Garmin

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Garmin Reviews

Updated 22 February, 2015
Updated 22 February, 2015
79 Reviews
3.0
79 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Clifton Pemble
79 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work life balance for where I am in life right now is amazing (in 21 reviews)

  • Great benefits and they take care of their employees (in 38 reviews)


Cons
  • The biggest con is that there is very little structure for career path development (in 11 reviews)

  • Little to no guidance from management or HR for career growth (in 6 reviews)

More Highlights

79 Employee Reviews Back to all Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Detached management and few opportunities for career growth, but stable with good work/life balance.

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

    I have been working at Garmin full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Work-life balance is good, and you can generally expect 40-hour weeks unless under special circumstances. Benefits package is comprehensive, which includes stock purchase plan discounts and retirement savings plan contribution matching, as well as impressive dental/paramedical/medical coverage. Recently, training has become more prevalent, though the training may or may not directly affect your career path depending on your job function. Depending on your area of interest, the work can be engaging, and seeing your work make it to market can be rewarding.

    Cons

    Career growth is "encouraged" but sparse; a stigma is attached to those who move horizontally. Recognition requires abnormal levels of sacrifice and even then is reserved for those already in the spotlight; the problem is compounded by a lack of observation and communication. For a non-military, non-government contract company, communication is particularly opaque and on a need-to-know basis; power and position are maintained through tight control of information in the name of non-disclosure. Collaboration and brainstorming sessions are rare, and the creativity of individual engineers is quashed under senior developers and managers who ultimately enforce their iron rule. Exploration and research with high potential to the company is irrelevant; deviation from the dictated path is generally frowned upon. In some circumstances, engineers in a 'team' work on individual projects with little to no collaboration since communication is seen as a hindrance. The work is repetitive; if you become an 'expert' at something, you'll be doing it for life, even if in different forms; without new challenges or training, your versatility and skills will start to wane. Base compensation is not competitive.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management requires more frequent and targeted training; progressive management styles should be preferred over draconian techniques. Management should also take the time to both formally and informally engage their team and promote discussion and collaboration without enforcing heiarchy, and learn to value and leverage the strengths of their individual members. Creativity should be encouraged and rewarded, and management should follow individual creativity closely to see how it can best contribute to the success of the company, even if there is a possibility of the member outgrowing their position. Communication is paramount; egos should be checked at the door and transparency should be promoted. Volunteer information freely, and not only when asked; not just at the highest levels where individuals have little effect, but at all levels, including immediate supervisors. Volunteer targeted specialized training to your employees: their value isn't going to appreciate without some investment by the company. Offer choice and freedom of mobility to your team members; they are ultimately the greatest asset the company has and if neither are offered to them here they will look for choice and freedom of mobility elsewhere.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Overall, good company to work for.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Engineering Assistant in Olathe, KS (US)
    Former Employee - Software Engineering Assistant in Olathe, KS (US)

    I worked at Garmin

    Pros

    Some very cool people to work along side of. There seemed to be good opportunity to advance. Also, the products are great! Interns are treated well and and given hands on experience.

    Cons

    The pay scale was definitely in favor of the company. Pay raises were also not very good. Most employees didn't get bonuses either.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make the people in the lower end of the pay scale happy with something better than a $200 bonus and a Thanksgiving turkey. Better yet, give them much better pay.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    A great place to find your niche

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Quality Assurance Engineer in Olathe, KS (US)
    Former Employee - Software Quality Assurance Engineer in Olathe, KS (US)

    I worked at Garmin

    Pros

    Homegrown, innovative, worldwide, great culture, Automotive and Fitness arenas are growing strong

    Cons

    Garmin has been an incredible [lace to grow my skills. I have found my niche in process and procedural documentation in the OEM market

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Work Life Balance and No Passion

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Olathe, KS (US)
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Olathe, KS (US)

    I worked at Garmin full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Garmin is the kind of place that you go to work when you want something safe, with adequate pay, decent benefits, and a 40 hr a week load because your life emphasis is outside the workplace. The headquarters location in suburban Kansas City ironically mirrors this sentiment. A suburban utopia of highly rated schools and from a national perspective- relatively affordable housing opportunities make an ideal location for the family oriented employee.

    Cons

    Garmin is not the place to work if you want to light the world on fire, want upward mobility, financial reward or future opportunity. The future prospectus is murky as portable navigation devices have fallen out of favor, forcing Garmin to look to emerging and third world markets to make up the slack, shift the identity of the company to a fitness-oriented focus, and deal with the ever increasing competition in what was historically their exclusive space from giants such as Apple, Google and Microsoft. If you're awesome and you know it, look elsewhere.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Consolidate the number of product segments that you are pursuing. Either change the culture through demanding effort and providing more compensation or reach acceptance that you will have to retreat with your space under attack from competitors with superior talent and funding.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great industry exposure, but narrow-minded

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Intern - Design Engineer Intern in Olathe, KS (US)
    Former Intern - Design Engineer Intern in Olathe, KS (US)

    I worked at Garmin as an intern (less than a year)

    Pros

    Garmin makes it obvious from the start that they are dedicated to achieving a great work-life balance. The offices at HQ are fresh and very well maintained and inspiring at times. In-house training courses and tuition reimbursement, as well as several other very impressive benefits, The internship program within the aviation department exposes you to several aspects of the design process, from initial research and prototyping to FAA certification.

    Cons

    The aviation department is relatively awkward as a whole, with most employees fitting the stereotypical engineer personality. After talking to several FT employees, promotions seem based off of longevity rather than work performance and achievements. Additionally, there is a convoluted management hierarchy in every department. My supervisor was also unmerciful in adjusting my internship's timeline after I fell ill for the better part of a week -- very stressful trying to balance demanding work and illness.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Create more opportunities for advancement due to personal achievement rather than longevity.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Benefits are very competitive

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Engineering Technician in Olathe, KS (US)
    Current Employee - Senior Engineering Technician in Olathe, KS (US)

    I have been working at Garmin full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Working in engineering is very relaxed and not so stressed like other departments

    Cons

    Starting pay is not competitive

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do onto others as you would like them do unto you

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Good experience out of college but IT department needs serious re-work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Analyst/Developer in Olathe, KS (US)
    Former Employee - Analyst/Developer in Olathe, KS (US)

    I worked at Garmin full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    -Lots of learning opportunities for college grads with vast exposure if you ask for it
    -Good work environment and lots to do

    Cons

    -Disparity in pay for associates at the same level is huge (~30,000 annually)
    -Lots of unexplained rewards along with good performers being passed up for rewards mysteriously
    -Senior IT management, decisions and policies are questionable and very autocratic; little power to mid level management
    -As a result of the above points, a lot of great resources have resigned
    -The Exec Assistant wields more power than IT managers and throws her weight around resulting in frequent confrontations (moron!)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    -My advice to high level executives is to re-structure and re-evaluate the vision and leadership in support organizations like IT and introduce a more democratic process in their daily functions. This will bring some out of the box thinking in and keep resources and processes current with IT peers in the industry
    -A cultural shift is required where customer feedback should carry a lot of weightage as far as resource <-> customer engagement is required. Those that are the most involved with customers should be the ones with maximum face time with them
    -Introduce 360 degree feedback and add face-time with executives so they know the pain points of resources at the lowest levels
    -Compensation disparity between employees at the same level should be bridged regardless of immigration status

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    An out of college job then get out within 2 years.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Cartography Technician in Olathe, KS (US)
    Former Employee - Cartography Technician in Olathe, KS (US)

    I worked at Garmin full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    - Great benefits
    - Gym on location
    - Fun to use Garmin gadgets

    Cons

    - No advancement opportunity
    - Pay is below average for the field
    - Office is very boring, lacks energy
    - 100% desk job, extremely repetitive

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Better pay for the position is must. Need performance based raises. 3% for a great job and 1% for an average job is no incentive.
    - The company has an extremely high turn over rate yet nothing is done to fix it. They ask for employee feedback then ignore it.
    - Too many management levels. Everything got lost in the shuffle. Between the CEO and I there were roughly 10 bosses.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    okay,,, it's a job

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Product Support Specialist in Kansas City, MO (US)
    Current Employee - Product Support Specialist in Kansas City, MO (US)

    I have been working at Garmin

    Pros

    Really good benefits!!! Work-life balance is good.

    Cons

    Low moral over all. People are constantly trying to leave.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Enjoyable, but not long term

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

    I have been working at Garmin full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Easy work environment, and everyone is extremely nice.

    Cons

    No growth plans, and could reward their employees better

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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