ACT Reviews | Glassdoor

ACT Reviews

Updated August 16, 2018
217 reviews

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3.1
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ACT CEO Marten Roorda
Marten Roorda
52 Ratings

217 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • "Gross incompetence in key middle- and upper-management positions" (in 11 reviews)

  • "Top-heavy, slow moving leadership structure" (in 9 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Account Executive"

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

    I have been working at ACT full-time

    Pros

    Great company and keep you informed along the way.

    Cons

    Takes a long time for hiring manager to get in contact with you.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "The company mission is great but senior management needs improvement."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at ACT full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    - Benefits are decent, but the PTO policy is a joke compared to what it used to be
    - Pay is okay (for a non-profit)
    - Flexible schedules are nice when the manager is willing to work with the team member
    - Fellow team members are amazing people that want to do great work

    Cons

    - "Talent Strategy" needs gutted and rebuilt
    - Senior management is not trustworthy and makes decisions without including the right people (or sometimes they don't include anyone)
    - Senior management is also disengaged or outright ignorant. They often do not understand what their own team members do.
    - There is no reward, appreciation, or respect for long-term employment
    - There is little to no consideration for the career path a team member wishes to build for themselves. This used to be an important aspect of ACT employment.
    - There is always too much to do and not enough time or resources in which to do it
    - Too many meetings and not enough productivity

    Advice to Management

    You have some amazing people that want to see the company succeed, but you don't give them that chance. Please start treating your team members like people again. Consider the ridiculous timelines you establish for projects. In fact, please bring in the RIGHT PEOPLE when planning a project. Often times, the left hand isn't talking to the right hand and when a problem comes along, the wrong person is blamed. The company does need to move quickly, yes, but when you have team members that are working in crisis mode 24-7, there is a problem with your management.

  3. Helpful (3)

    "It Is Time For a Serious Culture Shift"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Business Analyst in Iowa City, IA
    Former Employee - Business Analyst in Iowa City, IA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    ACT has a great mission and what they say they are trying to accomplish is very noble and is what attracted me to the company in the first place.
    ACT offers great benefits to employees including, 6 weeks of vacation that most managers let you take at your leisure, great healthcare with different options to suit your needs, flexible work hours so you can come in late one day and be there early another to make up for it, and Friday hours in the summer so as long as you have worked your 37.5 hours you can leave ACT by noon on Friday.
    ACT also allows for people to work remotely in most cases if the need ever arises that you have sick kid, need to be home for a package, or whatever the case might be.
    ACT also has an amazing campus with outdoor working space that makes it not so bad to be at work some days.

    Cons

    When I said the mission of ACT is great, it is, but it SEEMS great. Once you have been there awhile and understand that ACT cares more about the bottom line than the fact that what they are doing actually affects their customers you too will wonder how they retain their non-profit status. When I started working at ACT in 2014, we were doing such great work. We were going out and actually talking to our customers about what they wanted and understanding the market before putting a product out. Now we spend a year building a product that the market told us they didn't want, put it into the market, they don't buy it, and have to pull it off the market, and have now wasted a year and millions of dollars.
    ACT has been undergoing an agile transformation for the past three years now. However, they wouldn't even know what agile is if it walked up and introduced itself. The amount of overhead processes and micromanagement at ACT is astounding. There are more managers that sit in offices and talk about what SHOULD be done than actually go out and DO something. If you as a worker want to make a decision you will need to get it approved by at like six people before you can start your work which is why development and results are so slow. But don't worry, you will get blamed for the slow process and results.
    Promotions and raises are non-existent at ACT because in most departments your manager doesn't have any idea what you are working on day to day. My manager was so far removed from me, he had no idea I was working on three teams and when I told him that he didn't believe me. Managers need to be someone who has a personal investment in your growth, not someone who got the job because they knew someone at the company and was brought in because they were friends.
    HR is a serious problem at ACT. Over the past 4 years with the company I have either personally experienced, witnessed or been told about other people going to HR about experiences with sexual harassment, sexism, and age discrimination. Yet, in every single one of these cases our HR department either told the person or myself that their was not any evidence, they did not believe them, it was the other persons culture, the other person just didn't know better, or they said they would follow up and they never did.

    Advice to Management

    Fix your HR department. There should never be a day that someone has to go to work and be afraid that they are going to be harassed or discriminated against for being who they are. Especially in this day and age. Also the resolution to someone coming to you and saying they have been harassed should NEVER be "okay we will send out this video on sexual harassment to the entire department." On those videos, you can push the play button then entirely ignore them, so do you honestly think the person doing any sort of harassment is getting something from them?


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Can't Even Spell Agile"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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 ACT full-time

    Pros

    Not much competition from co-workers

    Cons

    They totally failed at implementing Agile

    Advice to Management

    Replace the people causing the issues. Retain those who are showing you the right way to develop systems.


  5. "New Directions"

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

    I worked at ACT full-time

    Pros

    Very collegial and collaborative atmosphere.
    Excellent pay and benefits.

    Cons

    Shifting priorities caused multiple organizational changes.


  6. "Call center agent"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Call Center Agent in Harlingen, TX
    Former Employee - Call Center Agent in Harlingen, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The work is not bad

    Cons

    People and supervisor is bad a lot of favouritism


  7. Helpful (5)

    "Founders Would Be Aghast"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Test Developer in Iowa City, IA
    Current Employee - Test Developer in Iowa City, IA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Pretty campus

    Content staff is learned, devoted, extremely hard working

    Most coworkers are polite

    Free parking

    Cons

    Gross incompetence in key middle- and upper-management positions

    Disorganization and inefficiency are commonplace

    Morale is low

    More lay-offs could happen any day

    No loyalty to employees

    Profit seems to be primary concern rather than ethical stances or concern for students, teachers, and schools

    Leadership seems clueless about what is happening within company

    Very little intergrity

    Goal seems to be flash rather than substance

    Sexism is tolerated

    Advice to Management

    Study the market

    Spend time observing public schools

    Make better use of expertise of current employees

    Increase salaries to make them closer to competition

    Give Content more credit

    Listen to the experts in Content

    Fire middle managers who don’t have necessary skills

    Learn more about what is going on in the company

    Treat women fairly

    Treat employees with respect: give them job forecasts and make efforts to retain (or re-train) them

    Act in accordance with ethics and research (rather than greed and ego)

    Stop cutting benefits

    Devote resources to improving current processes/products

    Pay more attention to quality

    Spend time in the Iowa City location

    Ask employees for input

  8. Helpful (6)

    "A lot of Uncertainty"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at ACT full-time

    Pros

    Fantastic work life balance, opportunity to work on projects I enjoyed, great departmental team, great benefits, flexible scheduling and work from home opportunities.

    Cons

    The organization recently went through a round of layoffs and organizational change and with that came a lot of uncertainty, secrecy and low morale. There is still uncertainty over the organization's direction and future goals. As a result, currently, there are not a lot of opportunities for advancement.


  9. Helpful (4)

    "Good and bad"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great people to work with and good benefits.

    Cons

    No clear direction for the future

    Advice to Management

    Listen to people in the field.


  10. "Strategist"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at ACT full-time

    Pros

    Integrity of the mission. There is truly an effort and a genuine desire to do what is right for the customer for the long-term.

    Cons

    As with many organizations, a tension between moving fast and moving in concert. There is more effort to do both, but the choreography can be difficult.

    Advice to Management

    Keep on the path for become a learning and assessment company. That is where you can make a difference - not only in the market, but in lives.


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