Cengage - The mantra: Speed, Focus, Collaboration. The reality: Slow, Scattered, Fumbling. | Glassdoor
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There are newer employer reviews for Cengage

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Helpful (9)

"The mantra: Speed, Focus, Collaboration. The reality: Slow, Scattered, Fumbling."

Star Star Star Star Star
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
Doesn't Recommend
Neutral Outlook
No opinion of CEO

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

Pros

Open communication is encouraged—to the point where the CEO has urged all employees to post reviews on Glassdoor, perhaps in hopes of raising the company’s and his own overall rating.

Marketing is now in the hands of an industry star who was hired away from Cengage’s top competitor, so expect to see a great deal of finely tuned promotional materials and videos coming out of Cengage.

Help is finally there for digital products, though digital and editorial partners sometimes speak different languages and misunderstand one another's goals.

Cons

To take it in a digital direction, all of the company’s development efforts have been focused on MindTap for the last several years, but those developing content for it are still not given adequate opportunity to test it in the MindTap environment. Even Detroit recalls automobiles, but we are told that errors discovered in live MindTaps can’t be corrected. The rules for digital ancillaries seem to change daily, yet those who need to know those rules have to stumble on them accidentally.

One of new management’s expressed goals is speed, yet we are crippled by a byzantine financial system with its roots in P&L software that dates to the previous millennium. Everything flows from and must be approved through this system, which often slows the necessary investment in and testing and development of new applications.

Another of new management’s expressed goals is focus, yet some new product managers are so overburdened and inexperienced that their meetings are case studies in lack of either focus or leadership. In addition, those who must focus the most to get new products out the door are distracted by more assignments, meetings, and trainings than ever. The increased emphasis on MindTap development has led to training aimed at creating a hybrid role involving text development, for which media developers may have neither the experience nor the inclination. It's ironic that media developers probably fear for their future in the organization.

One of new management’s expressed goals is collaboration, yet it can take months to discover the right people to get an innovative job done. The corporate in-house website, Inside, where one might find this information, is even more byzantine than the financial system. Individual teams have had to create their own websites "outside of Inside," to enable their staff to find the information they need.

Further, other reviewers have expressed this far more eloquently, but there is a culture of cronyism in which personal favorites are promoted and supported, whereas those who do the most creative work operate in relative obscurity.

Advice to Management

Listen to those at lower levels of the organization, even those who may have negative messages, without chastising them. Beware of hybridizing media developers; their specialization is needed. Combining roles in order to reduce headcount is a bad idea.

Other Employee Reviews for Cengage

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Good freelance, if you could get it"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Freelance Copywriter in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Freelance Copywriter in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Cengage part-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Work was straightforward, if a little tedious

    Cons

    Hard to get projects unless they have a big surplus. They tend to give the projects to whichever freelancer is pestering them. So pester away.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Finally run by competent people"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Marketing in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Marketing in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Cengage full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    This company is finally on track after going through a necessary bankruptcy and getting some dynamic leadership at the C-level. Higher education publishing is changing rapidly and for years senior management refused to accept it and ignored customer needs. Finally this is a customer-focused organization -- hope it's not too late.

    Cons

    Still heavily silo-ed with lots of red tape and bureaucracy. Good pay relative to the industry, but not to other industries.

    Advice to Management

    Good luck!

There are newer employer reviews for Cengage
There are newer employer reviews for Cengage

See Most Recent

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