better the company? If this is you, run for the hills, because this is not the place ...

    Want to be a part of a company that takes pride in their building and environment? Welp, their are NO trees, plants, bushes or even scrawny weeds on the premises. They took them ALL out and never replaced them.

    Want to be a part of a company that is forward-thinking and thriving? Well, Merle Norman isn't even keeping up with the CURRENT times!! It's 2017 and THEY AREN'T USING E-COMMERCE!?!? Yes, you read that right. They are also spending the majority of their money on PRINT. If that isn't enough to make you concerned, this is the perfect place for you to work!

    If you are a lazy, this is also the perfect place to work! You can dilly dally and work slow. Nobody is ever going to expect much of you. You can basically float by without doing much of anything but be careful because you might just float yourself right on out of your career. This place is time warp & career killer.

    I could write a book at this place, but I'm not going to waste any more of my precious time on Merle Norman Cosmetics.

    I'm out.

    You've been warned.

    Advice to Management

    Read the review above & take notes.


  4. Helpful (3)

    "Like a time machine — in the worst way possible"

    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 Merle Norman full-time

    Pros

    Many kind, genuine colleagues

    Cons

    Clueless management — caters to wishes of the owners at the expense of profit, practicality and common sense
    Bizarre and outdated rules — no coffee or food at desks, salaried employees are treated like they're on a time clock, zero autonomy (have to let someone know before going to the restroom), no cellphones in the office (and signs everywhere to remind you of it)
    Tattling is encouraged — owners play favorites and feel threatened by friendships among colleagues; managers are often threatened by the ideas or successes of their direct reports
    Salary is well under market — responsibilities expand constantly as people quit, but compensation is never reviewed or adjusted (and good luck getting a yearly performance review)
    Zero upward mobility — no room for growth, not a place for you if you're looking to take your career to the next level
    Feels nothing like working in the beauty industry — if you're looking for a fun, fast-paced and creative environment this is not the company for you

    Advice to Management

    Respect goes a long way. Try to retain new talent by trusting new hires to do their jobs. Don't make arbitrary creative decisions at the whim of the owners. Mandatory management training for new and old managers to maintain employee morale. Stop obsessing over pointless rules pertaining to cell phones and attire and focus on turning the business around.


  5. Helpful (4)

    "Another Casualty"

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

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

    Pros

    I keep reading about the 25 cent lunches, honestly I would rather spend $4 at a taco truck and get some fresh air. Not much work to do, easy money.

    Cons

    The VP of Operations/Productions just resigned which has to hurt! But not for me! He actually made me work. I have been with this company for over 8 years, I don't really do much but to blend in and out of sight. The key to survival is to stay off the grid, make yourself invisible and pretend to look busy. Since the company never give raises, there is no need for annual reviews....Easiest paychecks, it's like being on welfare. Thank you Merle Norman!

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work! 5 more years til my pension kicks in.


  6. Helpful (17)

    "pass on this place (corporate review)"

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

    I worked at Merle Norman full-time

    Pros

    .25 cent lunches. most of the people are nice. free parking. work/life balance.

    Cons

    i hated working here. i was so miserable. upper management aren't leaders, they micro manage (like all the reviews on here say). if you're in the cosmetics industry, this place isn't for you. it's not as fun as other cosmetic companies. most of the good employees left/are trying to leave (high turnover rate). they're stingy with sick leave and paid time off. they care more about if you're a minute late rather than the work you're actually doing. they don't care about building their employees. overall - company culture is petrifying and embarrassinh. as far as business - i see them slowly withering away since retail is moving into ecommerce (which they don't utilize and i don't see them going ecommerce for 10+ years).

    Advice to Management

    become leaders, problem-solvers, and role models. get out of your old ways and start adapting to new strategies to keep your employees.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "bad management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Merle Norman part-time

    Pros

    good pay, decent commission, lots of freedom

    Cons

    horrible management, not flexible on hours, weird environment

  8. Helpful (1)

    "It's a good company overall"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Supervisor in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Supervisor in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    The company offers free breakfast, 25 cents lunch, no cost on life insurance, health benefits, parking.
    The company manufactures competitive products which speaks volume why the company has been around for over 85 years.
    There are a lot of talented and good hard working people in the company.

    Cons

    There are a few talented people that had left and retired. Progression is a challenge in Merle Norman since there are still a lot of legacy employees that are not accustomed to multi-tasking and performing to a faster pace. As long as you are not attracting attention, you would not get in trouble.

    Advice to Management

    The company is producing high quality product and has so much potential. It is time to adapt to newer technology, marketing trends, and embrace the new generation.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "do not work here"

    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

    Pros

    great health benefits and they offer parking.

    Cons

    lunch and breakfast are extremely cheap but they are awful. Management is horrible and the owner is crazy. Lots of micromanagement. Do not work here. The dentist on site sucks.


  10. "Good Company"

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

    I worked at Merle Norman full-time

    Pros

    love their products--there is a reason the company has been around this long.

    Cons

    Micro management from the top down


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