4. Sears (NASDAQ: SHLD)
> Rating: 2.6
> CEO approval rating: 19%
> Employees: 178,000 (including Kmart employees)
> Industry: Department stores
A large share of Sears Holdings Corporation’s 178,000 employees work at one of 705 Sears department store locations spread across all 50 states. For the second year in a row, department store chain Sears ranks as one of the worst companies to work for. A disproportionate number of company workers complain about earning minimum wage and frequently declining commission rates. The company’s CEO, Edward Lampert, is also among the least popular in the country. Less than one in five Sears employees approve of Lampert — and likely with good reason. The company has posted a net loss of at least $1.1 billion every year since he took over in 2013.
Low employee morale is likely affecting customers’ shopping experience. According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, Sears ranks as the second worst department store for customer satisfaction. Sears Holdings also owns Kmart, an equally unpopular company to work for.
3. Family Dollar Stores (NYSE: FDO)
> Rating: 2.5
> CEO approval rating: 36%
> Employees: 60,000
> Industry: Discount stores
With 8,042 stores in 46 states, Family Dollar is nearly ubiquitous across the nation. It also ranks among the worst U.S. companies to work for. The majority of positions at the company are in customer service, which many employees cite as the best part of their job. The customer service aspect of working at Family Dollar is also often part of negative employee reviews, however. Unqualified managers and poor work-life balance are the most commonly cited complaints on Glassdoor. One Family Dollar worker in Michigan complained succinctly, “low pay, long hours, unrealistic expectations.”
Family Dollar was acquired by its former competitor Dollar Tree in July 2015. After the transaction, Gary Philbin was named CEO of Family Dollar, replacing Howard Levine. So far Philbin has not made a great impression on his employees, receiving an approval rating of just 36% on Glassdoor.