W.W. Grainger
3.3 of 5 417 reviews
www.grainger.com Lake Forest, IL 5000+ Employees

W.W. Grainger Reviews

Updated Apr 09, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.3 417 reviews

                             

85% Approve of the CEO

W.W. Grainger Chairman, President, and CEO Jim Ryan

Jim Ryan

(272 ratings)

62% of employees recommend this company to a friend
417 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
in

Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "Great benefits, reputable company, The profit sharing plan is very strong"
    in 99 reviews
  • "Very professional environmnet and great benefits"
    in 43 reviews
Cons:
  • "work/life balance is a challenge at times"
    in 11 reviews
  • "Upper management all the same---and that's not a complement"
    in 14 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

  • Culture & Values
         
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  • Approves of CEO

2 people found this helpful  

Great company for self confident realistic people.

Leader (Current Employee)
Lake Forest, IL (US)

I have been working at W.W. Grainger full-time for more than 10 years

ProsProfit sharing
Strong financials
Invests in growth initiatives
Recognizes it is not perfect and wants to improve
Cares about the engagement survey feedback
Very capable executive team
Cares about employees
Is well aware of the competitive landscape and needed change

ConsEmployees with poor leaders don't scream loud enough
Not perfect but no company is
Leaders with 1 or 2 direct reports is silly
There is an issue with being a gossipy culture
If you are great at managing up and presenting, some may progress further than they should
Too slow to remove unproductive incompetent employees and leaders
Uncomfortable with respectful candor
Too many employees have an entitlement or blame others mentality instead of being self aware they have some ownership in in their current situation
HR team could be better at playing a role in developing leaders and equitable compensation across the company

Advice to Senior ManagementThank you for doing what can be a thankless job. Grainger is a great company but we have work to do. Read the comments in the reviews posted here and in engagement surveys and challenge yourself to think about how much time you spend to understand what root cause is and do something about it. It is not hard to find poor leaders but it is hard to have the discipline and rigor to make it a priority. We all have responsibility to make sure Grainger is successful and not taking action is not ok. The biggest impact you can have is demanding and validating you have the best leaders in every leader role based on a set of balanced standards.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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1 person found this helpful  

Good employer, great benefits but it lacks something, not the type of company I will recommend to a family member.

Customer Service Associate (Current Employee)
Springfield, VA (US)

I have been working at W.W. Grainger part-time for more than 5 years

ProsProfit sharing and paid vacation.

ConsIts culture needs some work. Very honest and ethical but not a fun place to work at.

Advice to Senior ManagementNeeds to rethink its hiring practice and should require all future employees and CEO to rewrite some of its culture values.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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very nice

Onsite Coordinator (Current Employee)
Buffalo, NY (US)

I have been working at W.W. Grainger full-time for more than 5 years

ProsThe yearly pay is nice

ConsThe hours are not bad

Advice to Senior Managementnothing

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4 people found this helpful  

Commercial Account Manager

Commercial Account Manager (Former Employee)
Wichita, KS (US)

I worked at W.W. Grainger full-time for more than a year

ProsGrainger was a good company to work for. They offered a good base salary, very affordable health insurance, an excellent benefits package, and a somewhat flexible work schedule. Grainger employs some of the brightest sales people you will ever meet. The culture is very professional and they do seem to care about their employees. The CEO, Jim Ryan is Top Notch.

ConsThe problem with working in the MRO industry is the competition. There are an endless number of companies selling the exact same products and services at a fraction of the price that Grainger charges. The sales rep ends up discounting products to the point where there is no profit left. Grainger likes to talk up the "unlimited" income potential that it's sales reps can make, but they raise the sales goals twice a year to a point that is unattainable. You WILL end up working for your base salary only. In addition, if you fail to hit your goal, which is a completely arbitrary number with no basis in reality, you will be targeted for termination. They almost set it up so that they turn over their sales force on a regular basis. This is not a rant against the company, but a reality of the competitive position that they find themselves in. They are the highest priced MRO provider by far, and at some point will have to completely change how they go to business. Its hard to sell a "value proposition" over price when your competitor will give the same service and the same products at a third of the cost. You just can't talk your way around that. On a positive note, the company has good top level Management and they will find a way to compete, I just would not want to be a member of the outside sales force in the coming years, Not much job security.

Advice to Senior ManagementNot sure what the answer is. My guess is that in the next decade, the Grainger sales force will look completely different. Grainger Account Managers already have to compete with their own company ( Zoro Tools). You might as well move the entire organization in that direction. I don't see a future for the Account Manager as it exists today.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Sound organization that truly cares about the happiness of the employees.

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at W.W. Grainger

ProsStrong work/life balance
Room for Growth with access to upper management
Profit sharing
3 to 1 charitable contribution matching
Growing and hiring in several markets

ConsYear over year growth can be difficult depending on account package. Pay is competitive for the industry but sellers can make more in tech, finance, etc.

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Senior Supply Chain Manager

Senior Supply Chain Manager (Current Employee)
Chicago, IL (US)

I have been working at W.W. Grainger full-time for more than 5 years

ProsGood People, Room to grow

ConsPoor systems, poor talent management

Advice to Senior ManagementActively manage your talent pool

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Grainger Discriminates Against Women, Minorities

Account Manager (Current Employee)

I have been working at W.W. Grainger full-time for more than 8 years

ProsDecent Benefits, Average pay, Great customers.

ConsThis company discriminates against women. It is an old boy network who hires women in support positions but never promotes them and doesn't support them.

Advice to Senior ManagementStop humiliating and mistreating your female employees before you get a law suit!

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Great company to work for.

Business Systems Analyst (Current Employee)
Lake Forest, IL (US)

I have been working at W.W. Grainger full-time for more than 5 years

ProsThere are a lot of opportunities.
Good benefits.

ConsHard to get promoted unless you work for the right manager.
Outsourcing.

Advice to Senior ManagementImprove employee development

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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5 people found this helpful  

Dead End Job, Management Horrid, top heavy

Customer Service Associate (Former Employee)
Clifton, NJ (US)

I worked at W.W. Grainger full-time for more than 8 years

ProsProfit sharing, a paycheck...not much

ConsFirst of all the Managers are absoltuely horrible, they treat employees like robots and make you do whatever is best for the company not yourself. They do not let employees voice their concerns or opinions. Everything is a clique either you kiss it or get lost. Advancement opportunities are very rare and you have to be in the "IN" group or you aren't moving anywhere, sorry. Assistant managers and Branch managers and district managers and their managers and blah blah blah...so top heavy its not even funny. Corporate does not care about branch employees, you are just a number to them. There is no decency, consideration, appreciation or respect given to anyone in branches, you are just a lackey, which makes it a very sad place to be. Employees can work very hard and managers show their appreciation in no way shape or form. When it went to compensation time, oh the extra mile you went over the year, well that doesnt matter because yoy did not meet your ever changing, unrealistic company set goals, so I kid you not, you are very lucky to get a 25 cent raise a year. The company makes millions upon millions marking items up and they cant give you 1.00$ raise, not even your manager helps you reach goals.Employees give up their lives for this company and get nothing in return. Managers work all the time, get no rest from work , eats up your life from what I've seen. Company does not care about your life or family, they made us work in hurricanes, can you beleive that !!!! A greedy company indeed. Anyway, It used to be a great place to work, but goals always change and are very unrealistic and unobtainable. You know its going downhill when 25+ year employees start leaving. Do yourself a favor and stay away, as sad as it is. Its very unfortunate corporate does not care about employees.

Advice to Senior ManagementPay more attention to your front line workers who make the money for this greedy company. Morale is horrible because of managment. Too top heavy.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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1 person found this helpful  

Decent

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at W.W. Grainger full-time for more than a year

ProsGreat benefits. Flexible work policies. Nice people.

ConsToo many departments with several duplicate roles. Tons of inefficiencies and spotty communication. Continually shifting priorities so very hard to accomplish projects without many people stepping in and changing the direction. Competitive and not a collaborative environment.

Advice to Senior ManagementFigure out a streamlined process. Communicate better between departments. It feels like everyone is out for themselves.

– I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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