Room & Board "flat organization" Reviews | Glassdoor

Room & Board Employee Reviews about "flat organization"

Updated May 26, 2019

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3.9
71%
Recommend to a Friend
97%
Approve of CEO
Room & Board CEO John D. Gabbert
John D. Gabbert
73 Ratings
Pros
Cons
  • "It's a fairly flat organization, so moving up the ladder is a bit slower than some places -- but opportunities are there(in 10 reviews)

  • "Store employees don’t get the work/ life balance offered to Central office employees(in 9 reviews)

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Reviews about "flat organization"

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  1. Helpful (2)

    "Best retail job ever"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Design Associate in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Room & Board full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Working at Room & Board is above and beyond what you will find in any other retail opportunity. They truly foster a teamwork approach. You are given opportunities to expand your role outside of Design Associate should you choose to do so - but it's not mandatory. Very flexible schedule, two consecutive days off, rotating weekends off, great vacation time off - I couldn't have asked for better!

    Cons

    It's a fairly flat organization, so moving up the ladder is a bit slower than some places -- but opportunities are there.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work!

    Room & Board2015-07-01
  2. Helpful (4)

    "Overall this is a great company!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Design Associate 
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Room & Board full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    This company brilliantly balances what is best for their employees, vendors and customers. Non competitive environment. Health care, 401K and more. Vacation plus profit sharing. Sustainably driven. It is a company that shares my values.

    Cons

    No commission. The non competitive environment is almost to a fault. Meeting and exceeding your sales goals are not rewarded regardless of how much you contribute to the bottom line. One weekend off per month unless you take vacation days. Flat organization which also contributes to the lack of financial growth opportunities.

    Advice to Management

    Upper management seems distant from market/regional employees. No checking in to see how their market managers affect their local team members. Regardless of how good are a company's philosophies, it is only as good as the day to day practice of these principals. Store managers seem to go unchecked in this regard.

    Room & Board2019-05-26
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  4. Helpful (2)

    "Leadership Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Minneapolis, MN
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Room & Board full-time

    Pros

    Company has a core values built on respect for customers, fellow employees and vendors.

    Cons

    If you don't like working for a flat organization then Room & Board isn't right for you.

    Advice to Management

    Keep building on our successes

    Room & Board2016-02-10
  5. Helpful (10)

    "Great place to work you if you aren't a retail peon"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Room & Board full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    This is a great company overall. Very thoughtful and intelligent The CEO is both brilliant and kind. The benefits are good as most benefits go these days -- though the health insurance isn't great and it's expensive if you're just a retail design associate. (may be different for people at corporate. i don't know.) The product is beautiful. Very well made. All made in America and it's easy to feel good about... selling it.

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    Cons

    They call it a 'flat' organization but it's only flat for the retail sales people. Absolutely no opportunity for advancement and the pay increases are dismal if you work at retail. They always want you to sell more, do more, contribute more, etc., but there is no $$ incentive to give, give, give like they ask you to. No commission either -- even if you're a top seller. If you work at corporate and have a... professional job then you get all of the perks, including a decent paycheck. No gym for retail employees. NO weekends off for retail employees -- unless you are store manager. Then you get a weekend day off every week and you spend most of your time off of the floor in 'meetings' in the back -- you don't have to do the hard work or 'heavy lifting.' Also store managers get bonuses and incentives if the store does well -- so there is an incentive for them to drive the sales people even though the sales people don't get the same incentives. As I said, things are 'different' if you're a manager or a leader at the store, or work at corporate. Then the situation is great. This may be a better retail job then most in America, but then again that's not saying all that much.

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    Advice to Management

    If you're going to talk about have a 'flat' organization then make sure it's flat. Let store employees share in the same benefits and opportunities that store managers and people at corporate do. Quit treating store sales people like second class citizens.

    Room & Board2015-03-13
  6. Helpful (1)

    "Incredible Company with great work-life balance."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Golden Valley, MN
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Room & Board full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    A lovely campus with access to amenities like a full gym, yoga studio, Pilates center, and group fitness classes with an on site personal trainer. Additionally, wellness rooms with sofas and beds to rest if needed. Large kitchen and break areas make it easy to have healthy, and delicious lunches. Beautiful work spaces and offices. Access to tools and technology to enhance your job functions is wonderful. Great IT... and technology teams in house to support. You are truly given the opportunity to own your role and work independently to help reach a goal.

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    Cons

    Career advancement and development. Because Room & Board is such a collaborative and flat organization which is a delight in almost all cases, it does make it hard to advance. They seek out individuals who are looking to make a long-term contribution to the organization and not just trying to reach the “next” level. If you’re young, or someone with an MBA, this is not the best place for you.

    Advice to Management

    There is an opportunity to really re-visit the career advancement opportunities. I'd recommend developing a steering committee on this to establish some visibility around it to help make the staff members feel more secure and heard.

    Room & Board2015-03-12
  7. Helpful (15)

    "Good job, not so good career."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Room & Board

    Pros

    Strong salary offered and welcoming atmosphere within the confines of the Central office. Great facility and a very strong business sense in terms of executive leadership.

    Cons

    Dictator-like leadership, no actual room for growth since they are pitched as a flat organization. This is only a pitch. There is a clear hierarchy and if you cross this selected group even slightly, not even based on merit or performance, but simply on subjective perception, you will have a very, very hard time working there. The welcoming atmosphere is present in the Central offices, definitely not in the... distribution side so have caution when applying for positions in that sector. Too many meetings that do not amount to any improvements with a leadership that operates as if employees were machines, not human beings leveraging the strong salary as their tool to lead in this fashion. The work/life mentality does not apply in distribution. It is very difficult to get time off. Leadership uses intimidation as a means to get the job done.

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    Advice to Management

    Listen to employees that are not in leadership and have HR act as a mediator.

    Room & Board2015-02-11
  8. Helpful (22)

    "Apply At Your Own Risk, You Have Been Warned!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Design Associate in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Room & Board full-time

    Pros

    Three weeks paid vacation for full and part-time employees. Four weeks paid vacation after five years.

    Cons

    Room & Board is based in Minnesota but their top grossing market is Northern California. The San Francisco showroom pulls in impressive numbers. Some Design Associates here even do more business than actual stores. So how is this phenomenal team compensated; a capped salary of $65k and $2,500 holiday party in the Tenderloin. But with that said, the respect is mutual. Our philosophies are based on about a dozen... guiding principles. All are run on sentences, wrapped with adjectives, objectives, goals and more wordy words. Sometimes the guiding principles contain non-words like 'learnings.' Since we cant understand them, no one follows them. They are often misinterpreted and just laughed at. Also, since the guiding principles leave much room for misinterpretation, the company likes to operate in the 'gray.' Our very own 50 shades! But unfortunately not the fun kind. For example, if you need help with resolving an issue you're given gray answers. Gray will hopefully lead you into making the best possible decision. But if your decision flops you will then be given the solution with a slap on the wrist. The environment is a everlasting vortex of tension. Here you will find leaders who do laps in the Kool-Aid, brave leaders who loyally oppose them and 40 plus others just trying to do their job. What should be a simple and unique retail structure is often blurred with folly and delusional expectations. For instance, if you are scheduled for a phone shift but your client comes in you will not be allowed to work with them. You will have to keep manning the 1-800 customer service calls while your client has to re-explain all of their needs to a different associate. This is a part of Room & Boards 'flat organization' philosophy or anti-consumerism at its finest! A important thing all candidates should be told upfront is that every position is required to take on a extra support role. In fact, many new hires find the second role a surprise. The roles or roles are decided for you based on your non-interests. So if you wish to support the visual team you will be asked to do the complete opposite like make spreadsheets. Doing this broadens your horizons but grows your passions? Most interviews fail to mention this because the interviewers are too busy digging deeper into your behavior with your peers from your past and present. Everything is documented here. Your good works will be documented by you but your crimes will be quietly journaled and used against you when appropriate. Crimes include; having a negative opinion, challenging your leadership team, vocalizing, being overly charismatic with customers, not being transparent enough, sharing too much, lack of contribution, wearing the wrong shoes, etc. I loathe this place very much that when acquaintances plan to do business here I dissuade them fully. But why stay? Why support this nonsense? Because its free cable like entertainment that I get paid to watch. That to me is my dream job and I'm staring in it! Also, you will adore most of your colleagues and find this place is great fun. Though trying to survive through the corporate protocol creates a Big Brother atmosphere. Your longevity will depend on your tolerance, the alliances you make and strong Thespian skills.

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    Advice to Management

    The lawsuits are fun to watch.

    Room & Board2015-03-14
  9. Helpful (4)

    "Feels like home, does the right thing."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Minneapolis, MN
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Room & Board full-time

    Pros

    Leaving a large public fortune 500 company for Room&Board (privately-owned) has been a huge breath of fresh air. It was difficult to appreciate how different a company culture could be until I started here. At R&B, decisions are heavily weighed on if they are the right thing to do - balancing the company's bottom line with employees', customers', and suppliers' best interests. That means great work-life balance (I... never see anyone bringing work home with them -- gasp!) and feeling good about the work you are doing. Then, top that off with the fact that the vast majority of the furniture hits the trifecta of beautiful, functional, and made (sustainably) in America. If that wasn't enough (yes, I'm gushing), the pay is very competitive, and the wellness attitude here is top-notch. I'm at the headquarters, and love the fitness center, free classes, gym, and proximity to Theodore Wirth Park. Days at work are broken up by volleyball, basketball, kick-boxing, mountain biking, yoga...you get the idea. Plenty of opportunities to stretch your body and give your mind a rest while bonding with coworkers and improving your health. Lastly, I really like the flexibility and nimbleness at Room&Board. I still remember during my first week I asked about a particular policy. The response I received was so refreshing. Instead of pulling out some thick manual and reading me the law of the land, it sparked a conversation on what I was looking to accomplish and how best to make it happen.

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    Cons

    The biggest con is that I wish there were more recognized holidays or additional vacation. Starting vacation isn't bad, but it's not great either. Additionally, since R&B is a flat organization, it brings up challenges on the idea of growth. From someone who came from a large company, I can understand how it could be difficult to wrap your head around what it means to grow broader and deeper, opposed to the idea... of putting in your time and checking off boxes to grow up the organization and reach a specific level. Depending on who you are, this can be a con or a pro...the con being there are fewer management roles, the pro being much less red tape.

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    Advice to Management

    Keep staying so transparent. It's a wonderful thing, and it really helps us staff members feel connected to the work we do and the company as a whole.

    Room & Board2014-07-28
  10. Helpful (1)

    "Best place I've ever worked. Period."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Team Leader In Distribution in Denver, CO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Room & Board full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    An organization that has a clear vision of it's moral standing and principles and truly sticks behind them. What you hear during your interview process is what actually happens your entire career. Compensation more than fair. Company also wants you to be involved with company measures and personal growth to any degree you feel comfortable with. Limitless possibilities. True community partnerships in every... market. Been here almost two years and still enjoy coming to work every day.

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    Cons

    For people looking to quickly climb the corporate ladder, perhaps not the best fit. Very flat organization so roles are not organized in a typical hierarchy. Company might come off as a bit soft or "touch, feely" to certain personality types as well.

    Advice to Management

    Stay the course. I love the culture that has been created here at Room & Board and hope we never outgrow the ability to maintain it in each and every location.

    Room & Board2014-07-26
  11. Helpful (1)

    "A respectful company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     in Minneapolis, MN
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Room & Board for less than a year

    Pros

    Room & Board impressed me from the start with its focus on respect and responsibility. In my experience, staff members of all levels are really nice and respectful. They focus on their work and get the job done when it needs to get done. At the same time, there is the understanding that if you need to run an errand or take care of an ill family member, that's okay, and you're trusted to make things work. The... organization really worked with me to make my role work well for the company and my family and I appreciate that. I also enjoyed the orientation process. It was very thorough and open. I was able to learn about all areas of the organization and how it all fits together.

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    Cons

    Some potential cons could be that Room & Board is a flat organization that operates in the gray. If promotions or job titles are important to you, or having black and white ways of doing things, this may not be the place for you.

    Advice to Management

    Keep the flow of communication going.

    Room & Board2014-07-21
Found 10 reviews