Cengage Learning

  www.cengage.com
  www.cengage.com
There are newer employer reviews for Cengage Learning

12 people found this helpful  

The products and overall company direction are on the rise; the office culture is not.

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Associate Content Developer in San Francisco, CA
Current Employee - Associate Content Developer in San Francisco, CA

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

Pros

When I left, Cengage was changing for the better -- more of a movement towards sofware development (with all the appropriate steps, redesigning process and workflow, hiring UX designers and engineers, etc.), a great new space in SF, and a management that takes responsibility for it's errors. The work is very rewarding, Cengage is very honest and vocal about being customer-focused, and a healthy work-life balanced is encouraged around there. The CEO and management have taken big steps to "turn things around" and I have seen words turn to action based on the desires and needs of customers and employees. If you are looking for a bright, energetic office where you can contribute to dynamic, meaningful projects with a sense of the customer in mind, you are coming to the right place.

Cons

The company culture has had some serious issues in the past, and recent reorgs have not completely sorted out all the problems. During my time there, I witnessed two abusive managers get away with inappropriate behavior for over a year (one eventually quit, the other was laid off during a reorg.) The behavior of both managers was known, casually discussed, and essentially endured for the fact that they had both been there for years, and the upper management showed an apathy to actually fire them and improve both teams. Though both of these individuals are gone, the impression of "you can get away with all this" still lingers - people slack off, act rude, and generally can be cruel to others based on archaic silos and labels from the past. There are "tenured" managers who are "above the rules" in the way they run things, and people who get promoted are often "favorites" of those managers who recreate the cycle. I would warn someone considering working their to trust their gut feeling about whichever manager and team that they are interviewing with. Also, be prepared to encounter (and avoid) some petty in-office politics between "rival" teams.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

The HR team in SF needs to be MUCH more proactive in facilitating and responding to issues. Have them hold office hours or allow people to schedule one-on-one sessions with a person they feel comfortable with (in some cases, the HR person you are "forced" to talk to because you're matched with them is not actually someone you feel comfortable speaking with.) Better yet, hire new HR people to shake up that team the way you have with so many other departments. You've already come so far in bringing about improvement, keep enforcing accountability and transparency and you'll figure out who to keep (and who needs to go!)

Positive Outlook
Approves of CEO

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

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Fantastic local senior management - Management Services

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

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

    Pros

    The number one pro of Cengage Learning Management Services is the people. The VP of of the service center is an individual of high moral character who leads by example and "walks the talk". This individual does not expect anything out of the members of the organization that she is not willing to do herself. This promotes and leads to a great team environment where the underlying theme is one of supporting each other. In other words, truly encouraging collaboration.

    Cons

    Obviously, there are many uncertainties still due to the recent emergence from Chapter 11. Depending on how things transpire, this may very well turn into a positive. I would say the the biggest con, being in back office finance which is deemed more a "cost of doing business" vs. on the sales or product development side which drive revenues, is that we miss out on some opportunities to collaborate with other parts of the business. For example, in the past we would attend company wide meetings such as sales conferences and visit the operating units to provide in person training on our various systems. I have found that these in person sessions help overcome negative perceptions to some of our systems to where they are now some of the more liked systems. Due to budget squeezes, we have not had the opportunity to visit and interact in person with the operating units as we have in the past.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Even though Management Services is a "cost center", provide some space in the budget for trips to the operating units for training, system presentations and plain old networking. This will allow us to provide some one on one assistance for systems that might be considered troubling to those in the operating units while providing us with some real life examples of how the systems are being used and possible hurdles that users are facing. This can provide us with the insight to show users better ways to use the systems or for tweaks we could consider making to them. This is true collaboration.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    A company that seems to be turning it around

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Media Editor in Mason, OH
    Current Employee - Media Editor in Mason, OH

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

    Pros

    After many years of lip service, we finally look like a company that is becoming technology driven rather than print driven.
    Good mix of new and experienced workers.
    We produce great content and products!
    Great potential to leverage resources from National Geographic into K-12 products.
    Vastly improved communication from the CEO and top management..

    Cons

    I don't see a clear management plan for the K-12 companies.
    There's still a big divide between Technology and Editorial.
    More and more reliance on outsourcing has hurt quality in some areas.
    Important K-12 brands are being lost under the NGL brand.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take a more holistic view of the NGL companies. Look for ways to foster more collaboration. Get more K-12 input into technology initiatives -- what works in colleges may not work in K-8 or 9-12.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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