Zero training, Unclear direction, Lots of meetings with very little accomplished, Upper Management doesn't listen, Minimal work life balance
There are a great deal of positives working for the North West Company offices in Winnipeg. The compensation package has been excellent, as have my bonuses. There are some fantastic people working in the trenches. NWC has evolved a great deal over the past years as many external hires have been brought on for positions, often in cases where no job posting was put forth for internal candidates. Further, when starting a new role no training is provided, or very little resource. Everybody is very busy, so often you need to figure things out for yourself.
Senior management often say one thing, then do another all together. Many of the VPs just have a fixed mindset and shut down those that have other solutions. The business is very top heavy. Lots of VPs, EVPs, etc. Each one of them protects their "empire". The VPs management styles have divided the business into silos. (Even though Sr. Management is in denial). Cross-department Collaboration has improved greatly over the past years, mostly due to the efforts of middle management. If senior management would back off sometimes the efforts of their teams would actually create a more harmonious work environment.
There are a lot of meetings that happen in the NWC. The culture surrounding meetings in the company is frustrating. Many times people schedule meetings with people without looking at stakeholders calendars. It is not unheard of to be triple, or quadruple booked for meetings throughout the course of the da
ProsFantastic store locations, Great people employed.
ConsLittle work/life balance. No training. Numerous "restructures", Top Heavy
I am going to write this review in a way that I would have appreciated reading before applying, because it would have made me think twice.
So first, I will admit, most of my negative opinions of this company are directly related to the place in which I was posted. However, from my time with this company I have come to find out that these problems exist everywhere a Northern or Northmart are, and you will find many more unhappy employees in the arctic, than happy ones. So here are a few issues.
You will be expected to work above and beyond the hours you get paid for, which is 37.5 and not a penny more. Too bad you might actually be working 50+ hours and never get time to enjoy the beautiful location you now live. Also, while they pay your housing and most of your food, you still get deductions and after paying all of the extra shipping costs for anything you may purchase/need, you're saving a lot less than what you imagined. This becomes exceptionally less if you have a family and/or pets.
What you will come to realize about working in the arctic, is that people with crooked intentions tend to be the ones who are most successful. I had to watch exploitative and illegal behaviors happen from upper management, and be unable to do anything. 'That's how business is down in the North' will be something you hear FAR too often.
If you have children, turn away right now. This is not a job to take if you have children, because the company doe
Overall not bad. Like any other workplace there are negative aspects and positive.
Overall the environment is positive. Hours are flexible, pay is fair. I have been given great opportunity to learn, and be part of a process that matters. The open office concept is challenging as it can get quite loud. NWC has a notorious culture of many meetings, with little action coming out of them. The culture within the building is to book meetings at times that are convenient for the planner, despite the availability of others.
Systems and data are somewhat backwards compared to other major retailers, and this makes gathering reliable useful information challenging. New systems are being rolled out with poor training, and were first rolled out without considering the needs of the operations teams or the support group that works with them.
Leadership preaches "Personal balance" as it is a core principle. However, like many retail operations theory fails to match reality or principle. Timelines are intense, and Top management seems to walk all over the principles and guidelines they put in place to promote personal balance in the name of getting stuff done as it works with their timelines.
Performance reviews are hit and miss. Often have i gone through a year only to find out during the last business quarter what my annual bonus is based upon, despite making requests throughout the year. Bonuses are paid out fairly.
There are a lot of great people that work here, and that have worked here. Every couple of years there seems to be a "purge" of i
If you are ambitious and hard-working, self motivated and goal driven then working at NWC will be a challenging, but rewarding experience. NWC is unlike any other retailer in North America, due to the remoteness of store locations we often find ourselves finding and making solutions to problems most companies don't even know exist. People in the communities we serve will always need merchandise and it's our job to deliver in the best way we can.
As a long-term employee (10+ years) I have worn multiple hats, I've seen many different sides of the business and I still feel like I am constantly learning. More than half of the time there is no "typical day at work". You must be adaptable to change working for this company (this would stand true for any major retailer); any complexities you would encounter in a normal corporate retail environment are compounded by the knowledge requirements ahead of time and all the work that goes into finding the answers (Will it work? Will it ship to our remote locations,? Does it meet the needs of our customer base?). This is especially challenging as often times one is required to go outside their comfort zone/area of expertise to find the answers to these questions. But if you aren't afraid of asking these questions, going the extra mile, connecting different parts of the business together, then the payoff is extremely rewarding.
The hardest part of the job is sometimes the lengths we go to make these things work are just to get to a bas
NWC sugar coats the entire hiring process. They tell you that you will make so much money... no rent...no food expenses... Well, that's is true, to a certain extent. It is added on to your pay as taxable income and you don't get much back at the end of the tax year.. So because your gross income is so much, you are taxed so much.
Another point: if you aren't working at the moment, you will be.
Expect very long hours. High turnover rate for regular part time and full time employees. Nobody shows up on time. Be expected to work short staffed and do the work of 4 people.
Mental health wise, you really should reconsider it if you have some issues. You will be alone. You will be homesick. You will be sad.
Health services is very scarce and most of the time in the communities, they only will see you if it is an emergency only. If you are not a local or a band beneficiary, you will not be able to see the physician or dentist.
If you do make a request to the company for something, expect a very long delay in getting an answer. And also expect to get a vague, probably diverted answer.
The workplace is also a major factor in this. What a lot of people do not realize, is that a lot of the more mature management with the company have substance abuse issues (i.e. alcoholism). This company disregards its employees and does not have any trust in them when they are in need of medical services or for personal reasons.
The good things about working w
DSO non communicative, does not support team.
DSO only cares for whats best for him and not for the stores employees. No staff or management availability to be sent for support and regularly told none is coming . HR rep very nice, but doesn't feel like you can speak to him about DSO and therefore you feel very unheard and deflated and isolated. I truly believe if the company started treating their more committed long term management better, paying them better and stopped throwing all of the money and resources towards bonuses, their retention would be better. They dangle the bonus in front of you to justify the salary being lower and then often times the bonus is unable to be met because you dont have enough staff to correclty runt the store to attain the bonus. They woo the new people and completely leave the 3 year + managers in the dark even when the numbers for the store are up and performance is good. there is no winning. There is no days off or lunch breaks most days because the stores are so understaffed you cant run the store correctly if someone takes a day off; you feel guilty if you do and often times never end up taking a full day. Communities are often beautiful and breath taking , people are generally nice in my experience.
Don't be fooled- work life balance is non existent.
You do not get to enjoy life while working for NWC you barley get to live.
Proshousing, food allowance
Consbonus structure, work life balance, long hours, short staff, easy burn out, no support
Took training in Winnipeg and once at the store it all went out the window. The culture they want doesn’t exist in real life. Sent to a store with no training. Crooked managers were there who did illegal activities and eventually got fired. Our housing was abysmal, at times broken water, intermittent power for months and then power cut off for a couple of weeks, broken furnace at the store in work area. The house was HEAVILY smoked in, even though Winnipeg drilled into our hears to not smoke. Once home all our belongings reek like smoke from living there. We are non smokers.
Community disliked the store so hard to get help within the community. Felt like we were dumped there, high and dry, Winnipeg tried to help but the logistics are so bad eg. we waited months for proper bedding. I had to crochet us a blanket for the bed since we were cold and blankets ordered from housing took months...sick of sleeping with our coats etc. Over us. There were no blankets at the store. One example of so so many.
We stuck it out for months but could see that the company was simply unable to find honest managers who would stay and cultivate the things the company hoped for. There was no housing or store preventative maintenance and no one seemed interested in starting. I was not willing to stay another winter with broken furnaces and seemingly little help.
It was all a bad dream and we left after 8 months.
Great opportunity and experience, poor management.
I would totally do this all over again! However I would have asked for much more money as I found myself very underpaid for the area I was placed. I should have asked for at least 10k more. My store manger was very lazy and expected his team to pull double time while he came to work late, and left early nearly every day. Most of my training was "figure it out myself" When I did ask for help my management team only stepped in once I was drowning and only by getting others to help me not themselves.Had I been in any other community this may have been an amazing experience but I was bullied by more than one of the department managers and the store manager was more interested in watching the drama than doing anything about it.
In short, I had no choice where I would end up. the people and the culture was amazing. Working for the company means that I had to learn how to "Play Games" as well as do my job. Once there I was basically stuck there. So I either had to make it work or go home. I chose to stay and make it work. i learned a lot and grew in ways that i never would have had I not gone. Every job comes with good and bad. The good is just that good, but the bad is what helps us grow and become more. Don't be afraid of the bad just learn how to be better than it. if I could do it all over again would I? ABSOLUTELY YES!!!! I would just have asked for much more money....
NWC is a massive company to say the least! With retail banners literally across the world from the high arctic circle to the summer side Cost-U-Less locations in the Caribbean. As a member of the Norther Canadian Retail- General Merchandise Dept. there are highs and lows to the job, just like in any other corporate setting. 1 fail would be that due to the amount of people at head office there is a "high school click" mentality- that can become toxic with gossip and bullies. But the wins out weigh the juvenile actions of a few immature bad nuts by far.
The NWC management Leads; support there employees, provides extended training in numerous manners and prioritizes work life balance to keep one's mindset level and energized.
Another amazing aspect of working for the NWC is the travel opportunities depending on your role. Having traveled to 20 out of the 25 communities just within Nunavut( some several times a yr) NEVER gets old. The nostalgia of the north and friendly community members we service, always welcome me with such hospitable open arms. This alone is something I will cherish and carry with me for the rest of my life. IF your on the fence about applying with NWC …don't be- it's a wonderful organization with numerous Dept. where you will find "YOUR" fit I'm sure of it.
Look forward to meeting you at the water cooler - you soon to be Norwester!!
Like working with any big company has its good mixed with bad. To do this job you have to come in with a frame of mind that you are a guest in the community, and you act like it. You are not any better. You have to realize that these people have gone through a lot of issues that are not normal for down south. You have to be willing to learn from them, and want to learn about them and their culture. You will need to realize that you are away from your family and friends possibly for a year or two, you could be isolated in a community with no way of getting out and about. There may not be roads to your community and its only fly in. The isolation can play a big role in you mental health. Heath care is not what it is down south a lot of times there is no doctor or dentist, some times not even nurses so be prepared for this.
the best part of this job is becoming a major part of the community and bringing good change and helping the community thrive and prosper. To be accepted as part of it.
It is a hard job to get into, as all plays into it like the remoteness and not having the same Amenities as down south. If you are being hired on as management you will have to know that your workers do not have the priorities as down south, so you will have to be more flexible with your rules of employment and realize that being on the land is part of their heritage.
My role as a member of the Northwest company is to ensure that staff members have sufficient knowledge of the job and to guide them along the way. I also help out other departments if they are shorthanded or backed up.
I have learned a lot while working for the Northwest comapny. I have learned the value of time management and being able to perform/ finish the task under pressure.
I have no opinion on management. Because I feel like if you are a regular employee, once you have been trained management pretty much leaves you and lets you do your work. The only time you really get in trouble is if you make a huge mess that affects everybody elses work. This way of managing employees has some pros and cons. Pros are; people who works hard and are accountable will thrive in this kind of environment. They tend to want to learn things and apply right away rather than being micro managed. Cons, not everybody has the same work mentality and some people do tend to slack off and wander around when unsupervised.
The workplace culture is pretty simple. Its pull your own weight and get the job done. There are ups and down which is normal in every work environment, But most people complains will probably be some people could get away with stuff around the company. But most of the time there is a family culture within the company and a lot of people do enjoy working.
The hardest part of the job is pleasing everybody, which i know is not possible. But being around people cons
Questions and answers about The North West Company
If you were to leave The North West Company, what would be the reason?
Asked Jul 23, 2018
Favoritism, toxic work culture, HR is corrupted by upper management, management lies constantly about everything. They will work you to near death then tell you you're not doing good enough. I'd rather go on E.I than earn a cheque from them again.
Answered Sept 30, 2020
The only reason I would leave, I am getting older and with my really low wage, I have no hope for a future because I can’t save money after paying bills.
Answered Jul 18, 2020
What is the interview process like at The North West Company?
Asked Jun 18, 2017
There are 2 interviews, on phone and in person. In person interview took about 50 minutes. The reference is crazy. They sent a questionnaire including about 18 questions for the previous managers. Northwest think that our previous managers are free like them. My previous manager told me whether the company I am applying have mental problems???
Answered Aug 5, 2021
There are several stages of interviews starting by e-mail, phone. video conference and in some cases in person to make sure the opportunity is the right fit for the employer and for the candidate.
Answered Oct 21, 2018
How should you prepare for an interview at The North West Company?
Asked Jul 10, 2018
You should cancel the interview and run as far away from this company as you can! Horrible treatment of staff, HR and head office do nothing to help and retaliate if you dare to mention their unacceptable treatment! Just run!
Answered Jul 10, 2020
Be sure you want to be in a remote location where you have little access to friends/family and be patient. The interview process takes months.
Answered Oct 21, 2018
How are the working hours?
Asked Nov 17, 2017
Brutal hours, long hours for not great pay. Always expect to work more and more.