There are newer employer reviews for Innovative Interfaces, Inc

11 people found this helpful  

Interesting, frustrating, underpaid, and

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

I have been working at Innovative Interfaces, Inc

Pros

The coworkers are incredibly intelligent, educated, diverse and passionate people (1/3 of the employees have a master's in library science and many have multiple degrees). They are extremely hardworking, pleasant, creative people - and the customers are some of the best around. Innovative offers good health care and a reasonable amount of PTO (paid time off).

Middle management is great and as protective of its employees as any one could want. In fact, three of the greatest managers I've ever had are at Innovative. The company isn't "evil" - it's appealing to work for a company that does so much to help libraries do their so-very-important thing. It's a way to be in the library field and still make money, for one.

Also, unlike most other software companies, developers are not required to work around the clock to hit a deadline or a software launch. For many people, the work day really can end at 5 pm.

There have been some significant positive changes at the senior management level in the past 6 months, and there are a few more retirements due in the next year or two. There are signs that the new regime might correct a lot of what is wrong there, but change comes very slowly to this basically conservative company.

Cons

The company has a serious case of "founderitis", although there's hope that with some recent senior management changes the company can overcome it. Until 2010, no one at the executive level had ever worked elsewhere - a real problem in a 30-year-old company long-since outgrown the spare bedroom.

The company produces great software. The problem is that it is difficult to install, tortuous to maintain and herculean to upgrade. Ideas, plans, projects get squashed without rationale (even after executive buy-in or direction), temper tantrums from the top are embarrassingly common, and there has been a huge leadership vacuum between the VPs and middle management. Decision-makers have been actively and publicly vacillating on necessary changes for over for ten years. Really poor personnel management at the executive level allowed some truly awful, lawsuit-worthy situations to develop in the upper management tiers.

A really good example of how things have gone astray and the nail in the coffin for many (not for myself) - was the change in the PTO policy about 18 months ago. III used to have a great work-life balance - most employees were salaried and managers had the flexibility to handle their employee's schedules as they saw fit. 18 months ago this policy was changed; now, even salaried employees must account for every minute. So if you have an 8 am dentist appointment you have to take off 4 hours of PTO. Officially, there's no more working from home, and all employees had to change their schedule to be 8am-5pm. These changes were announced on a Friday afternoon, effective the following Monday. All the people who had painstakingly crafted slightly alternate schedules (to accommodate children, carpools, parental care, etc) were given precisely 0 days to make other arrangements. After a huge uproar, III backpedaled and agreed that perhaps there were circumstances under which other schedules might be permitted. III is within its rights, barely, on the salaried-employees-must-account-for-every-minute policy, but the implementation of it is a good example of what makes working at Innovative less and less appealing. The reality is that now everyone is sneaking around to try to maintain a sane and humane work-life balance for their employees. It's a shame.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Communicate, communicate, communicate. Explain what's going on on a regular basis. Make decisions, even if the decision is no. Talk to your employees on a frequent, regular schedule. Get management training.

Also, pay more, or give more soft benefits - like training, bringing in outside experts, organizing events that tie the company to the two industries of which it is a part -- the library world and the software world. Make us love working for you again.

33 Other Employee Reviews for Innovative Interfaces, Inc (View Most Recent)

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Passionate about keeping libraries relevant

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

    I worked at Innovative Interfaces, Inc full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Very dedicated, smart employees who really care about their customers. Global presence with a wide variety of products to serve librarians around the world.

    Cons

    Lots of change, need more communication from the senior team regarding company direction so that employees understand the mission and direction.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Senior management would do well to listen more to the employee base. Create a culture of "we" versus "us" and "them". It is quite possible to do, especially since the employees are so wiling and able to participate in the process. Celebrate successes of both customers and employees more often.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 6 people found this helpful  

    Mismanagement

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

    I have been working at Innovative Interfaces, Inc full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    The handful of experienced staff that remains from the period prior to the acquisition of the company by venture capitalists. (Everyone else has been "re-structured" right out of the company -- or left as fast as they could.)

    Cons

    The decisions made by the current executives demonstrate a serious disregard for the company's future. They are focused on flashy, short-term goals that result in quarterly bonuses for them but which seriously damage the long-term future of the company. In more than one instance, executive staff hired by the new owners has demonstrated either deep incompetence or outright corruption.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You might try effectively managing the core company, instead of wildly leveraging its historical worth to acquire competitor companies for nothing more than their market share.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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