Cengage - The products and overall company direction are on the rise; the office culture is not. | Glassdoor
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Helpful (13)

"The products and overall company direction are on the rise; the office culture is not."

Star Star Star Star Star
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Current Employee - Associate Content Developer in San Francisco, CA
Current Employee - Associate Content Developer in San Francisco, CA
Positive Outlook
Approves of CEO

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

Pros

When I left, Cengage was changing for the better -- more of a movement towards sofware development (with all the appropriate steps, redesigning process and workflow, hiring UX designers and engineers, etc.), a great new space in SF, and a management that takes responsibility for it's errors. The work is very rewarding, Cengage is very honest and vocal about being customer-focused, and a healthy work-life balanced is encouraged around there. The CEO and management have taken big steps to "turn things around" and I have seen words turn to action based on the desires and needs of customers and employees. If you are looking for a bright, energetic office where you can contribute to dynamic, meaningful projects with a sense of the customer in mind, you are coming to the right place.

Cons

The company culture has had some serious issues in the past, and recent reorgs have not completely sorted out all the problems. During my time there, I witnessed two abusive managers get away with inappropriate behavior for over a year (one eventually quit, the other was laid off during a reorg.) The behavior of both managers was known, casually discussed, and essentially endured for the fact that they had both been there for years, and the upper management showed an apathy to actually fire them and improve both teams. Though both of these individuals are gone, the impression of "you can get away with all this" still lingers - people slack off, act rude, and generally can be cruel to others based on archaic silos and labels from the past. There are "tenured" managers who are "above the rules" in the way they run things, and people who get promoted are often "favorites" of those managers who recreate the cycle. I would warn someone considering working their to trust their gut feeling about whichever manager and team that they are interviewing with. Also, be prepared to encounter (and avoid) some petty in-office politics between "rival" teams.

Advice to Management

The HR team in SF needs to be MUCH more proactive in facilitating and responding to issues. Have them hold office hours or allow people to schedule one-on-one sessions with a person they feel comfortable with (in some cases, the HR person you are "forced" to talk to because you're matched with them is not actually someone you feel comfortable speaking with.) Better yet, hire new HR people to shake up that team the way you have with so many other departments. You've already come so far in bringing about improvement, keep enforcing accountability and transparency and you'll figure out who to keep (and who needs to go!)

Other Employee Reviews for Cengage

  1. Helpful (11)

    "All Over the Map"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Assistant Editor in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Assistant Editor in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Many smart, dedicated colleagues who want to make a positive contribution to learning. Good benefits.

    Cons

    Senior leadership are spin masters, some messaging is contrived and not sincere. Favoritism is rampant - promotions are held because of budget problems. Some managers adhere to policies while others get away with way too much. CEO talks about accountability but doesn't hold all senior leaders to some basic behaviors of decency. Respect for employees is not always apparent. Workloads are all over the map -- some people work crazy long hours (expected to be available during vacation) while others barely have enough work to do to fill their days. (so they stretch the work to look busy). CEO is an elitist who doesn't value the "common" worker who actually does the work and cares about students.

    Advice to Management

    Apreciate the lower level people who get paid very little and don't cash in on the big bonuses reserved for "leadership"

    Cengage Response

    Sep 25, 2014 – CEO

    I regret that you’ve had this experience. I would like to see us recognized as a meritocracy, where the best and brightest have opportunities to grow their careers, in a frank and open environment ... More


  2. Helpful (6)

    "Corporate inertia. This company is too big and unwieldy to be agile. Resistant to change."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Editorial Product Manager in Clifton Park, NY
    Former Employee - Senior Editorial Product Manager in Clifton Park, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great benefits. Friendly working environment. Competitive salary.

    Cons

    Antiquated culture brought over from companies before acquisition. Poor financial management practices. Inertia at all levels. Middle management spends more time on politics with peers than with management or advancing company goals.

    Advice to Management

    Find out what's really going on your business. Allow professionals to actually do their jobs.

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

See Most Recent

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