It's an extremely awkward mix of Japanese National Worker's Party (which even Japan is trying to get rid of these days), and American 9-5 attitude. Makes for a very unproductive and oppressive system.
Support from management
Leadership is poor to say the least. Do not expect much guidance of value, regardless of which department in which you work
All the correct jargon is used such as "cross-functional teams", but this means next to nothing in practice. No one wants to take responsibility for any necessary efforts, and the work usually gets done by the first person who cares enough to get fed up.
Freedom to work independently
Most office staff are usually left to their own devices. This is a plus, but it's a product of management's ineptitude, not their particular trust or style.
There is none. Managers do not know what they want, and they wouldn't tell if they did, but they sure do want things, whatever they may be, to happen within unrealistic time frames, which only come to light after much wrangling.
The office is a small place, and the Old Guard is firmly rooted in place. A word of warning: there is almost no room for upward mobility. A superior will have to retire or die first, and that is a waiting game not worth playing. The only personal development to be learned at this facility is patience and temper control.
Overall compensation for your work
Compensation is trumpeted as competitive. This is simply not true, at least from an engineer's perspective. Pay is on the lower end of the spectrum, "raises" are laughable, and this combined with long hours makes the situation less than not worth it.
Office / Work Environment
If all time is spent in the office space (it likely isn't), then things are marginal. If time is spent on the factory floor, conditions can be deplorable. Lighting is poor, noise pollution is very pervasive, and everything is filthy from brake dust and leaking oil.
Having worked with the people who report to the EPA and such, I can assure you that little regard outside legal obligation is given to the environment.
The company culture is old-school Japanese, so long hours are mandatory, not encouraged. Going rate for Engineering was 48 hours per week, minimum, with no added benefits as opposed to just 40. The only response you'll receive upon raising a concern about this will be a confused stare. If a situation comes up, such as machine down or product issue, you are expected to forego any and all previous engagements to work until things are set right. Family/social life is tertiary at best, an obstacle at worst.
Anyone who has worked for this company will say the same thing I am now: only the broken and desperate should even consider applying, and at that, only if one is to the point of boiling shoes to eat.
The one truly positive thing about this company is that, short of assault, arson, or other egregious crime, it is highly unlikely that an individual will be fired. Culling the herd does not happen at that facility.
As an engineer, I can testify that, under no uncertain terms, the plant is a disaster waiting to happen.
There is very little satisfaction to be had from accomplishing projects. Long term goals are hazy at best, and progress toward a project tends to be very fractured due to machine emergencies and management's ever-changing ideas. If a project ever does get completed, it will be a shadow of what you would have wanted or anticipated.
Suggestions for improvement
- Raise it to the ground, build a Quik-Trip.
What I like about the company
Absolutely nothing. If someone reads this, click away from this right now.
What I dislike about the company
Everything. There is literally no reason any sort of professional should even consider for a moment that this company is worth their time.