TOMS Reviews | Glassdoor

TOMS Reviews

Updated August 15, 2017
119 reviews

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2.7
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TOMS CEO Jim Alling
Jim Alling
39 Ratings

119 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • FREE giving trip after 1, 3 & 5 years (in 19 reviews)

  • TOMS is 100% giving One for One with all of our products which is our commitment to all (in 8 reviews)

Cons
  • Leadership team that is lacking a strong vision from the very top of the house (in 7 reviews)

  • Lack of direction from upper management (in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (3)

    "Always chaging"

    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
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    The early days were awesome. The team always pulled together to make the impossible possible.

    Cons

    Over time the culture and management team changed dramatically. The people hired came for big paychecks after TOMS was successful, they didn't come for the mission. In the end, it undercut the mission.

    Advice to Management

    Be transparent.

    TOMS Response

    Jul 14, 2017 – VP Talent Management

    Thanks for taking the time to highlight your experience at TOMS. We’re always working hard to improve our leadership, team, structure and processes. We appreciate your contributions and wish you the... More


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Great mission lacking direction"

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

    I have been working at TOMS full-time

    Pros

    Great mission with wonderful people

    Cons

    Poor management with unclear RACIs. Lack of upward mobility.

    Advice to Management

    Stop competing with each other and start working together

  3. Helpful (2)

    "ghosts of TOMS past"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at TOMS full-time

    Pros

    the mission at the heart of the company is great, everything started with really great intentions long ago

    people- co workers are composed of some very genuine and talented people, but not the same as it used to be

    Cons

    No longer an environment of collaboration and us (TOMS) doing whatever it takes to succeed and further the mission
    Blindly making new hires ignoring existing talent
    Slim to no upward mobility or career focus
    Culture isn't what it used to be- people used to go out of their way to do things to together all the time- no assimilation efforts made for old, new, and newer hires to become a true team.
    Annual reviews are biased and not democratic at all (even though that's what management wants you to believe)- you could work 90 hours a week doing 4 jobs and if they don't want to recognize that they will rate you poorly regardless of logic or reason

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your employees, focus on integrating people at all stages of hire, don't forget the ultimate goal of this company is business for good.

    During annual reviews be clear, transparent, honest and constructive with your staff- help them improve and create better careers instead of tearing them down.


  4. Helpful (13)

    "From an innovative start-up to a stagnant private equity puppet...is there any hope left?"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at TOMS full-time

    Pros

    If there's one thing that both current and former employees can agree on, it's the people. Throughout my multi-year tenure at TOMS I've met at least a hundred people who I would classify as either exceedingly brilliant, genuine, kind, approachable, or any combination of these traits. I've been fortunate to be surrounded by such talent and even call a few of my peers as friends. These are the ones who, like me, were drawn to TOMS because of how disruptive and progressive its business model was in retail; that in of itself makes it incredibly easy to connect with so many people at TOMS across various levels of the org structure and disciplines. Most everyone came to TOMS because they wanted to work for a company that stood for something other than just hitting sales targets, or being featured in fancy publications; inherently, you're going to meet a bunch of folks at TOMS that share a common interest in making a positive impact on the world. And I can't think of a better way to bring working professionals together...

    Which leads to the next major plus of TOMS - the mission. Yes, it's real. And if you've never worked here but have read the articles online criticizing TOMS - the authors can go pound sand. Are there better ways to help communities than giving free shoes to those in need? Sure. Should we do something other than subsidize optical surgeries to improve the eyesight for the less fortunate that have limited or no vision? Maybe. But I can tell you the aid that TOMS provides is a hell of a lot better than being an armchair critic trying to tell a company how to run the philanthropic side of its operations. The famous Giving Trips are there to provide employees the experience of what our amazing partners tirelessly do day in, day out. These partners are the real heroes - they're the ones working out in the field in less than ideal conditions to improve the lives of others unselfishly. Do they need TOMS? Definitely not. But whenever our Giving team receives a thank you letter from the founders, presidents, etc. of these organizations expressing their gratitude of TOMS' commitment and partnership you can't help but feel proud that you work for the company that pioneered integrating philanthropy alongside a sustainable business. When you're on a Giving Trip and slip shoes on the feet of a kid that stares at their new pair of shoes in awe, looks up at you and smiles, then hugs you in the purest form of appreciation - nothing else matters, not even an online article trivializing the good that we do at TOMS.

    I guess the last positive are the random, less-important perks - coffee bar, dogs in the office, laid-back environment, neat office space.

    Cons

    So if you've read through all the pros, you must be think to yourself, "Wow, how can this person only give 2 stars? Are the downsides really that bad?" That's for you to decide.

    People - I know I just sang praises about all the amazing colleagues, and while that's true, there's also a fair share of either incompetent, apathetic, "I'm here to collect a paycheck," or any combination of these horrible characteristics that dilutes those that are trying to improve TOMS. Sure, I get there will always be entry to mid-level peeps that just don't care or know about contributing to the company to realize its full potential. But when you have this kind of riff-raff in the upper ranks like VPs and execs...set sail for fail. That's not to say there aren't any good leaders in management - of course there are. But all it takes are a few bad apples in key positions, making hasty or bad decisions because they don't know what's actually going on at the ground level and with a company of our relatively small size it's pretty easy to get up to speed on the details. The fact that these apathetic/incompetent leaders don't know who to tap into at TOMS to get the accurate data or info - that's a reflection of how out of touch they are with their teams or the goals of the company. Some of these "coasters" have since been ousted, but rest assured a good amount remain in the upper ranks.

    Onto a related topic...the current state of the company. I don't know what I'm allowed to disclose, so I'll play it safe and keep it general - we've made several bad decisions in the past few years since the brand exploded; decisions that have wasted unfathomable amounts of resources - time, money, and effort. Decisions that have cost the company and are still haunting us to this day. Decisions that have forced the entire organization to lose focus and always be in constant state of chaos. Decisions that have led to missed opportunities to continue growing the brand. Just...bad decisions. And the worst thing? Besides the fact that it's self-inflicted, it is never ending - there's a difference between fast-paced (recruiter buzzword) and chaotic (reality at TOMS). What I mean by that: most of the major projects we work on - there's little to no planning...want to know what happens when you don't carefully plan out a big, cross-functional project? I'll tell you - missed deadlines and budget constraints, frustration, gaps ("Oh I thought YOU were going to do it"), and in general a lot of finger pointing which ultimately leads to low morale. It's gotten to the point that pretty much all the executors in projects expect them to go sideways or lose steam before we even have the project kick-off, which is sad. Then it's just a vicious cycle because we need to work on the next project and because someone neglected to be accountable and plan out the milestones with realistic targets - again, it flies off the rails. Rinse and repeat. So what this long-winded paragraph boils down to is no accountability at TOMS. I'm all for giving people second chances but if someone is running a project or brokering a deal that if it goes badly, could represent a huge miss in sales or cost us a ton of money - someone needs to be held responsible and take a demotion, be put on a PIP, or something. But no - that's not very "TOMSy" so we let these key decision-makers continue to make the same mistakes over and over.

    You know what else isn't TOMSy? Staying in your lane and not overlapping, duplicating someone else's efforts, or creating redundancy. The problem is because the TOMS way is to let people come into their own with little to no guidance from a seasoned mentor, there ends up being 5 people trying to achieve the same result and doing it in 5 different ways without even knowing there were other people working on the exact same thing. And then letting people do important tasks that need to be reviewed/monitored because they have little experience in this area - I've lost count how many times I've seen poor execution because nobody was communicating or providing mentorship or asking for help. So what other companies call "exposure to a variety of disciplines" TOMS just really need to stop offering this and clearly define roles, or figure out how to better allow people to try out new things under supervision to ensure some semblance of quality is delivered. Also, this used to not be as much of a problem as it is now but there are too many cooks in the kitchen i.e. we're still too top heavy as an organizational hierarchy; decisions that should be quickly made so we can adapt take too long, and it creates this weird dynamic where it has to propogate through multiple unnecessary decision-makers and/or people who are basically pass-through (they provide no input or don't make decisions) so it's literally like you are setting up a meeting to tell someone something just so they can relay exactly what you said to someone else. But the person you told will probably misinterpret and there's all these translation issues where you are playing that game with cups connected with a string and when you hear back what the last person thought the first person said - it ends up being completely different!

    Then all the other cool, fun things we used to do as a company to maintain our culture and the friendly vibes - happy hours, annual trips...those are all gone. Bonuses are pretty terrible since they're tied to company performance, and merit increases are meager. Yes, these cost money and we're clearly not in the same position we were in 5 years ago but in the interest of disclosure to candidates - aside from the business model, there are no real perks and we're beginning to just feel like another company getting corporatized by private equity swooping in to set us up for a sale event.

    Advice to Management

    Improve communication between all levels of all disciplines (we're still bad at this). Be authentic (we're not - both in the eyes of the consumer or the eyes of employees). Be transparent internally (or don't, but don't claim to be transparent to us when you're only lifting half the veil). Figure out a way to innovate and re-energize the brand (too many copycats and the current message ran its course 3 years ago). Learn how to make people take responsibility for their actions, regardless if they produce good or bad results. Put yourselves in the shoes (no pun intended) of those at TOMS that are in the trenches, and think about how tired everyone is. Tired of the constant churn, the layoffs that come once a year almost like clockwork, the cyclical chaos, seeing abysmal metrics day after day. Think about what needs to be done to right this ship - people have poured their love, life, blood, sweat, and tears into TOMS. Change takes time - we all know that. We're willing to be patient (we already have been), but we need to see something turn around no matter how big or small, to give us a sign that we're moving in the right direction, something we haven't seen in a very long time. Many of us aren't as experienced as you all so we're looking to you as our leaders to do the right thing, both for TOMS and our customers. The one thing I CAN tell you - something needs to change.

    TOMS Response

    Jul 14, 2017 – VP Talent Management

    Thanks for your feedback, we’re always looking to learn what’s working and where we need to improve. TOMS is a very special place with amazing people all around. Change takes time and as we... More


  5. Helpful (6)

    "Great humans, lacking direction"

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

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

    Pros

    Everyone is truly here for the right reasons and believes in the importance of a for-profit company doing their part to help humanity. My team is very cohesive and we empower each other to shine our fullest potential. Whether it is staying later to help a teammate meet a deadline or strategizing the best approach to navigate client feedback, we truly thrive because we genuinely care about each other. Coming to work is never a chore and I look forward to seeing my coworkers/friends every day! Also over the course of my tenure at TOMS, I’ve had a lot of great mentors who had faith in me and pushed me to grow into new roles and expand my skills.

    Cons

    What has made me stay is that I’ve always looked up to the person I worked under, but as they have since left there is a gaping hole that is not being filled. There is no clear progression
    for me in my career or for the direction of the brand in general. The TOMS story and heart has essentially been obliterated. You can feel the pressure that Bain, having acquired half the company, pushes to meet these sales goals. I know from speaking to many employees in different parts of the company that the culture is starting to lag and people are slowly burning out. The cycle of bringing in outside companies to try to reinvigorate the brand and failing to do so is tiresome and has not progressed in the years I’ve been here. Giving is at the heart for most employees, but I just don’t see that currently reflected in the brand. I expect more imminent layoffs and don’t see a clear future for TOMS.

    Advice to Management

    Treat your employees as experts in their field who intimately know the brand instead of always hiring outside consulting agencies and expecting revolutionary results. Trust that we know and want the business to succeed and that we are capable.


  6. Helpful (10)

    "Great Mission, highly political, declining sales"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Playa Vista, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Playa Vista, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at TOMS full-time

    Pros

    You get to go on a giving trip to different countries ( South Americas ) and submerge yourself in a local town or village and see the impact TOMS has on children with no shoes. Free barista, matching 401k, dog friendly, nice HQ with plenty of space. Great co-workers ( for the most part ).

    Cons

    There are clear favorites in every department or business segments. I've seen people get promoted every year or at least 1 promotion every two years. Others are overlooked, told they need to do more, but not given more work or opportunities to shine. So, basically how well can you manage up? How many meetings can you go to and show your face, put yourself out there, get known, build alliances with others so when they have their year end review, people say great things about you. The performance review is somewhat of a joke. I'm glad it is no longer discretionary and most of it is based on EBITDA. The company is running slim and there are still going to be some more layoffs. I still gave this company 3 stars because I for the most part enjoyed my time at TOMS. Every place is political, I just don't think you have to be an a%$ kisser to get ahead at ALL companies. Titles don't mean much just dictates your pay. A lot of top heavy positions, but not enough senior level employees to put in the hard work. Product is not that great, but they've put a lot of money on future seasons so maybe that will change. Lastly, at the end of the day, TOMS is a for profit business. They try to portray that they are contributing so much to help children, but they could easily just donate the money to those communities. People need food and water, paved roads, better infrastructure, not a pair of shoes which are the cheapest kind they purchase. It's the classic, give a man a fish, but don't teach him to be a fisherman. Change the give model to donate real resources and not shoes because it's 2017, A LOT of companies give back as part of their business model now!

    Advice to Management

    Better turn the ship, as great as the mission is, we all have families and bills to pay. Get rid of your stupid goals and written bullsh!t and focus on rewarding your most talented and best employees. Ultimately, the wasted money at the TOP will make the business suffer. Hold people accountable, demand and expect great things from your employees. Be transparent about the dire situation TOMS is in instead of telling us lies about the future.

    TOMS Response

    Jul 14, 2017 – VP Talent Management

    Thank you for writing about your experience at TOMS. It is very important to us to create a culture in which you can speak with your manager freely about your ideas and concerns, and if you haven’t... More


  7. Helpful (5)

    "Don't be fooled by all of the positive reviews"

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

    I have been working at TOMS full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    My paycheck has not bounced yet.

    Cons

    HR has been tasked to get the glassdoor ratings up. Instead of actually fixing the issues, there are some posts that are not authentic. This should give you an idea of what it is like to work here. I am interviewing currently and hope to make my status be 'former employee' very soon.

    Advice to Management

    The problem is not mid or low level employees, the problem is with management who is now in place and has been making bad decisions for the last few years. Listen to your employees when they group together and speak up about their managers. You are listening to the wrong people.

    TOMS Response

    Jul 14, 2017 – VP Talent Management

    Thanks for your feedback, we encourage employees to share authentic reviews whether they are positive or not, so that we can learn where we need to improve. We’d like to learn more about your... More

  8. Helpful (1)

    "TOMS is not the TOMS same any more"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at TOMS full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    TOMS is a generous company that gives and helps people around the world.

    Cons

    TOMS has changed very dramatically this year. Most of the benefits like free employee shoes, cakes, giving trips, and other benefits are becoming a thing of a past. There are flexible hours and work from home for some employees but if your boss is not willing to work very hard you get to take the load while she/he is "working from home." It makes it more difficult to get the job done when people work remotely. They don't always respond to emails and have to work around their schedule. It creates more work for the rest.

    Advice to Management

    Pay attention to your Director level employees. Some lead by fear, unwilling to work hard and don't show much appreciation to employees who work hard.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Sales Assistant"

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

    I worked at TOMS full-time

    Pros

    They were dedicated to the mission and were 100% honest about their giving.

    Cons

    Poor management. nepotism wins. Hard working people get burnt out and over looked.


  10. Helpful (3)

    "TOMS is the real deal!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at TOMS full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Small but mighty, TOMS has an amazing team. It's truly impressive to see how much can be accomplished by a targeted group of passionate people who truly want to improve lives through business. Outside of the adorable puppies, slides, ping pong tables at HQ, this is a business that truly balances the work hard/play hard mentality. TOMS ensures everyone is here for the same reason, even offering "Giving Trips" to employees, placing true meaning behind the work we do every day. Simply put, I’m proud to work at TOMS.

    Cons

    Depending on how you look at it, some may struggle without a process or procedure around every component of their day. For those that want more of the same, this may not be the ideal company. For anyone searching for a way to utilize their business acumen while making a positive impact in the world, this is THE place to be.

    Advice to Management

    Stay the course. The future potential of this company is yet to be realized and management does an incredible job of being transparent and strategic.


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