The worst companies to work for Part 1

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It seems there are endless lists of “best employers”, “most engaged”, “most diverse”… but we all know that with the good there must be bad. These bad are rarely in the spotlight, unless it’s due to a court case or a high profile resignation.

Websites such as Glassdoor allow employees to rate companies on a range of factors, now 24/7 Wall Street has used that data to examine publicly traded companies with more than 300 reviews to track the low-rated US companies – and look at the reasons behind those numbers.

10. GameStop

  • Rating: 2.7
  • Number of reviews: 416
  • CEO approval rating: 32% for J. Paul Raines
  • One-year price change: down 21%
  • Employees: 17,000

The common complaints here are similar to those heard from many retail workers – too much emphasis on making the sale, even at the detriment of the customer. For every Zappos sending free shoes to an inept groomsman there’s a manager telling staff that sales matter more than anything else.

"Priority is placed on sales instead of games and customers, pushing people to pre-order games can place them in a situation where they spend good money on a bad game with no possibility of a refund, business models place customers at a disadvantage," read one review. The attitude isn’t doing the company any favours – GameStop made Consumer Report's annual "naughty" list for bad customer service last year.


9. Rite Aid

  • Rating: 2.7
  • Number of reviews: 328
  • CEO approval rating: 31% for John T. Standley
  • One-year stock price change: up 3%
  • Employees: about 91,000


The drugstore chain settled an overtime lawsuit for almost $7 million in 2009, but it doesn’t look like they’ve been able to change their staff’s attitude. Reviewers repeatedly suggested that managers did not know what they were doing because they are not "given clear directions on what they should be doing." Reviewers also consistently objected to "mandatory overtime" and "working holidays."


8. Hewlett-Packard

  • Rating: 2.7
  • Number of reviews: 4,112
  • CEO approval rating: 82% for Meg Whitman
  • One-year stock change: down 38%
  • Employees: 349,600


After going through two CEOs in as many years – one leaving after a scandalous relationship with a contractor – Hewlett-Packard Co. could perhaps be forgiven for some management turmoil. Unfortunately it seems its inconsistency has affected staff, who complain about the company’s poor performance and management failings.  However, there could be good news on the horizon as Glassdoor’s CEO rating for Meg Whitman, appointed in 2011, is high despite a recent announcement that HP would cut 27,000 jobs – which reviewers say will not solve the company’s problems.

7. Robert Half International

  • Rating: 2.7
  • Number of reviews: 349
  • CEO approval rating: 55% for Max Messmer Jr.
  • One-year stock price change: up 18%
  • Employees: 11,300 full-time


It could be the industry that Robert Half International Inc. works in that is affecting its grade. As a provider of temporary workers their turnover is understandably high so these out-going workers could sway results.

The main complaint from reviewers was that the amount temps are paid is undercut by the amount Robert Half takes out of each paycheck. "Pay is below what you can earn in similar sales roles, considering how much you are charging your clients. They want to make a huge margin making it impossible to be competitive with pay for placements." A number of reviewers also said that the company's focus on "activity metrics" and "growth expectations" over "team morale" created a "hostile work environment."

6. Sears Holdings (Sears/Kmart)

  • Rating: 2.6/2.5
  • Number of reviews: 947/376
  • CEO approval rating: 30% for Louis J. D'Ambrosio
  • One-year stock price change: down 19%
  • Employees: 293,000


The international department store’s “ancient systems” are in desperate need of repair, according to employees, who are unhappy with compensation. Sears employees consistently pointed to low starting salary and even lower annual raises. Kmart employees complained they cannot get enough pay as they are limited to fewer than 32 hours a week with shifts only "four to six hours long." In 2011, Sears' American Customer Satisfaction Index score was a 76 out of 100. Among all department stores and discount retailers, only Walmart received a lower score.

Find out the top five here: The worst companies to work for: Part 2


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