Evanta

  www.evanta.com
  www.evanta.com

Evanta Reviews

Updated July 9, 2014
Updated July 9, 2014
43 Reviews
3.0
43 Reviews
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Evanta Founder & CEO Robert L. Dethlefs
Robert L. Dethlefs
32 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    It really is unfortunate that there is such controversy on this forum. My aim is to write an authentic review.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Program Director in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Program Director in Portland, OR

    I have been working at Evanta full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    - Exciting future prospects with new business sectors
    - Friendly Staff
    - Individuals in your business unit that are willing to help and collaborate
    - A business model that clearly works and is effective
    - Compressed work weeks
    - Christmas shut down
    - Year-end parties
    - Bi Annual reward vacations for top sales performers
    - Competitive Salary (I can only speak for myself)

    Cons

    - High pressure environment (not necessarily a con but just know that you are expected to be a high achiever)
    - Underlying feeling that some people stay here despite being unhappy
    - I completely understand the need to grow exponentially every year and thus the need to launch more regional events, the concern is at what point do we hit a saturation point for domestic events. The future will be in international events and in our other business segments.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I feel that the ask that was put out in one of our meetings (not by the CEO in fact, but by another senior executive) was a sincere ask to leave an open and candid analysis of the company, however I feel this was a strategic mistake... it just amplified the desire of those that were unhappy to voice that discontent 10x louder then those that are very happy or moderately happy, as is normally the case.

    Unfortunately some of the comments left here are pretty scathing, and seem somewhat embellished to me, but I am just one employee.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 4 people found this helpful  

    Really discouraging environment

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Evanta

    Pros

    I can think of quite a few good things about Evanta: Convenient downtown location, free parking, gym reimbursement, younger demographic, great resume builder, fairly easy to get hired if you know someone who works here (or are related to an executive staff member).

    Cons

    I don't know if our executive team is out of touch or just know they are untouchable but they don't seem to really understand how to motivate and inspire the (fairly) young workforce they've hired. I think that this is a fine starter job but would never recommend it to someone looking for a long term career, especially if they are female. Our CEO seems sexist and if you look at the executive team or the sales organization, you will see male dominated management. It would be nice to see females being recognized and promoted into roles that they are clearly qualified for.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Executive staff needs to quit being scared to tell the CEO how they feel. He is obviously a visionary but he's not always right and it's your job to tell him that. You need to think about how his emotional decisions affect morale and create resentment. That is your job. Yes, skydiving and golf are fun but most of us are not looking for a company that will take us somewhere once a year. We want a company we can grow with and after a recent re-organization that included a promotion of someone who is less qualified than a female that was not considered for the role, I am discouraged by this environment.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 10 people found this helpful  

    Beware of Endless Contracts!

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Evanta

    Pros

    Beer on Fridays. Flashy perks. Decent pay. Good resume experience. Met some cool people. I learned what I don't want out of a career.

    Cons

    I worked in one of the non sales depts as a contractor for almost a year at 40 hours a week with the personal goal of being hired full time.

    HR was surprisingly the worst part of Evanta for me. They are nice at first but the longer you are there, the more you realize how inconsiderate and two faced HR is. They are not transparent with their means of endless contracts. They will inconsiderately let you know if you have a job or not on the last day of your contract because they don't care about your life or you as a person and will only make your life harder if you bring issues to them. They will tell you that they can't hire you on because they don't know how business will do. This is a BS excuse that ends up insulting your intelligence. Don't tell me you don't know how business will do when I see positions opening, the company expanding, and have to hear about how good it's doing at praise progress meetings every week. I'm not a moron. Workers are just a tools to Evanta and HR has the business's best interest clearly at heart. Don't trust them. They are better at being defensive than being helpful.

    As a contractor, they expect you to give 100% loyalty to the company while they show you no commitment with their endless contracts, which means you won't receive health benefits from them until more than a year later if they decide to hire you full time one day. Even if you are a good worker, show up on time every day, and are liked by the company none of those things matters when it comes to hiring contractors on full time.

    The environment is oppressive and underhandedly cold and detaching. The exec staff isn't empowering and doesn't give any incentive for non sales departments. It's just all about money-making. Everyone sucks up to the CEO which is annoying and no one stands up for each other. The lack of empowerment and respect paired with the high stress, fast paced environment is honestly soul sucking, and I realized it wasn't worth the sacrifices I was making to work for the company, which is why ultimately I don't resent being laid off twice.

    The turn over rate was crazy. There is probably a reason for that. Also during my orientation, one of the exec staff made a comment saying that introverts don't do well at Evanta. Being an introvert myself, this was obvious discrimination and a precursor to the Evanta experience. They only care about what's on the outside and not the inside.

    If you are thinking about contracting for this company, only stay for 1 contract and be done unless you're looking to settle. Otherwise, this is a stepping stone for younger people. Also if you're going to play the Evanta contract after contract game then play it, which means don't take it too seriously and know how to take advantage of whatever is trying to take advantage of you-- It's not really the most ideal attitude to working somewhere, but the company gets to pick the game. Don't get jerked around by them.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't undermine your employees and stop trying to hoodwink them. Find value in other things besides money. Be more transparent with contractors as to what your intentions are from the get go.

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  5. 11 people found this helpful  

    Stockholm Syndrome

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

    I worked at Evanta full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Pay is okay
    Benefits are competitive
    Downtown location is convenient for some

    Cons

    You would think that a company whose entire brand is based on fostering leadership for Fortune 1000 executives would have the guts to practice what it preaches, but you’d be wrong. The leadership at this company is a complete hypocrisy. The CEO leads through fear mongering, insecurity, and paranoia. And when you reach a certain level of his “inner circle,” he’ll confess as much. If you want to work for a conniving classist with a severe messiah complex, here’s your chance. I don’t think I’ve ever even seen anyone double park in Portland, but this monster double parks his Maserati in front of Starbucks every morning.

    The problem is, no one confronts him about any of his inexcusable behavior. It’s one thing to double park in front of a coffee shop; it’s another to demean and devalue your employees. The CEO thinks his behavior is just “wacky.” It’s not. The CEO is just a fearful little man who uses his insecurities as fuel for tyrannical leadership. Get some help already.

    The CEO throws things at employees during meetings. The sales VPs are callous and demeaning, yet go out of the way to make sure you know how religious they are. The HR department is a farce. The new CFO is an okay guy. The old CFO is pretty jolly but nobody knows what he does now that he’s not the CFO. The IT guy is nice enough but he definitely toes the company line.

    Below I’ll outline a few more things you can expect to get when you work for Evanta:

    Stockholm Syndrome
    It’s been said in these reviews before, but I can’t think of a better way to describe what working at Evanta for more than a year does to you other than to compare it to what many survivors of hostage situations have experienced. The positive reviews on this site that aren’t directly written by the executive team come from employees experiencing feelings of empathy and positive feelings for their captors. If you want to learn what traumatic bonding can do for you, join this wretched company.

    Praise Progress
    A cursed, white-knuckle affair that happens every Friday. The CEO and executive staff position themselves in a Supreme Court-like setting in front of the entire company. The CEO rants. The VPs nod vigorously in agreement. Each program director is expected to give updates on his/her program. The CEO frequently patronizes the program directors if they don’t tell him the numbers he wants to hear. He calls them “teaching moments.” Most of the non-sales team is silent. Once in a while the CEO will get uncomfortable due to the lack of participation. He’ll then force everyone to come up with something to say during the meeting. If you want to see the most uncomfortable, fearful group of people on the west coast on a Friday morning at 7:30am, go to an edition of “Praise Progress.” It’s a sight to behold.

    Soup Kitchen Wednesday
    A day when a predetermined group brings largely unidentifiable sludge in mass quantities for everyone to eat by 10am — a real salmonella roulette. You are advised to only partake in Soup Kitchen Wednesday when something easily identifiable as packaged and prepared food (such as cereal out of a box) is presented as an option.

    Lavish Year-End Parties That Cost As Much As A New Mercedes
    Nothing makes the executives feel better about themselves than throwing ridiculous themed parties at the end of the year. Usually at The Nines or a comparably upscale hotel. Everyone then sits for 5+ hours while the CEO pontificates about the company, politics, whatever. They give out some cheesy awards. Then there’s some dog and pony show that gets more and more ridiculous as time goes by. Last year there was a mechanical bull. You can’t make this stuff up. If you’re looking to write the next big office sitcom, this company will give you all the material you need.

    An “Outing” Whenever The CEO Is Feeling Particularly Unloved
    You’ll go bowling. You’ll go golfing. Hell, you might even go skydiving. It really just depends on what kind of mood the CEO is in. It’s like what my mom used to do when I was a kid to pacify me when I was getting shots at the doctor’s office. You feel the pain, then you get a treat. It’s a pretty sick system, to be honest.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    People actually look to you for guidance and growth. If you really want to be leaders, then lead. In my time at Evanta, there was no career mentoring, no positive reinforcement, nothing. If you isolate yourself from your team either physically or emotionally, they’ll lose respect for you. Engage employees to do the best work they can and actually support them from day one. Instead of sitting in front of them during "Praise Progress," how about sitting WITH them?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 7 people found this helpful  

    Lucky I got out quickly

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

    I worked at Evanta

    Pros

    I can't think of one Pro.....perhaps location? chairs? travel opportunities? work life balance perhaps, but then when you are home you spend your time wishing you weren't a wage slave and didn't have to go back there.....

    Cons

    Absolute terror of a CEO. He is rude beyond your imagination. He is hypocritical, self-centered and basically just a sad little man. Speaks to the staff as if he is some sort of messiah. Actually I think he believes he is.

    The CIO clients that support the company must have no clue as to the painful experience the Evanta staff endures daily to create their programs. I seriously doubt they are aware of the wretched, humiliating environment that is Evanta.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    oh my Bob, get the hell out. you are a horrible, horrible CEO.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 6 people found this helpful  

    I have been working at Evanta

    Pros

    you get to interact and speak with a lot of amazing leaders around the country that in turn make you realize how poor the leadership is at Evanta

    Cons

    nothing more then what has already been said. Get out while you can before you have to start playing the "game" of business politics.

    You will be looked down upon for doing any of these things, which will automatically put you on a path for zero growth or development.

    1) Have a Kid (Especially if you are a female) Its like you are cheating on your Evanta family for wanting to have a family of your own.

    2) Not be able to go to a company outing... No matter what the excuse is, you will forever be put on the CEO's list.

    3) Take a Friday off of work (You cant miss Praise progress as it is the only time the CEO can listen to his own voice and mandate that everyone gush over him and his ideas)

    4) Ask the CEO for a raise or fair pay (Again you should feel honored to work there and the CEOs mentality is that you should actually pay him for the opportunity to work for him)

    5) Interact with any employees outside of work or a work affiliated event. (not allowed to have friends at the work place)

    6) take credit for anything (All credit has to go back to the CEO for giving you the opportunity)

    I can go on and on...

    Just know that it has gotten to the point that I get fully depressed on Sundays knowing that I have to go back into that office on Monday morning. I wake up in cold sweats, and ask myself everyday why I put myself through it... The reason? I need to pay my bills for my family and until I find something else I will just keep playing the game that the CEO has asked us to play in pretending that we love this place and that we actually respect the man that he is.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pretty Obvious

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 9 people found this helpful  

    Recycled air

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

    I have been working at Evanta

    Pros

    You'll find an active social group within your demographic if you're fresh out of school.

    Great place to absorb valuable career development...if it's your first step.

    Close to the waterfront.

    Cons

    They are quick to implement short-term remedies to soothe office moral only to ignore larger issues including but not limited to: moral, departmental structure and operations, implementation of technology for the benefit of production, etc. etc.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    tl;dr right?

    First, the company loves to tote how they were ranked in some top ten "Best 100 Large Companies to Work For" and "Fastest Growing Companies" in Oregon...back in 2008. They enjoy holding onto past accomplishments with this idea that it still reigns true. Stop waiving around your 8th grade report card with that A you got that one time.

    Evanta also loves to recount stories about how they've taken employee's on amazing excursions; you'll learn quickly that majority of said expeditions all pre-date 70% of the office.

    Still, I admit, it was pretty cool to be able to go skydiving on the companies dime...but it's like, how about you implement some of those changes to sales methodology / implement proposed technological modifications to production / stop feeding us unfulfilled promises, instead of dangling fun and adrenaline in our faces?

    Every 7-9 months each department will leave the office maybe an hour or so early to go do some classic team bonding aka bowling. They'll pay for drinks, the food, the entertainment, and, depending on what your relationship is with your colleagues, this computes to an enjoyable time...if we wanted to just hang out and have drinks, we already do that on our own...how about you listen and support our ideas for new ways of departmental operation?

    Basically it's like Evanta are those divorced parents who're trying to give you some cool presents so you'll love them more.

    The problem is that Evanta treats these moments as a band-aid which loosely holds together an ever growing wound. It's a cosmetic moment of moral improvement that nobody asked for.

    So what's the problem?

    Put simply, senior management is content with operating their departments, their ideology, their application of technology, their whole work philosophy around that with which they started with. Departments and subsequently their employee's and the work said employee's produce, are managed under this idea that what worked when the company started still applies to the company it is today; and that's simply not the case.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------

    PRAISE PROGRESS

    Every Friday morning the company is rounded up for a weekly all-staff meeting. This comes advertised as an opportunity for employee's to catch a glimpse of what their colleagues are up to in other departments. It's supposed to be a time where guests are invited, either future employee's as part of the interview process, or friends / business partners of some senior management executive.

    What it turns out to be:

    1. The CEO holding the microphone. What I mean by this is that he finally has his stage/platform to express his need for approval from those he surrounds himself with. He'll go on tangents as he recounts stories of 'glory days past', either related to Evanta, it's business, or some obscure party he attended in college.

    2. Sales people talking sales numbers related to sales goals.

    3. An opportunity for various employee's to practice what they think passes for stand-up comedy.

    4. Poke fun of the usual suspects.

    5. A waste of your d*mn time.

    HOW TO WIN AT PRAISE PROGRESS

    1. Get there early and claim your spot in the back, preferably behind someone who'll block your view from Death Row aka where all the executives sit.

    2. Don't let the CEO think you're sleeping or he'll throw stuff at you.

    3. Bring a pad and pen for Praise Progress BINGO. Some fan favorite squares include:

    - Somebody. says something inappropriate where 'Archer' would say "phrasing".
    - The CEO makes fun of somebody for eating.
    - The CEO tells a story that has absolutely no relevance to business operations.
    - An executive then replies to the CEO and says "well, that's not exactly how it happened."
    - "Amazing"
    - "Fantastic"
    - "Fabulous"
    - "Glad to be here"
    - "just want to praise everyone on my team." <cue applause cue 'awww'>
    - An animal shows up

    4. Consume caffeine or cocaine; basically some form of stimulant to keep you from falling asleep (see #2) for duration of the meeting (generally last 2 hours).

    Oh, and should you ever submit a request for PTO (a day off), better not let it be a Friday. The CEO and senior management deeply frowns upon those who miss "family time" (his words); big no-no.

    I know what you're thinking..."it's only 2 hours, each week, not that bad." True, on paper it doesn't seem so, and it does seems ridiculous that I'm even voicing my opinions about it...but when you inhabit a work environment which stresses high volume of production squeezed out of every minute of the day, whether sales or non, you end up just tacking on the hours you lost to the end of the day. Kind of annoying when that's every week and you're sitting there wondering, "wait, couldn't this just be an email I can ignore and continue working on X project?"

    -------------------------------

    You'll fall into one of two categories if you find yourself employed at Evanta:

    1. "I need a paycheck, there're some kinda cool people here, let's keep working until I can find something better."

    2. The person at happy hour each week who complains and complains and complains and complains about their complaint never been rectified...only to go back in the next day for more of the same.

    It's quite easy to play along if you:

    1. Say you live on the east side of the river (for some reason the CEO and upper management love to ask this question to new people. They think it's a riot).

    2. Say you like the Ducks, specifically their football program.

    3. Nod your head in agreement and don't challenge their way of operations.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 4 people found this helpful  

    The fact that leadership asked employees to write positive reviews explains it all

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Community Development Specialist in Portland, OR
    Former Employee - Community Development Specialist in Portland, OR

    I worked at Evanta full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Business model is smart, could be such a better place if leadership didn't hedge power and looked at all the employees as contributors toward innovation. There are so many smart capable people whose potential has been untapped, due to small minded insecurity of management.

    Cons

    The CEO doesn't value people, they are pawns in his game. It's no wonder even with an ask (demand) that positive reviews be written he still only has a 54% approval rating.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I was there during the time the CEO left for a season, the culture began to open up and people began to feel like they could make a difference and contribute value. That ended when he returned. My advice is retirement of the CEO

  10. 9 people found this helpful  

    Read the rest of the reviews...

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

    I worked at Evanta full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    There are many positive and accurate things in previous reviews.
    There are many negative and accurate things in previous reviews.

    At Evanta, you take the bad with the good.

    Cons

    It looks like the long-standing desire of the CEO to manipulate every minute detail must have resulted in a request or order to staffers to post positive reviews on Feb 21, 2014...

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Words without matching actions are meaningless.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 12 people found this helpful  

    Worst company ever

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Program Director in Portland, OR
    Former Employee - Program Director in Portland, OR

    I worked at Evanta full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    This place taught me to be skeptical of others and their motives, that you can't trust leadership and you have to look out for yourself.

    If you know your employment rights and can handle this company for 12-18 months, you could probably build up a nice case to sue the company for discrimination, harassment, bullying, intimidation... you name it.

    Cons

    Too much to list, but nothing that hasn't already been said.

    Terribly managed company run by a small man, both in stature and integrity.

    There is nothing surprising to me that the CEO tried to manipulate Evanta's rating on this site by mandating that employees write positive reviews here.

    CEO loves to try and put the fear into his employees, which works because they hire mostly young employees who don't know their employment rights... lawsuit waiting to happen, bullying, intimidation, discrimination run rampant in this company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    there is nothing that could help the management team

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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