Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Reviews

Updated July 2, 2015
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355 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (9)

    Many better options around

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

    I worked at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Once you get to know the people (non-leadership or senior management) they make HMH worth coming to.

    Cons

    Other than people that you work with, there is nothing worth being an employee at HMH. Employees are undervalued, under-appreciated, and severely under-paid. Little growth potential.


  2. Helpful (9)

    Not a great place to work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Product Development Manager in Schaumburg, IL
    Current Employee - Product Development Manager in Schaumburg, IL

    I have been working at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt full-time (More than 8 years)

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

    Pros

    Can work from home for certain positions
    Can get big publisher experience

    Cons

    Compensation is way off base compared to other top publishers. The expectation is to be on call 24/7 with any lack of appreciation. There is a huge divide between those who work 70-80 hours a week and those you are legacy, favored employees who don't contribute. HR staff has significant problems with confidentiality, petty middle school gossip and unethical behavior. Can just search online and see the employee lawsuits against HMH. Senior management is completely out of touch with staff. Most of the company is completely unaware of the large options and bonuses that the small circle of sr execs get, while the rest of the company is told, we really can't do a raise, maybe 2%, bonuses are cut, so sorry.... while they take millions in options and six figure bonuses. Best to keep you head down, go along with the flow. Definitely more important to get along than get your work done.

    Advice to Management

    Appreciate the staff you have and share in options and bonus rates that those in Sr. positions benefit from currently. Be more transparent with the company and public on your dealings.


  3. Helpful (7)

    The worst

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

    I worked at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

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

    Pros

    Location is great. Salary very good for florida. Facilities are very nice. Company has legacy historical brand in printed textbooks

    Cons

    Executives are awful. Favoritism prevails over experience and talent. Back biting and lack of cohesiveness. Boston execs have no idea the tirade that goes on in global supply chain

    Advice to Management

    Talk privately to your employees in GSP. This behavior will ruin your company as great talent will not tolerate it


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  5. Moving in the right direction. Fostering life long learners thru meaningful learning experiences.

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

    I have been working at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

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

    Pros

    Committed co-workers. Passionate teams. Respectful work environment.

    Cons

    Too many initiatives, too many different directions. Intense.

    Advice to Management

    Consider the vital few instead of the panicked many initiatives


  6. Helpful (11)

    Was really good for a while, but then the strategy wheels fell off and the company moved to survival mode.

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

    I worked at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt full-time (More than 10 years)

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

    Pros

    Great benefits: holidays, occasional absence policy, vacation time, tuition reimbursement, insurance, etc. Really understanding when it comes to personal time for sick children, family emergencies, car trouble, etc. Some of the nicest people you will ever meet work there.

    Cons

    No clear strategic plan, vision, or mission, and the leadership (at least while I was there) was very weak. "Senior" leadership was equivalent to mid-level managers in other companies.

    Advice to Management

    Really evaluate the markets and trends (in a meaningful way) and create a balanced portfolio of products rather than chasing after what appears to be a "sure bet" but never is. Staff at appropriate levels and create a system to evaluate employees in a really meaningful way that helps them grow and develop. The practice in place while I was still there was not meaningful and saying that people who pull the weight of two is the "new normal" is not productive or encouraging. A lot of great talent walked out the door in the last five years I was there.


  7. Helpful (6)

    Great people Bad Leadership

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

    I have been working at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt full-time (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Telecommuting is great, some very talented people. Very friendly environment and at least at the lower manager and worker level there is a real drive to produce the best options for our customers and for education.

    Cons

    There is a huge bloated level of upper management there are 3 SVP's answering to one SVP who answers to an EVP who reports to the CEO. All for less than 70 employees in my division. There is absolutely no room for personal growth I was told point blank unless someone quits or there is a reorganization and a position created I cannot be promoted. Evaluations are solely focused on internal commitments and have nothing to do with how we work with our customers. Benefits are very good but also very expensive $1200 per month for a family at the same level of benefits I get through my wife's work at $300 per month. Sales is completely out of whack with product and implementation teams selling stuff that doesn't exist yet and then leaving up to the implementation teams to work with the product teams to divine what the sales guy thought up and how to implement the solution.

    Advice to Management

    Step back and refocus on the product and direct the sales team to get in line or get rid of them. Also add the necessary resources to the project teams with the right skill set and the projects will go faster and with less issues.


  8. Helpful (6)

    bad place

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

    I worked at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

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

    Pros

    spent over 5 years of my life here, conclusion: horrible

    Cons

    be prepared to kiss up a lot

    Advice to Management

    care about your ALL of your people


  9. Helpful (7)

    Industry and Company in Transition

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Vice President Product Marketing in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Vice President Product Marketing in Boston, MA

    I worked at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt full-time (More than 5 years)

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

    Pros

    People, Schedule Flexibility, Salary, Educational nature of work, customers who care, employees who care

    Cons

    Entrenched individuals and silos, restructuring occurs too often, difficult to navigate organization, lack of accountability, lack of respect and professional behavior by some, entitlement by many who have been at company for a long time, arrogance by some senior managers, lack of senior management physical presence anywhere other than C suite

    Advice to Management

    Stop restructuring and communicate more with employees face-to-face about goals and strategy, hold people accountable for their actions (good and bad)


  10. Helpful (6)

    Horrible place to work!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in Geneva, IL
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in Geneva, IL

    I worked at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

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

    Pros

    Friendly people to work with (for the most part).
    Decent pay

    Cons

    Horrible management
    BS reviews
    No real leadership
    Being great at your job is never good enough
    Very stressful environment
    Too many layers to the company

    Advice to Management

    Have only one manager for employees to talk with, weed out the layers, have better communication with employees, make known what is expected of them, and talk directly to the employee if you aren't happy with them not to other employees.


  11. Helpful (6)

    Lead Design Architect

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Lead Design Architect in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Lead Design Architect in Boston, MA

    I have been working at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

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

    Pros

    You can work at any level of capacity.

    Cons

    There is no accountability. Low or even non performers are kept on staff. Expected to train others with no training offered. The company hierarchy is too general and flat. So many people with different skills and responsibilities have the same title.



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