F+W, a Content + eCommerce Company

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F+W, a Content + eCommerce Company Reviews

Updated June 27, 2015
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2.5
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David B. Nussbaum
31 Ratings

Pros
  • Salary is pretty good, and I like that I can work from home as a remote employee (in 3 reviews)

  • Good work-life balance as most employees leave at 5 (in 3 reviews)

Cons
  • company was owned by group not interested in growing long term business, but in "flipping" and selling off for profit (in 2 reviews)

  • No opportunity for advancement (at best, you'll get a "title change" with more responsibility but no additional compensation) (in 2 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

52 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    Great job for those willing to work hard

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

    I have been working at F+W, a Content + eCommerce Company full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Work is interesting, varied, and plentiful. Never a dull moment on the eMedia side of the company. Very focused on revenue results, so measuring success is simple (even if achieving success is not always so). Hard work, so don't expect to get a paycheck for sitting on Facebook all day. Seems to be decent recognition of good employees although upward advancement can require patience.

    Cons

    Workload is extremely high and turnover in some departments is never ending, leaving long-term employees with the workload of 2-3 positions at times. Pace of new initiatives is very fast, which sometimes compromises the quality of these initiatives. However, pace of technology and platform advancements is quite slow, so work can be hampered by systems that cannot keep up with the volume of tasks.

    Advice to Management

    While quick results are a valuable thing, so are high-quality ones. Find the happy medium between results and quality - employees and customers will be happier.


  2. Helpful (12)

    A Place to Find a Job, But Not a Career

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Marketing in Fort Collins, CO
    Former Employee - Marketing in Fort Collins, CO

    I worked at F+W, a Content + eCommerce Company

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    There is definitely a sense of community among the employees, who often eat lunch together and maintain relationships outside of work. F+W participates in a wellness program that offers a discount on health insurance, and also encourages the overall health of their employees through weekly salad lunches, fitness competitions, etc. Summer Fridays (early release at 3pm Memorial Day through Labor Day) are also a bonus. PTO is generous, as well, with 15 days off in your first year plus 10.5 paid holidays. F+W is a great place to start and gain experience, but unless you’re considered a favorite among the management, don’t expect to move up in the company.

    Cons

    Most departments could probably use several more people in order to avoid making current employees feel overworked and underpaid. 50+ hour weeks (on salary) are not uncommon, and in many cases, expected. Pay is underwhelming and the company does not take into account past work experience or education for non-management employee salaries. Additionally, exit interviews are often overlooked and not scheduled – this is an important way for employees to communicate with you. By not offering up this time you make yourself look even less open to constructive criticism.

    There is little opportunity for growth and promotion within the company for non-management employees. This type of opportunity usually only arises if another employee leaves the company, or a restructure occurs. In fact, when an employee leaves the company, the remaining part of their team is often responsible for picking up the slack. The backfilling process is painfully slow, with some positions taking 3+ months to fill, leaving the remaining team strapped for resources. Because of the current hiring and raise freezes, some positions are never backfilled, meaning the remainder of the team must shoulder the extra work without proper compensation.

    Marketing strategy is extremely shortsighted. F+W relies mostly on a batch and blast email marketing strategy – and yes, they’re working to improve it. In a reply to a previous post addressing these issues F+W employee Stacie Berger states, “we offer predictive intelligence and 1:1 direct marketing for all our ecommerce stores, targeted email marketing, and more.” This is factually incorrect. Predictive intelligence, 1:1 direct marketing and targeted email marketing are extremely limited, if available at all. These techniques, which are best practices at many other companies, are barely in the experimental stages at F+W. Additionally, the time and effort currently spent on batch and blast email marketing leave little room or time for other strategies or new ideas – employees are stretched thin, already expected to work overtime without pay, and new ideas from non-management employees are met with indifference at best.

    Advice to Management

    • Let your employees know they’re valued. Even when times are rough, it’s important to let your employees know that you recognize their efforts on a weekly or even daily basis. And most importantly, recognize their individual efforts – comments like “I know we’ve all been working really hard lately” doesn’t make the individual feel valued.
    • Pay your employees what they’re worth. If someone comes to F+W with previous experience or a graduate degree, they’re worth more to you. I understand that things happen and raise/hiring freezes can be a necessity, but it’s going to be difficult to argue your rationale when most employees are barely making a living wage while management is making enough to own and flaunt their extensive Porsche collection.
    • Be open to new ideas! Oftentimes it feels like ideas coming from non-management employees aren’t seriously considered. Because of the busyness of the day-to-day at F+W, brainstorming sessions are often replaced by last-minute strategy sessions because “we’re not making budget.” Innovation and forward thinking are crucial to the success of any business – if that time continues to be replaced by emergency meetings, there will never be any time for new ideas. Plus, maybe you’re “not making budget” because there’s a lack of that innovation and forward thinking…

    F+W, a Content + eCommerce Company Response

    May 28, 2015VP, Communications + Public Relations

    Thank you for your thoughtful review. First, if I misspoke re: the extent of the marketing tools we're using today, I will get clarity on that and which communities / stores are using these ... More


  3. Helpful (6)

    Don't work here!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Financial Analyst in Cincinnati, OH
    Former Employee - Financial Analyst in Cincinnati, OH

    I worked at F+W, a Content + eCommerce Company full-time (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Decent Benefits
    Get off at 3 during the summer

    Cons

    Much lower than average pay
    Terrible management
    No communication or investment in employees
    Lack of Judgment and operation
    Absolutely no training

    Advice to Management

    1. Invest in employees
    2. Treat people like humans
    3. Investigate problems with communication
    4. Have some type of training
    5. Understand work load capacity's


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  5. Sales

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

    I have been working at F+W, a Content + eCommerce Company full-time (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Depending on the department, changes and decisions can be made and implemented quickly.

    Cons

    Nobody knows what anyone does or who to call within other departments. Customer Service dept is non-existent.

    F+W, a Content + eCommerce Company Response

    May 28, 2015VP, Communications + Public Relations

    Thank you for your feedback. You are correct - we do make changes and move quickly in response to changes in the marketplace and our consumer demand. Please utilize the "Qu Or A" section of the ... More


  6. Helpful (6)

    Get as much knowledge as you can while you're there, then leave

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Email/Web Design & Development in Fort Collins, CO
    Former Employee - Email/Web Design & Development in Fort Collins, CO

    I worked at F+W, a Content + eCommerce Company full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    - Ability to work in many different areas and with many different types of software and areas of knowledge
    - Great people (at lower levels)
    - Hours are very flexible, with early Fridays in the summertime
    - Great for people who are looking for a "day job" where they don't have to be very engaged, but still get a (meager) paycheck, especially if you are passionate about one of the enthusiast brands F+W owns

    Cons

    - Pay is atrocious, and as many other reviews have said, raises aren't really a thing. (Specifically, this year company-wide there were no raises, but coworkers who had been there for longer [3+ years] said they had never gotten a raise). You will have to fight for every cent you receive, even if you have had endless praise and are overperforming
    - Benefits (like health insurance) are very expensive, meaning your take-home pay is even less
    -Favoritism for raises and promotions overrides any other contributing factors, including seniority and knowledge/skill level
    - Not much room for growth. You can move between departments, but there doesn't seem to be much upward mobility, and at review time, it's rarely about "what other skills do you want to develop/where do you see yourself going" and more about "you met the base level requirements for not getting fired. GO YOU"
    - Arrogant executives and top level employees (basically anyone department director level and above) have very little respect for those who work below them
    - Most departments expected to work overtime for no pay (i.e. emails sent out on a Saturday are expected to be replied to before Monday morning), although luckily my boss was excellent and did not expect that from their team
    - Doesn't seem like a huge issue, but the office feels like a call center. Actually, I have worked in a call center before that had more natural light and more windows.
    - As much as their hiring website and job descriptions make it sound like a progressive and creative workplace, it's a cube farm--very corporate feeling.
    - Diversity-- I know Fort Collins is a really white area, so I wasn't expecting too much variety in hues, but whoa. SO WHITE.

    Advice to Management

    To be honest, I'm actually glad that I worked at F+W, although I'm even more glad that I got out when I did. I was able to pick up a wide skillset that has served me well in my new job, and because of the flexibility with hours and early Fridays in the summer, I was able to start my own Etsy business.

    I know it must seem like there are a LOT of bad reviews from bitter, pissed off former employees (and more bitter current employees) that must be taken with a grain of salt, but what this should actually tell you is that there are major, structural problems with this organization that need to be fixed. The people on the bottom are eventually going to get tired of doing everyone's grunt work, and they're going to move on (which is already happening, from what I've heard from my former coworkers).

    Instead of piling more work on these people, and giving them a certificate with their name on it which means literally nothing, give them promotions, raises, the ability to work from home more often, or extra time off. Reward them for doing well, and more than just a pat on the head. If you, as a company, can afford to buy more and more other companies, you can allocate some of that money to pay the people you already employ. The economy in Fort Collins is turning around rapidly (part of the reason why no raise, even a measly cost of living raise, is SUCH a joke), and you're not going to have a large base of poor college grads who need a job, ANY job to tap into much longer. Literally everyone I know that still works at F+W, even the ones who were hired less than 6 months ago, is looking for another job. That alone should tell you something's not working.

    There's a reason you have so many talented people leaving, specifically your Fort Collins office, and it's not all about money (although paying a living wage, even if it means decreasing executive salaries, would be a great start).

    It's also about respect from higher ups to the people lower on the totem pole. While I was at F+W, I actually really enjoyed my job and my coworkers...until I had to work on a project that involved upper level management. Then, it turned into me having to explain my knowledge on every little aspect of the project, plus explain how I came to the conclusion I had, even though others in my department (including my boss, and my boss's boss) agreed with my conclusions. After this frustration, my boss confided that they usually "do it and then say sorry if it doesn't work out later" which doesn't seem like a great method of getting good work out of your employees to me.

    I understand that in a large company like F+W there needs to be oversight, but the feeling that most people "on the ground" had was that higher level employees didn't feel that the people below them had much talent, knowledge or skill. Of course, that could have been true in some cases, but I would hope you would have confidence in your own hiring practices to trust that the people you hire know how to do their jobs.

    F+W, a Content + eCommerce Company Response

    May 28, 2015VP, Communications + Public Relations

    Thank you for your feedback; I am glad to see you found some positive aspects of your time with the Company. Much of what you have outlined here has to do with better (and more frequent ... More


  7. Helpful (1)

    F+W is one of those rare companies that openly engages and inspires its employees in helping build the business.

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

    I have been working at F+W, a Content + eCommerce Company full-time (More than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Open communication. Career growth opportunities. Flexible schedules and work locations.

    Cons

    More like challenges. Which all media companies face. F+W competes very well in today's environment.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to strengthen your network of on-site communication liaisons.

    F+W, a Content + eCommerce Company Response

    Apr 6, 2015VP, Communications + Public Relations

    Thank you for your feedback! We are always looking to improve - please contact me or HR directly (anytime) with ideas on how we can strengthen Company communications generally and on-site ... More


  8. Helpful (1)

    Good Experience in the field.

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

    I worked at F+W, a Content + eCommerce Company full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Great work groups and productive people.
    The benefits are great including generous PTO and flexible work hours.
    F+W has been here for a long time and even through the down economy has come through the other side.
    I see myself here for many years.

    Cons

    F+W does what it can to keep employees working through hard times, even if that means skipping a merit increase or limiting certain benefits such as not matching 401k contributions.
    I would like to see more employee engagement activities and moral boosters, but when you try for these the response is "there is no budget for that"
    F+W seems to be top heavy, where we could generate more productivity at lower levels, F+W continues to employ several highly overpaid upper level employees instead of hiring in great talent at a decent starting wage.
    Instead of hiring to backfill certain positions, F+W likes to spread the wealth to already overburdened employees.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on rewarding your employees and they will stay longer.
    Stop throwing money at your upper level employees who don't deserve it.
    Increase your starting wages and follow through on your promises to employees.

    F+W, a Content + eCommerce Company Response

    Apr 7, 2015VP, Communications + Public Relations

    Thank you for your feedback! I agree with the need for more employee engagement activities. We have a number of new programs in the works right now. Regarding workload, we always encourage employees ... More


  9. Helpful (9)

    Great for the experience but leave before burnout

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

    I have been working at F+W, a Content + eCommerce Company full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Work with talented people who care.

    Cons

    It's funny to see these 5 star reviews. Clearly put there by HR or upper management in order to pump up reviews. Fact is, they over work you to the point of burnout or quitting to find better work. Many talented people have left in the last year, and it seems more leave every week. And, when they leave those left get the extra work. No raises in sight which leave morale low. It's hard to move up in some areas, management has already picked who will rise and over look those better qualified with more experience. I think most of the reviews here give an accurate view of this place. It's sad because my team can do better work and bring great things to the company but we're all so overworked it's a miracle we get things done on time.

    Advice to Management

    hire more people and pay a livable wage.


  10. Helpful (13)

    Decent starting spot, don't hang around

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Ecommerce in Fort Collins, CO
    Current Employee - Ecommerce in Fort Collins, CO

    I have been working at F+W, a Content + eCommerce Company full-time (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Good time off package for new employees--15 days in your first year, plus 10 1/2 paid holidays and early Fridays in the summer (leave at 3). Benefits are pretty standard (except for no 401k match).

    If you're just starting your career you'll get some decent experience that you can use to move on to other things. Unless you're very satisfied at F+W I wouldn't consider it a long term place to work.

    There is a pretty congenial atmosphere in my location. Groups of us socialize at lunch to craft or hang out. Many people develop friendships outside of work.

    Cons

    Company is plagued by excessively short term thinking. The priority is in buying other companies rather than developing the companies and communities we have now. While the focus is on enthusiasts some of the people doing the work are not enthusiasts and some of the enthusiasts are being underutilized in positions that don't have anything to do with their extensive knowledge of a craft.

    The marketing strategy is unfocused and applies a one size fits all to mass marketing. Several areas of the business are way behind in targeted marketing and social media.

    In addition, the company is very segmented. Departments frequently do not communicate with relevant employees. Tasks are shuffled between employees and it is very difficult to get things done efficiently.

    While the time off is generous it can be revoked. One large segment of the business has their Friday after Thanksgiving time off "replaced" by two half day Fridays in October. Many employees, such as myself, have family far away and this change made it impossible for me to travel over the holiday. Other people find it difficult to use their earned PTO because of excessive work responsibilities.

    Advice to Management

    Work to retain your employees. Lots of us at the lower levels see this as a place to get some skills on our resumes and then leave for bigger, better and higher paying things. Instead of keeping the entry level employees for a few years then replacing them with more entry level (ie, cheaper) employees, focus on developing and promoting those employees.

    If you say you're going to do something, follow through. Don't bait and switch. You said there would be a 401k match and the day after Thanksgiving off. Your employees count on you when you say you'll do them, so don't pull the rug out from underneath them.

    F+W, a Content + eCommerce Company Response

    Apr 7, 2015VP, Communications + Public Relations

    Thank you for your feedback! We are always looking to improve and your comments are appreciated.

    While we do have many enthusiasts within the company, which we love, not all employees need to be
    ... More


  11. Helpful (9)

    Company doesn't value employees

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

    I have been working at F+W, a Content + eCommerce Company full-time (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Coworkers are mostly great to work with. Benefits are pretty good, and time off for older employees is great.

    Cons

    Mid- and upper-level management doesn't value their employees. Compensation and raises are a joke. The new yearly review system is not beneficial to many. The company doesn't want to invest in the employees who are working the hardest to make the money. The only people who are being promoted are the same people, over and over. There seem to be many jobs (including mid-level management) throughout the entire company that are being kept around for no reason.

    Advice to Management

    Invest in your employees, show us our value to you. If you take something away, try and give something back that will benefit us in a different way.

    F+W, a Content + eCommerce Company Response

    Apr 7, 2015VP, Communications + Public Relations

    Thank you for your honest feedback. We most certainly appreciate and value our employees (of all levels). I’m sorry that doesn’t resonate day-to-day; we can definitely communicate that more.

    Your
    ... More



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