Gale Reviews

Updated June 26, 2015
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2.6
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Michael Hansen
23 Ratings

Pros
  • Good work/life balance and flexibility (in 7 reviews)

  • I would say flex time and the work at home program but they took the (in 4 reviews)

Cons
  • Weak lower and middle management (in 4 reviews)

  • Good ole boys network still exists here (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

52 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (3)

    Great place to work but below average salary

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

    I have been working at Gale full-time (More than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Recommends

    Pros

    Great people. Great products. Friendly, casual atmosphere.

    Cons

    Salary too low, in my opinion. Salaries for Sales and Tech might be better but are pretty low for the people who do a lot of the work to build the products. Mediocre benefits. Not much job security.

    Advice to Management

    Please have a salary survey done, and circulate it amongst the employees, to see if I'm right about the salary.


  2. Helpful (3)

    Once was great

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

    I worked at Gale full-time

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

    Pros

    The people, my God the people. Such amazing employees. Like a family.

    Cons

    Some of the politics, especially as the new regime came in.

    Advice to Management

    This company needs to be sold. It doesn't fit in with Cengage and the people that work there deserve better leadership -- especially in the executive ranks. The arrogance of the new Cengage regime is doing this great company a disservice. They have lost some phenomenal talent over the last couple of years and a lot more is on their way out. Enough with the layoffs, the falsehoods, the arrogant executives from Pearson and Elsevier, and the lack of any emotional connection with decent employees who are trying to make difference in an important industry. It's time for this company to find its way again.


  3. Helpful (9)

    A sad experience watching a formerly great company go down the business tubes.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Account Executive in Farmington Hills, MI
    Former Employee - Account Executive in Farmington Hills, MI

    I worked at Gale full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    You work with some of the best and brightest people in the publishing industry. People who care and work hard. I learned more from one of the sales managers there than from whole teams at my present company.

    Cons

    The larger corporation has no idea what Gale does or how it does it. They continually bring in upper management with no clue what reference publishing is about and get rid of the managers who did. Gale is a round peg in a group of square sister companies where the corporate answer has been to try to shave off the edges.

    Advice to Management

    Gale is not a textbook company. It is actually not a publisher any more either and distributed titles from lesser reference publishers is not an answer. Sell it off to someone who cares before you totally kill it. You also used to have some of the best management in the industry and now do not - might want to fix that.


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  5. Helpful (4)

    Rotten Core

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

    I have been working at Gale full-time

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

    Pros

    Many of the employees are some of the finest people I know. I have made friends that I will keep for life here.

    Cons

    Yearly layoffs have turned into continuous, year-round layoffs. It seems like every week I hear about another person or team of people who have been let go. Yet management tells us that we "made our number" and should celebrate. How many companies are doing great financially yet layoff massive amounts of employees? Something's not right here...

    Tone-deaf leadership: Senior leadership held an extravagant party for a departing executive the same day that a large number of people were let go. Some of the people let go had served the company for over 20 years. Apparently our fearless new leader's mantra is "Let them eat cake..."

    I don't think the future of our business is very bright. Little is being done to address the gains our competitors have made on our company over the past five years. Products are stale and not much is being done to freshen them up.

    Advice to Management

    Lead by example. Think about how your actions appear to the rest of the company. Throwing an extravagant party for fellow executives on the same day you fired a large number of good people is something out of a bad movie. You say you want to change the culture, but so far those words ring hollow.


  6. Helpful (9)

    Went from awesome to toxic.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales, Account Manager in Farmington Hills, MI
    Former Employee - Sales, Account Manager in Farmington Hills, MI

    I worked at Gale full-time (More than 8 years)

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

    Pros

    The non-managers are wonderful people - hardworking, dedicated, and talented. Decent benefits. The purpose of creating research and reference products to aid learning and education is inspiring and enjoyable. There is a cafeteria on site with breakfast and lunch options.

    Cons

    There used to be some really great middle managers, but they have all been chased away, fired without cause, or retired. They were replaced with yes men who play politics, but were often unqualified. If you're not in the good ol' boys club, you're nobody - no matter how conscientious, hard working, knowledgeable, and productive you are. The HR department is extremely unethical and operates with blatant double standards. Some of the promotions in my last year were appallingly absurd in terms of how unqualified the person was and how many requirements they didn't meet. And yet people who excelled at their job but didn't play politics could never get even to the first round of interviews for promotion opportunities when they had all the qualifications and then some. Promotions heavily favored men, even though women outnumbered men in the workplace. It was cronyism at its finest.

    I worked at Gale for over eight years before leaving. This used to be an amazing place to work, and I was very proud to work there and of the work I did. It was a really fun and positive work environment when I started, but when I left earlier this year, morale was abysmal and everyone was constantly scared of losing their job through another reorganization. People would be let go with secrecy so that if you were in another department or even just on another team in the same department, you often only realized people had been fired when you hadn't seen them for a few weeks. It was truly heartbreaking to realize just how far the company had fallen, how toxic it had become, how few of the managers and VPs I respected were still there, and how hypocritical and incompetent the current middle and upper management was.

    I like the CEO and respect him - I wish that he would create a brand new leadership team for Gale along the lines of the one he has created for Cengage. Gale would be in a much better place if the current VPs, most middle managers, and basically all of the sales and HR management were replaced, preferably with innovative executives who demand accountability and ethics. And if these new executives listen to the people on the phones day in and day out with their customers rather than ignore them to try the same old things that have failed time and again, why then Gale just might have a chance to be successful again.

    Advice to Management

    This advice is for the CEO:

    The current Gale leadership is toxic and will continue to sink this company as long as they are there. Clean house. The workers are amazing, diligent, passionate, and knowledgeable people - they are an asset. You have already lost too many talented people. Give them the decent managers they deserve before you lose any more. The current management can't fix the problem because they ARE the problem. Nothing is going to change until they are gone.


  7. Helpful (2)

    Industry leading and has been for years

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

    I have been working at Gale full-time

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great work culture. Great people. Great training program. Free coffee and tea. Nice building, great HR department. Fun activities for holidays. Very collaborative between departments. Everyone is very helpful.

    Cons

    Has recently gone through some challenging years with being bought and sold and then went through bankruptcy due to loans taken out to do the purchase. This has impacted the sales force, and has made some undesirable challenges.

    Advice to Management

    CEO shows great leadership, but is very disconnected from the Gale side of the business. The 2 businesses need to align more into one business. It is confusing to customers and to employees.


  8. Helpful (5)

    Senior Management Disconnected from Reality

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

    I have been working at Gale full-time (More than 10 years)

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

    Pros

    Great front-line employees who are passionate about transforming the business.

    They are trying to do more fun events to engage employees and make it a more pleasant location to work.

    Cons

    The "leadership" across product, marketing and sales is, quite frankly, a joke. Gale has been slipping in regards to innovation and product quality for at least five years which has resulted in a sharp decline in revenue. Additionally, Gale is no longer viewed by library customers as an industry leader and ceded that title to rival EBSCO long ago. Despite these realities, senior leadership seems to believe that the company will turn it around with the same failed strategies that got us here. There was some hope that our new leader would have a turnaround plan, but he seems to have insulated himself from reality by listening to the same executives that got us into our current mess. The "turnaround" plan is completely detached from reality and does not address the systemic problems that exist at Gale. The fact that he has kept the same executives - save for one - speaks volumes regarding his lack of urgency. Most of the senior managers don't bother to find out what library customers really need. Parent company Cengage Learning will not have patience for the continued decline at Gale for much longer, and there will likely be real pain coming soon.

    Advice to Management

    Shake up the executive ranks and stop taking strategic direction from the same people who got us into this mess. Take a page out of Cengage Learning's book and bring in outside talent to lead the company. Fresh perspectives and a move away from the "go along to get along" mentality is desperately needed if Gale is going to survive in its current form. And finally, seek feedback from the ENTIRE market -- not just the same handful of customers who tell us how wonderful we are.


  9. Helpful (2)

    Unprofessional Mid-Managers

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Customer Service Representative in Farmington Hills, MI
    Current Employee - Customer Service Representative in Farmington Hills, MI

    I have been working at Gale

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Highly skilled tech employees. Great team players. Employees work together to bring new hires on-board quickly.

    Cons

    Management is extremely narrow-minded, as well as somewhat dishonest.

    Advice to Management

    Your team is your best asset, use them wisely and be fair to all employees, regardless of race or creed.


  10. Helpful (3)

    Great products, lousy management

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

    I worked at Gale

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

    Pros

    Esteemed products throughout the library reference world. Talented, bright workforce; most have been there a very long time. Nice location in Farmington Hills, MI. Good salaries and benefits.

    Cons

    Miserable management and cronyism. If you're not one of the "boys" you're nothing. Parent company Cengage was a mess, went bankrupt and lost brand equity. Very political when it didn't have to be. Senior managers very turf conscious. Happy to leave.

    Advice to Management

    Resign.


  11. Helpful (9)

    Confused Company

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Account Manager in Farmington Hills, MI
    Former Employee - Account Manager in Farmington Hills, MI

    I worked at Gale full-time (More than 8 years)

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

    Pros

    Good work-life balance. Some incredibly talented people. High quality products and wonderful customers - libraries and librarians.

    Cons

    Frightening insecurity. Never know if your job will be there tomorrow. Everyone believes the company will likely be sold, in order for investors to get their money out. Constant upheaval and changes of direction and policies. Weak lower and middle management. It's who you know, not what you know. Outdated customer management tools and internal communications systems. If the company is sold, none of this will likely improve soon.

    Advice to Management

    Please put some stability into your focus. You claim that FOCUS is one of your top three priorities. But, when your focus changes every few months, it is NOT focused.



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