Updated from 2:05 p.m. to include Glassdoor information regarding Amazon in the third paragraph.
While some companies are lauded for their stand-out generous perks and benefits packages for employees, others are criticized by employees who say they're subject to long hours and unappreciative management, according to reviews on Glassdoor, an online jobs and recruiting site. Amazon is rated a 3.4 out of 5 on Glassdoor, with 5 meaning very satisfied, as a review says the company "can be amazing for some people, horrible for others."
Amazon has a 2.7 work-life balance rating according to Glassdoor, which has fallen from 3.4 in the first quarter of 2009. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has an 82% CEO approval rating, according to his employees, higher than the average CEO approval rating of 69%, according to the Seattle-based Glassdoor.
Just as employees who enjoy coming to work can have a positive impact on the bottom line, those who dread their daily routine can certainly drag down productivity and profits. Negative workplaces, which could create higher turnover and fail to attract top talent, could certainly weigh on a company's stock.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos lambasted the Times article as misrepresentative of a company that will not tolerate "shockingly callous management practices" the article describes, but companies with reputations for brutal workplaces can find those reputations hard to shake-off.
Here are six public companies reviewed more poorly than Amazon on Glassdoor.
Family Dollar Stores
Headquarters: Charlotte, NC
Company Rating: 2.5
While Family Dollar Stores (FDO) stock is up about 4% the past year, it's no thanks to employee reviews. Only 36% of employees say they would recommend the company to a friend, while 38% say they approve of the CEO.
Among the top complaints at Family Dollar is poor pay and long hours. Employees say their managers struggle with tight budgets as the managers themselves are working longer hours to cover the store's extended hours.
Glassdoor review: "Most self respecting adults can not sustain their bills, and livelihood without being forced to roommate or take a second job that will interfere with the job hours Family Dollar wishes to be staffed."
Headquarters: Indianapolis, IN
While hhgregg (HGG) employees admit their seasonal commissions can be rewarding, they said the retailer, which sells home appliances, electronics and furniture, is an all-round negative place to work.
Glassdoor review: "They expect things of sales associates that you would expect of hourly paid employees like cleaning. Also when they are not busy (summer), it is not a lot of money coming in."
Headquarters: St. Louis , MO
Express Scripts (ESRX) employees do enjoy flexible hours and substantial time-off packages, but less than one-third of employees would recommend working for the company, citing poor pay and high pressure.
Glassdoor Review: "Tons of pressure. Work directions change often. Back office politics. ... Employees are viewed as disposable."
Headquarters: Boca Raton, Fla.
ADT Corp (ADT) - Get Report, which provides security services, has sales reps in its ranks who say they feel treated more like secretaries than colleagues by their managers. Perhaps those negative in-house sentiments are weighing on its stock, which is down more than 8% the past year.
Glassdoor review: "OK for starting out in the working industry but if you have experience you can do much better. Keep looking. They make up the game plan as the go they have no stability in their business methods or practices."
Brookdale Senior Living
Headquarters: Brentwood, TN
Brookdale Senior Living (BKD) - Get Report employees say they do have good relationships with the senior living home company's residents and family members, but they are not pleased with what they describe as a grueling workplace. The stock is down 19.1% year-to-date.
Glassdoor Review: "Long hours, work-life balance not always the best", "Lack of communication, a lot of over-turn," and "Regional management are vindictive and always looking for the negative in the staff."
Headquarters: Little Rock, Ark.
Fashion retailer Dillard's (DDS) - Get Report seems to have no trouble getting employees who say they had a great start a the company. But morale at this department store chain seems weighed by fears of not meeting sales targets, which threaten pay cuts.
Glassdoor Review: "The pay starts of decent but when you don't meet your sales goals you can get a pay cut or fired" and "I can't imagine working there for so long to get pay cut after."