W.W. Grainger Reviews

Updated 23 October 2014
Updated 23 October 2014
561 Reviews
3.5
561 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
W.W. Grainger Chairman, President, and CEO Jim Ryan
Jim Ryan
369 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.  

    Stay away from the call center!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - CSA in Houston, TX (US)
    Former Employee - CSA in Houston, TX (US)

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

    Pros

    Very good pay, benefits, paid holidays, small perks

    Cons

    Request time off in December for the upcoming year, hard to get time off months before day, constant calls over 100+ a day, reprimanded for calling tech support too often for assistance with items, reprimanded if you take too many potty breaks, reprimanded pretty much for all cases that involving not being ready

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Place more focus on actual training then CSA's won't have to wrap up work after call, no focus on continuous training, vacation scheduling choose another way

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Claim they want the Best, perhaps it should start with the Manager(s)

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

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

    Pros

    Name alone, but needs so much more.

    Cons

    Management and Have to be a favorite, it not, good luck.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Work on listening skills, and check the mirror.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Internship--not bad, but not for me

    • 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 as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    Very casual and friendly working environment, recognizable brand name when applying for future employment. It seemed that there was a very low turnover rate--people there had been or expected to be there for a long time.

    Cons

    Huge company, can be hard to navigate the bureaucracy, not a particularly interesting industry for me. They have a very specific and regimented way of doing things, which took me some time to adapt to and also made it feel like everybody was mindlessly working things up the ladder. But I suppose it's an industry that doesn't demand much innovation to succeed.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Having only worked there for a couple months, I can only give advice on a very broad level. But I had the most frustration with the the tangled web of communication that understandably comes with managing a large company. For example, I spent a week on a project only to find out that there was another department in the company dedicated to doing that exact work. But that just happens in a large company, so no constructive criticism there I guess.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    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
  6.  

    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
  7.  

    Not what is used to be

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

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

    Pros

    Making own schedule, great people below management, insurance, PST

    Cons

    Micro management, no autonomy, cant move within the company although they stress you have a plan in place, management doesn't follow through, people get targeted and made feel uncomfortable enough to quit. Too much "in crowd" going on either you drink the Kool-Aid or you're out of the group

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Follow through on things that need to be done in order to keep good talent

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    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
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Grainger is a great company that treats employees more than fairly.

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

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

    Pros

    Great PST. Opportunities to advance

    Cons

    Travel or Relocation needed to advance.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 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
  11.  

    Micro managed. Only make base pay.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Commercial Account Manager in San Francisco, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Commercial Account Manager in San Francisco, CA (US)

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

    Pros

    Profit sharing and leader in industry.

    Cons

    Micro managed and treated poorly and can be abusive. Still have old customers calling me on mobile phone.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat Account Managers as human beings.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion 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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