Rosetta Stone Reviews

Updated July 9, 2015
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John Hass
1 Rating

Pros
  • Great product and co-workers committed to language learning (in 14 reviews)

  • Easy and enjoyable meeting people from around the world (in 7 reviews)

Cons
  • communication from upper management not always the most clear (in 30 reviews)

  • No work life balance & people will take advantage of you (in 9 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

46 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    Ungrateful company and Worst IT department ....

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - IT Support in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - IT Support in Arlington, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Rosetta Stone (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good Brand Recognition, apart from that nothing good to say.

    Cons

    1. Even though they say, consumer business is not their priority, they give stay on bonuses and promotions for people in consumer marketing and layoff all IT department, who worked very hard to save business. 2. They promote unworthy people to higher positions, who think that they can handle everything. 3. Worst Healthcare benefits you would ever see. 4. No investment into employee growth. Just work work and work.

    Advice to Management

    never think that, you can lose an entire team and still make operations work.


  2. Helpful (4)

    In Need of Leadership

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Rosetta Stone full-time

    Pros

    The pay isn't too bad, and the vacation time is unlimited. You can also work from home when you need to, or take personal time for errands and appointments. They offer tuition reimbursement and training funds, so you can also learn a bit while you're here.

    Cons

    The pros above are really just the benefits, because the work environment can be rather negative. A quick list of the many hurdles you may encounter at Rosetta Stone: -Product and Business Strategy: This changes every few months, and is rarely a unified strategy for more than a year. It's been this way for quite a long time now. Management simply doesn't know what to pursue, and has taken many failed leaps at opportunities that didn't exist (such as trying to win big in a very particular country like Japan, trying to corner a crowded Kids market, or trying to make money in a mobile space that generates little revenue.) The company is now going hard at institutional and educational customers, which are a great source of revenue. They're also a very difficult customer to please, as getting renewals requires meeting new and growing customer expectations. So while lucrative, it might be tough to please everyone and really grow this customer base. -Leadership: This group has gone through so much churn in the past few years, from the removal of the original CEO Tom Adams to the revolving door of executives and Product, Marketing, and Sales leads that it's tough to blame any single person for the struggles the company has had. But if you mass them together in a general "leadership" category, they've not been the best. And that's being generous. They simply can't make their minds up about anything, and spend quite a bit of time arguing about what their direction should be. This may be similar at many companies, but the territorial behavior and infighting can be quite discouraging. Further, many of the people they've recently put into leadership roles are quite out of touch with those that actually do the work, and are reticent to take any criticism of our direction, processes, decisions or the like. Some get borderline defensive when you inquire about their decisions, or outright ignore your concerns about the company. Good leadership should acknowledge flaws and areas for improvement, not simply try to hide them in the hopes of keeping morale up. Morale would be higher if they actually listened and seemed to care. -Line management: Some line managers really do care about seeing you succeed, and I can say I've had a few like that. Others, however, have been put in a management position simply because of their seniority or expertise, but have been mediocre at best when it comes to helping people develop their skills and careers, or even providing day to day guidance about their work. Some have never managed people before in their careers, and probably shouldn't be, given their own self-interest in their own tasks and projects. -Colleagues: There have been a lot of really great and collaborative and caring people that have worked here during my time. But recently the company has seemingly brought in a more competitive crowd, where it's no longer about the success of the company as a whole, but of the success of one person's sale, or one person's new project. This seems to be enhanced by the fact that management itself is highly competitive, and frequently trying to undermine each others' roles and power, simply to maintain their own status. It's quite sad, as they do have a huge talent resource here that's crumbling due to bad hires, poor leadership, and a complete inability to foster team work. -Technology: During the recent layoffs we lost a good portion of IT, and it's already starting to show. For a technology company, they seem to be investing less and less in their infrastructure as sales is now the number one goal. -Culture: There really isn't one anymore. Most of your colleagues will be in different offices, and you'll likely never have met many of them face to face. HR attempts to create little events to bolster team spirit, but no one really cares to participate. Again, it's a real shame because their are some talented people here, but management has largely let culture fall by the wayside, or tried to dictate it from the top down (they occasionally send emails or little cards with what your "values" should be...) -HR: They're pretty unresponsive overall, and don't seem to really be here for the employees any longer, just for management.

    Advice to Management

    I would hope the new CEO would recognize the systemic problems in this company, and finally sit down to address them. And I hope he does this with actual employees, because management is still in turmoil.


  3. Helpful (4)

    It was fun while it lasted

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Harrisonburg, VA
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Harrisonburg, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Rosetta Stone full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    great people. you would be hard pressed to find a more talented, harder working group of people throughout the entire organization. The company believes in flex time, and offers good compensation. Annual bonus' and raises and when they hit a target or milestone, they celebrate.

    Cons

    5 rounds of layoffs in 2 years. lots of good hard working, productive people let go. Morale is low and the company direction really seems to be an afterthought. Product launches are not successful because they refuse to listen to the focus group studies they commission.

    Advice to Management

    I see that Steve is no longer leading the company, hopefully Mr. Hass can turn it around. You have an excellent resource of talent in the people who were let go through no fault of their own. many have moved on to new opportunities but I would hazard a guess that most still believe in the core of the company and still bleed yellow.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    Poor management, lack of direction, and low moral

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Rosetta Stone full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - You will get a lot of experience at Rosetta Stone. Because you're expected to do more with less resources (always), you'll walk away with more experience than the average job. - There are some really smart and passionate people here. My co-workers are the reason I'm working here (see cons below). - You get experience working with international markets and teams.

    Cons

    - Moral is very low because of yet another round of layoffs and lack of transparency and communication from executives. Even those that are left and still have jobs don't feel the loyalty we once did to our managers and the company. The company is going through an identity crisis that I don't see ending anytime soon with the current management that is in place. - People treat each other like crap and you always have to be on the defense. I have never worked at a company where it's been so accepted to treat your coworkers with utter disrespect and maliciousness. You always have to watch your back and be ready to defend your work and decisions. Upper level management also acts this way, and in some ways promotes it to their teams, so working here definitely puts a strain on you emotionally. - There are a lot of really bad managers here. People get hired or promoted because they get friendly with executives or talk a big game, but most of them don't actually do anything (except talk and make other people's lives harder) and aren't effective managers. A lot of employees leave because of the negative impact their managers have on their happiness at work. - Rosetta Stone doesn't promote the smart and innovative people behind the work that is actually happening. There's still a boys club here and it's hard to break through and move your way up. - Pay rate is well below the market and location averages. This is especially hard because with the scare resources employees end up doing more than the job they were hired for.

    Advice to Management

    1. Get your act together and start showing your employees and shareholders that you know what you're doing. Announcing a strategy isn't enough...you actually have to put it into action and be responsible for making sure it happens instead of just making excuses on why it didn't happen (because you can't get your teams organized). 2. Start promoting people who deserve to be promoted. There is a lot of turnover because the company doesn't value employee contribution (for those that aren't at the exec level) and thinks that everyone can be replaced. A lot of institutional knowledge is lost and a lot of good people leave because they get opportunities to move up and get paid more at other companies. 3. People management is not for everyone and this needs to be realized. Good employees are leaving because managers are ineffective and employees are being overworked.


  6. Helpful (2)

    So much unrealized potential

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Manager in Arlington, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    - Great product - Strong Brand - The employees are smart, talented, passionate - Cool location right across the bridge from Georgetown, Washington, DC

    Cons

    - Management is flighty. They change strategy like they change underwear - They could stand to be more customer focused

    Advice to Management

    Get focused. Innovate. Develop a viable strategy and see it through.


  7. Helpful (1)

    Pretty Good, but Not Great

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Rosetta Stone full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    This job has been a great door opener and I loved all of the people there. The pay was competitive, the benefits were good, and the work-life balance was good. The role I had was expanded to fill the needs I had as far as professional growth, which I appreciated.

    Cons

    The individual people were generally very nice, but there was some rivalry between departments that can be distracting to a point of being detrimental. The upper management was not as good as they could be at making tough decisions or conflict resolution.

    Advice to Management

    People here did not trust the management, particularly in the upper levels. There was communication that should happen more often that didn't and employees could sense it. My advice would be to be more upfront with your staff, and to trust them when making decisions, and then stick with the decisions you make.


  8. Helpful (1)

    Sales rep

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales Representative in Sandy, UT
    Current Employee - Sales Representative in Sandy, UT
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Rosetta Stone part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Awesome company, very laid back work enviorment

    Cons

    Hours and pay are VERY unstable.


  9. Helpful (2)

    Online studio coach

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Online Studio Coach
    Current Employee - Online Studio Coach
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Rosetta Stone part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    You have the opportunity to talk to interesting people from around the world; you work from home at hours that may or may not suit you.

    Cons

    Unresponsive supervisor whom I've never met in person or online; the only hours at which you can really coach are from 3 - 7 AM EST; no opportunity for raise; the company culture seems to want robotic, fake-cheery coaches.

    Advice to Management

    Incentivize good work by recognizing it and compensating it.


  10. Helpful (5)

    Nice product, poor management, nothing new to offer

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Business Analyst in Arlington, VA
    Former Employee - Business Analyst in Arlington, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Rosetta Stone full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    You meet a variety of people, lot of whom are young, that can provide a good fresh ideas to help direct the company. Lot of people are motivated, the environment in the Arlington office is nice. They have a stocked fridge and and bagels every Friday. There are some talent, smart individuals who work here.

    Cons

    The management is terrible. Leadership buys companies and has no idea how to integrate them into the Rosetta Stone family. You have mid level managers who don't have a clue what they are doing and end up being missing most of the time. The environment has very low moral. Walking around you don't see the energy that was once there. Lot of the mid level managers are looking for quick fixes. They hold raises hostage for 6 months and then give the minimum pay possible. The marketing research team gives them proper direction and they ignore it. The IT team is full of people who are self obsessed and unproductive. It started out as a great place to work and turned into a nightmare. The people who are left behind are unhappy and the leadership and management is just trying their hardest to lie with numbers to appease the board of directors. The only thing I've seen them do is spam email accounts in hopes that people still buy a product that hasn't changed in years. I would avoid this company

    Advice to Management

    Stop micromanaging projects you aren't needed and start showing up when you are needed. Listen to your employees, give proper compensation and raises. You are the reason this company is terrible.


  11. Helpful (2)

    Smart people, terrible B2B company

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Rosetta Stone full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    There are still a few people there who truly care about the end user and continue to try incorporate some semblance of customer service. You do have fun, lots of funny smart and interesting people from around the world. Learning the language is awesome!

    Cons

    Endless circles for years and years regarding new product, but still have to sell the same old same old to all users. No one appears to have any power to change things, from the President to managers. Lot's of talk, no action or loyalty. New upper management discounts everything in order to sell which makes us look bad. Tons and tons and tons of internal politics- everyone is trying to kiss someone's behind-if you don't, life sucks for you. HR is a joke

    Advice to Management

    Merge or sell to a strong global learning B2B company.



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