Cengage Learning

  www.cengage.com
  www.cengage.com
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14 people found this helpful  

Losing the Struggle

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

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

Pros

Many of the folks doing the actual work are incredibly gifted and a joy to work with. There is a valiant effort in the Belmont (soon to be San Francisco) office to engage employees in social activities and fun events, such as pancake breakfasts, gourmet coffee mornings, and the occasional food truck.

HR makes good attempts at providing some online and in-house training, and managers/supervisors are generally supportive of this training. (examples = leadership workshops, 401k seminars with Fidelity, etc.) It's mostly fluff, but it's free.

The new office in San Francisco looks nice, and there will be some public transportation reimbursement to offset the high commuting costs for all of us in the East Bay, South Bay, and Peninsula.

Benefits package includes 401k, health/dental/optical insurance.

Cons

Money - Publishing doesn't pay much in general, but Cengage pays even less than competitors. No bonuses in the past year, no cost of living increase, chapter 11 bankruptcy ongoing since July.

Overworked employees - A 60-70 hour work week is typical if you're salaried, but you are shooed out the door if you are hourly and declare more than the 37.5 hours for full time.

Attrition - Many people have left or are looking elsewhere because of VC mis-management, chapter 11, and low morale. Getting replacements is either impossible or the position not approved. Being over worked has become the new norm, and we're being asked for more innovation, more ideas, and more production while still producing the same number of titles and assets as before. Lofty ideas are great, but there is no one to execute. Freelancers have declined their contracts because of the bankruptcy and delays in payment.

Moving to contractors - Instead of hiring full time employees, there is a movement to outsource the work to temps and contractors. The time/effort this is supposed to save gets eaten up by having to train new people every 3-6 months and check their work or redo it.

Digital transition - The digital move to Mindtap will not get off the ground without engineers in the seats. The Silicon Valley area has too much competition, and engineers must be paid accordingly. They've had engineering positions open for over a year. There is no workload adjustment, the executives just want more innovation and more new things. Again there is no one to execute and our projects are delayed.

Manager heavy - In each reorg in the past 18 months (most of us have lost count) there have been more managers and manager-level positions created, including the promotion of several of the previously-digital academic types. Again their teams are left without writers and replacement positions hang open for months which delays or compromises the digital products. These academics have great subject matter expertise, but are ill equipped to jump in and manage the editorial side of things.

Executive decisions - Like so many huge companies, there is a serious communication gap between executive management and everyone else. What we get in town hall meetings is lip service and forced/half-hearted cheering with no facts, no concrete information (though I'd like to give them the benefit of the doubt that they seem to mean well.)

Lack of promotions - Maybe because of the hiring freezes in the past 3 years, but there have only been worker-level promotions coming out of the Boston office. Belmont, Famington Hills, and Mason have seen nothing except for managers getting a bump.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Change at least some of the items in the cons section. If digital first is supposed to be the new mantra, then let the digital teams call the shots and budgets for a change.

Doesn't Recommend
Negative Outlook
Disapproves of CEO

443 Other Employee Reviews for Cengage Learning (View Most Recent)

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  1. 4 people found this helpful  

    Over the 10+ years I have been here, some moments and some people have been wonderful.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Farmington Hills, MI
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Farmington Hills, MI

    I have been working at Cengage Learning full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Lots of variety in career options. People are friendly and genuinely helpful.

    Cons

    Pay is poor. Currently in bankruptcy. Inconsistencies from one department to another. Those of us who work really hard get paid the same as those that don't. Big secrecy of salaries, and management tells us not to talk to one another about it. Raises past number of years have been in the 1 to 2% range, so we're sliding backwards with health care cost increases. Only way to get ahead is to move to a different department.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 7 people found this helpful  

    Do you really want to work for a company that files bankrupcty? - No and here is why.

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

    I have been working at Cengage Learning full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    The health insurance and 8 paid weeks maternity leave.

    Cons

    The majority of the senior level management team are Caucasian and males. Any minorities in upper management are paid $1000s less regardless of the education. (I am not allowed to reveal the exact office, but most are in the South.) Special favor is held for those females the men find attractive and those females are rewarded with jobs for which they are not qualified. Many people with college degrees and more experience in their fields were passed over for jobs because of a strong culture of dishonesty from human resources.

    The company continues to fail because the people are unhappy and unfulfilled. Typically they prefer to put the women they find work in mediocre management positions so they can fulfill their equal opportunity requirements.

    For those of you in shock by these statements, review the Cengage learning org chart from some of their southern offices and you would be shocked at the obvious lines drawn. When asked why the culture was not as “mixed” in their offices as they were in the warehouse…HR responded “we only have to have 2.7 minorities for every 100. HR tends to use fear to drive employees out they do not want to pay a severance to. Bankruptcy and corruption are no surprise when it comes to Cengage Learning.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listent to your staff, even if they are women and straight.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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