Synapse Group

  www.synapsegroupinc.com
  www.synapsegroupinc.com

Synapse Group Reviews

Updated September 9, 2014
Updated September 9, 2014
15 Reviews
2.8
15 Reviews
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Sebastien Bilodeau
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Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Great people to work with but the company needs to realize who is doing the work.

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

    I worked at Synapse Group full-time

    Pros

    ~Free lunch
    ~Wellness week
    ~Summer Fridays (when Time Inc allows)
    ~Health/Dental/Eye insurance
    ~Fun Committee (company birthday party, trivia, goof off day, etc.)
    ~Can wear jeans to work everyday
    ~Free shuttle to train station

    Cons

    ~Depending on what department you are in is what will determine your work-life balance. There are two groups that are always there late and they are IT and FP&A. Everyone else leaves at 5:30 (or sometimes earlier) so those 2 groups really get the short end of the stick
    ~There are some people in certain positions who have no idea what they are doing and they are still there or they are getting promoted
    ~The pay is low compared to other companies
    ~ Some departments don't take into consideration the work that some of their requests take
    ~ There is no accountability- certain groups get to skate by

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be more conscious of who is doing the work and try to make the benefits (ex work-life balance) more uniform across the company. I would also tell management that sometimes there are hard decisions to make, so make a decision and stick with it. The constant back and forth is annoying and a waste of time. There also needs to be accountability- people who don't know anything need to leave or step it up because they are dragging everyone else down.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    A dinosaur graveyard

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

    I worked at Synapse Group full-time

    Pros

    Free lunch. On-site gym.

    Cons

    This business model is dying slowly and this business is failing miserably at adapting. No viable plan for digital, no desire to be a respectable consumer-facing brand. They trumpet their BBB rating but all their complaints are under separate dba's. The upper management at this company loathe their customers, which is not how you succeed in 2004, nevermind 2014. Can't crack the digital code? Let's roll out another membership plan with five breakage points and a prorated refund starting on day 1. The work environment here is toxic. Tons of egos and no collaboration. Zero sense of shared purpose. Everyone afraid of being a target in the next round of Time Inc. layoffs. You can't do good work when your main motivation is fear.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Update your resumes.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Overall, it was a disappointing position

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Developer in Stamford, CT
    Former Employee - Developer in Stamford, CT

    I worked at Synapse Group full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    There was a free lunch offered which is nice.

    Cons

    This is a repetitive job using antiquated technologies.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Like trying to hug a slippery mermaid

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

    I worked at Synapse Group

    Pros

    The founder, Michael Loeb, was an extraordinary person to watch. Creative, persistent, driven, demanding, rewarding. He could be your worst nightmare or your best friend, but after it was all over you felt like you had your day at the races.

    Cons

    It was a very sales-driven environment, so nothing was ever really written in stone. If you were in the sales groups, that was excellent because everything was grey, and that's where sales folks thrive. But if you're an analyst -- or anyone with practical, evidence-based values -- it's a nightmare. Any decision, any attempt to influence, any past agreement, it was as if they never happened. Every day another mermaid would slip out of your arms and swim away.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Add people at the top with left-brained styles - practical, concrete, detail-oriented, facts-based and orderly thinkers who want to see logical rationales and numbers-based decisions and outcomes.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Worst job ever

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

    I worked at Synapse Group full-time

    Pros

    Some nice people who unfortunately are institutionalized and, whether they know it or not, will not receive comparable salaries in other companies due to the limited skill set they've received at Synapse. The physical office space is attractive and there is a celebratory spirit -- birthday/work anniversary acknowledgements, holiday parties etc. Employees enjoy them. Management feigns interest when/if they show up.

    Cons

    Probably the worst job I've ever had. Management is just mean and completely dysfunctional. The magazine industry's challenges pale in comparison to a company who has not had a game-changing idea since it launched. Even new people with new ideas of what the company could be cannot combat the "lifers" who rule this sinking vessel.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    All the spreadsheets in the world can't hide poor business practice. If you want new ideas that can actually move the needle, step away and let cube-dwellers who sit outside of your glass offices, run with the ideas. Even if they fail it will be better than doing the same thing in different conference rooms all day and all year long.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    A place with good, smart people where you can work outside of your area of expertise

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

    I worked at Synapse Group full-time

    Pros

    People are smart, caring and fun to work with. In general, most people care about the place beyond just getting your daily work done.

    People are allowed to go outside their areas of expertise if they are smart and can add value. You are not trapped in doing the same thing everyday. People can also move from department to department when opportunities arise.

    Synapse has a great work life balance. Generally, management gets that people work hard and allow them to get their work done as they see fit. As long as you get your work done, you can balance your personal commitments with your work commitments.

    Employee benefits are pretty cool ... free lunch and dinner, summer cook outs, Halloween parties for families, work with AmeriCares and Special Olympics, trivia contests, etc.

    Cons

    Synapse is a division of a larger organization and sometimes the disadvantages that come with that come into play. However, Synapse senior management is generally willing to fight for what is best for Synapse.

    Synapse works within the magazine industry which is struggling which may or may not create issues for it in the future. Management is working on looking for other ways to diversify its growth.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to look for ways to diversify business opportunities and listen to all employees to help understand their ideas and how they can help. Work as a team.

    Recommends
  8.  

    I learned and developed some really cool business and marketing skills working here.

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

    I worked at Synapse Group full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Company has been and continues to be very profitable and successful under the guidance of strong and shrewd management team
    Steady and smart leadership despite challenging business environment
    Passionate and motivated employees
    Employees are held accountable for their performance and business results
    Casual work environment
    Nice office space with lots of light
    Allows for work/life balance
    Vacation time
    Free lunch!
    Access to on site gym

    Cons

    Corporate parent has sometimes stymied investment in new ideas
    Still some pockets of the culture trying to hold on to the past when they need to be thinking ahead
    Company could do a better job of celebrating all the successes it has been achieving
    Hard to get to outside and run an errand during the day

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It's hard to argue with success. It's was a great place to work.
    Continue to fight for employee rewards and benefits

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Entrepreneurial Spirit

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

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

    Pros

    A company with an entrepreneurial history….

    Goon benefits & perks, including shuttle to train station, free lunch and dinners

    The business had stagnated until new senior management team interjected new life

    Smart & hard working team from top to bottom of the company

    Nice office complex convenient located

    Cons

    Challenging times for print magazines, but Synapse always looking to create new programs and business models

    Parent company can sometimes be challenging to navigate

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to invest in new business development initiatives

    Need to bring in more external talent with fresh ideas & experience with product development

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    This company had a great run for 20 plus years!

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

    I worked at Synapse Group full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Free lunch and dinner after 6:30pm, made some great lasting friendships, Learned a lot over the years, great place for young fresh out of school upstarts.

    Cons

    Upper management is disconnected from the main body of employees (it's the Time inc. culture who bought them in 2000). For a small company the CEO struggles to know anyones name except for his direct reports. He also lacks charisma for a CEO and often appears nervous and aloof and looks down at the floor when addressed in passing. Synapse's core business as a magazine subscription agent is failing, no one wants to pay for content that is free on the web, as a result, management is scrambling for the next successful business model to fill the waining paper/digital magazine's shoes. Unfortunately they're grasping at straws by trying to reenter once again another dying business of web-based membership loyalty programs. Synapse has tried this business twice in the past and always runs into the same old issues of trying to get other partners to participate to give the programs some value, which they don't and they fail to launch, unfortunately no one has been there long enough to learn from it's past mistakes, they've let go most of the original employees who know. This company had a great run for 20 plus years, it's been a cash cow for Time Inc. since they bought it, but it's lasting years may be numbered if it can't let go of it's outdated ways of thinking.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    said enough above

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    work place review

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Business Development Analyst in Stamford, CT
    Former Employee - Business Development Analyst in Stamford, CT

    I worked at Synapse Group full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    free food
    some work life balance

    Cons

    CEO could care less about direction of company

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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