School Improvement Network

www.schoolimprovement.com
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School Improvement Network Reviews

Updated April 10, 2015
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3.4
37 Reviews
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Chet Linton
16 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. Inspiring leadership who cares

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

    I have been working at School Improvement Network full-time (More than a year)

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

    Pros

    We had a company staff meeting yesterday that was inspiring. It is very apparent that our CEO really cares about the employees. He shared the general business updates and then spent time on "positivity". We can all use a reminder of how important "being positive" is in all aspects of our life. I enjoy the way he shares his personal side with all of us and has an open door policy where anyone can talk with him.

    Cons

    Honestly, not a lot is coming to my mind right now. We have our typical challenges on a day to day basis, but the future looks bright and I am excited to be part of this team.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the new style of communication and frequency of meetings. It helps all of us feel part of the progress and changes. 2015 is already ROCKING and ROLLING!!!!!

  2. Has a lot of potential, but it's a lot of smoke and mirrors

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at School Improvement Network

    Pros

    Great product concept, great concept of kuleana, onsite gym, highly intelligent sales management, great customers base, CEO seems to be genuinely passionate about improving education

    Cons

    Concept is the above key term. The product concept is great... When it works. Concept of kuleana is great, when management chooses to use it. Pricing is always changing making us look ridiculous to customers, internal support is pretty bad. It's hard to get employees to call reps or customers back. Sales management has the right concept and the wrong was of delivering it to the team. Good reps and employees are leaving due to the company politics.

    Advice to Management

    Dont make people fearful for their jobs... All you are doing is encouraging them to look for new ones. You will lose more good reps this year due to politics. Stick to and act on what you say as far as this being a positive environment and you are there to help. Being there to help involves returning phone calls and emails.

  3. Sales

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

    I worked at School Improvement Network full-time

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

    Pros

    There are no pros working for this company.

    Cons

    Overly obsessed with Hawaii; favors those of same religion; no consistency; no structure; no proper training ... the list goes on and on.

    Advice to Management

    Properly train employees; get a structured plan and procedure for training; LISTEN to those that have worked within this industry, don't just cram your agenda down the throats of your employees.

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  5. Good but not Geat

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

    I have been working at School Improvement Network full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Great company with great products and an excellent vision on how they can have a powerful impact on the quality of education in the country.

    Cons

    Change is painfully slow. They are trying to operate as a software/SaaS company but don't have the development depth or experience to build a truly powerful, flexible software platform.

  6. Helpful (5)

    Drinking your own cool-aid.

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

    I have been working at School Improvement Network full-time (More than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    You would be hard pressed to find a better industry to sell into. Educators are some of the kindest and most passionate people in the world. Working with them makes you feel like you are doing something important.

    Cons

    Starting at the top... This is a family owned business. Individually, the owners are some of the greatest people you will ever meet. In a business setting, they truly believe that they are visionary and inspired. The truth is they digitized educational DVD's, put them on the internet, and sold them as a subscription. How visionary is that, really? It is more obvious that inspired. Every product they have made since then has either been a complete flop or has estranged their relationships with former partners. And yes, family owned businesses keep the wrong under qualified people in the wrong positions.

    The two most polarizing departments in this company are tech and sales. SINET refers to themselves as a "tech" company, yet it does not want to pay for top tech talent and even tries to outsource to the Philippines. The net/net of their technology is that it is horrible. Never once has a customer logged in without facing some type of bug. The sales team benefitted from hiring talented people who had been effected by the economy. However, sales management consists of incredible micro-management, over 50% travel, incredibly long sales trainings with messages that could have been trimmed down to half an hour, emotional (literally crying) sales leadership, bullying sales leadership, and an overall feeling of a lack of trust felt from sales leadership. Essentially it is a perfect example of how not to manage. Unexplainably, the C level execs still back them up despite being told multiple times of how toxic the sales environment is.

    Advice to Management

    The saddest thing about this company is what it could have been. Look at the names of people you have either let go and let walk without a fight. Look at the relationships with the other companies who used to be partners. Look at your renewal rates. Look at the sales dropping and mass layoffs. Your culture has been awful for about 4 years now, and it never had to be. My advice: Listen to the talented people who have left about why they left. It will boil down to poor technology and horrible sales culture. Now that the economy is not in the dumps, better opportunities for your sales people will be everywhere. Hopefully you can keep them from leaving.

  7. Helpful (3)

    Lots of potential

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - SPA in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - SPA in Los Angeles, CA

    I have been working at School Improvement Network full-time (More than a year)

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

    Pros

    The Linton family seems to have great vision and passion for education. Videos have good production value. Lots of frat house humor and "rah rah" sales celebrations.

    Cons

    Lack of direction and middle management with strategic skills to help move each state in the right direction. Large sales are based on State initiatives. Software is starting to slip behind other companies that are rooted in the classroom (teaching channel). Slow commission reimbursement. Micro-management.

    Advice to Management

    Hire account managers that can build long lasting relationships with clients and potential clients. Educators see sales people everyday, but will value a relationship that they can count on. Too much turn-over in California to make the impact needed. Invest in your people and your future. There is money to be made in training services. Let your employees have there weekends and stop the texting on Sundays.

  8. Helpful (7)

    Politics and posturing abound over expertise and rational thought.

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

    I have been working at School Improvement Network 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

    Clean, comfortable and friendly atmosphere on the surface. The equipment and software provided are in good working order. Not a lot of structure. Lots of get-it-done, blind ambition.

    Cons

    This is a very small family owned company who provides more opportunities and preferential treatment to family members. The company can't decide whether it's a software company or a media company or both. There's a debilitating amount of micro-management. There's a lot of people who sit in legacy rolls--doing nothing; a lot of people making decisions they're not qualified to make; and, a lot of people with urgent ideas working in silos. Everything is somehow always last minute. Folks who have been at SIN for a while, are completely jaded. Politics and posturing abound over rational thought and expertise; but it's called still called "innovation" somehow.

  9. Helpful (6)

    Glass ceiling, dysfunctional management

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

    I worked at School Improvement Network full-time

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

    Pros

    I really enjoyed my co-workers; they are sharp, dedicated, intelligent people.

    Cons

    Ho boy.

    First of all, this is an "ol' boys" network, with all the dysfunction you'd assume would go along with a company that is run by the four sons of the founders. The testosterone and dude-bro attitude flows pretty freely here, and the designer-jeans-wearin' BMW-drivin' top salesmen are treated like demigods.

    There is really no way for a woman to succeed here. In the course of three years' employment, I saw many savvy, sharp, dedicated women get pushed aside or otherwise marginalized, usually because management doesn't understand how to nurture female talent, and female ambition scares them. Consequently, they let a lot of great women walk out the door...or actively shoved them out.

    It's not just women--they don't really place a high priority on too many of their people. The CEO has a "someone else will come along and he will be thrilled to work here, so go ahead and leave" mentality. Therefore, this is not a place to work if you want to be mentored or create your own upwardly mobile career path. It boggled me to see people with 5+ years experience and stellar performance leave because no one at management knew how to help those people grow or how to incentivize them to stay.

    My former direct boss is a Nice Guy. He says all the right things and is great at the back-slapping dude-how-are-ya stuff, but he constantly undermined my and my team's efforts. He loved to swoop in at the last minute, change everything for no earthly reason I could understand, and then smile as he watched us work and sweat and panic around the clock for the next week, saying, "my people work better under this kind of pressure!" So. Yeah. Those were good times.

    Finally, management is pretty out of touch with their customers. Oh, they are in touch with a select inside group who all loves them, and they seem content to not range farther afield and find out what the rest of 'em think. And, strangely, they passionately love their very clunky and outdated client-interfacing software. When I suggested making it more user-friendly, I was told, "if our clients can't find what they want, they should get smarter and learn how to search better."

    So, I'm not sure how they're still in business, but if you're a DudeBro and like chest-thumping, juicing, and doing PX-90 workouts together in a totally no-homo way, you'll love it here.

    Advice to Management

    There's this other gender. They're called "women." They have a lot to offer if you can figure out how to make them feel welcome.

  10. Helpful (1)

    Great company - Great people, growing pains, but on their way to a great future

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

    I worked at School Improvement Network full-time

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

    Pros

    I love the people. I cared so much about those I worked with and felt cared about in return. Also, great culture and a visionary CEO. Product is improving tremendously and is being iterated quickly to implement crucial customer feedback that's been knocking on our door for a long time.

    Cons

    Growing fast but learning, by the school of hard knocks, the challenges of pacing company growth with sales growth. Also, communication between departments and levels of management seems to have struggled a bit in the growth as well.

  11. Helpful (6)

    Great culture outside of the sales department...

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at School Improvement Network

    Pros

    I really enjoyed the culture and they people you get to work with. The product is great, it's always nice to sell a product that you can stand behind and know that it is worth while.

    Cons

    Working on the sales team was miserable. The management was terrible. I exceeded my sales goals every month and was reprimanded for not making a minimum daily call quota. Calling the way they wanted took away from the actual sale and you became a nuisance to Schools rather then a resource. Client retention was horrible because of that clients felt like a number and once the sale was made they were dropped. I always felt undervalued. Management seemed more like a fraternity then management.

    Advice to Management

    Treat people like they are people.

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