Allen Communication Reviews | Glassdoor

Allen Communication Reviews

Updated December 5, 2017
44 reviews

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3.3
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Ron Zamir
25 Ratings

44 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Instructional Designer"

    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
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Nothing compares to the people you will work with at Allen. They are smart, innovative, and fun. I’ve never been surrounded by a better group of people. I enjoy my job at Allen, but I love my coworkers.

    We get to work on cutting edge projects with some of the coolest companies. You get a wide variety of experiences because of the different businesses we work with.

    For a small company that doesn’t fit into the startup realm, they try to do things to create a fun culture by celebrating random holidays (National Play Dough Day, anyone?).

    The management is reasonable when it comes to flexibility for life events (sick time, childcare issues, etc). I do feel like my managers care about me and my wellbeing and understand that sometimes life gets in the way of work.

    They have cool clubs like Donut Club and Salad Club (it’s called balance), which are run by employees. Employees can create new clubs, if they are interested.

    Cons

    Due to it being a billing environment, the productivity expectations can be very high. Although this is needed for any profitable business, it can lead people to feel like the work/life balance is not as manageable. It’s a specific type of stress that some people don’t do well with (while other’s thrive on it).

    Benefits are on the average to minimal side, which may hinder attracting younger applicants.

    There is a lack of structured review periods, which is a hard adjustment when coming from a very structured corporate American job.

    Not a lot of flexibility to work from home, even though there are some tasks that don’t require being in the office. Providing all employees with laptops would allow for more flexibility and may help meet some of the productivity expectations.

    Advice to Management

    Turnover has been a problem, but it feels like management is trying to make changes to address that. Continue to try to build a culture of staying. Consider creating opportunities for all employees to be part of new innovations, perhaps as a way to balance the productivity expectations with an opportunity to be creative (without client restrictions).

    Create a formal program for reviews, raises, and promotions so people know what they are working towards.

    Add 401K matching.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "OK for a while"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

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

    Pros

    You'll be working with amazing people on award-winning trainings. It's a great way to build your resume and experience.

    Cons

    Benefits are not great, work comes in waves and things are either dead or extremely busy (with mandatory unpaid overtime).

  3. "Great company with a few quirks"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Salt Lake City, UT
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Salt Lake City, UT
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Allen Communication full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Having worked at other shops, Allen is far superior when it comes to work/life balance, culture and opportunity. We get to work with top tier clients and the people at Allen are excellent. Allen only hires the best and brightest. Very picky hiring standards. Very little politicking or drama. Strong culture, and nice office. I'd recommend working here if you're down for a challenge, and want to build best in class training.

    Cons

    Benefits could be better, and communications could be a little more clear, but honestly, the pros far outweigh the cons for me.

    Advice to Management

    Add a 401K match.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Toxic leadership from CEO"

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

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

    Pros

    The client list is very impressive. It was fun to work with clients after the project had launched to see the success and advancements the courseware team had built. Fun clubs created.

    Cons

    The CEO is impossible to work with. He takes credit for your success and punishes you for his failed ideas. The micromanagement and lack of clear plans is extremely frustrating. I wanted to take marketing at Allen to the next level, but unfortunately the only ideas that are passed are those of the CEOs. You would think someone at that level wouldn't be so hands on and destructive.

    Advice to Management

    As previous reviews have suggest, sell.


  5. "Effectively small, well-managed eLearning company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Web Developer in Salt Lake City, UT
    Former Employee - Web Developer in Salt Lake City, UT
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Innovating in learning strategies (i.e. microlearning)
    - Cutting-edge course design and media solutions that are challenging the status-quo in educational software and online instruction
    - Technically beyond their competition in terms of cross-platform and browser support with HTML5 and React.js outside of the soon-to-be-obsolete Flash environment
    - Great morale and employee "ownership"
    - Not publicly-traded, so quality and reputability comes before profitability

    Cons

    - Family-oriented employment structure and preferences
    - High turnover in instructional design, writing, and project management departments
    - Limited product differentiation
    - Niche training consulting industry that is slowly getting phased out my company's internal departments

    Advice to Management

    - Allow for more employee ownership over projects
    - Give the technical department more influence over client relations as far as improving the standards of innovative design and technology in courseware implementations
    - Create more opportunities for upward mobility
    - Continue to foster a unique culture and intellectually-minded environment


  6. "AllenComm is a great place to work with good leadership and career development opportunities."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Performance Consultant in Salt Lake City, UT
    Former Employee - Performance Consultant in Salt Lake City, UT
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    During my two years working at the company as a performance consultant, I found AllenComm to be a rewarding career decision, one that I would recommend to driven and thoughtful professionals at the early-mid levels of their careers. In an effort to elaborate on my positive experiences at AllenComm, I want to focus on three characteristics that define a career at AllenComm: (1) innovative product designs, (2) career development opportunities, and (3) sound leadership.
    Innovative Product Designs: AllenComm is a particularly unique training vendor insofar as it possesses considerable resources for innovating the world of training and development. The CEO, CTO, and CLO are aggressive in trying to create groundbreaking, technologically savvy training solutions that are galaxies ahead of the usual L&D landscape. In my time at AllenComm, for example, I designed and developed augmented reality demos, mobile applications, as well as 360-degree video experiences. Very few companies that work in corporate training have this capacity, and it is likely that you will have the opportunity to design and develop some of the coolest learning experiences in the industry. In fact, AllenComm is regularly recognized for its innovation by industry experts and organizations, and it’s one of the main reasons that AllenComm remains one of the most reputable players in the market. Rather than going through a rote set of day-to-day activities, AllenComm regularly provides its employees with an outlet for problem solving, creativity, and design.
    Career Development Opportunities: I mentioned earlier that AllenComm is especially suitable for driven and thoughtful professionals. Working at AllenComm will provide professionals with an array of career development opportunities, as long as you are proactive in trying to attain them. For example, AllenComm features a set of “clubs” that exist to do R&D for particular training-related topics, e.g., AR/VR, leadership development, video-based learning, gamification, and so forth. Being involved in these clubs opens up the opportunity for employees to increase their knowledge and expertise on an array of subject areas. By way of another example, AllenComm regularly sponsors their employees to attend industry expos and conferences in order to learn more about the industry and strategize ways to sustain AllenComm’s reputation in it. These events are great places to do industry research as well as identify some best practices that you could integrate into AllenComm projects. Finally, it is worth underscoring that AllenComm’s clients are usually Fortune 500 companies. As a result, employees at AllenComm are handed the opportunity to work with some of the most powerful enterprises on the planet. The result is that AllenComm employees acquire considerable expertise in evaluating and improving the L&D/training programs at these corporations. Possessing that kind of knowledge is not only valuable; it is also an excellent way to build your “brand” as an expert in the field.
    Sound Leadership: The VPs are actively involved in each employee’s projects and weekly responsibilities. When I say “actively involved,” I don’t mean to suggest that they micromanage their employees. Instead, I want to highlight that AllenComm’s leadership are available to help employees succeed at delivering best-in-class training solutions. The leadership at AllenComm possesses decades of expertise in corporate training and development, and interested employees can gather an abundance of insights from them on any given week. In fact, I found that the VPs are very responsive to team members who proactively pursue feedback from their leadership. The trick for the employee is to be prepared to take feedback productively, and to use your boss’s suggestions to improve the quality of your projects. What I found – and what I think goes against most of what’s written in other posts – is that AllenComm’s leadership wants to help their employees to succeed by providing thoughtful and regular feedback at various stages of a project’s development.
    Although my experience with most of the VPs was unequivocally positive, I would be remiss if I didn’t give a shout out to the VP of instructional design, who I found to be an excellent mentor and strong advocate for her team. Anna – as well as other VPs and the CLO – want their people to succeed, and they are especially responsive to people who grow and develop as a result to their mentorship.
    Ultimately, due to AllenComm’s innovative product designs, career development opportunities, and sound leadership, I would recommend AllenComm to smart, hardworking professionals who are eager to build their career in L&D, corporate training, and organizational development.

    Cons

    Some positions require the employee to travel regularly. I enjoy travelling for work, but I can understand that being an issue for some folks.

    Advice to Management

    I know it's easier said that done, but there might be some merit to working out a promotion path with your exceptional employees, so that they know they have something to aspire to.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Director of Learning"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Allen Communication full-time

    Pros

    Chief learning officer is undervalued

    Cons

    Clearly poor leadership from CEO promotes a toxic culture

    Advice to Management

    sell

  8. Helpful (4)

    "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.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Unreasonable Expectations"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Instructional Designer in Salt Lake City, UT
    Former Employee - Instructional Designer in Salt Lake City, UT
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Allen Communication (More than a year)

    Pros

    The people are great and the culture is collaborative.

    Cons

    The drive for innovative and award-winning work and the push for securing accounts by lowering project budgets, puts pressure on the instructional design lead to make up the difference. Lots of work for the compensation.

    Advice to Management

    Create a culture of appreciation that includes adequate compensation for realistic project expectations.


  10. 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.


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