Group Publishing

  www.group.com
  www.group.com

Group Publishing Reviews

Updated September 10, 2014
Updated September 10, 2014
39 Reviews
3.5
39 Reviews
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Group Publishing CEO Thom Schultz
Thom Schultz
15 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    "Great culture, great people, great mission."

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

    I have been working at Group Publishing full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    I've worked for 5 other companies in my career, and there is no place like Group. The atmosphere and mission are unbeatable. When you look at the org chart and see how many double-digit employees (10 years+) and how many "boomerangs" there are (people who've left and come back), you start to realize the grass is not greener elsewhere. Many of my best friends are the people that I work with at Group.

    Cons

    Pay is on the low end of the range compared to what you can make other places. Benefits are also on the "low end." I pay a lot out of my paycheck towards health insurance, and there is not much company contribution towards 401k,. Because it's a smaller company, there are not as many opportunities for advancement in leadership as you might find other places. There are only so many "spots."

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep doing what you're doing, and always stick to the core values and goals that are the heart of Group. Keep valuing your people, and raising them up. Be patient as new ideas become reality, it may take longer than you planned. Don't believe that if there is one bad apple that the whole bunch is spoiled, you have hired good people! Trust and empower people to lead, have input, and make decisions.

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

    Tough place to work.

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

    I worked at Group Publishing full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    The lower level people are the best. Hard working, caring, passionate and committed to their work. The only reason you would want to go to work here is because of the lower level in the trenches work force.

    Cons

    Middle and Upper Management is a boys club, and if you ain't in the club trust me, you ain't in the club. And, if you ain't in the club, you are on the list for no advancement, and definitely no where even close to market value in pay scale. Honestly, this was the worst job I have ever had in my 25 plus years in the Christian Publishing Industry.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to the people who actually are in the trenches trying to complete the mission of the company. They're on the front lines and know your customer base better than anybody in the company. Trust your work force to accomplish the job you have set before them by equipping them with the tools to do the job. Implement their ideas, trust their creativity, empower them to get the job done with fair pay. Validate and give worth to the work they do for you!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great place to work, but no raises in five years.

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

    I have been working at Group Publishing full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Terrific Coworkers, Nice Environment, Good Work-Life Balance

    Cons

    zero room for advancement, no raises in 5 years, no reward for hard work

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you want to keep excellent employees you must find a way to compensate them for their hard work, both with merit increases and career growth opportunities. Bring salaries up to current competitive levels. It seems like people are starting to jump ship faster and faster as more and more jobs open up with an improving economy. Instead of giving the impression that we are lucky to work at Group, instead help people to feel like Group is lucky to have them. This is not a non-profit, stop treating your employees like it is.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    After 25 years of corporate America, I have been blessed to spend the last year at Group and I love everyday here.

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

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

    Pros

    Group has a great mission that is impacting the world positively. Group uses the mission statement to evaluate business decisions, keeping the focus on what is important. An immensely talented team delivers top quality products. Beyond that, Group has a non-profit division that helps in communities across the nation and around the world with mission trips for youth groups and individuals. Social responsibility is high at Group, giving back to the community with community grants annually is at a rate far above any I experienced in corporate America (where it was a publicity stunt for the most part). I have a work/life balance that is amazing, and feel truly appreciated for the work I do. Yes, we all work hard. Yes, there are sometimes long days. However, when it's my time away, it's my time away. Group offers staff the opportunity to volunteer each year for a week at one of the summer work camps. A week of giving back without using any vacation time or personal expenses is unheard of. The opportunity to give back to the world at large and have time to influence youth in a positive way is just one of the amazing benefits of doing good in the world that Group facilitates for staff.

    Cons

    For some people making the change to an environment of self accountability and entrepreneurial spirit is hard. It is a Christian environment, which just means being respectful of others, and having direct conversations instead of running to your boss/their boss and playing politics to get a problem resolved. Staff is expected to address issues head on (unless it's something illegal/unethical-then it goes to management) and resolve the issue directly. It works very well, some people struggle with the direct conversations.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep making a difference in the world.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    A unique culture with a ton of successes and a ton of failures

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

    I have been working at Group Publishing full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Group has been very good to me over the years (I've been here well over 10 years). Like any company, Group is a place where your own attitude and approach to work determines how well you do here. I've seen a lot of "victims" come and go, and they always seem to find someone to blame for their frustrations at Group. But I've seen far more employees who choose to make the most of their work and find opportunities to shine. It is what you make it.

    Group has a set of values that it promotes and fully believes in. Sure, just about everyone falls short from time to time, but on the whole the culture and its values really work. Group cares about relationships, and even though relationships can sometimes be a little messy, they're worth the effort. Most staff members choose to embrace that, but a few do resist it.

    Innovation is something Group values, as well, and most teams at Group work hard to challenge the status quo. Because of that, I've seen a fair share of great successes as well as some head-scratching failures. Group isn't content to be an average company, so its vigorous culture isn't always going to be a match for everyone. Being innovative and taking risks can be challenging, but, in my opinion, worth it.

    Despite the struggles in our market over the last few years, Group has always been profitable. Our profit sharing checks the last couple of years have been very, very good.

    Cons

    Group has an unusually strong TEAM mentality, so individuals don't get a lot of attention or praise. I've learned to be ok with that, but it's a real challenge for some people.

    Also, Group is serving a declining market (the church), and has suffered some losses over the years as a result. I think it's a market weakness rather than a specific Group weakness. However, Group has some initiatives in place right now that are pursuing new markets (parents and families, for example), and is trying to develop more digital resources instead of traditional publishing resources.

    Group's approach to compensation is one area I've been very dissatisfied with. We've had one 1% raise over the last five years, and that's not cool because we're not keeping up with the cost of living. The benefits are fine. But I'd like to see Group work harder to figure out better ways to compensate employees more competitively. The industry category they use to determine our salaries is "manufacturing," and that's frustrating because manufacturing typically pays less than other industry categories. Calling Group a manufacturer is nonsense.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    As much as Group values relationships, you can still do far more to make sure every staff member feels truly valued as a person and feels like a part of the family. Honestly, you can never do enough relationship building.

    Perhaps more frequent communication about what's acceptable and not acceptable would be helpful. I'm sometimes rather shocked to hear someone say they are judged for their personal lives at Group. In 15 years I've never seen that happen. So somehow a few staff members are having a negative relational experience with their leaders. The rest of Group leadership really needs to be paying more attention to that and then acting on it frequently.

    Also, figure out how to compensate employees better. Not giving raises every year is kind of sucky.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great Mission, Great People, Great Culture

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

    I have been working at Group Publishing full-time

    Pros

    The mission, people and culture are really exceptional. We work hard and have a great time doing so.

    Cons

    The leadership team has spoken a lot about how church has changed, and the declines that are taking place in church attendance. This is good to know about, but our department hasn't made any "significant" changes to our curriculum in years (20 years for some products). We make one change to a product and think that will fix things, but it doesn't, and hasn't. We need to become innovative again, but one of our leader sees innovation as extra work that she doesn't have time for, and has actually breathed a sigh of relief (out loud and in front of all of us) when she learned she didn't need to create new products last year. I'm afraid we're too complacent right now and just accepting the church conditions as our problem.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Knowing and calling out the problems in the church is good. But knowing specifically what to do about it is better. We tout that we are innovative and point to the couple areas that really are (Lifetree and VBS), but seem to ignore big parts of our business that aren't. I think we need to stop patting ourselves on the back so much, telling each other in All Staff how great Group is, and instead be honest about the things that aren't. It's a great company, and we love working here, but for us in the trenches, we see big parts of our business just like Kodak's film business that we are too afraid to let go of. Have we become the pastor from the documentary that's afraid to change because he may lose his remaining 35 people? I guess the answer depends on which department you're in.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    A community of inspired, dedicated workers

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

    I have been working at Group Publishing full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Group truly creates a culture of connectivity between staff, departments and customers (Friends in Ministry). Staff work hard to create products and services that really change lives every day. There's nothing better than to work for a company with a great mission and great heart. After 6 years working at Group, it's easy to lose sight of just how different the Group environment is! I work in an area that traditionally gets hostility and complaints from staff. I just don't experience that here. I more often am met with patience and understanding, and often get thank you notes for simply doing my job. The benefits are okay: good enough health insurance, better than average paid time off, and opportunities to serve throughout the year.

    Cons

    It can be very fast paced, sometimes overwhelming, but the care of other staff, personally and professionally helps balance those times out. Pay increases have been low in recent years.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I'd like to see more mentoring relationships and intentional career development.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    The very best company I have ever worked for.

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

    I have been working at Group Publishing full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    The mission of the company and the people I get to work with on a daily basis. I feel like a part of a team and we are supportive of each other. The job is what you make of it. I have worked here for 11 years and have rarely said I didn't want to go to work that day. I love my job and am blessed to work for a leader in the Christian Publishing business.

    Cons

    Like ANY job....there are ups and downs. The economy and the industry has struggled over the past few years and raises have been few.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to your employees more. Look for the very best leadership to lead teams/departments.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Awesome Culture

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Managing Editor in Loveland, CO
    Current Employee - Managing Editor in Loveland, CO

    I have been working at Group Publishing full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The culture at Group is amazing! I can't think of one single co-worker I don't really like. Everyone is very friendly and the team works well together to produce great products. Group values integrity, innovation, excellence, and direct communication. And they don't just SAY that's the value...they actually live out those things in practice. Group's leadership team is incredibly wise and good at making strategic decisions. I trust where the company is headed, and it's exciting to be a part of it. Going to a job every day where I feel like I have a sense of purpose and an important role to play is really special to me, and I'm thankful I have that opportunity at Group...and that I can have fun doing it!!!

    Cons

    Sometimes the pace of work can be a bit much. Because it is a small company, the insurance benefits aren't as good as larger companies are able to offer.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Sometimes it is hard for the "visionaries" to understand all the details it will take (and therefore time and energy) to pull of a project. The phrase, "Oh it's just..." gets used a lot and can really take for granted all the work that will go into something. I'd like to see the management work to get more feedback about what work will need to go into a product before making the decision to put it on the existing staff. That said, I've been seeing Group start shifting more that way, so keep doing it!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Long time employee, I like the place

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

    I have been working at Group Publishing full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Hands down it's the culture and people. I've had work experience in a variety of settings and this is one where there is an intentional corporate effort to value and celebrate people. I've yet to see a screaming match or an underhanded supervisor survive long-term. People are vetted well during the hiring process and that is reflected in a staff that's hard-working, positive, and productive. I am able to do my best work here and it's appreciated.

    Cons

    Traditional publishing is in trouble--bookstores are closing daily and publishers are following in their wake. If you're looking for a long-term career in publishing you might want to reconsider. But if this is for you, Group is sufficiently diversified that its weathering the market shifts better than most...though staff are being pushed to do more with less. That's simply the reality.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do more to value work/life balance: either expect less or ramp up staffing.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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