W.W. Grainger

  www.grainger.com
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W.W. Grainger Reviews

Updated 19 August 2014
Updated 19 August 2014
507 Reviews

3.5
507 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
W.W. Grainger Chairman, President, and CEO Jim Ryan
Jim Ryan
333 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Cohesive Strategy integrated throughout the company, Great Benefits (Profit Sharing (in 115 reviews)

  • Company strives for work/life balance and provides opportunities for growth (in 25 reviews)


Cons
  • The company projects a strong work/life balance, but in reality this is hardly the case (in 13 reviews)

  • Middle and upper management was very disappointing (in 16 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    For the ones you get it done

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - On-Site Service Associate  in  Las Vegas, NV (US)
    Current Employee - On-Site Service Associate in Las Vegas, NV (US)

    Pros

    Great experience in a fun market segment. Breadth of resources offered for development. Very good job training, coaching, product positioning, reporting, processes and team members. Company and management willing to make difficult changes to continue to reach company and individual goals.

    Cons

    The company has many internal processes, reporting and meetings that may be imbalanced versus time working with customers.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest more in front line people to reach goals.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Above average place to work.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Cincinnati, OH (US)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cincinnati, OH (US)

    Pros

    Profit sharing is the strongest benefit they offer. It takes a few years to be fully vested, but it has been adding close to 20% of your salary to a retirement plan. There is no option to contribute to a traditional 401k. It is a very stable company to work for. Employees are helpful, but there are definitely some strong cliques.

    Cons

    The company projects a strong work/life balance, but in reality this is hardly the case. Taking time off is often met with resistance. Being a mature company, advancement in the field is rare. The company is in the process of a soft restructure in order to adapt to today's rapidly changing environment. Often times this leads to unclear job expectations.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Practice what you preach. Make role expectations clear. Be open to change. Increase schedule flexibility.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 4 people found this helpful  

    Hard work and Dedication mean nothing to a big company

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

    Pros

    Great Benefits: pay and profit sharing. Progressive company that utilizes video and teleconferencing to avoid unnecessary business travel.

    Cons

    Cut throat environment, especially in a Lake Forest. Continually cutting staff of top performers while lower performers remain due to political reasons. Company is large and the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing. Business direction is always in flux.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Build a solid business plan that lasts longer than one year. I question Sr. Leadership and their need to uproot org charts every other year. Instead of cutting high end performers, perhaps cut the excessive stock options, vehicle and housing benefits for executives.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    wonderful people, benefits.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Lake Forest, IL (US)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Lake Forest, IL (US)

    Pros

    The people are bright leaders who strive for excellence. Excellent benefits and PST package which is why nobody leaves.

    Cons

    Leadership is not transparent with decisions. Difficult to advance within - lack of career path. Very top heavy.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Use data to make decisions and reinforce the resoluting actions with data.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 4 people found this helpful  

    Territory Sales Division is a sinking ship

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Manager Territory Sales
    Former Employee - Manager Territory Sales

    Pros

    Profit Sharing (although it only really kicks in after 5 years!)
    Free car (your family and neighbors will hate seeing it though)
    Good Training

    Cons

    The people that work for Grainger and enjoy it do not work in Territory Sales. This division is so full of problems, speed bumps and issues that Grainger restructures it every few months. But, because they don't address the underlying problems, it never gets better. First, Grainger hires Sales Reps that are (mostly) straight out of college for "entry level" jobs. The problem is that this is not an entry level job. To be successful as a Territory Sales Rep, you should already have at least a couple years experience in outside sales, know the basics of corporate culture, and be familiar with complex, long sales cycles. Sure, you can try to sell some hammers and screwdrivers to your customers but, you'll never get to goal that way. TSRs can burn out very quickly without ever reaching goal because no amount of training can make up for real experience. Expecting a new sales rep who requires basic training in such things as "getting to work on time" and "tuck in your shirt and wear a belt", to go out and sell a complex "Inventory Management System" is short-sighted, at best. At worst, it results in high turn-over and huge amounts of customer DISsatisfaction. In fact, customers are so turned off by seeing entry level sales reps all the time that they actually stop using Grainger for their MRO needs. The good news for TSRs is that Grainger is so desperate to make them feel "valued" that they prevent the Managers from taking the necessary steps to bring a TSR up to goal or help him/her to exit the company. Many TSRs coast along at Grainger for a year without hitting a sales goal before anyone on the Leadership team permits an MTS to do anything about it. Of course, if you are a TSR that is reaching/exceeding goal, it's kind of frustrating to put in all that hard work when your teammates are coasting.

    Managers of Territory Sales have it worse. Instead of being able to focus on growing sales, increasing market penetration and/or assisting TSRs with negotiating and closing sales, MTSs are reduced to little more than summer camp counselors. Leadership of Territory Sales is so concerned about "retention" that they neglect to stress accountability for achieving sales goals. The result is that MTSs are judged by how happy their team members are. Have an unhappy TSR on your team and you will be written up. And don't think that it will matter that your team has been hitting or exceeding sales goals every month- you're performance review will be based on anything but sales results. MTSs are expected to coddle and hand-hold TSRs which can and does interfere with the Manager's ability to hold team members accountable. Also, while TSRs are to be retained at all costs, there seems to be no such "retention" plan for MTSs. Since sales numbers mean little, the only chance an MTS has at "succeeding" and/or getting a promotion is to make sure all his/her team members say nice things about them to Leadership. If you are actually goal driven and enjoy working hard to earn commissions, bonuses and other sales incentives- this is NOT a job for you. If you really want to be a Leader and be able to effectively coach those that are ready, willing and able to improve their selling aptitude and close more deals - this job is not for you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    1- Change the hiring requirements for TSRs. This is not an entry level position.
    2- Empower your MTSs to make and implement the right decisions regarding team members.
    3- Recognize what success looks like in sales. A sales team member that is over goal month after month should be celebrated and encouraged.
    4- You will never "WOW a customer" by sending a new, inexperienced sales rep into see them every 3 months.Turn the TSR position into a modified Account Manager position.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 4 people found this helpful  

    Account Manager

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

    Pros

    Pay/benefits were good/better than industry standards
    Co-workers were great people to work with
    Training - Dimensions of Professional Selling sales course was an awesome course and very useful in the field

    Cons

    You'd better be 'up' on your political connections within the company -or- be a lucky/superstar salesperson. If not, with a change in District Sales Mgr will come a housecleaning. The 'good ol boys' network is unbelievably alive and well at Grainger. I learned too late that its more important to cultivate internal political connections than to actually do my job.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    Excellent benefits, changing culture...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Lake Forest, IL (US)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Lake Forest, IL (US)

    Pros

    Hyper competitive pay and benefits, endless opportunities for career development. Cross-department/cross-organization transfers occur regularly.

    Cons

    Political. You're in or you are out. People are promoted frequently, which should be a good thing, but some are promoted to the point of incompetence.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay attention to the turnover numbers. What culture do you really want?

    Approves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Extreme Politics

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Process Manager  in  Patterson, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Process Manager in Patterson, CA (US)

    Pros

    Decent pay, good work life balance and excellent retirement

    Cons

    Ugly politics which makes for an environment that feels like your interviewing everyday.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    More standardization across facilities and team. In my opinion this would reduce silo's and could also help reduce politics that is hurting creativity.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great Company, Still Some Opportunity

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Operations Manager
    Current Employee - Operations Manager

    Pros

    Cohesive Strategy integrated throughout the company, Great Benefits (Profit Sharing = Awesome), Inclusive cultures, Opportunities to learn, development focused (employee coaching and development planning)

    Cons

    Hard to move into different functions even with development plan, Even with focus on leveraging experiences and backgrounds vs. previous positions/title/education and encouragement towards making problems visible the company is still very rigid and "old school" in some regard. I think this is also influenced by your direct leadership and which part of the company you work for in addition to a lot of tenured employees which is also a pro.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus on development of Mid-Level Leadership - these are the leaders that impact the largest portion of team members = customers and they are the last to be developed right now.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great company to work for!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Customer Service Associate/IMR  in  Jacksonville, FL (US)
    Former Employee - Customer Service Associate/IMR in Jacksonville, FL (US)

    Pros

    Excellent company. Started when I was in college part time, the manager was great working with my school schedule. Transferred fairly easy when I moved back home after school and finally got a full time position which then turned into another opportunity within the company. Excellent benefits, competitive pay, profit sharing, great PTO.

    Cons

    Management is very political. Rather than hiring someone who's been training for a position, I noticed more times than not they hired outside the company rather than promote.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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