Benchmark Education

  www.benchmarkeducation.com
  www.benchmarkeducation.com
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Benchmark Education Reviews

Updated August 23, 2014
Updated August 23, 2014
13 Reviews
2.2
13 Reviews
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Tom Reycraft
6 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Balancing the Scale

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

    I have been working at Benchmark Education full-time

    Pros

    Here you have the opportunity to be involved in the entire book-creation process, and to actually create brand new content. If you prove yourself capable, you can move up the ladder.* There is such a diverse array of personalities among the employees that you can certainly find people to be friendly with. The company lacks a true corporate structure, so people aren't generally stepping on each other to get to the top. Most of the employees are hugely creative and hardworking. This is a place to come with good ideas that you want to be made better. This is also a place to come if you hate being bored. And as crazy as management is, there is a lot of generosity in it (parties, company lunches every Wednesday, small-group training with a personal trainer, snacks all around).

    Cons

    *The note about moving up: One issue is you are left to learn by trial and error. It can be very frustrating when you just repeatedly fail and don't know why. Additionally, as the other reviews noted, there is a lot of yelling and belittling people. This is no place to be if you have thin skin. A lot of energy is wasted trying to figure out how to present information to different members of management so as not to incur wrath. There are very few working processes and workflows, so if you are not active and build one for yourself, it's impossible to do your job effectively. (And there are some employees in very important positions that do not do their jobs effectively...)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Trust your employees' capabilities more, don't bog senior members of departments down so much that they can't mentor junior members, pick the projects you want to work on and stick with them until they are done. You waste so much time, money, and energy switching tracks constantly, and bogging people down with more projects than they can think about.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Too Big For The Mom And Pop Approach

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Prefer Not to Say  in  New Rochelle, NY
    Current Employee - Prefer Not to Say in New Rochelle, NY

    I have been working at Benchmark Education full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    It is a growing company. Many of the people you work with are friendly, but that is like how people in a war have something they can bond over because of the trauma of the environment. They buy lunch on wednesdays and have lots of celebrations with cakes and cocktails.

    Cons

    THe owners have their hands in everything. That might of been fine when it was smaller. They are in a new location and are adding lots of people. THe owners do not delegate things, they must approve everything, they don't delegate and trust people to make decisions. Everything that is said here is true about the yelling, it is a daily occurrence. It is unprofessional. It is out of control. It is not motivating, it is that they can't help themselves. It is their business I guess if that is how they want to run a business but sooner or later they are going to get in trouble for harassing people etc. Just because it is a privately owned business does not mean you don;t have to obey the laws. They have a lot of trouble keeping people who deal directly with the executive who yells all the time (that should tell you something, that it is not just people being too sensitive). So then they have to bring in someone else so that costs them a lot to train someone and have them get to know the particulars of the business.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Sell the business before you are sued for harassing people etc, and before you have a heart attack from yelling at people all the time. Also because it is too big to support the executives being involved in everything. I would say to listen to your employees but there is nothing to indicate that they would take this advice.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 5 people found this helpful  

    Unprofessional is an understatement

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

    I worked at Benchmark Education full-time

    Pros

    At Benchmark, you will have the opportunity to do a little bit of everything. A salesperson can learn InDesign, and an editor may have the opportunity to try sales. There are no hard and fast lines when it comes to job responsibilities. Of course this can be considered a con, since it's easy to not feel "ownership" of your work when everyone is trying to get a word in.

    Cons

    There is no work-life balance at BEC. Work is your life. It is not uncommon for employees to fly a (cheaper) red-eye back to NY and head straight to the office, since management is very difficult when it comes to deserved comp time. As a result of this unconventional environment, it is difficult for an employee to transition from Benchmark into a normal work environment. It's easy to get used to the unconventionality, but the unconventionality is not necessarily a good thing. There is one huge con, however, that puts all the other cons to shame, and that is the behavior of management. BEC is a hostile, loud, and unpleasant environment as a result of this person's shameless behavior. Her derogatory remarks, particularly relating to sex, weight, and race, are unparalleled. If this business were not privately held, there is no way that she would get away with this. Her behavior creates an environment that is full of tension, and it is unhealthy on so many levels.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get your act together. Your employees are the heart and soul of your company. Recognize that and respect them.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Wonderful, fast paced working environment with incredibly talented, smart and motivated peers

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

    I have been working at Benchmark Education full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Benchmark Education has some of the most creative designers, content developers, and professional development experts that I have ever worked with in the educational publishing industry. The company is growing quickly and there is plenty of room for me to learn new things, move to different departments and be part of a great entrepreneurial team. There are a lot of young people here which makes the company sponsored happy hours a blast...always an added plus.

    Cons

    The company has a very entrepreneurial, "start up" like environment that may not be for everyone.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 5 people found this helpful  

    unprofessional and hostile atmosphere which is too bad because it could be a good job experience and good products

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

    I have been working at Benchmark Education full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    you will be very hands on as long as you are not doing somethign that the owners would prefer to put their own hands on and in that case you will learn that they are not very good to delegating authority, they want to be the authority on things because they don't trust people to make decisions (and you should develop the ability to read their minds)

    Cons

    one of the principles yells a lot and uses foul language (four letter words to say the least) and berates people and says things that she thinks are jokes but are in fact just plain racism and sexism and homophobia. she deals in stereotype and doesn't see people as individuals. she is a bully because she is insecure. i wonder if this goes on because it is owned privately, i know it would not float in a corporation where there are standards for behavior. i know bosses yell etc everywhere but this is extreme. people leave sometimes after a few days

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    sell the company to people who will focus on making a good product and treating their employees decently instead of running around yelling at everyone in a very unpleasant manner. a lot more work would get done too which is what you seem to be worried about, if people didn't have to worry about the stresses of working for someone who is very unpleasant. it will be better for your blood pressure too!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    I have experienced tremendous career growth at this dynamic company and thrive on the energetic teamwork.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Department Manager  in  Pelham, NY
    Current Employee - Department Manager in Pelham, NY

    I have been working at Benchmark Education full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Creative, contemporary company; smart, committed staff; warm, open atmosphere peppered by intensity about products and processes.

    Cons

    Suburban location. Intense workload. Extreme ambition.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep investing in talented people. Open a small, satellite location in Manhattan to convert commuting time into productive time.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 4 people found this helpful  

    Good product, negative environment

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

    I worked at Benchmark Education full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    - A very good product
    - Always striving to stay ahead of the ed tech curve
    - Quick reactions to the market
    - A casual environment

    Cons

    - Negative environment with constant yelling, cursing, slamming doors, throwing things at employees, belittlement by senior management
    - the negative environment created by senior management trickles down to managers who take it out on those below them
    - there is little chance for advancement once in the company, instead they regularly hire new people at higher levels than those who have been there for a very long time
    - there is little chance to move to new positions or responsibility even when one expresses an interest directly in doing so
    - micromanagement is taken to the extreme
    - benefits are very poor in regards to expected contributions by employees, no bonuses, and poor 401k contributions from the employer
    - roles and who one reports to are not defined, nor are day to day expectations and responsibilities

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Grow and value the employees you have before they all leave.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 5 people found this helpful  

    Counterproductively, needlessly stressful environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Creative  in  Pelham, NY
    Former Employee - Creative in Pelham, NY

    I worked at Benchmark Education full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    If you live in Pelham it's easy to get to ! There is not a bureaucracy in place, at least - we changed directions and made things happen on the drop of a dime. Definitely no sitting around waiting for answers!

    Cons

    I hope this doesnt run afoul of the community guidelines but it is the truth and there is no other way to put it: Senior management is routinely verbally abusive to some employees. Language goes beyond politically incorrect to the stuff of lawsuits - a polite way to put this would be to say that race, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, etc., came up in conversations or in front of groups when they were not germaine to the discussion. Other people have alluded to this lack of tact and professionalism - I hope you will let this commentary stand as people should be aware of it going in (there were some that were not aware of it and quit in a matter of days or weeks while i was there).

    Roles are not clearly defined - i had no job description and spent a lot of my time "putting out fires" rather than planning to do something and then doing it. There is no reason it has to be such a stressful environment to make children's books. Appraisals were infrequent. There were many instances when someone got a job because of friends or family. Sometimes that works out fine but sometimes it doesn't ... and it builds resentment in people who were hired solely for their ability, when they had to report to someone who didn't know as much but had a good "connection".

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat the people who work for you as responsible professionals. Let people do the job they have been hired to do. Lessen the stress because it will cause burnout and resentment. And rein in the language that runs afoul of the law and professional courtesy.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great people, poor culture

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous  in  Pelham (South Africa)
    Former Employee - Anonymous in Pelham (South Africa)

    I worked at Benchmark Education full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    There are so many intelligent, dedicated and innovative people working at this company, who truly care about education. Many of them work tirelessly. That's about the only positive that can be said about this company

    Cons

    The owners have created a terrible culture. The expectation is to dedicate yourself to the job but without the compensation and recognition of your efforts. It is common to be yelled at and belittled and there is no recourse with HR at all. It's a private company, and you will be treated as if they own you. There is almost no allowance for personal issues, whether family or illness, the expectation is the work is getting done, no matter what. The technology is horrible, programs that don't work, no support when there's a problem, never sure if the data is right and no way to validate.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat your employees with respect and hire knowledgeable and responsive IT/technology staff who know what they are doing and support the company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 5 people found this helpful  

    Benchmark = Black mark

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

    I worked at Benchmark Education full-time

    Pros

    Opportunity to learn about all aspects of the business
    Interesting product
    Easy commute from Westchester and southwest Connecticut

    Cons

    No internal structure so who anyone 'reports to' doesn't really matter
    Little to no positive reinforcement
    Constant yelling
    Employees are belittled on a regular basis
    No "trust" in employees to do the jobs they were hired to do
    Out of date systems

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    BEC's growth is unsustainable considering the above cons. My advice is to slow down and carefully consider the company's next step. If Management does not want to hit the brakes on the company's growth, then sell BEC to a competent organization that can take it to the next level.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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