W.W. Grainger Reviews

Updated 18 October 2014
Updated 18 October 2014
558 Reviews
3.5
558 Reviews
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W.W. Grainger Chairman, President, and CEO Jim Ryan
Jim Ryan
366 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • The profit sharing is very generous and it is a good reason to stay with the company (in 134 reviews)

  • Company strives for work/life balance and provides opportunities for growth (in 33 reviews)


Cons
  • The company projects a strong work/life balance, but in reality this is hardly the case (in 19 reviews)

  • Middle and upper management was very disappointing (in 19 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    GREAT PROFIT SHARING PLAN! DECENT PAY HOWEVER THERE WAS ISSUES.

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

    I worked at W.W. Grainger full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Top Profit Sharing plan in the Country. Great people to work with. Work life balance was very good.
    Good place to work but you will learn as time goes on what is going on behind the scenes.

    Cons

    Hmm where do I start? when you have the best Grainger warehouse based on their "Championship" results for 2 of the 3 years you would think they would keep the warehouse open? Was Lake Forest Jealous of Janesville? Were they not prepared to take on the ideas of many great people there? Who knows.
    When decisions need to be made it should not take 7 people to get an answer. When you promote people with only being in the current position for not even 6 months that is just crazy. Nobody was ever established in a position long enough to form a good resource to. Also when you have tenured employees that are seeking opportunities to grow and retire with the company maybe you should give them a shot vs not getting the other job because the department manager that has only been with the company for a few months decides to hire someone she used to work with an her previous company? When many people lost their jobs they wanted to move in other areas of the company but it never happened. I feel as a tenured employee with many years of service that was well respected by my peers got blackballed. When it comes to getting promoted or applying for other positions in the company most of the time it seems the decision has already been made so what was the use of being interviewed multiple times? Pay was good but Janesville was treated as a "economically afffected" area so they didn't pay the range that should have been paid. They waste a lot of money on stuff that should not be wasted on.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't promote people that should not be promoted. Put people in the positions that will benefit the company and employees. Get rid of the clicks and good old boys BS. Even though recognition has steadily gotten better there is still room for improvement. Decisions such as moving the "help center" to a different country didn't help either. I believe that bit you guys in the butt a bit.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Tons of pain, very little gain!

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

    I have been working at W.W. Grainger full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Profit sharing (if you can make it to 5 years), decent PTO, good benefits

    Cons

    Horrible Work life balance, too many processes, constant change of initiatives and strategies, to get promoted you have to go through a corporate dance (lobby to get on someone's bench, work on your "P.I.E" Performance, image and exposure), no accountability from internal partners

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop putting so much on the account managers, they are responsible for selling now admin, entering data in apps, etc. Analyze a strategy before you roll it out and require an AM to jump through hoops to achieve it.

    REWARD your Government AMs with better incentives (as you do Commercial and Healthcare), but note that the Gov space is different than Commercial and it's unrealistic to demand the same goals.

    Give the Customer Service teams incentives as it would push them to excel and not just to do the bare minimum

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Beautiful location (headquarters in Lake Forest) but it can get pretty ugly inside for minorities.

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

    I worked at W.W. Grainger full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Wide range of experience and access to many different types of business professionals. In this atmosphere it is easy to attain additional skill sets.

    Cons

    African American and Latinos are patronized in many of the corporate departments. You will either be given very little work and told at review time that you should have done more, or the other extreme. You will be given more work than 2 people can complete in the allotted time and you will be reprimanded even though you put in 20 hours overtime each week for the last 4 weeks to complete the project. You hit your target date but WHAT TOOK YOU SO LONG! Very condescending! Just keep your head up, smile and do your best and for most that will work unless you are black or brown.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop lying to your staff! The truth is always in order. Don't be unethical and layoff a worker you just found out has cancer so that you don't have to give them disability! I judge the company by the people that they put in roles to govern others. In my book you guys really missed the mark One day I am up for a promotion and discuss with my higher up and I confide that I am going through Chemo and 2 weeks later I am laid off. Fix your people skills!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great company!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Reporting Analyst in Fort Worth, TX (US)
    Current Employee - Reporting Analyst in Fort Worth, TX (US)

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

    Pros

    Healthy, supportive workplace. Leaders really value their employees. Great benefits package and competitive pay.

    Cons

    Promotions are usually based on soft skills (leadership) so simply being effective as your role will not get you promoted by itself.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Value 'hard skills' and individual contribution beyond just a person's job title. Too often I see great employees in the same pay grade as mediocre employees. I would like to see a difference in pay scale, not simply a difference in raises. An exemplary employee who has been with the company for 2-3 years should not be paid less than a poor performing employee who has been with Grainger for 10 years.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Excellent development opportunities. Excellent income potential.

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

    I worked at W.W. Grainger full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great people, great leadership who truly care about helping the customer. There were many initiatives and programs that seemed to have successful implementations and resulted in overall growth.

    Cons

    Very little to say about Grainger in this section. It did sometimes feel as if the big ship took a while to adapt to industry needs and demands.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I feel that management should continue to stay ahead of industry needs and demands and look to continue to develop their talent from within.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Good company

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

    I have been working at W.W. Grainger as an intern

    Pros

    Good individual development opportunities. Well-planned internship structure. Very good accommodation for interns. Many intern activities to help form a community. Lunch & Learns with senior leaderships are very beneficial

    Cons

    Company pace is slightly slow. Other than that, there is not much to complain about.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Great place to work

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

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

    Pros

    Great benefits including top of the line profit sharing

    Cons

    Not always able to advance up

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Promote within before hiring from the outside

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Well Rewarding - Yet watch out for Career Growth

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

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

    Pros

    Good Compensation Package.
    Challenging assignments & good responsibility/empowerment
    Tends to stay on the Cutting Edge of Technology - drives interesting work.
    Adequate time off upto 8 weeks depending on years of service ( starts at 3 weeks)

    Cons

    Career Planning. Growth and promotions take too long.
    Grooming for positions is lacking, practices need to improve significantly
    Need to be in the "inner circles" to get promoted
    Recent leadership changes in IT causing significant turmoil and departures

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stabilize IT. Improve Career Growth Practices.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Great place to work

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

    I have been working at W.W. Grainger full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    I believe that the work I do makes a difference. Leadership is open to new ideas; there's tolerance and understanding that trying new ideas sometimes results in mistakes. Leadership seems consistent from what they say to what they do. I feel good about going to work each day.

    Cons

    Typical corporate politics, IT department going through massive change

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Share IT strategy with the internal business customers

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Awesome company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Territory Sales Representative in Denver, CO (US)
    Former Employee - Territory Sales Representative in Denver, CO (US)

    I worked at W.W. Grainger full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Generous PTO
    Profit Sharing is great!
    Ability to grow within company
    Having many many resources available at all times
    The company genuinely cares about you
    Great co workers and people, the culture is full of employees who are like minded individuals

    Cons

    If you don't live in the Illinois region, there are not too many jobs for you to go other than sales.
    Seems to be a good amount of turnover in the sales area

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep doing the right things, and treating the emoployees the right way.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

W.W. Grainger Photos

Outside a W.W. Grainger branch, this one located at 2915 Boardwalk Ann Arbor Michigan 48104-6765 (Photo attributed to Dwight Burdette - licensed under the CCL Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0)
Grainger Atrium
Grainger Industrial Supply (Photo thanks to Flickr user rbieber, available under by-nc-nd v2.0)

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