Skyward Reviews

Updated May 5, 2015
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2.7
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Skyward CEO Cliff King
Cliff King
9 Ratings

12 Employee Reviews

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  1. Great place to start a career in application development

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Applications Developer in Stevens Point, WI
    Former Employee - Applications Developer in Stevens Point, WI
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Skyward full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Excellent opportunity to work with all levels of developer talent. Entry level programmers can learn from developers that have been programming for decades.

    Cons

    Programming is an "up or out" vocation. There is plenty of room at Skyward to grow for a few years, then you either have to break into management, or move on.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work


  2. Helpful (2)

    Be prepared for nothing but negative and being forced to answer for the most mundane of things

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Skyward full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    If you are the type who likes to travel and are single with no children, this is the job for you. Because you will do it a lot. However it does sharpen your troubleshooting skills and teaches you to think outside the box.

    Cons

    Where to start... MICROMANAGEMENT! You are expected to track every minute of your day, and if you need to do something (like followup from a training or conference or just basic paperwork), you will have to do it on your own time because you won't have a way to track that time. They will also change the rules on you midstream to essentially prevent anyone from promoting; and if you are in the middle of performing all of the qualifications to get your "promotion", you won't be grandfathered in either, even if you test the next day. They have taken any and all opportunities for advancement away from any of the remote offices; you can only move to other departments if you either live or are willing to move to WI. Any remote office employees who were in other departments were essentially kicked out if they didn't want to move. Ladies, if you are expecting, be prepared to work and travel right up until your due date. Even if you have medical complications and have to go on maternity leave early. Also be prepared to be questioned on why you have to go on leave. You will be considered "salary" but you will have to punch a time clock every day (goes with the accounting for every second of your day). Also overtime is pretty much required, regardless of if you have a life outside of work (like having to pick up your children from school, caring for a sick relative). Working from home is not allowed even though the entire job could be done from home because all it requires is an internet connection and a telephone. However there are exceptions to the rule (in WI, usually those related to the Kings). Those customer service reps are not really allowed to provide quality customer service. Those who looked out for the customer needs were constantly harassed by management for not making quotas or going over on call time (which is 30 minutes - all problems are solved in 30 minutes or less). If you don't want to travel for whatever reason (maybe you are a single parent, maybe you can't for health reasons, maybe you just don't want to travel anymore), you can take a job as a "phones only" rep, however it will be a drastically reduced pay scale, and you cannot advance. All because you don't want to travel. Quotas are determined by paper numbers and not by what reps can actually handle. It works on paper so it must work in reality seems to be their motto. Entire offices would jump ship if they were provided with a better opportunity. The pay is atrocious for the market. And getting a raise is difficult, because your review is not based on the job you've done, it's based on if you did your paperwork correctly. I haven't mentioned the most important part - unless you are part of the King family, you will not go anywhere. Unless you are in WI, you will not go anywhere. Their remote offices don't exist to them, as everything sent company wide is tailored specifically to WI, and if you ask about anything in your area, you can expect a blank stare (figuratively).

    Advice to Management

    What management? Managers in the offices are nothing more than glorified babysitters. They have no power at all, they can't make any executive decisions and always have to go above them - usually to a family member who is higher in the company. Some of the managers in the offices are actually fit to be managers because they know how to manage, but many of the actual decision makers are incompetent and don't know the product; the are only there because they are either related or they are married in. My advice: stop treating your employees like garbage. If they all walked out today, who would handle the massive backlog of calls? You need to value the customer service departments, because believe it or not, they are the backbone of the company, not the sales department. You can make the money with sales, but contracts expire and one reason customers leave is due to poor customer service. Train your reps better, and treat them like they are important because without them you would not have the company you have today. Promote based on knowledge, experience, and talent. Not on who is married to whom or if your last name is King.


  3. Micromanagement

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    An okay place to start out of college as an entry level programmer, pay is 50k to start and hiring process is straight forward. Programming interns start out at $19 per hour. This company is generous with bonuses of $2k-5k per year depending on your rank. Annual raises are at about 3-4%. The company has had great success in a niche market of developing school software for 30 years enough to build a new headquarters which is scheduled to be finished in December 2015.

    Cons

    The challenge with working here was the severe amount of micromanagement that occured on a daily basis. Micromanagement cause employees to feel inferior, untrustworthy, second guessing and lacking of decision power.


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  5. Helpful (2)

    Performance doesn't matter, kissing up does

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Good product, used to be a good place to work when it was a smaller company. Now trying to act like a larger corporation and are loosing their way.

    Cons

    MICROMANAGEMENT at it's worst. Have to document every second of activity in real time. Company does not trust employees and offers very low salaries for this market. Company does not value employees because it thinks its product is so good that employees don't really matter. If you don't live in Wis. opportunities are very limited. Nepotism is also rampant and many managers are incompetent and unqualified.

    Advice to Management

    Promote based on experience, knowledge and performance, not on whether or not you live close to the home office. Quit micromanaging.


  6. Disappointing workplace on several levels

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Stevens Point, WI
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Stevens Point, WI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Pay and benefits are not bad for the central WI area. Very easy commute. Good opportunities to network with customers in the educational technology sector.

    Cons

    The workplace is a stifling cubicle farm environment, with a great deal of micromanagement. As one example, there is a dispiriting obsession with internal timekeeping, to the extent that productive time is often wasted ensuring that time tracking reports are in order. Dress code is not in line with the casual atmosphere you would expect at most small software companies. Nepotism is severely blatant, so an employee's blood relations and who they golf with will have a great deal to do with their standing in the company. Several upper management figures could probably not cut it in a solely merit-based environment.

    Advice to Management

    As a family-run company, many problems stem from the deeply-ingrained sense of entitlement by family management, so no advice will change this reality. However, Skyward is trying to pretend as if they're bigger than they really are. As a software company is a college town, they have the opportunity to attract young talent and create an exciting environment in the high tech field, but they needlessly wrap themselves in micromanagement and the stifling corporate culture of a company ten times larger.


  7. A great product, but be prepared to be micromanaged.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Customs Service Representative in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Customs Service Representative in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Skyward full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    If you like to travel, this job provides the opportunity to see small towns as well as big cities across the country. The product is sound and is great for the customer.

    Cons

    For the size of the company there seems to be an inordinate number of levels of management. The amount of micromanagement is almost to the point of being asinine.

    Advice to Management

    Trust your employees, deal with issues on a case by case basis and don't make sweeping changes that drastically effects the quLity of life of the employees.


  8. Skyward cares about employees a truly great place to work could not be happier!!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Stevens Point, WI
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Stevens Point, WI
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Skyward is an amazing company to work for, I could not be happier. They truly care about their employees. They offer competitive salaries and benefits. The future of Skyward looks very bright! They are expanding and currently have outgrown their two offices in Stevens Point and are planning on building a new building in Wisconsin. This company has been very successful for the past 30+ years. I am happy to be a part of it!

    Cons

    There are a lot of managers, sometimes less is more. However, it also means there is always areas for advancement.


  9. Started well, ended in bitter disappointment.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    If you live in central wisco your in good shape. The rest of the company is pretty much out in the cold.

    Cons

    Poor inexperienced management that is handicapped by arrogance and mediocrity. Growth is pitiful. There is no upward mobility unless you live in central wisconsin. Oh and your name better end in King.

    Advice to Management

    Retire.


  10. Solid, high-tech company. Nice people. Good Values.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Stevens Point, WI
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Stevens Point, WI
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Skyward full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Being a family-run company for more than 30 years, Skyward has a unique 'feel.' Known for hiring highly qualified, intelligent people, you get a real feeling that the workforce has a level of energy that isn't found everywhere. The customers we deal with, being school districts, are wonderful. They're smart people that care a lot about kids and their education. There is also a lot of growth at this company. For the foreseeable future, they're only going to expand into more territory and gain a larger market share of the K-12 administrative software industry.

    Cons

    Depending on the department, there can be a lot of travel.

    Advice to Management

    More clear leadership would be appreciated, so that everyone company-wide can be on the same page with the company's vision.


  11. Helpful (3)

    Small family company trying to run with the big boys

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Stevens Point, WI
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Stevens Point, WI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Skyward full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Skyward offers a great salary and benefits package for recent college graduates, including generous PTO, health, vision, dental, disability, life insurance, 401(k) with employer match, and a section 125 flex spending plan. Skyward is very dedicated to a niche market (school software) and tends to serve that market well.

    Cons

    Skyward is aggressively trying to compete with larger, better-equipped rivals through state contracts and large RFPs. Unfortunately, they are spread very thin (with some people in customer service working >60 hours a week just to keep up), upper-management thinks within the "small-town Wisconsin" box, and in an effort to control costs while outlaying exorbitant amounts pursuing new contracts, there is absolutely zero expansion and growth potential. When people bun out and quit, nepotism becomes rampant or the positions aren't filled leaving others to pick up the slack while padding the bottom line. Promotions, when and if they do happen, are largely based on your relation to the King family and how well certain individuals like you--not on your loyalty, skill set, or ability to contribute to the organization. Employees in customer service or QA will not obtain any marketable skill sets and management will not support you in pursuing any certifications or college coursework which will help you. Programmers will leave this company with the same skills they had when they arrived--which are now outdated. The only place you can grow here is in $ales or IT, and even then you'll be working with technology 3-5 years behind the curve. This company is NOT committed helping their employees--only selling product. They watch your every move with internal timekeeping and resource management systems and are given no flexibility in how you do your job.

    Advice to Management

    You have some really talented people working for you who don't get any of the recognition they deserve. Your salaries and benefits are not on par with your competitors. You offer zero opportunity for growth once employed. Employees who are unhappy or wanting to move elsewhere in the company are shown the exit door. You are losing great people in your PM and CS departments. And there are at least a half dozen I know who will leave once the right opportunity comes around. Is that "right opportunity" going to be with Skyward or somewhere else?



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