Effective Reviews | Glassdoor

Effective Reviews

Updated December 14, 2017
57 reviews

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3.1
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Effective CEO Rebecca Flavin
Rebecca Flavin
42 Ratings

57 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • There is a strong emphasis on work/life balance and employees encouraged to live their lives outside of the office (in 5 reviews)

  • somewhat flexible work schedule (in 7 reviews)

Cons
  • As the relationship between Effective and its parent company, Ogilvy, is getting more defined, it's had a significant impact on the company's culture (in 7 reviews)

  • Inevitably, upper management cut off all business from Rochester, and then laid all but a handful of people off (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Great People, Great Environment, Evolving Identity"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Lead Software Architect in Denver, CO
    Former Employee - Lead Software Architect in Denver, CO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The people here were wonderful. Every single one truly cared, the collaboration was fantastic. They were capable and skilled and passionate, and they've all earned five stars. Benefits were great, flexible schedule, "mature startup" feel. Designers and UX people will love it here.

    Cons

    Corporate owners made it difficult to be flexible. The salary you start with will most likely not change, even when truly deserved and market-appropriate, Ogilvy would rather lose employees than give raises and lose money "on the books".

    I'm a developer, I was a Lead Software Architect there, and they took the company in a very design-heavy direction. There was no longer a place for much outside of front-end development, thus I had to move on. HOWEVER they were very transparent and supportive about this change, and it was executed in a very employee-friendly way. I was given the option for a future with the company and it was just not the career path I wanted to take.

    Advice to Management

    I think you guys are doing great. I was a bit bummed with the design-heavy direction as it meant I had to find a future elsewhere, but it was probably the right decision for the company.

    Maybe be a bit more transparent? You definitely made an attempt and that was appreciated, keep that up.

    I miss all you guys, keep rocking!


  2. "Awesome mission; great team; middle of transformation"

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

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

    Pros

    Effective lives and breaths human-centered design.
    Awesome work/life balance.
    Great client roster.
    Leadership is committed to authentically lead through transformation.
    More than 12 years of experience.
    Part of a global company, Ogilvy (a WPP company) -- this has its pros and cons. The pros include access to some of the best clients in the world, global reach, amazing talent, and career opportunities.

    Cons

    Effective is going through a transformation within Ogilvy -- Google "John Seifert Ogilvy transformation"
    The Denver office shrunk in 2017 which hurt culture but it's on the rebound.

    Advice to Management

    Keep casting vision and sharing where we are going. With so much change the more information shared the better.

  3. Helpful (4)

    "Seek employment elsewhere"

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

    I worked at Effective full-time

    Pros

    A lot of great people who care about workplace comraderie.

    With the exception of a few people everyone is respectful so you don’t generally have to deal with workplace conflict.

    Good work life balance.

    Cons

    If you are considering a job here, I’d read the other posts on here. All pretty accurate.

    There is absolutely no direction or vision for the future of the company. “Goals” are a moving target, and direction changes every six months. Leadership chases every whim. There is very little support on new business efforts, and zero marketing direction. It’s nearly impossible to differentiate Effective from every other UX agency out there. If anything, there are many others that are better. They offer a very one dimensional service, especially since a lot of focus has been taken away from research.

    Lots of talk about culture, but ended up being mostly fake. Lots of lip service.

    Leadership is largely unqualified, and too far removed from the day to day. There are a couple that are very difficult to work with and create internal roadblocks to actually getting your job done. Also, it was announced at the end of 2016 that Effective would officially roll up into Ogilvy, the parent company. They have fought this, tooth and nail, instead of figuring out ways to seemlessly roll into Ogilvy.

    Advice to Management

    Hire qualified leadership and quit fighting the parent company.


  4. Helpful (7)

    "A quickly sinking ship"

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

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

    Pros

    HR department is fantastic at finding genuinely nice, talented employees. Coworkers have true comaraderie and enjoy each other. The CEO means well.

    Cons

    Beware. They fire or layoff employees at whim when they need to cut costs or project blame. There is at least one (sometimes two) farewell email every week these days. Employees are worried daily about keeping their jobs. 50% of the company has left in one year. There are barely enough employees to cover the work they have, let alone assist in new pursuits.

    Designers run the company, even in disciplines of which they are not experts. 'Hybrid roles' are a mask for the misassumption within that designers can do everyone else's job. There is no strategy within the company other than to make sure the layers of leadership keep their jobs through the ongoing merge into the parent company.

    Advice to Management

    LISTEN to all of your employees, not just the design leads. They have valid perspective and suggestions. Hire more researchers. Keep the great employees by offering them incentives to stay. Get leaders who are REALLY experts in their discipline/s and know how to manage teams.

    Effective Response

    Dec 4, 2017 – DIrector, Talent Management

    Thank you for taking the time to share feedback on your experience at Effective. We agree this is an organization made up of incredibly talented individuals, and we acknowledge it has been a... More


  5. Helpful (10)

    "In the end, disappointed"

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

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

    Pros

    I learned a lot from a group of smart, talented designers and developers. While I was there, we were able to work on interesting problems and design robust solutions, and secure some industry awards.

    Cons

    In a nutshell; leadership. One office was clipped of certain sales support and hung out to dry despite a highly talented and loyal workforce. Too often, passive-aggressive tactics from leaders were favored over direct communication which led to a series of a divisive and unproductive relationship between offices. Too many missed opportunities (e.g. product design vs. UI). Too many leaders are more interested in protecting their own status as the smartest guy in the room vs. listening to and understanding innovative ideas from others.

    Advice to Management

    I'm not sure what to say other than I don't think many of you are capable of leading an established and accomplished design group.
    Actual advice: stop trying to chase the next fad you can't effectively support or think you're an expert because you read a Medium post. Stop hiding behind the next "cultural" initiative that never really takes hold or helps employees. Stop blocking and/or ignoring employees regarding design practices – many know much more about design than yourselves.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Experience Director"

    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 Effective full-time

    Pros

    Strong talent. Great coworkers.

    Cons

    Lack of leadership. Lack of transparency.

    Advice to Management

    Hire proven leadership who know what they're doing.


  7. Helpful (5)

    "Wonderful coworkers that help distract from the less-than-satisfactory experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Denver, CO
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Denver, CO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - You can bring dogs into the office!
    - Great group of talented people who truly care about what they do
    - Flexible work hours/WFH policies are great for when you have personal life things to deal with

    Cons

    Effective does a lot of talking, but doesn't really act on the things they say they care about. Unfortunately, very little is done to support employee growth at the company. In my and many of my peers' experiences, it can take months to get an answer on, “What does my growth path look like here?” ...and in the end, the answers are vague and unsatisfactory. As an employee, you want to feel that your company is as invested in you as you are in them, and when that isn't reciprocated, it creates a very frustrating experience. It is clear that leadership is lacking some sort of direction, which unfortunately is hurting a lot of folks at the company.

    As the relationship between Effective and its parent company, Ogilvy, is getting more defined, it's had a significant impact on the company's culture. While it’s been stated that Effective is trying to keep its culture, it’s clear that Ogilvy ways are taking over the company. It is perfectly fine for a company to morph as it grows, but not when it loses grasp on what is important and best for its employees.

    Advice to Management

    When employees come to you with problems, listen to them. We come to you because we trust that you will advocate for us as much as we advocate and work for the company. We trust that you will do something to help remedy the situation. I think somewhere along the way that trust was broken and it doesn’t seem like much has come from leadership in order to rebuild it. I know I'm not alone when I voice that there’s a sentiment that leadership withholds a lot from employees, whether it’s Ogilvy news, information about how the company is doing financially (aka what does job security look like), what clients we’re pursuing, etc. Our culture is one that was fairly open when I started, but as time has passed it’s become more secretive, which is the perfect setup for gossip and stories to circulate. Please get better about using the advice/feedback from employees to live up to the thing Effective says matters most: a person’s experience.

  8. Helpful (8)

    "Went downhill fast"

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

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

    Pros

    Met some good people
    Free snacks

    Cons

    Boring work
    Zero process
    Zero work life
    Zero culture
    Zombie Employees (who is left)
    Everyone complains
    Effective is dying fast

    Advice to Management

    48% turn over rate, shows you really don't care. And neither do your employees which is why they left or are leaving.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Great place to be if you like designing portals"

    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 Effective full-time

    Pros

    Some of the nicest people I've worked with.

    Cons

    Company lacks vision, direction, and leadership. Being just a design agency isn't enough — clients need more from their partners.


  10. "Intern"

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

    I worked at Effective (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great one-on-one training;
    One of the best work environments I've been in

    Cons

    Uncertainty on branding;
    Closed Rochester office while I worked there (job insecurity at that time)

    Advice to Management

    Understand your branding


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