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Marks & Spencer Section Manager Reviews

Updated 12 December 2017
43 reviews

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Section Manager

2.7
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Marks & Spencer Chief Executive Steve Rowe
Steve Rowe
9 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • I'm training at a M&S location right now where we all are doing the same work but I am being paid (in 72 reviews)

  • work life balance challenging at times (in 24 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "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


  2. Helpful (1)

    "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)


  3. Helpful (4)

    "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.


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  5. "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


  6. "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....


  7. "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


  8. "Potential to be a fantastic employer again but business overall has poor sense of direction so filters down"

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

    I worked at Marks & Spencer (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good hourly rate for retail
    20% discount throughout shop (food, clothing etc)
    Quarterly customer bonus based on customer service ratings.
    Attracts a wide variety of people as employees and therefore workforce are really interesting and fun (common saying within the business is that a majority of staff "stay for the people")

    Cons

    Lazy senior management (can vary massively between stores though)
    Changing shifts constantly and no ability to maintain work-life balance
    Management try to justify their position by detach themselves from general employees (again - exception to this rule but observation made after visiting different stores)
    Very clichy/ If you're in that is how you progress
    Progression overall above basic management is very stagnant
    Wage differential between internal and external is ridiculous!! also similar between customer assistant and team leader- no incentive to assume responsibility!

    Advice to Management

    In my particle store, majority of workforce were hard workers and interesting people but instead of following forced company customer experience guidelines about "being yourselves" actually allow the workforce to be themselves! Look at internal progression as very stagnant and people begin to resent company. Listen to workforce and dont progress people who have poor people management skills just because they have been employed for long enough.


  9. "Good company, no opportunity for progression"

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

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

    Pros

    Good discount
    Good work life balance
    Very inclusive company, does not discriminate on anything.
    Works well with local communities
    Free fruit bread milk etc for breaks

    Cons

    Lack of opportunity past section manager level.
    Wages not particularly competitive
    Section management not given enough recognition.
    Regional mobility is expected but wages do not reflect.


  10. "Losing its values towards long serving staff"

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

    Pros

    Promotion is easy for younger people who are happy to work long hours and many shifts

    Cons

    Does not listen to staff comments, sorry listens but does nothing about them. List of conduct and you not followed by management.managers are promoted too quick and be able to manage the store without all knowledge required.

    Advice to Management

    Learn job role without higher management dictating, more to HO every store is different do not expect managers to run shop floor and do paperwork at the same time.


  11. "Section Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Section Manager/Acting Store Manager
    Former Employee - Section Manager/Acting Store Manager

    I worked at Marks & Spencer (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Great team of people to work with

    Cons

    Senior management dont listen and don't watch

    Advice to Management

    Employ people people