a <formal company> in which employees get promoted slowly.

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Morecoffee

Senior Member
Chinese
He’s working for a formal company in which employees get promoted slowly.

Some big companies have very strict process to promote their employees. So I wonder if it’s right to use “formal companies” to describe these kinds of companies?
 
  • Mahantongo

    Senior Member
    English (U.S.)
    I would understand a "formal company" (if I understood the term at all...) to be the sort of place where men are expected to wear suits and ties to work, and where employees address each other as "Mr. Smith" and "Mrs. Jones." However, it would have nothing at all to do with how quickly the employees were promoted.
     

    Morecoffee

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Hello,Franco-filly,JustKate,FrenchJan, Mahantong! Thank you all for your replies. I find it hard to describe the adjective I am looking for. But I'll try my best. There are a lot of big companies having very strict procedures for promoting their employees, as Franco-filly said. . Unlike some small companies, in which a employee's fate might be decided by only a few supervisors, they have regular and high standards of promoting a employee in their company. I wondered how people call this kind of companies. :confused:
    Thanks
     

    xuliang

    Senior Member
    Chinese Mandarin
    Hi , all. I am also looking for a word about a company or an organization. My first reaction was "formal". (translated from Chinese)

    It's not limited to the company's policy for promotion(a "formal company" usually has written policy on promotion; when they need to promote someone, the management team go through the procedures; in a company that is not "formal", usually the boss decides who is promoted.. ).
    Normally we call a company "formal", because they have procedures for everything they do (compared to not "formal companies" who don't have any rules and have not any procedures; even if they have rules, they are not abided by strictly. Their company's management is a mess); Usually you feel safe to do business with a "formal company" if you are choosing a new supplier. A "formal" company may usually be closed in time of national holidays

    I remember there is an idiom that can generally describe this kind of company , but could not find it. I only remember there is a word "ship" in the expression, but didn't find it in the forum.

    Thank you.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I think I would talk about a "large, well-established company" as opposed to a smaller business where they might be able to get away with not paying workers' insurance contributions, evading taxation, etc. I don't know of a standard way of talking about what you call "formal" companies, and I'm eager to hear others' suggestions.
     

    Kirill V.

    Senior Member
    Russian
    I would try what was suggested in post #4 by FrenchJan:
    He’s working for a pretty/highly bureaucratic company in which employees get promoted slowly.

    If I understand correctly, this conveys the meaning the OP wants. (I would need a native speaker's confirmation as to the correctness of the use of pretty / highly when they refer to being bureaucratic, though)
     

    xuliang

    Senior Member
    Chinese Mandarin
    I think I would talk about a "large, well-established company" as opposed to a smaller business where they might be able to get away with not paying workers' insurance contributions, evading taxation, etc. I don't know of a standard way of talking about what you call "formal" companies, and I'm eager to hear others' suggestions.
    Hi, velisarius, thank you. The bold part in your post, here in China it is true of some companies that are not "formal" . By the way, do you know an expression that generally says of a company operating well (it's managed well); the expression I remember includes "ship".

    I am wondering if a "well-established" company can refer to those who are not founded long before but still operate in a good manner.

    Thank you.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I'm thinking "reputable company" might be what I was searching for. I can't think of anything with "-ship".
     

    manfy

    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    I remember there is an idiom that can generally describe this kind of company , but could not find it. I only remember there is a word "ship" in the expression, but didn't find it in the forum.
    Maybe you're thinking of "They're running a tight ship." (in the sense of "the company is strict, inflexible, bureaucratic when it comes to their rules, regulations, procedures).

    There's many different adjectives that could be used. It depends on what aspect you want to emphasize and whether you want to express this fact with positive or negative connotations.
     

    xuliang

    Senior Member
    Chinese Mandarin
    Maybe you're thinking of "They're running a tight ship." (in the sense of "the company is strict, inflexible, bureaucratic when it comes to their rules, regulations, procedures).

    There's many different adjectives that could be used. It depends on what aspect you want to emphasize and whether you want to express this fact with positive or negative connotations.
    Hi, Manfy, thank you. I was looking for this expression "They'are running a tight ship", and I wanted to convey a positive meaning. I looked up this expression in a dictionary, it says " to control a business or other organization firmly and effectively. It focuses on "strict " and "effective", which is part of my meanings. Does it include the meaning that their company's management is in order not in a mess? Is my sentence below redundant ?

    Their company is running a tight ship and they manage well.
     

    manfy

    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    Their company is running a tight ship and they manage well.
    Yes, "to run a tight ship" is usually used in a positive sense, meaning "well-managed, well-organized".
    The problem is, what's positive for one party, e.g. the customer, can be inherently negative for another, e.g. the employees.

    I've heard this phrase used in both ways, positive and negative. It depends very much on context and the way the speaker brings it across.
    For instance, in your sentence where you use 'tight ship' and 'manage well' side by side, I might interpret 'running a tight ship' in the sense of 'the company is very strict', potentially overly strict and inflexible.

    Better wait and let's see, how native speakers feel about this!
     

    FrenchJan

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Just come across this thread again!
    Hi, Manfy, thank you. I was looking for this expression "They'are running a tight ship", and I wanted to convey a positive meaning. I looked up this expression in a dictionary, it says " to control a business or other organization firmly and effectively. It focuses on "strict " and "effective", which is part of my meanings. Does it include the meaning that their company's management is in order not in a mess? Is my sentence below redundant ?

    Their company is running a tight ship and they manage well.
    I think that "running a tight ship" was exactly what you were looking for in the context of "to control a business or other organisation firmly and effectively". It DOES imply that the company's management is in order. :tick:

    You only need to write "Their company is running a tight ship". You can leave out "and they manage well" as this is implied.

    (Thought I'd add this for any future forum-users :)).
     

    xuliang

    Senior Member
    Chinese Mandarin
    Just come across this thread again!


    I think that "running a tight ship" was exactly what you were looking for in the context of "to control a business or other organisation firmly and effectively". It DOES imply that the company's management is in order. :tick:

    You only need to write "Their company is running a tight ship". You can leave out "and they manage well" as this is implied.

    (Thought I'd add this for any future forum-users :)).
    Hi, FrenchJan, your information is very useful. Thank you.
     
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