Marks & Spencer Section Manager Reviews | Glassdoor.co.uk

Marks & Spencer Section Manager Reviews

Updated 30 June 2018
49 reviews

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Section Manager

2.8
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Marks & Spencer Chief Executive Steve Rowe
Steve Rowe
13 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • "Older members of staff like to look down on you if you're younger than them, rude as hell snobby customers" (in 38 reviews)

  • "I couldn't fault my experience with M&S" (in 77 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "I loved M&S"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Section Manager in Lincoln, England
    Former Employee - Section Manager in Lincoln, England
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Marks & Spencer full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great people to work with.

    Cons

    You weren't always listened too. Head office always thought they knew best and to be honest they didn't


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Section Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Section Manager in Birmingham, England
    Former Employee - Section Manager in Birmingham, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Marks & Spencer full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Big Company, Okayish Salary

    Cons

    Ah.. where do I start. Well M&S is a very nepotistic organisation. Settling down and finding your space is very difficult as the environment is very political. This is made worse if you are either Asian or Black.

    If your manager don’t like you they will do every thing to make you suffer till you hand in your notice. This can range from moving you around in different departments, giving credit of your hard work to their favorite managers(which also happens to be their friends).

    I have seen this behavior particularly towards managers from either black or Asian background and hence it is very easy to see the absence of non-white managers.

    Advice to Management

    Break the store level politics, don’t let relatives work in the same store, give at least some management jobs to non-white people. And if you do then make sure they are looked after and not discriminated against by their line managers.

  3. "Great company most of the time ...."

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

    I have been working at Marks & Spencer full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Decent benefits
    Very passionate teams also really knowledgeable they taught me a great deal
    Great products especially in the food hall!

    Cons

    Consistency isn’t always there between different stores, departments and even upper management
    Don’t always feel valued, this however, is dependent on store and senior management team. Some are just better than others.


  4. Helpful (4)

    "Section Manager"

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

    I have been working at Marks & Spencer full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    20% Discount
    Work only every other weekend

    Cons

    Too many external candidates coming through taking commercial manager roles - Graduates and School Leavers with no Retail or People skills preventing internal progression.

    Internal Progression scheme is long winded and unnecessary.

    Senior Management teams unreasonable and have little understanding of the shop floor pressures and have unrealistic expectations to the staffing we have.

    Not enough time to spend with the team as typically filling shelves due to staffing restraints.

    A very much if your face fits business.


  5. "Section Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Section Manager in London, England
    Current Employee - Section Manager in London, England
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Marks & Spencer part-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Good brand and values

    Cons

    Lack of career progression opportunities

    Advice to Management

    To adopt a fair and consistent approach to performance management and career development approach


  6. Helpful (9)

    "Section Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Section Manager in London, England
    Former Employee - Section Manager in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Marks & Spencer full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    20% discount is very generous.
    Trainee management program is excellent if you are actually given the time to properly complete the training and you have a decent mentor.

    Cons

    Frequently M&S treats its employees as one-size fits all. There seems to be little consideration of individual motivation or differing personalities, although they pay lip-service once you reach management level.
    Unfortunately, it seems that increasingly, the type of person the business wants to employ as their Store Managers is the bullying type.
    The business has also adopted a policy of 'Managing Your Bottom 5%' which essentially means 5% of every team needs to be performance managed (frequently in the negative sense rather than the stretching management of the highest performers), this has created a very negative and unpleasant atmosphere in stores.
    Internal promotion from Section Manager level is practically non-existent and movement into Head Office from Stores literally never occurs unless you are a D Band Store Manager.

    Advice to Management

    If you want to know why your Section Managers are leaving the business, perhaps you should consider asking them rather than asking your new recruits who have been in the business 5 minutes.
    Stop employing external candidates into Section Management vacancies who have been retail managers all of a couple of months and paying them more than your existing Section Managers or internally promoted candidates just because 'you have to pay to attract external candidates' - this creates an unpleasant divide between your loyal staff who have worked their way up and the 'newbies'.
    Learn to LISTEN to your staff! At all levels.
    Stop expecting your Section Management population to perform 3 or 4 different roles at the same time. I would estimate that 85-95% of your Section Management population have no work/life balance and work SIGNIFICANTLY more than the 39 hours a week you actually pay them for.
    M&S is struggling because you do not listen to the people who speak to your paying customers day in, day out. You cannot continue to strip staffing numbers back and then expect identical levels of productivity and customer service.
    Please, please, look after your staff. Genuine empathy is not a bad thing. Treating your staff like human beings, rather than numbers and remembering that they cannot always 'leave their home life at the door' is also not a bad thing.
    Train your senior managers in how to interact with their teams so that they don't belittle them or speak to them like they are children and help them to remember that what they consider to be helping may not actually be helping.
    It is not too late, but the business MUST move with the times and treat its staff better, rather than relying on an outdated reputation, otherwise I fear the only path left is that of BHS.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Unhappy staff and poor leadership"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Section Manager in Sheffield, England
    Current Employee - Section Manager in Sheffield, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Marks & Spencer full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good people, have made lifelong friends

    Cons

    Oppressive top down management from head office and regional management
    Far too many rules and procedures, no room for innovation(a supposed core value)

  8. Helpful (1)

    "really depends on your line manager - some are amazing, some are absolutely woeful"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Section Manager in London, England
    Current Employee - Section Manager in London, England
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Marks & Spencer full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great training through learning and development
    Great communication from head office weekly
    Some excellent commercial managers who really develop their teams and live and breathe the brand values
    Great place to learn
    Excellent trainee management programme

    Cons

    No work life balance
    Senior management do not listen to ideas or input
    Unrealistic work load
    Lack of concern for the well being of staff
    Inconsistent management
    Too many incompetent managers in senior positions allowed to 'coast' along doing the bare minimum unchallenged because they are close to retirement
    Not many opportunities to progress from section manager
    Different rules for different people

    Advice to Management

    Performance manage the store managers who are doing the bare minimum and forcing your decent Section managers to look for meaningful employment elsewhere


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Awful"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Section Manager in London, England
    Former Employee - Section Manager in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Marks & Spencer full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    If there was any I would..After 20 years it had changed.

    Cons

    If you like babysitting then this is the job for you.89% of all commercial managers are in their late teens or early twenties with zero experience of retail.When told how to do my job after twenty years with this company and 15 years at another leading retailer I decided to take early retirement.

    Advice to Management

    If the higher bodies are reading this I surely doubt they give a monkey's about anything.As long as the £'s are coming in and getting them a huge bonus why should they care about long standing employees.
    To be told by someone who is old enough to be my daughter how to clear and fold a jumper table is insulting.And they were so rude too..More effort in training grads in staff relations....


  10. "very good employer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Foods Section Manager in Basildon, East of England, England
    Current Employee - Foods Section Manager in Basildon, East of England, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Marks & Spencer full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    good customer service focus
    clear communication from above
    very good staff engagements

    Cons

    complicated process
    inconsistent approach to changes of processes

    Advice to Management

    adapt simple ways of working
    get more involved in RAR
    more support on the shopfloor to improve available to help /csat