America’s Worst Employers: Retail sector takes a beating on newly released list

Stockhouse Editorial
0 Comments| July 19, 2013


Employment website Glassdoor.com has quickly become an important place for job-seekers to research not only what jobs are available, but whether a potential employer is worth working for. Their employee reviews pull few punches, and research performed on them by business blog 247WallSt.com has revealed a glaring gap between the high and low end of employee satisfaction at some of North America’s largest retail operations in the latest edition of their America’s Worst Employers list.

Companies like Radio Shack, Dillards, Dollar General and Sears have registered hundreds of complaints on the employment site about low pay, long hours, poor management and feeling overwhelmed by better armed competitors, while others like Costco and Nordstrom’s rate highly among staffers.

The 2013 list, released today, ranks the Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH, Stock Forum) as being the number one company for employee dissatisfaction, averaging 2.3/5 over hundreds of reviews, which might not be surprising being as 247WallSt points out Businessweek called the firm “The Meanest Company in America.” Employees detailed a tidal wave of customer complaints, low pay and poor benefits as being their main beefs, though hanging off the side of someone’s roof to install a satellite dish is never going to be fun at the best of times.

Express Scripts (NASDAQ: ESRX, Stock Forum) took second spot on the list, also with a 2.3/5 score average, based largely upon their view that the company valued metrics over customer service, leading to complaints and heavy overworking. With 1.4 billion medical prescriptions being filled a year, it’s not surprising hours are long, but clearly employees are siding with customers in their opinion of the firm.

Dillards Inc (NYSE: DDS, Stock Forum) rolled in to third place on the 247WallSt list, which required the companies listed to have 300 plus reviews on the Glassdoor service. The family-run operation was complained about for treating employees “like pawns in a chess game” and “faceless numbers” while the Dillard family raked in millions.

Dollar General (NYSE: DG, Stock Forum), with 90,000 employees, has made the dollar store business a lucrative sector, but with a 2.4/5 average score and 4th place on the list, it’s clear low prices on the consumer end are bringing low wages on the back end. Employees complained of having to be available at all times, preventing them from being able to take second jobs which, in a perfect world, they wouldn’t need.

Struggling former-electronics-boutique-now-cellphone-hawker RadioShack (NYSE: RSH, Stock Forum) turned up in 5th spot, with employees complaining of a continual change in focus, while security alarm company ADT (NYSE: ADT, Stock Forum) earned 6th position for focusing on new customers at the expense of existing customers, while giving employees little training.

Sears (NASDAQ: SHLD, Stock Forum), in 7th spot, managed to get the lowest CEO rating of the companies on the list, with boss Eddie Lampert earning just 19% approval among 274,000 employees.  Employees pointed to low investment in locations, a constant pressure for customers to be signed up for credit cards, and limited work availability.

8th place ATM maker NCR (NYSE: NCR, Stock Forum) was pounded on for out of date equipment and expecting employees to work long and odd hours. Financial services conglomerate Fiserv (NYSE: FISV, Stock Forum) sat in 9th, beleaguering employees by continually merging and acquiring new firms, leading to existing outfits being ignored or underutilized as employees feared job cuts.

For Canadian readers, investors and potential employees, there are interesting things to be found on Glassdoor’s employee reviews. Barrick Gold (NYSE: ABX, Stock Forum)( TSX: T.ABX, Stock Forum) ranks a 3/5 average satisfaction with employees happy with their compensation, but concerned about cash flow and top heavy management.

Loblaws (TSX, T.L, Stock Forum), which leads the nation in retail, boasted an interesting mix of strong opinions for and against, with management being the primary concern but career opportunities and work/life balance ranking highly. CEO Galen Weston, star of the President’s Choice TV ads, earns a 59% approval rating.

Manulife Financial (NYSE: MFC, Stock Forum) (TSX: T.MFC, Stock Forum) earned a 3.5/5 score with strong employee reviews, while the crew at Enbridge (NYSE: ENB, Stock Forum)(TSX: T.ENB, Stock Forum) appear to be elated to be working for the gas pipeline and services company, with a 4.3/5 over 29 reviews and 100% satisfaction rating for CEO Al Monaco.

On the other end of the Canadian spectrum is Wal-Mart Canada (NYSE: WMT, Stock Forum), with a 2.9/5 score and one employee calling it “a last ditch job if you can’t get anything else.”


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