The 10 worst companies to work for in 2019 (according to employees)

5 days ago by Amy Lamare in Facts, Features

Glassdoor released its annual Employees’ Choice Award list for 2019. In it, they listed the best companies to work for, honoring employers such as Bain & Company and In-N-Out Burger ($PRIV_INNOUTBURGER) for stellar ratings based on positive reviews from current and former employees.

But for every great company to work for, there is another that creates serious Sunday night blues. Indeed, which are the top-10 worst companies to work for?

We've compiled that list based on average Glassdoor ratings from January 1 to December 6, 2018 (note to companies on the list: there's still time!).

In order to focus on larger companies, we looked at companies with over 100 employee reviews. Currently, the average Glassdoor rating for a company is a 3.4 out of 5 stars.

Just so we are clear, we aren't the ones who chose which companies appeared on this list; this list is purely based on data gathered from Glassdoor, and the terms used to describe each company are taken directly from employee reviews. With all that in mind, here are the ten worst companies to work for in 2019:

10. Study Group ($STUDYGROUP)

Average Glassdoor rating in 2018: 2.29/5
Employees who would recommend working at company: 28%
Employees:  1,000 to 5,000
Industry: Education Training Services

Headquarters: London, England

Study Group operates its own colleges and partners with leading universities across the UK, Europe, North America, and Australia. Negative reviews of the company refer to out-of-touch senior management, limited opportunity for growth, and long hours.


Average Glassdoor rating in 2018: 2.28/5
Employees who would recommend working at company: 27%
Employees:  1,001 to 5,000
Industry: Biotech and Pharmaceuticals

Headquarters: Philadelphia, PA

ERT is a global data and technology company that minimizes uncertainty and risk in clinical trials. While some Glassdoor reviewers are fine with the work/life balance at the company, others despise it. Several reviews also cite a high rate of turnover, which is always bad for employee morale.

8. Cenovus ($NYSE:CVE)

Average Glassdoor rating in 2018: 2.25/5
Employees who would recommend working at company: 26%
Employees:  3,500
Industry: Oil and Gas Exploration and Production

Headquarters: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Cenovus is a focused integrated oil company that is developing Canada's Oil sands in Alberta. Employees of the company, both current and former, anonymously complain about poor management and a recent shakeup in said management, as well as what employees describe as "cronyism."

7. GEO Group ($NYSE:GEO)

Average Glassdoor rating in 2018: 2.25/5
Employees who would recommend working at company: 22%
Employees:  10,000 +
Industry: Security Services

Headquarters: Boca Raton, FL

The GEO Group is one of the largest operators of private correctional facilities in the U.S.. The company operates more than 115 correctional, detention, and mental health facilities. We've covered this company several times at Thinknum Media, as morale at GEO plummeted amid the ICE controversy.

6. BioScrip ($NASDAQ:BIOS)

Average Glassdoor rating in 2018: 2.23/5
Employees who would recommend working at company: 29%
Employees:  2,200
Industry: Health Care Services and Hospitals

Headquarters: Denver, CO

BioScrip, Inc. is the largest independent national provider of infusion and home care management solutions. Pros listed in reviews call out good hours, decent salary, and supportive administrative staff. Cons include no room for advancement, poor ground level support, meager raises below inflation, lack of 401K match, and poor management.

5. Westinghouse ($NYSE:CBS)

Average Glassdoor rating in 2018: 2.12/5
Employees who would recommend working at company: 19% 
Employees:  5,001-10,000
Industry: Energy

Headquarters: Cranberry Township, PA

Westinghouse Electric Company is the world's leading supplier of nuclear technology. While some employees give credit to onsite daycare, flexible work schedules, good pay, nice offices, and great benefits, others are disappointed in the inability to advance, infrequent raises and merit pay, poor work/life balance, and a lack of strategy and vision. 

4. McColl’s ($LON:MCLS)

Average Glassdoor rating in 2018: 2.08/5
Employees who would recommend working at company: 18%
Employees:  10,000+
Industry: Retail

Headquarters: Brentwood, Essex, England

McColl’s is a British convenience store and newsstand operating under the names McColl's (for convenience shops) and Martins (newsagents and pound shops), and is one of the largest post office operators in the United Kingdom. On the surface, these stores seem mundane, and according to employee reviews, they are. Several reviews cite low pay, long hours working alone, and just an overall boring job as some of the reasons why they rate the company so poorly.

3. ServiceLink ($NYSE:BKFS)

Average Glassdoor rating in 2018: 2.07/5
Employees who would recommend working at company: 28%
Employees: 1,001 – 5,000
Industry: Mortgage company

Headquarters: Pittsburgh, PA

Formerly known as Black Knight Financial, ServiceLink provides origination and default related products and services to mortgage and finance industries. Employees who submitted negative reviews about the company anonymously included claims that there is "mandatory overtime every week," a disorganized company structure, and frequent layoffs.

2. Rakuten ($TYO:4755)

Average Glassdoor rating in 2018: 2.06/5
Employees who would recommend working at company: 45%
Employees:  15,000
Industry: E-commerce

Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan

Rakuten Inc. had the wildest swing this year in Glassdoor rankings. It swung below 2.0 for some time in 2018 before shooting back up to 2.7 today. Still, its average ranking puts this global e-commerce conglomerate as the second worst-rated company according to Glassdoor data — ironic for a company whose name means "optimism" in Japanese. Reviewers cite a disorganized, chaotic, and fragile workpalce as well as low pay, lack of training for new employees, and little room for advancement. Interestingly enough, Rakuten just inked a partnership with Walmart ($NYSE:WMT) to give the Western retailer its first online outlet in Japan.

1. Essentra ($LON:ESNT)

Average Glassdoor rating in 2018: 2.05/5
Employees who would recommend working at company: 31%
Employees:  5,001-10,000
Industry: Miscellaneous Manufacturing

Headquarters: Milton Keynes, England

Based on the average Glassdoor rating of the company of 2018, Essentra is the worst company to work for.

Essentra is a supplier of specialty plastic, fiber, foam, and packaging products. The latest review that caps company's fate as one of the worst-reviewed on Glassdoor goes into detail:

"There is a lack of stability and ongoing headcount cuts makes for bunch of unease. Constantly getting new managers as everyone leaves or gets let go so creates a constant starting from scratch. Very negative management style seems to be the normal. Plant closures has begun and maybe to continue so is gloomy as there is a sense of defeat and dont [sic] get feeling that there is proper plan."

This story was originally published on December 12, 2018.

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