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Paper Source Reviews

Updated January 2, 2018
242 reviews

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3.3
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Winnie Park
61 Ratings

242 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Creative environment, great products (in 17 reviews)

  • Friendly work environment, interesting products, employee discount (in 14 reviews)

Cons
  • The Custom Print department needs a lot of work (in 17 reviews)

  • It was sometimes challenging to manage staffing as the majority of the staff is part-time (in 17 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    "Good experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Paper Source part-time

    Pros

    Creative environment, good employee discount

    Cons

    Shifts are different every week


  2. "Customer Service Representative"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Paper Source part-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great Discount
    Great for people who love to be creative
    Postive Working Environment

    Cons

    Only con is that it's not full-time employment unless you are a Manager but that's normal for retail.

  3. "Buying"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Paper Source full-time

    Pros

    Nice people to work with..Friendly staff

    Cons

    Too much of a work load

    Advice to Management

    Spread out work to more employees


  4. Helpful (2)

    "Can be rewarding & fun when you have a great SM."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Custom Print Coordinator and Shift Supervisor
    Former Employee - Custom Print Coordinator and Shift Supervisor
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great for those looking for P/T 3-4 hour shifts, who also have open scheduling flexibility, with crafting and DIY interests.

    Cons

    Understandable widespread growing pains unfortunately meant a major and sudden understaffing of senior management and other departments... and happened quite often.

    Advice to Management

    I hope things have smoothed out when it comes to the custom print department and aligning stores within new regions. My time there started out so great, and I'm so grateful for the SM that hired me and made it her priority to develop her staff as career-seeking professionals who demonstrate ownership in their job, no matter what that is. I loved how she quickly and resolved any conflicts with customers or staff, even if I didn't agree with her. She took accountability for any positive or negative results, and our staff/store flourished doing the same.

    Unfortunately, this SM had to leave in the midst of holiday/inventory/store opening/typesetting department quitting/everyone is too busy dealing with craziness. Our new SM started out great, until the corporate trainer left. She managed the staff like she was the most popular girl at school, ate lunch with her dog at our custom print table during peak business, spread inappropriate rumors about staff she didn't like hoping they would just quit, and threatened your job if you tried to talk to her about it. She was always needlessly defensive, never accountable. She would morph back into the seemingly great person they hired when we would have a corporate visit, making sure I didn't have a real chance to speak alone with my RM - finding reasons to mill around or interrupt. She made it clear she "had it out for me" when I told her it wasn't right to spread rumors about someone hoping they will quit, she needed to talk to her. She submitted a performance review I never received, made jokes daily about firing me, didn't submit sick hours so that it looked like I was 3 hours late, among other things. It was an unfortunately awful ending to an otherwise amazing experience. Everyone at corporate was stretched so thin, it was easiest to move on rather than try to pursue or dwell on a lost cause that was causing so much stress.

    This experience does NOT happen at all stores! My only advice is to try to reach out to your employees personally instead of just relying on them to come to you. I know PS would never punish a "whistleblower" and encourages the staff to contact them, but when your store's staff is so small it's difficult to feel comfortable enough to have any discussion of that nature without fear of repercussion by your SM in your daily job. At the time, a lot of us just gave up and accepted that it wouldn't be the same great place to be that it once was. Those that stayed did so because their shifts were so short/conveniently PT, or they transferred. PS is a great company, and I just hope that this kind of thing hasn't/doesn't become more prevalent as you open so many new stores. Taking time to make sure your stores' employees have genuine ownership in their jobs is crucial to your daily and overall successes.


  5. "An Inviting and Inclusive Culture"

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

    I have been working at Paper Source part-time

    Pros

    The staff and managers are friendly and flexible, the culture and environment of the store is warm and lovely.

    Cons

    Asking customers for their email and contact information can sometimes be uncomfortable.


  6. "Should be a fun place"

    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 Paper Source full-time

    Pros

    Creative Environment, Great Product, Fun customers

    Cons

    low pay, team leader positions always open or vacant,


  7. "Work with lovely people"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Paper Source part-time

    Pros

    Super lovely coworkers, super friendly work environment!

    Cons

    As a part time worker, there is no specific cons for me. Working there for me is like hanging out with friends.

  8. Helpful (18)

    "Same Stuff, Different Day, Same Old Mistakes"

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

    I worked at Paper Source full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    -Overall friendly employees/team members
    -Creative/crafty moments and opportunities
    -Experience with time-management and working in a team environment

    Cons

    -WEAK AND INCOMPETENT MANAGEMENT, which leads to stressed and depressed employees. Employees generally do not trust management, don't feel they can be honest about their grievances, trust that they'll follow through with promises and (much-needed) improvements, but keep getting told that they're heard and valued. Classic example of words not being met with actions.

    -Senior Leadership is completely oblivious as to how bad things are at the lower levels of the company and keep trying to "find the silver lining" to no avail. Morale is bad and it's going to get worse until they change their approach and start heeding the feedback of lower level employees, especially those on the front lines who have valuable insight into what customer's want and what their complaints are.

    -Many departments like IT and the web team are grossly understaffed (in the single-digits for both, or at least, that's how many are available to help at any given time), which the stores, HQ, and warehouse facilities depend on. If those teams can't get something done, it's like a ripple effect and other departments are stuck.

    -PERSISTENT SYSTEM ISSUES AND FAILURES, OUTDATED TECHNOLOGY. More times than not, you need to get "creative" with your solutions or work-arounds, because you cannot depend on what you have to work properly and when they do, you're just waiting for it to break. This includes the website, which stores and customers continue to have issues with. Are we getting a new site or what? Because right now, it's driving customers AWAY and infuriating stores when we can't get it to work. What we have now is not at all in league with the tech our competitors have. And oh, can't forget new roll-outs! Everyone knows when a new system, feature, or product gets rolled out, that it's a disaster on the site and/or the backend. We EXPECT it and it creates a lot of anxiety.

    -LOW COMPENSATION/SUBPAR BENEFITS, the first is below industry standards for pretty much any job title you can think of here. And the managers all know it and try to make light of it (they fail miserably). The "merit" increases have been suspended for this year, which has definitely contributed to the low morale, but they were really low to begin with and it's based on a percentage, not your performance. They don't pay anyone what they're worth here but they expect 100% from you at all times. Either they cannot compete financially for strong, competent, and reliable labor OR they're not willing to which leads to the next point...

    -HIGH TURNOVER. It's a red flag you should heed. Paper Source is a revolving door of employees. Paper Source really can't retain good employees and that will be their undoing. It's especially a disaster when it comes to the world of custom because there's so much to know! You have people that become experts in this really important portion of the business but because the company doesn't fight to keep their best employees happy, they leave and a store or team has to start from square 1 and scramble to make it work and take time to teach someone else. The stress and chaos that ensues is so frustrating and even moreso for customers.

    Reader, if you want a place that will run you ragged, cast breadcrumbs your way and tell you to be thankful, break promises, stress you with their company-wide inefficiencies, and provide you with a sense of hopelessness and disappointment, this is the place for you. You'll probably make some friends that feel EXACTLY as you do so at least you won't be alone in it; you'll all just suffer together for as long as you're there, until you decide you can do better or an opportunity presents itself.

    Advice to Management

    Hire consultants. Good ones; ones who have experience working for and building up Fortune 500 and 100 companies. Seriously, most of you have no idea what you're doing (includes senior leadership), you're not doing your job well, or you lack support to do the job efficiently. The attempts to convince lower level employees that this company is doing "well" has been overall unsuccessful.

    Stop being cheap. Give your employees monetary incentives, put your money where your mouth is. Words don't get the bills paid or create loyalty to your efforts. That's why so many move on to bigger and better opportunities... because they saw very quickly that Paper Source isn't the place for a CAREER.

    Listen to your employees (and get some thick skin prepared for it). For all the changes you're trying to make, how much of it is based off of feedback from your top performers, your veterans, your "lower level" employees? With all the issues we already have and HAVE had for years, you people keep throwing new things into the mix and it's been a disaster!

    Invest in your employees by providing growth opportunities, leadership classes/training. If you want to keep them long-term, create paths for them to do that.

    Revamp the culture. The standards need to be upped across the board and that applies to senior leadership and management as well. Standards of professionalism, appropriateness, supporting and building up teams, keeping the lines of communication open, frequent touch-bases, and follow ups with concrete answers.

    Have your word MEAN something, this includes customers! Stop bending over backwards to entitled customers! If they sign an agreement/contract, that's it. There is nothing further to discuss. Stop enabling customers to act like brats and be abusive to store employees by giving them extras or compensation that they are not due if WE did everything right!

    Take responsibility for your failures and poor-decision making and GET TO WORK. You've got it cut out for you if Paper Source is going to be around for even another five years, much less ever be on any Fortune lists some time this century.

    Paper Source Response

    Nov 3, 2017 – Paper Source

    We take very seriously all feedback from current and past employees, as it helps us strengthen our inclusive culture.

    As a privately-held, mid-size company, we pride ourselves on avoiding the... More


  9. "Job filled with opportunities"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Naperville, IL
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Naperville, IL
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Paper Source part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Very creative job, lot of interesting customers and people to work with. Enjoyed getting to test all the new product and grow as an artist

    Cons

    While I was there the company was undergoing a lot of changes. There didn't seem to be a strong direction. The company has higher prices on items that can be bought for less at other stores. It became frustrating to try and work with a customer who understood this and would become upset about the price difference.

    Paper Source Response

    Nov 20, 2017 – Paper Source

    Thank you so much for your feedback as it helps us improve our processes and culture.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Great people"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Key Holder
    Former Employee - Key Holder
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Paper Source part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    While there we had great customer service goals, pleasant working environment and fun challenges. Management team worked to keep employees motivated with small incentives and the discount was great!

    Cons

    Too much pressure to meet sales goals especially during slow times when individual attentive service was possible. Focused to greatly on aggressive sales tactics to upsell to customers which seemed to turn people away.


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