Fitbit "middle management" Reviews | Glassdoor

Fitbit Employee Reviews about "middle management"

Updated Sep 5, 2019

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3.5
56%
Recommend to a Friend
57%
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Fitbit CEO James Park
James Park
189 Ratings
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Reviews about "middle management"

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  1. Helpful (10)

    "Incredibly meaningful product portfolio with a misguided and uninspired management team"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Fitbit full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    - Work for a company creating products with purpose and meaning. You'll be inspired by the weekly customer success stories shared internally submitted by customers. These unsolicited stories share how lives are changed for the better with the use of Fitbit devices. - Generous employee product discount - Fully stocked kitchens with a variety of snacks and beverages to choose from. Each Friday the Company hosts a... "happy hour" and caters in food - Participate in field tests on beta products

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    Cons

    - C-suite is uninspiring and lacks the charisma or stage presence required to lead an innovative organization. - Product misses and increased competition has led to poor earnings and unsure outlook as an independent company. - Everything. Moves. Slowly. There are too many meetings. In order to accomplish any task or project you'll need a treasure map to locate the correct resources. - Poor middle-management... capabilities. If you thrive in an environment where no clear instructions are provided, like to figure out on your own how to do something by spinning your wheels for an eternity and have a manager that is never around to provide guidance or even just to check in how you are during 1:1's that always get canceled, then Fitbit is for you. If not (like most), you might consider working elsewhere. - Communication? Help? Those are dirty words here. When you become frustrated after spending hours or (likely) days on a task because on one was available to help you and found out only after a simpler way existed and hear the term that it's the "Fitbit way," don't be alarmed. Unlike the "HP way" that typically connotes positive things, performing something this way means doing it without instruction, by yourself since no one around is willing to help for fear they teach you something that eliminates their job security, most inefficient method possible since you have to re-invent the wheel. - No gym. Meger 401(k) match capped at $2K. Workout Wednesdays are really not workout Wednesday's as the company boasts. These are supposed to be days that employees are asked to wear workout wear and take time out of your day at work to do some physical activity they love. What this day turns out to be is just another day with worn with comfortable clothing (since you can't leave the office anyways with competing deliverables all due at the same time...or are they since clear instructions weren't given?). The most annoying part of this day is you're unable to book conference rooms at all since you're supposed to eliminate all company meetings on these days. This never happens, and it's a mad dash trying to find an open room.

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    Advice to Management

    Wake, UP. You know from the engagement surveys things need to change, The only positive thing worth mentioning is almost every single employee is proud to work there, despite miserable ratings in all other areas. Retain your talent through whatever means you know right. Start a mentoring program to allow a path for the growth of your junior staff. Have mandatory management training for your managers, and... require them to actually manage their staff if they're people managers. Take out the red tape and ask why it takes such a long time to get anything done. Are the bottlenecks from disgruntled tenured emplees? If so, remove them and hire people that are excited and motivated with a fresh set of eyes and clear mind. There's such potential and it makes many want to scream when they see how management either doesn't care or is clueless how their employees are treated and felt.

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    Fitbit2019-09-05
  2. Helpful (8)

    "Great work-life balance; lack of innovation"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Marketing Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Fitbit full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    - Great work life balance - Opportunity to roll up your sleeves and get work done - Opportunity to work with some really nice and talented people - Mission-driven and people really care about it - Flexible WFH policy

    Cons

    - Opportunity to roll up your sleeves... because you’re constantly fighting fires and cleaning up messes. - No clear path for growth; results in in-fighting among middle management - Lack of innovation/always feeling behind the curve - Unclear strategic vision from senior leadership. - Lack of alignment from senior leadership

    Advice to Management

    Get aligned with each other. Create real goals that go beyond “deepen engagement with existing users” and “reach more users.” Set a strategy that gets us there. Then follow through with that strategy.

    Fitbit2019-02-21
  3. Helpful (5)

    "Low morale, constantly changing priorities"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Analyst 

    I have been working at Fitbit full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Recognizable brand. Your parents' friends will think it's cool you work at Fitbit. Employee discounts on products.

    Cons

    Leadership keeps changing priorities and can't deliver on promises. Inflated middle management. 20% of the people do all the work while the rest try desperately to make themselves helpful. No career pathing. Systems tools are barely working.

    Fitbit2019-02-15
  4. Helpful (73)

    "RUN, do not walk, to the NEAREST EXIT."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Fitbit full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    - Offices in downtown SF. No south bay commute is nice. - Cool to work on hardware products. - Raw passion and compassion for colleagues at the lowest levels of the hierarchy.

    Cons

    Buckle up, buttercup. - Lack of vision from top leadership on whether we want to be a health company or a consumer electronics company. This creates a fragmented and broken product portfolio. Latest smartwatch release is a prime example. It pales in comparison to almost any other smartwatch on the market, and though it is equipped some more advanced sensors, they are not functional on the product because the... software work required wasn't completed. - Numerous layers of completely inept middle management are given way too much power. The largest piece of this problem is the product management org, which needs to be completely gutted. The new trimester planning process is a turf war, consisting of weeks to months of bitter fighting to get features on the roadmap. We end up committing to doing too much, since NO ONE seems to do any resource planning to figure out whether we actually have the staff to build what the PM org and execs put on the roadmap. The actual dev and design teams who will be tasked with the work have little voice in this process and only find out the results at the end. Compounding all of these problems, the planning cycle takes so long and happens three times per year which means we're almost always in a planning cycle and continuously shifting around our priorities. - Teams across the product development side of the house (sw and fw engineering, QA, design) are all understaffed. This leads to dismal team morale, constant tension between ICs in these teams, and very high attrition rates even by Silicon Valley standards. Some employees are so overworked that they come in even when sick because they have too much on their plates to take time off. - Due to overcommitting and lack of resources, the scope and feature set of products we release are usually severely cut from the original plan for the product, to the point that the original vision for the product is barely recognizable in what is actually released. - Major lack of diversity especially in management teams. Mostly white men. The company has no visible programs to foster diversity in hiring. There are some special interest programs once already inside, but they don't seem very active. Fitbit's answer to our diversity problem is "we don't have one." - C-level leadership is not present and feels disconnected from the rank and file. Bi-weekly all hands meetings feel more like a mandatory address from a dictator than an open dialogue. I have worked at companies much larger than Fitbit, with *thousands* more employees on their HQ campuses, and still felt the executive leadership was more open and connected to staff. The CEO and CTO really should take a pause from whatever they do on a daily basis and take time to meet with a listen to all of the teams building out their products. -- As a sub-item to this, there is a lack of transparent communication from the top down at Fitbit. Exec leaders yack all the time about how they are working to improve this, but little has changed. Prime example: earlier this summer, there were apparently some kind of violent threats made against our San Francisco HQ. The company sent out cryptic emails telling all of us to work from home and not come into the office, but leaving us otherwise in the dark. This came from HR, not even the C-level execs. This went on for several days, with nightly emails saying to "keep working from home tomorrow." After a week, they claimed they worked with law enforcement to confirm it was safe for us to return to the offices, but never shared exactly what the threats were or what steps were taken to keep all of us safe in the future. The entire situation was completely mishandled. Reminds me of our layoffs in Jan '17, but I'm sure there are enough Glassdoor reviews on those so I'll skip over that subject. - There is no formal performance review process at Fitbit. There is only a self service check in web app that is fairly useless. Some departments have come up with their own performance review processes which are biased and opaque. Apparently I have had several performance reviews in my time at the company but no one has ever shared any of the results with me. When I surfaced this complaint to HR, they asked, "have you ever had a conversation that seemed like it _could have been_ a performance review?" *jaw drops*. Given this lack of clear evaluation, promotions seem unfair and opaque, and many ICs and even team leads do way more than their job description but still don't get promoted. This increases our attrition problem. Some who have left have told me they were offered (long overdue) promotions on their way out, which just feels pathetic. - Our entire marketing organization has a very poor understanding of our product portfolio and relies heavily on people in the product development side of the house to do their jobs for them. They have dozens of project managers, coordinators, and other oversight roles but not enough executors which means they outsource or try to force others to fill in on the execution. - Archaic tools and lack of proper productivity technology and processes result in an insane amount of unruly emails, lost decisions, and lack of clarity across functions of the product development org. It is baffling to me how little this company invests in basic project management and team planning software. Our Jira structure is a giant mess with a huge part of the prod dev org sharing one single Jira project with tens of thousands of tickets (not at all how Jira is supposed to work). Different teams also use Jira in different ways which makes it even less effective. Our Wiki is a joke with thousands of unorganized, duplicate, and abandoned pages. This is such an easy problem to solve compared to all the others this company faces. Will someone WAKE UP and smell the roses already?! - Lack of office perks including no food, poor snack choices which never change (and unhealthy ones at that).

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    Advice to Management

    - Stop trying to crank out hardware products without any regard for whether they have compelling market value or not. Spend more time thinking about and explaining your vision for the company to all of us, if there is one. - Staff up teams in the prod dev org so that you have enough resources to build out your product roadmap, or cut down the roadmap. You are going to burn out your entire staff or literally... drive us into the grave. - Have lower level staff submit goals for middle tier management and work out a system for said management to be accountable to reaching those goals or at least attempting to solve problems in their org. - Do a listening tour with all of the teams involved in the prod-dev process. - Give us better collaboration and communication tools, and a few more heads to do knowledge management. - Implement a better and more transparent performance review process, with safeguards to make sure staff are promoted appropriately when doing the responsibilities of higher roles, to prevent them from leaving to level up.

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    Fitbit2017-10-14
  5. Helpful (17)

    "go somewhere else if you have choices"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in South San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Fitbit full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Free trackers and ok compensation.

    Cons

    horrible middle management forces good people to leave. managers who don't know what they are doing only cares about budget and headcount so that they can be promoted. Half-million- dollar analytical instrument was bought without proper evaluation and justification. Lying to upper management to get more budget and headcount, while people in the group have no work to do and instruments are idling. Senior people in... the group bully on new comer and forced him to leave in 2 weeks. Quite unique experience!

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    Advice to Management

    too disappointed to say anything.....

    Fitbit2017-12-05
  6. Helpful (14)

    "Promising company ruined by incompetent managers and leadership"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Staff Member in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Fitbit full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The mission of creating products to enable peoples' fitness and health is wonderful and motivating Generally very nice and highly competent non-managerial colleagues Very nice office space Fairly descent compensation

    Cons

    Founding CEO/CTO should have stepped aside and brought in professionals a while ago and not pretend to know what they're doing Inexperienced middle management, especially in research and engineering, has lead to confusing and inefficient development cycles and copious degrees of tech debt General trend in management to not take responsibility for things and blame people further down the chain (e.g. layoffs earlier... in the year)

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    Advice to Management

    Recognize that you don't know as much as you think you do and be humble and a bit less machiavellian and all will benefit.

    Fitbit2017-05-15
  7. Helpful (15)

    "Lack of structure and micro-management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Fitbit full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Decent pay Good perks Some autonomy, but not where it matters Fun Good energy

    Cons

    Layers of middle management that can be out of touch with daily priorities and life on the front line. Lack of trust in the experts Fitbit hires, leading to micro-management that then leads to waste and inefficiency. Lack of planning and structure, and somewhat dismal distribution of responsibility. Instead of really evaluating what each team member's strengths are, and working to cater and distribute work to... those strengths, work is assigned in a somewhat haphazard, fire-fighting style. Manager claims to be open to feedback, but that is not the reality. For a young company, there seems to be a lot of waste, and that is possibly only exacerbated by the lack of processes and somewhat unbridled hiring and growth.

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    Advice to Management

    Trust your employees and experts to do their jobs. Don't micro-manage at every step of a process. Develop a plan of attack when it comes to projects that caters to the project as a whole and each team member's strengths.

    Fitbit2015-09-15
  8. Helpful (12)

    "Stop behaving like a startup."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Anonymous Contractor 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Fitbit for less than a year

    Pros

    Lots of perks, free product and happy hours, catered lunch once a week

    Cons

    Poor or non-existent training for middle management. Lots of condescension from managers. Long hours, and the expectation you work all the time, tethered to a laptop or phone. They are not exploring the talent of their employees or trying to inspire them. Little chance for career growth. I've heard of one or two promotions in the 8 months I've been there.

    Advice to Management

    You're not a startup anymore. There's too many people. Create solid org charts and define roles. Inspire people to grow their careers. Train the middle management, especially those whom have never been a manager before.

    Fitbit2014-11-26
  9. Helpful (16)

    "Yikes..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Fitbit full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    It is a young company, and therefore the energy around the office is certainly positive.

    Cons

    Too many to list. Underpaid, no training, horrible middle management, broken promises.

    Advice to Management

    Stop adding so many additional levels of management and focus on keeping the people that you do have happy. Or you're about to start losing many more.

    Fitbit2014-07-07
Found 9 reviews