Unilever Reviews | Glassdoor

Unilever Reviews

Updated April 27, 2017
2,367 reviews

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3.8
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Unilever CEO Paul Polman
Paul Polman
1,067 Ratings

2,367 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • work life balance might be tough (in 155 reviews)

  • Matrix structure can slow down decision making as does need to build consensus for all major decisions (in 83 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (2)

    "Poor Management and No Guidance"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Supply Chain in Englewood Cliffs, NJ
    Former Employee - Supply Chain in Englewood Cliffs, NJ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Work life balance. The company allows you to work from home when needed.

    Cons

    The company is constantly restructuring, spending all of their time focused on the bottom line and very little to no time on its actual employees.

    Transitions between roles are stretched out over months causing employees to work multiple jobs and long hours.

    Poor Management and turn over leaves employees either zero management or multiple mangers in one year.

    Programs in place for mentors or employer advancement are poorly managed unless you are a member of their SCMP program. Full time employees have the option to join a management program however the likelihoods of a promotion is low.

     Regular employee programs are so poorly managed that employees tend to wait over a year for a mentor.

    Unless you are hired from the outside compensation is very low. Recent college graduates are not offered competitive salaries and must leave the company in order to receive industry standard.

    Advice to Management

    Have some management and focus on the employees.


  2. Helpful (4)

    "Not about the employees. It has changed over the years."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Distribution Coordinator in Trumbull, CT
    Current Employee - Distribution Coordinator in Trumbull, CT
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Unilever full-time

    Pros

    The company is pretty good about letting people work from home when needed.

    Cons

    Employees are overworked. Constant system issues. Very poor leadership. Promotions are very political and not based on merrit. More benefits dissapearing over the years. Talk about how work/life balance is important, but there is no balance. Leadership takes too long to make decisions.

    Advice to Management

    Hire more employees to spread out the work. Stop forcing employees to work so late, on weekends, on holidays. Promote people that can do the job and not your friends. Stop coming up with terrible projects because you feel the need to prove things are being done.


  3. Helpful (5)

    "Expect to be laid off / fired/ humiliated"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Human Resources Specialist in Englewood, NJ
    Former Employee - Human Resources Specialist in Englewood, NJ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    I loved working with a special set of people who endured a lot of painful moments.

    Cons

    Worst senior management of a seemingly profitable company. They are only about the about the bottom line.

    Advice to Management

    Get some real managers, directors, and vice presidents who don't have their heads in the sand. Don't let leaders in the organization get away with abuse and terrorizing their employees.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    "Computer Operator"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Melrose Park, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Melrose Park, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Unilever full-time

    Pros

    Was a Great Place to work before Alberto Culver Sold out to Unilever.

    Cons

    Unilever did the typical bought Alberto Culver and fired everyone that helped make Alberto Culver a top notch company.

    Advice to Management

    No advice to give.


  6. Helpful (3)

    "What was once a great company is now a mess"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Chain Development Manager
    Former Employee - Chain Development Manager
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Unilever full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great benefits & compensation package. Strong brands. Emphasis on teams.

    Cons

    Bureaucracy. Sloth culture- nothing gets done. Decisions made that are counter to growth and common sense. Not sure this division of the company will exist in 18-24 months. Rumors abound that Unilever is exiting the food business and selling off the brands.

    Roadblocks to successfully winning business make it more attractive to hang in the home office than pursue customers. And seriously, with a portfolio of over 500 items, why would they limit what we can sell based upon our job title?

    Recent structural changes are disconcerting and morale is lower than Ive seen in more than 15 years.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Unilever Kilbourn"

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

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

    Pros

    Good money. The ability to work on your own.

    Cons

    No chance for advancement, although they say so. Very much a political place. You need to be with the "IN" crowd. This is a union shop. Contractually you can be forced to work every weekend and forced to stay over. And the senior men acquire the premium shifts or the shift of their choice. Also the operators are unable to do their jobs so the burden falls upon maintenance.

    Advice to Management

    Don't just "LOOK INTO IT". Do something!!!


  8. Helpful (3)

    "Management is lacking clear direction"

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

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

    Pros

    I liked my coworkers in the department I worked for the most part. Although it was a challenge because of the lack of work life balance, at the end of my experience, I ended up in a new field.

    Cons

    HR let directors get away with firing or letting go people who never had a chance to defend themselves. They unilaterally made the decisions on their own and most of the time, the decision was based on personal feelings and not business related. There was no checks and balances when it came to this practice.

    Advice to Management

    Put in a sound process of checks and balances and ensure that people in leadership roles are not being dictatorial and abusive toward their employees.


  9. Helpful (5)

    "If it sounds too good to be true, IT IS."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Machine Operator/Sanitation Staff in New Century, KS
    Current Employee - Machine Operator/Sanitation Staff in New Century, KS
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The pay and insurance is excellent and they buy your boots and uniforms for you. That is the where the pros END!

    Cons

    I was lured in with a false claim that forced overtime and working weekends was a rare thing. WRONG. I work overtime (forced) EVERY DAY. I work Every other weekend! If you want to work for this company, you had better have NO family, hobbies, need for sleep, or life other than work. I HATE this place with all my heart and soul! It has ruined my life! I am seeking a way out as quickly as possible. Before Unilever I was an artist and a performer. Now I am a nameless cog in their dying machine. I was unable to see my terminally ill Dad for the holidays. I am unable to perform the most basic self-maintenance. I am to the point where I want to be fired just so I can escape!

    Advice to Management

    Your employees hate you. Forcing us to work 84 hour weeks during the holidays is sick and immoral. Your employees are so tired that they are exhausted to the point of being walking safety risks! I can't wait to leave so I can see my family, paint, dance, and tell my boss he can force some other poor sap who has sold his sold for money to work my job! My health is more important than your numbers!!!


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Finance dept. is a disaster"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate Finance Manager in Englewood Cliffs, NJ
    Former Employee - Associate Finance Manager in Englewood Cliffs, NJ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Looks good on your resume

    Cons

    Everything (lack of transparency, poor career options, bonus is minimal due to poor company performance)


  11. Helpful (1)

    "No concern for the employee's basic needs."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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 Unilever full-time

    Pros

    It appears that if you are a higher-level employee (WL 2 or better) then your life won't be so bad. The long-term hourly employees are fantastic, talented people.

    Cons

    For manufacturing workers (hourly and their direct supervisors), the schedules are grueling and expectations are unclear and always a moving target due to the revolving door of upper management. Managers don't take the time to understand what they're managing. When upper management goes home for the weekend, they couldn't care less about what happens to the factory, so calls for assistance on the off-shifts often go unanswered. But come Monday morning if everything is not in working order it becomes a witch hunt.

    This company works their people like they work their machines -- continuously until they completely break down. While the hourly and their direct managers would pull double shifts with 8 hours off in between, come hell or high water, site leadership plasters messages on the company tv's that it's important for your health to get plenty of sleep and good food. It was things like this that showed a total lack of disrespect from the company towards its hardest working and most important group of employees. In fact a particular shift of workers got stuck in the factory for over thirty hours due to inclement weather. What do you think they got from the company to show their appreciation? If you guessed "nothing," you're right.

    In the end I had legitimate issues outside of work to deal with and needed some flexibility in my schedule (namely vacation days here and there), but they often were rejected while another employee's would be granted seemingly arbitrarily. Also, new salary jobs were being formed and not everyone was informed that these jobs existed and were available, essentially hiding the jobs from otherwise qualified employees because upper managers had people in mind when the new jobs were created. I saw this happen twice. In the end I had to quit the job because of the inflexibility. But trust me, no one cared when I left because they are so used to losing people every couple of months.

    Advice to Management

    Value your employees just as you want to be valued. Just because someone is WL1 or lower doesn't mean they are tools to be used just to achieve your own personal goals for you. They are people with human requirements and needs just like you.


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