Waggener Edstrom Worldwide
3.3 of 5 131 reviews
www.waggeneredstrom.com Bellevue, WA 500 to 999 Employees

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12 people found this helpful  

Work-Life Balance and Management Issues Sour an Otherwise Great Workplace

Senior Account Executive (Former Employee)
Portland, OR

I worked at Waggener Edstrom Worldwide

ProsThe salary and benefits are great in my experience, the office is nice, and an effort is made to make employees feel welcome. Infrastructure teams offer scheduling flexibility (particularly to working mothers). Many great co-workers. Looks wonderful on a resume (interviewers nearly always mention it in a positive light). Dynamite internship program. Great place for the young single go-getter "rock star" to climb the corporate ladder relatively quickly.

Hours provided to volunteer, and many in-house events such as health fairs, etc.

ConsThe biggest and most glaring is a lack of work-life balance, and inflexible scheduling. All teams claim to be the exception to the rule in the interview process, but the reality (particularly on the MS account teams, which is most of the agency) is that the workload is consistently such that a team member can't properly accomplish their assigned tasks without putting in 60-70 hours per week. It wasn't unusual to see multiple team members still working away at 6:30 or 7 pm or even later, and then leave to go home and work more on their laptop.

The leadership tends to be out of touch. Example: One set of VPs "gifted" one of the account divisions with half-day Fridays for a month, "provided all work had been completed", only to be met with snickers from all, who knew there was no way all work could be completed even in a full week. The VPs left at noon to "Set the example" each Friday--everyone else continued until all hours as normal.

Woeful lack of understanding of true integrated digital communications. Their unwavering commitment to the old ways of PR (leadership is comprised of 20 year veterans, account teams of recent U of O grads) and to superfluous amounts of rigid process keep them from making real impact in many cases. This is particularly detrimental given their tech focus, where the competition is often faster and nimbler.

Infrastructure teams are much less glamorous, less often in the spotlight, but also offer much better work life balance. Those teams seem happier and healthier than the account teams, and would recommend them much more readily. Also MUCH more flexibility in scheduling there.

If cheery verbal encouragement and a good financial/benefit bottom line are worth 60 hours of your week, you can grow here quickly and effectively. Otherwise, I personally recommend you look elsewhere to find an agency where overtime is the exception, leadership is willing to invest in the mid-levels as much as the interns, and big ideas are welcomed with open arms.

Advice to Senior ManagementThe nice facilities, great benefits and verbal overtures about how much WE values its employees make for a great entrance to the agency. The leadership seems to really believe in these ideals, its just that they just never seem to realize that the values are only being lived out in a verbal fantasy world. In reality, overworked talent gets burned out, underappreciated, overloaded, over-critiqued, looked over, and so on. When each new wave of once-eager talent suddenly and unceremoniously departs, management never seems to question why or attempt to curb the tide. Please start to question it--ask why people are willing to leave a job with a good salary in this economy, even if the person tells you they just "found another opportunity". They may just feel too unappreciated. stifled, or insignificant to tell you the truth on their way out.

Also,

-reduce the excessive attention to process over impact, you're wasting talent and hundreds of hours on needless briefings, re-caps, meetings about meetings, etc.
-learn the fundamentals of true digital communications , and then lead with them. You have the size and resources to compete with the big agencies, if you are willing to truly innovate.
-don't let your mid-level people get lost in the fray. They are some of your strongest talent. If you had a way to develop and invest in them as much as the interns, your retention would go up. VPs and Interns are largely the only ones with exposure to our founders, for example. Promote them more--recognize them more, rather than only remembering to meet with them when there's a new project to drop on them or when they are being reviewed.
-re-vamp the annual company meeting. It's not helpful in its current form. We want to meet other teams, interact with top leadership, get REAL answers (not PR answers), and dream together. We don't care if it's messy--but it should have more real substance.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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8 people found this helpful  

One of the absolute worst.

Senior Specialist (Current Employee)
Bellevue, WA

I have been working at Waggener Edstrom Worldwide


Pros: Work from home options. Vacation time. Health Benefits. You are able… Cons: Too many to list. Management needs a serious reality check. Most senior leadership talks a big game and rarely delivers.Take a look at the… Advice to Senior Management: Drop the ivory tower attitudes. Cut senior leadership back 50%. Enable your employees… No, I would not recommend this company to a friend More

  • Work/Life Balance
         
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1 person found this helpful  

Lots of opportunity for those who work hard and are committed to their career and the overall success of the agency

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Lake Oswego, OR

I have been working at Waggener Edstrom Worldwide


Pros: Great people, lots of opportunity for advancement, great benefits including… Cons: Depending on who your manager is and how the leadership of… Advice to Senior Management: Continue to keep employees in the loop regarding the direction of the company and how the agency is committed to… Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend More

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