W.W. Grainger Reviews

Updated 24 August, 2014
Updated 24 August, 2014
510 Reviews

3.5
510 Reviews
Rating Trends

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

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Cohesive Strategy integrated throughout the company, Great Benefits (Profit Sharing (in 115 reviews)

  • Company strives for work/life balance and provides opportunities for growth (in 25 reviews)


Cons
  • The company projects a strong work/life balance, but in reality this is hardly the case (in 13 reviews)

  • Middle and upper management was very disappointing (in 16 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Above average place to work.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Cincinnati, OH (US)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cincinnati, OH (US)

    I have been working at W.W. Grainger full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Profit sharing is the strongest benefit they offer. It takes a few years to be fully vested, but it has been adding close to 20% of your salary to a retirement plan. There is no option to contribute to a traditional 401k. It is a very stable company to work for. Employees are helpful, but there are definitely some strong cliques.

    Cons

    The company projects a strong work/life balance, but in reality this is hardly the case. Taking time off is often met with resistance. Being a mature company, advancement in the field is rare. The company is in the process of a soft restructure in order to adapt to today's rapidly changing environment. Often times this leads to unclear job expectations.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Practice what you preach. Make role expectations clear. Be open to change. Increase schedule flexibility.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 4 people found this helpful  

    Hard work and Dedication mean nothing to a big 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 full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Great Benefits: pay and profit sharing. Progressive company that utilizes video and teleconferencing to avoid unnecessary business travel.

    Cons

    Cut throat environment, especially in a Lake Forest. Continually cutting staff of top performers while lower performers remain due to political reasons. Company is large and the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing. Business direction is always in flux.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Build a solid business plan that lasts longer than one year. I question Sr. Leadership and their need to uproot org charts every other year. Instead of cutting high end performers, perhaps cut the excessive stock options, vehicle and housing benefits for executives.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Grainger

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

    I have been working at W.W. Grainger full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Only open weekdays from 730-5, profit sharing and health insurance, PTO, sell parts to get water or a/c running again, solve problems and help people

    Cons

    Small branches are more difficult to advance in without relocating, can be difficult to use PTO at a small branch, customers consistently say how high the prices are and ask why nothing is ever in stock

    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Exciting at first.

    • 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

    Pros

    PST, decent benefits, and great exposure for outside job opportunities; when they see "Grainger" on your resume.

    Cons

    Inexperienced management. They always seem to hire outside for management; with no clue on mro business and Grainger internal system.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take a chance!!!!, and promote internal qualified candidates into management. ( am to dsm) you might be surprised.

    Look outside the box- change the way csg's are setup. Allow for adding/ removing accts.

    DONT WAIT 10 YEARS TO DO!!! Have one mgr- manage tsr's & AM's in same districts eliminate differences between both group's. Stop cannibalizing the business. ( you will save money, become more efficient, and actually grow the business. )

    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Good experience. Easy place to work.

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

    I worked at W.W. Grainger full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    PTO was very flexible
    good work life balance
    Company car and gas card.
    Good company to start a career with.
    Good Culture

    Cons

    Most Cons are based off compensation.
    Salary is not very competitive.
    Goals are based off what your territory does not necessarily what you do. You are expected to impact about 10% of your goal and your territory is supposed to do the rest. Unfortunately you can be great at your job but if you have a bad territory you will not hit your goal.
    Goals can be affected drastically either good or bad by only a couple of your customers.
    Constant change of focus.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There is a lot talk on how the company wants to retain more employees but the truth is employees should be paid more. It is unfair that an employee living in New york or California is getting paid the same as someone who lives in the midwest where the cost of living is way cheaper.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 5 people found this helpful  

    Territory Sales Division is a sinking ship

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

    I worked at W.W. Grainger

    Pros

    Profit Sharing (although it only really kicks in after 5 years!)
    Free car (your family and neighbors will hate seeing it though)
    Good Training

    Cons

    The people that work for Grainger and enjoy it do not work in Territory Sales. This division is so full of problems, speed bumps and issues that Grainger restructures it every few months. But, because they don't address the underlying problems, it never gets better. First, Grainger hires Sales Reps that are (mostly) straight out of college for "entry level" jobs. The problem is that this is not an entry level job. To be successful as a Territory Sales Rep, you should already have at least a couple years experience in outside sales, know the basics of corporate culture, and be familiar with complex, long sales cycles. Sure, you can try to sell some hammers and screwdrivers to your customers but, you'll never get to goal that way. TSRs can burn out very quickly without ever reaching goal because no amount of training can make up for real experience. Expecting a new sales rep who requires basic training in such things as "getting to work on time" and "tuck in your shirt and wear a belt", to go out and sell a complex "Inventory Management System" is short-sighted, at best. At worst, it results in high turn-over and huge amounts of customer DISsatisfaction. In fact, customers are so turned off by seeing entry level sales reps all the time that they actually stop using Grainger for their MRO needs. The good news for TSRs is that Grainger is so desperate to make them feel "valued" that they prevent the Managers from taking the necessary steps to bring a TSR up to goal or help him/her to exit the company. Many TSRs coast along at Grainger for a year without hitting a sales goal before anyone on the Leadership team permits an MTS to do anything about it. Of course, if you are a TSR that is reaching/exceeding goal, it's kind of frustrating to put in all that hard work when your teammates are coasting.

    Managers of Territory Sales have it worse. Instead of being able to focus on growing sales, increasing market penetration and/or assisting TSRs with negotiating and closing sales, MTSs are reduced to little more than summer camp counselors. Leadership of Territory Sales is so concerned about "retention" that they neglect to stress accountability for achieving sales goals. The result is that MTSs are judged by how happy their team members are. Have an unhappy TSR on your team and you will be written up. And don't think that it will matter that your team has been hitting or exceeding sales goals every month- you're performance review will be based on anything but sales results. MTSs are expected to coddle and hand-hold TSRs which can and does interfere with the Manager's ability to hold team members accountable. Also, while TSRs are to be retained at all costs, there seems to be no such "retention" plan for MTSs. Since sales numbers mean little, the only chance an MTS has at "succeeding" and/or getting a promotion is to make sure all his/her team members say nice things about them to Leadership. If you are actually goal driven and enjoy working hard to earn commissions, bonuses and other sales incentives- this is NOT a job for you. If you really want to be a Leader and be able to effectively coach those that are ready, willing and able to improve their selling aptitude and close more deals - this job is not for you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    1- Change the hiring requirements for TSRs. This is not an entry level position.
    2- Empower your MTSs to make and implement the right decisions regarding team members.
    3- Recognize what success looks like in sales. A sales team member that is over goal month after month should be celebrated and encouraged.
    4- You will never "WOW a customer" by sending a new, inexperienced sales rep into see them every 3 months.Turn the TSR position into a modified Account Manager position.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 4 people found this helpful  

    Account Manager

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

    I worked at W.W. Grainger full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Pay/benefits were good/better than industry standards
    Co-workers were great people to work with
    Training - Dimensions of Professional Selling sales course was an awesome course and very useful in the field

    Cons

    You'd better be 'up' on your political connections within the company -or- be a lucky/superstar salesperson. If not, with a change in District Sales Mgr will come a housecleaning. The 'good ol boys' network is unbelievably alive and well at Grainger. I learned too late that its more important to cultivate internal political connections than to actually do my job.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    wonderful people, benefits.

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

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

    Pros

    The people are bright leaders who strive for excellence. Excellent benefits and PST package which is why nobody leaves.

    Cons

    Leadership is not transparent with decisions. Difficult to advance within - lack of career path. Very top heavy.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Use data to make decisions and reinforce the resoluting actions with data.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great Company, Still Some Opportunity

    • 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 for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Cohesive Strategy integrated throughout the company, Great Benefits (Profit Sharing = Awesome), Inclusive cultures, Opportunities to learn, development focused (employee coaching and development planning)

    Cons

    Hard to move into different functions even with development plan, Even with focus on leveraging experiences and backgrounds vs. previous positions/title/education and encouragement towards making problems visible the company is still very rigid and "old school" in some regard. I think this is also influenced by your direct leadership and which part of the company you work for in addition to a lot of tenured employees which is also a pro.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus on development of Mid-Level Leadership - these are the leaders that impact the largest portion of team members = customers and they are the last to be developed right now.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    For the ones you get it done

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - On-Site Service Associate  in  Las Vegas, NV (US)
    Current Employee - On-Site Service Associate in Las Vegas, NV (US)

    I have been working at W.W. Grainger full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great experience in a fun market segment. Breadth of resources offered for development. Very good job training, coaching, product positioning, reporting, processes and team members. Company and management willing to make difficult changes to continue to reach company and individual goals.

    Cons

    The company has many internal processes, reporting and meetings that may be imbalanced versus time working with customers.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest more in front line people to reach goals.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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