ACT Reviews

Updated March 6, 2015
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3.4
93 Reviews
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ACT CEO Jon Whitmore
Jon Whitmore
46 Ratings

Pros
  • The work/life balance is important to ACT and they do their best to make sure that every employee has the time they need (in 7 reviews)

  • Beautiful campus, on-site cafeteria, free coffee (in 8 reviews)

Cons
  • It really takes a lot to grease the wheels with upper management and even then, upper management is very top heavy and very bureaucratic (in 3 reviews)

  • Puts too much trust in "partners" (read: outsourcing) who are at best barely competent at what they do (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

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  1. Culture improvement in progress

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Manager in Iowa City, IA
    Current Employee - Manager in Iowa City, IA

    I have been working at ACT full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Beautiful campus, professional and diverse workforce, company working to improve environment and culture; excellent benefits - low cost health insurance with amazing comprehensive coverage, generous leave time, wellness program offerings at no cost, flexible schedule and ability to work remote, onsite dining center and conference center; renovations and workstation updates are very nice

    Cons

    Still too many managers/departments that don't apply policies consistently, specifically around flexible scheduling; too focused on spending long hours at work rather than quality of work; good ole boy system is in place in some departments - not inclusive and those not in the 'click' get overlooked for promotions and raises; some AVPs not qualified and were promoted because they are friends with the VP; the mission is more a 'talking' point that something that is part of everyday work

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Prioritize projects based on market opportunity, business competencies and strengths - trying to be everything to everyone and people are spread too thin and quality of products suffer; products/programs that are not profitable need to be eliminated - a drain on staff and a drain on resources; continue to upgrade technology; be more visible and follow through - need to see you more than just at annual meeting; communicate regularly and stay on message - reinforcing mission and how each business unit impacts that mission

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    ACT Response

    Mar 11, 2015ACT

    We’re so glad to hear that you’re enjoying the benefits offered to ACT team members. Through our total rewards philosophy, our hope is that our team members feel as though they are taken care of ... More

  2. 1 person found this helpful

    Very comfortable place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at ACT full-time

    Pros

    The people are very friendly and bright, and it's a very engaged atmosphere. Most employees collaborate well and are supportive of their coworkers. The benefits are very good, also

    Cons

    Sometimes all of the collaboration turns into discussion and leads to stasis. ACT considers itself an educational company, and many of the employees aren't very familiar with business processes, which can lead to inefficiencies and unfamiliarity with best practices. All of this seems to be improving, though.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    More clarity in the career development processes would be a good move. Even more important would be greater internal communication. While this is a known issue, the focus on improvement is communication from the top level down. That need has yet to be impressed upon mid-level management in most areas of the company.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    ACT Response

    Feb 21, 2015ACT

    We’re so glad to hear you’re enjoying your ACT experience. Thank you also for the constructive feedback. We’ve come a long way with internal communications and recognize that continued improvement is ... More

  3. Perfomance Management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Billing Manager
    Current Employee - Billing Manager

    I have been working at ACT

    Pros

    Good people to work with

    Cons

    Base pay is low for most temp employees

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful

    what are they thinking?

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Content Specialist in Iowa City, IA
    Current Employee - Content Specialist in Iowa City, IA

    I have been working at ACT

    Pros

    nice building & grounds, decent benefits

    Cons

    management isn't around. they make a lot of money, but they don't seem to know what's going on. but it doesn't stop them from making big decisions. i'm worried they're going to destroy our reputation for quality products in their desire to put out something new. they want things done fast, but they don't put the necessary organization in place first. quality is going to suffer, and our products won't be purchased.

     i'm really worried that lower-level people (with experience and common sense) will be let go and more highly-paid managers working in other locations will be hired.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    value lower-level staff, esp development
    make sure new CEO is up to the task
    stop hiring any more VPs and AVPs. (look for ways to reduce the existing number)
    identify VPs and AVPs that aren't up to the task
    look at the costs of remote employees, esp. managers
    understand that quality is what ACT does well
    don't put out products faster than quality allows (no one will buy them)
    identify those depts that have significant issues
    understand the value of content, test services, item banking, & editors
    make sure software & hardware facilitates rather than impedes work

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    ACT Response

    Mar 2, 2015ACT

    Quality and delivering value to our customers is a top priority at ACT. In fact, it’s an area we have singled out as a core attribute. Thank you very much for your constructive feedback. It is what ... More

  6. its my first job and hate it

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at ACT

    Pros

    Nice team, also paychecks and i learned new skills

    Cons

    Hated upper management because they dont treat there employees right.also we get paid to little for all the work they make us do plus they pressure you to sell and to have perfect customer sevice and if you do both then they tell u that u need to work on your hadle time. Like you can never make these people happy, work environment aswell .anyways its a job not career

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat employees right and to stop pressuring us with sales cuz then we can't do customer service right

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  7. good place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at ACT

    Pros

    great benefits, good hours, great work-life balance

    Cons

    too much change in the last 5 years, if you don't work "on campus" you don't get a lot of the fringe benefits

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    stop acting like it's still a "family" because this is a huge organization now w/many layers

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    ACT Response

    Feb 5, 2015ACT

    Thank you for the work you do as an ACT team member. We very much understand the importance of life outside of work and it’s great to hear team members are experiencing the benefits. ACT also ... More

  8. 1 person found this helpful

    Mixed bag

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Iowa City, IA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Iowa City, IA

    I have been working at ACT full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The grounds are beautiful.....nice cafeteria. The benefits package is good.....lots of PTO.

    Cons

    Women are unlikely to move up compared to men......men advance faster and more frequently into upper management positions....verbal and sexual abuse complaints happen a lot and are ignored by HR......reorganizations happen every month.....Many AVPs who "work" offsite or remotely or who are located in Iowa but don't have anybody who reports to them they are always whining about budget problems.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    In the next reorganization clean out the extra management that is costing the company money but doesn't do anything for the bottom line

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    ACT Response

    Feb 2, 2015ACT

    ACT managers receive training on ACT’s Code of Ethics which requires managers to take prompt corrective action for conduct in violation of the Code. ACT also has a policy prohibiting workplace ... More

  9. 2 people found this helpful

    Worker Bees and Sheep

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at ACT full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Generous PTO, beautiful campus, flexible schedule

    Cons

    Management staffers with no real-life, practical experience are allowed to make unilateral decisions on many things for which they have no training, in-depth understanding, or expertise. Expert staff are hired, but subsequently, aren't trusted to give advice or feedback equal to their talents, so the product quality and impact potential is diminished and money is being wasted. "Good 'ol boy" politics win over reason too much of the time. Sexism prevails in hiring, which is obvious in the executive team. You'll thrive if you don't necessarily like thinking for yourself, and if you like saying, "Yes, sir."

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop investing so much faith and money in outside firms to fulfill your customers' needs; this is what incompetent managers do to avoid taking responsibility for bad outcomes, or can be a way to push crazy amounts of money to contracts of friends outside the company. You've got some really talented people on your staff. A good manager doesn't need to know everything; if you hire the right people and treat them right, you can trust them to give you the best advice and solutions. Give your people the resources they need to perform well and stay on the cutting edge, nurture loyalty and true teamwork among the ranks, and then the fulfillment in daily work that legacy ACT employees report they once had will reveal itself naturally in quality outcomes that align beautifully with ACT's very worthwhile mission.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    ACT Response

    Jan 30, 2015ACT

    Thank you very much for the feedback. We value your perspective, your talents, and your contributions as an ACT team member. Our team members come from many different backgrounds and companies. We ... More

  10. crazy work environment too

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Supervisor
    Current Employee - Supervisor

    I have been working at ACT

    Pros

    promotion possibilities liked some of the ops managers

    Cons

    management off the hook rude and unorganized

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    chill

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    ACT Response

    Jan 30, 2015ACT

    Thank you for your input. We appreciate all the work you do as an ACT team member. Professional growth is a big part of our culture and mission.

  11. Employees not taken seriously.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Contractor - Quality Control Specialist/Temporary in Iowa City, IA
    Former Contractor - Quality Control Specialist/Temporary in Iowa City, IA

    I worked at ACT as a contractor (more than a year)

    Pros

    Great main campus if you get the chance to work there. Lots of professional development available to workers to increase their skill-sets.

    Great benefits if you are a full time employee and not contracted. Decent salary even for contracted employees.

    Some managers were very good at keeping temporary employees working there as long as they could. These managers tended to treat temps with respect, which was nice to see in the company.

    Cons

    Doesn't always take sexual harassment cases seriously. Use of victim blaming language made it hard for people to come forward, and often the harasser would barely get a slap on the wrist. Sometimes the victim was told that the harasser was needed and that they just needed to get along.

    Due to upper management changing a lot of things at once, it made majority of the jobs in the warehouse unstable with many loyal employees losing their jobs. Nothing was done to try to find a way to transfer them and their skills to other departments. Often the news would come all of a sudden, so communication between departments were not as good as it could have been.

    The warehouse in general was out in the middle of nowhere and not efficiently run. Communication between the warehouse and the main campus was not particularly good, though it looks like they were trying to change that right before I left.

    The company relies a lot on temporary and contracted employees. Training is minuscule at best, and it felt like temporary and contracted employees were thrown at projects willy-nilly. The skill sets of temporary/contracted employees were often not efficiently utilized. Also, if any had a medical or family emergency that required them to go part time or take time off, they were often let go. The company would not work with them, which seemed counterproductive as some highly skilled contracted workers were lost due to this type of treatment.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Better training on how to respond to sexual harassment cases. Avoid victim-blaming language and focus on a more victim-centered approach to these cases, so that others will feel safer coming forward.

    Try to match the project with the temporary employee's skill sets better. It may also be a good idea to do some trainings on how to efficiently use contracted and temporary employees, especially with lower level managers who spend the most time with them.

    As the internal changes happen, try to not throw out highly skilled employees but rather find new places for them since they are extremely loyal and still have much to offer the company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    ACT Response

    Jan 30, 2015ACT

    ACT values all of its team members, it strives to provide a supportive work environment, and has a policy prohibiting workplace harassment. ACT has multiple methods for a team member to raise a ... More

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