I worked at Seasonal Specialties (More than 8 years)
Hours tend to be reasonable, with overtime being occasional. Casual environment. Holiday parties are big events. Candidates with Target anywhere on their resume are a shoe-in. Employees who have been with the company for a number of years are pretty secure (to a fault).
New employees are highly scrutinized and are liable to be let go (or decide to leave) within a year. Very high turnover rate in marketing department. Some members of management have been promoted to their positions based largely on their many years with the company, not whether they are a good fit for the role. Little to no room for employee growth for the rest of the company, yet expectations and responsibilities are constantly rising, and no internal or outside training or opportunities to take classes are provided. All improvement and learning is expected to be done on employee's own time. New employees beware: You will not be trained in. You will be expected to jump in and learn as you go and figure out the trade secrets, as nobody will be able to explain it to you. You just have to have been there to understand the process. No annual performance-based raises. Cost of living adjustments only. Suggestions to management for ways to improve process or working environment are met initially with interest and enthusiasm, but there is never any follow-through. Design departments are largely ignored by higher-ups, including not introducing anyone when visitors are brought through, leaving employees feeling very undervalued.
See also separate review from 2013.
Aside from the comments about long hours, it is painfully truthful.
Advice to Management
Need a serious re-structuring of how employees are compensated based on their responsibilities, experience, skill level, and dedication. Even within a small team, there are levels. Create room for growth, and things for employees to strive for, not just more sales. Listen to your employees suggestions for improvement and work with them. Could also take a hard look at whether current staff is fulfilling their roles effectively. 360 reviews would be eye-opening.
I worked at Seasonal Specialties full-time (More than 5 years)
Bonus - 2x a year.
Seniority is key - if you're newer, you are nothing. No respect from management, they need people skills and training. Twice a year bonus check is what keeps people there year after year. The amount doesn't change, the salary doesn't change - but people count on the bonus to make up for making less money. People are just plain rude and don't care about others. Hated almost every minute of working with these people.
Advice to Management
You call yourselves a family run business, but actions speak louder than words.
I have been working at Seasonal Specialties full-time
You can wear whatever you want, even if its vaguely inappropriate and definitely unseemly.
You essentially have the summer off. You'd better have a great to-do list ready, because you will be doing absolutely NOTHING for most of the summer.
Half-day Fridays in the summer...kind of. There is supposed to be some sort of camaraderie between employees that we help each other out to get out by noon on Fridays, but that doesn't always happen. Expect to stay later if, by chance, you do have something to do.
No one knows what they're doing, or how to interact with each other in a respectful, appropriate way. E-mails are sent without punctuation, grammar checks, correct capitalization, or even basic sentence structures. Many have been here so long that they've likely forgotten what their real role is, so they just wander around aimlessly, pretending to work/care. That is, of course, if they're not on vacation. There is absolutely no process in place for anything - ANYTHING. You can ask around for how something is usually done, but the answer will be, "it depends on the business." Every e-mail sent, phone call made, or posting made online needs to be proofed (probably several times) by members of management. However, if everyone reviews the same thing, sees no errors, and it gets sent out with a mistake, you can bet it will be your fault. Don't worry about being fired, though. No one ever gets fired, even if they poop on the floor. (Literally. That happened.)
Work/life balance is nonexistent. The culture is such that all the customers are 100% right, no matter the reason, cause, or fault. No questions are asked to get additional information, the solution is to send piles of information and long wordy e-mails in return without a thought. This equates to people working on tasks multiple times, so multiple people can proof, so mistakes can still be made, to working on the same thing over again. Expect to work around every holiday, and don't think about submitting a PTO request prior to knowing anything about that coming year's schedule. That is, of course, unless you've been there 20 years. Then, apparently, do whatever you want, regardless of who might be struggling and need help, and want to spend a little time over the holidays with their families. What good is 3 weeks of vacation (combined with sick time, because you should definitely waste your own PTO when you're sick) when you can never use it!
No promotions. Ever. Still not really sure how to feel about that one, but it's true. Also no pay raises.
Micromanagement. Micromanagement. Micromanagement.
Old systems. Old systems managed/maintained by people who don't know what's going on with them, or don't care enough to fix the things that would really help us all out. Old systems trained by using examples of what to do in them, then never doing that task again for a year, then forgetting how to do things, then needing to ask for help, then getting no sympathy from others because they've been here 12 years long than you ever will be (or should be).
Advice to Management
You know nothing about what the peons in your office do, or what they deal with. You've tried recently to provide for them in other ways, touting that the hard work we do and long hours we work are worth it. Here's the thing: they're not. Everyone is afraid to sit in meetings with you because you're often mean-spirited, unhelpful, and demanding. When we do something right (!), there is no praise, no kind words said, nothing. You need to clean up the employee pool at this company - drop the dead weight and bring on more people who know what they are doing and are willing to fix the things that are wrong. Stop being mean to everyone because of your own insecurities and start asking what solutions people have for problems. Re-discover what work/life balance means for people and allow employees the ability to work remotely (hint: we can ALL do our jobs from home, but no one cares enough to admit it) so we can still take care of other things we need to do to keep ourselves sane.
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