Allen Communication Reviews | Glassdoor

Allen Communication Reviews

Updated July 31, 2017
37 reviews

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Ron Zamir
20 Ratings

37 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    "Great people"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Allen Communication full-time

    Pros

    The people at Allen are amazing. I love working with a great group of talented and hard working individuals. The work is also challenging and rewarding.

    Cons

    Allen presents itself as a forward thinking tech company, and there is some expectation that the culture would match that persona. But in reality Allen is an established company that still operates with traditional ideas of management. Decisions are often made top-down, and some employees feel like their opinions are not valued.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to employees and make small changes to show that everyone's opinion is of value.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Instructional Designer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Instructional Designer
    Former Employee - Instructional Designer
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Allen Communication (Less than a year)

    Pros

    You get to work on some cool projects now and then. It's a good portfolio builder.

    Also, there are some awesome people at Allen--at least the design and production workers. I really enjoyed the relationships I built there. Many of them I still consider friends.

    Cons

    The environment at Allen is pretty bad. Other reviewers have detailed the dysfunction pretty well, but I will add my voice: Allen has some cultural problems. If you take a job there, you need to know what you're getting into.

    Advice to Management

    Practice what you preach. You market yourselves as an employee engagement/retention resource, yet you violate nearly every employee relations principle out there. Often spectacularly.

    Thankfully, after working elsewhere, I know that things don't have to be the way they are at Allen. You can make things better! And if you do, everyone will benefit--including you.

  3. Helpful (15)

    "Some good but be careful of the CEO"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Marketing in Salt Lake City, UT
    Former Employee - Marketing in Salt Lake City, UT
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Allen Communication full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Most worker-level team members at Allen are smart, talented, creative. Projects are varied and quality is usually high. If you are starting a career or can work under a few mid-level l leaders, it can be a great place to work. Some incredible and gifted people head design, sales, etc. You will learn a lot and work for some amazing brands.

    Cons

    I've thought about this review for a while to make sure I'm fair. if you are considering a job that interacts with the CEO, I will tell you what I wish someone had told me (meaning sales and marketing, as well as upper management). The CEO is, without exaggeration, the most extreme micromanager I've personally ever met, and a classic narcissist (look it up). I faced attacks on my projects weekly if not more often, was constantly second-guessed, and things I worked very hard on were threatened to be cut simply if he felt he hadn’t been involved enough in specific decisions. This is especially hard to take because the CEO himself is disorganized and has tremendous difficulty listening to employees or clients. As an example, he once chewed me out when he forgot to attend a meeting he personally had set up and forgot to attend, if that gives you a feel for it. Having someone handy to blame is his focus.

    His constant attack eventually caused me intense anxiety, and I hated my job. I was not alone. Two year ago, over half of sales team, the marketing leader, and our sales VP whom everyone loved, quit over two months, for exactly the same reasons I left (loved the industry, couldn't take the attacks any more). It was crazy. This last year, the whole marketing team quit within one month of each other, and I'm sure he's blamed someone else for hiring the wrong people as a result.

    This review probably seems a little extreme and detailed, so my advice if you're considering a role is to just do some LinkedIn research and not take my word for it. Send a note to literally anyone who has worked in his groups and see if they give you the same read (they will).

    Advice to Management

    Invest in your teams or admit this is just a lifestyle business for the two owners alone and run it that way. If you don't change, the CEO has a reputation and the constant turnover and network of detractors is going to start hurting you even more than it already does. Along those lines, my final reason for writing this is that after enduring so much negativity and criticism myself I want to have one occasion to share my own honest feedback with company leadership. I hope that my review will prompt others to share their own honest experiences and help create accountability for the company ownership.


  4. Helpful (6)

    "Great potential, poor execution"

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

    I have been working at Allen Communication full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Exceptional co workers. We work with some of the best minds out there. The problem is that this company looses these great talented people at an alarming rate.

    The ideas and mission behind the company are impressive and worth while.

    I believe that Allen has great potential.

    Cons

    They keep asking us to recommend our friends. I just would not do that to anyone I truly cared about.

    Awful work life balance.

    little to no opportunity for advancement.

    Advice to Management

    Invest in your people.

    While my review is negative, I believe that if Allen is willing to make some changes it will become a great place to work.


  5. Helpful (14)

    "Dysfunctional, toxic management. Great coworkers. Interesting work."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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

    I worked at Allen Communication full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Amazing coworkers. With a handful of exceptions, the people who work here are great. They are smart, good at what they do, and work hard. Most of the minor frustrations that occur are because of the way management has structured the job roles within the company.

    The work is interesting. The clients are great brands, and the work you do will look good on a resume. Despite the challenging culture, the work itself is rewarding.

    Cons

    Terrible culture that is created and/or perpetuated by every member of the management team. Employees are given no training or guidance. It's a sink-or-swim place in the worst way. Management don't give clear guidelines or responsibilities. They play favorites and blame those out of favor for failure. Constructive criticism and suggestions for improvement are seen as dissent or negativity, and the employees who get labeled as negative will never have their work viewed favorably, no matter how well it is done.

    There are no raises. Almost no opportunity for advancement. There are no thank yous or appreciation for all of the employees who work tons of overtime. Salaries vary widely, even in the same job title, and seem to largely be based on what the employee made at their previous job. Benefits are so-so. Health and dental are average for the area, but there is no 401k match and no other benefits. PTO is okay as a new hire, but you don't gain additional days very quickly with tenure. They used to have free lunch once a week for employees, but even that is now gone. It seems that they have no desire to care for employees in any way beyond the bare minimum.

    Unrealistic expectations and timelines are common. You work a lot of unrecognized overtime. People are always stressed, and I've never worked at a company where I saw employees break down in tears from exhaustion and frustration as often as I did there.

    The entire management team are poor managers. Communication is siloed by design. They claim to have open-door policies and encourage you to make suggestions for improvement, but anyone who does will find it backfire. Most of them are passive aggressive. They are the primary reason morale and culture is as bad as it is at the company. They pay lip service to making changes, but never do. This is why turnover is as high as it is.

    Advice to Management

    I don't believe anything I say here will make a difference, because you have no desire to change. You know that your behavior and management style is what causes low morale, and you don't change. Start listening to the employees in the trenches, streamline processes throughout the company, and be worthy of the trust you ask employees to give.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "A Truly Pleasant Surprise"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Instructional Script Writer in Salt Lake City, UT
    Current Employee - Instructional Script Writer in Salt Lake City, UT
    Recommends

    I have been working at Allen Communication part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I interviewed at Allen not knowing what to expect from the company (and its very orange building), but having worked here for two months now, I have been pleasantly surprised again and again by the many benefits of working for this company. The best three parts are:

    1) People. There's no question—the people belong at the very top of this list. I was hired in a time of significant personnel expansion, but even though there was a whole slough of new writers settling into a relatively small and close-knit community, I felt welcome from day one. People learned my name, remembered me, and offered me help and advice as I adjusted. This welcoming attitude came not only from my peers and supervisors, but even from the Vice Presidents of the company. This company is full of people I love working alongside every day. At all levels, they are supportive, informed, attentive, driven, and friendly.

    2) Work. At Allen, the work always changes. Everything the company does is customized for clients' specific needs, which means that every day involves small adjustments in style and process that bring us closer to a particular client's vision. The teams designing courseware continually seek ways to make the product clearer, more intuitive, more effective, and more innovative, and that means that the day-to-day work always changes. There are constant opportunities to improve my individual performance as a writer, and it's exciting to be part of such a motivated group that is committed to excellence in both process and product.

    3) Vision. If there's one thing that the people at Allen are keenly aware of, it's that technology and work environments are evolving quickly, meaning that Allen's learning and training products need to improve even faster. The executives at the company are always looking for new ways to improve the learning experience for Allen's clients, and that commitment to future innovation trickles down into the rest of the company. Ideas and suggestions are always welcome, executives' doors are always open, and collaboration is built in to every process.

    Cons

    The only drawback to working at Allen that I've discovered so far is that, as a part-time employee, my hours are not guaranteed. My supervisors do an admirable job of spreading the work around to the whole team and, during any dry spells, finding spots for us on other projects. Unfortunately, though, when there are sudden, unexpected delays, I can end the week with 15 hours instead of the 25-30 I was hoping for.

    Having only worked here for a couple of months, I'm not sure how common this is, but if you're searching for a position with highly dependable hours, part-time work for Allen might not be the best option. There are, however, full-time options available in nearly every position in the company.

    Advice to Management

    Keep getting to know your employees. Keep encouraging them to share their ideas and improve their performance. If possible, involve whole teams (even the writers) in the development process, and keep giving us chances to become more valuable to Allen.


  7. Helpful (15)

    "Toxic"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Instructional Designer
    Current Employee - Instructional Designer
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Allen Communication full-time

    Pros

    You get to consult with some stellar clients. With a custom art and programming your courses will look amazing. Individual employees you work with can be great, and very creative, if allowed to be.

    Cons

    Dealing with the project managers, VPs, CLO, and owners can be more than a little challenging. A lot of doublespeak and toxic practices go on. There is no objective measure to getting feedback on your work. Anyone who says they like it here have been here for too short of a time, and are still in the honeymoon stage. Be prepared to be disillusioned. Be prepared to be treated poorly. Be prepared to hear that they want to make changes, and that they are making changes, but to never see the changes materialize.

    Advice to Management

    Hire different VPs and CLO. The toxicity comes from EACH of the VPs. They each pass down a culture of subjective measures, not taking accountability, and double speak.

  8. Helpful (12)

    "Toxic Leadership, but excellent co-workers; ~30% Employee retention."

    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 Allen Communication full-time

    Pros

    -You'll learn a lot and get pushed to your limits
    -You'll be able to collaborate on creating some of the most up-to-date and innovative training media out there
    -The people who actually produce the trainings, some of the project managers, and a few of the directors are awesome. Allen has managed to attract a lot of talented and nice people to work with.
    -Pizza Thursday

    Cons

    -Certain Directors and VPs and a certain CEO are toxic to work with. People leave their offices crying on a far too regular basis. Essentially, you may never be good enough for them, no matter how much extra effort or time you put in.
    -You'll likely end up working a lot of unappreciated and unrewarded overtime
    -Ironically, the have a poor onboarding/training experience

    Advice to Management

    -Have the CEO uninvolve himself in almost everything; replace the ID and PM managers with people that don't make their employees feel unappreciated and with directors who are willing to work in the trenches in order to get jobs done on time.
    -Allow employees to work according to their strengths and be willing to learn from them, instead of trying to force employees into flawless cogs in the machine.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Information on senior management"

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

    Pros

    Michael Noble is a gifted leader.

    Cons

    The CEO will continue to use ideas from employees a difference leaders as his own. If you want to be recognize and rewardEd for your contribution, find employment elsewhere.


  10. Helpful (17)

    "Conflicted"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Instructional Designer in Salt Lake City, UT
    Current Employee - Instructional Designer in Salt Lake City, UT
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Allen Communication full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    You'll never find a more talented group of people. Working with them brings me an immeasurable amount of joy. I've worked on projects that I would have never thought possible.

    Cons

    It's so sad to see these great people mismanaged so badly. Simple principles of good management seem to be ignored. Transparency isn't a word that get's considered much at all. If there will be any new direction for the company or the design teams, it will come from the top down. The management isn't interested in what their employees think and it is causing the organization to bleed talent.

    Advice to Management

    The management asks for trust. But they do not realize that trust must be given and received freely in order to create a healthy work environment.


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