Forum One Reviews | Glassdoor

Forum One Reviews

Updated June 22, 2017
21 reviews

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3.7
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Chris Wolz
14 Ratings

21 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    "Mission-driven, forward-looking"

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

    I have been working at Forum One full-time

    Pros

    Forum One has a great client list and works on progressive-oriented projects. Although it's not a political agency, the work it takes on it with mission-driven clients who have a "save the world" mentality. Staff are generally very much behind that.

    The company has genuinely talented staff, and it's pushing toward innovation instead of resting on its laurels. It's growing in interesting areas like creative and analytics, where it used to be a bit stale some years back. There has been a big push toward the client experience on projects, which comes from a good place but is sometimes difficult to balance.

    On the HR front, there are generous benefits (5 weeks paid leave, maternity/paternity leave, employee-owned stock plan), and good work/life balance overall. Remote work is allowed, and it's nice to have flexibility if you have kids at home. Team leads actually push for collaboration on projects and across departments. There's are strong mentors on the tech and creative team to help you grow. Leadership is transparent about company goals and financials through company-wide all-hands meetings and quarterly meetings.

    Cons

    An emphasis on growth over the last couple of years resulted in growing pains. Management is still trying to balance the culture they want with the goals they've set. There are downsides when negativity festers with those who are not quite in the flow of things, or are dealing with burnout.

    Advice to Management

    Keep being transparent about what you want to achieve as a company, and people will get on the same page. Promote people to management who are going to be forward-thinking and good mentors.


  2. Helpful (7)

    "Great projects & mission, poor leadership"

    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

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

    Pros

    - Generous benefits
    - Professional HR leadership
    - Smart colleagues
    - Great learning opportunities
    - Interesting project work
    - Really great clients

    Cons

    - Leadership always need someone to blame for their own failures
    - Hostile, at times threatening, work environment
    - Clients are allowed to be rude and offensive to staff
    - Leadership often uses intimidation to motivate staff
    - Clients are always right even when they are wrong
    - Poor decision-making about promotions, which is often based on forcefulness and not skill

    Advice to Management

    Seriously consider replacing current leadership with professionals who understand the business and use encouragement, empathy, honesty, and long-term vision to lead instead of using intimidation, pettiness, manipulation, and short-sightedness for personal gain.

    Forum One Response

    Jun 19, 2017 – CEO

    I appreciate seeing the positive factors you note. These are important to us as we’ve grown Forum One. You also mention some concerns, and I’m sorry we did not meet all your expectations. I try to... More

  3. Helpful (3)

    "The best place I've ever worked."

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

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

    Pros

    - This is a company that cares about its clients and its employees.
    - There is a rich history of "service" among Forum One's staff - and it translates to the projects we're so proud of.
    - Work-life balance is outstanding.
    - Opportunities for growth within the organization are real.
    - Many staff telecommute - but the office locations (Alexandria, DC, Seattle) are the best.
    - I couldn't ask to work with a better group of people!

    Cons

    Like any company experiencing growth... there are growing pains. But, the company is growing because our clients love us - and people want to work here!

    Advice to Management

    Heads up and full steam ahead!


  4. Helpful (5)

    "This is really a great place"

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

    I have been working at Forum One full-time

    Pros

    - Amazing co-workers, both in talent and personality.
    - Many great clients.
    - Collaboration is improving and is an area of focus for us.
    - Strong work/life balance with care about employee needs. Sometimes longer hours are required, but this is not the norm and it is OK to raise this as an issue.
    - Leadership in our space. We have strong talent and focus on leading clients to the best results we can.
    - Consistent, historical business success, especially in terms of revenue growth.
    - Benefits are extremely strong for a company with this size and atmosphere. Could we make more elsewhere? Sure, but we would also sacrifice a lot else.
    - Transparency of the business situation is like nowhere else I have seen.

    Cons

    - You need to be a self-starter here. There are many opportunities and can chart your own path, but you need to make it happen.
    - Management can get too wrapped up in some business metrics in the short term, but things tend to even out over the longer term.
    - There has been an increased focus on accountability in many areas, which is necessary, but has provoked some tensions. We simply had to "up our game" in many areas to stay competitive.
    - We need to keep working on consistently giving useful feedback in a timely manner.

    We are in a period of change, and it is for the best, but there certainly have been issues along the way. This shouldn't dissuade newcomers, given the points above.

    Advice to Management

    - Watch that individuals / roles don't get overly tarred for complex performance situations.
    - Use and share numbers, but don't get too fixated on short-term changes.

    Forum One Response

    Feb 1, 2017 – CEO

    Thanks for your comments and your advice. I know that when complex projects falter, there are always multiple reasons and players. The same when they succeed!


  5. Helpful (6)

    "Could be a great company, but management doesn't care"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Awesome clients
    - Great co-workers
    - Flexible work schedule

    Cons

    - Overhead employees/upper management doesn't engage with the rest of the company
    - Incompetent human resources
    - Weak on salaries

    Forum One Response

    Feb 1, 2017 – CEO

    Thanks for sharing your comments. I’m glad to hear of the things with which you’re happy. But I’m sorry to hear of your concerns. We seek to not just “talk” it, but demonstrate caring for our team... More


  6. Helpful (7)

    "It's a job"

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

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

    Pros

    The clients and the projects are both interesting
    The benefits are excellent
    The coworkers are talented and smart

    Cons

    New management uses intimidation to get results
    Hours get excessive and pay is not competitive
    The company is too top-heavy

    Advice to Management

    Too much power is consolidated in too few hands and decisions are made that often feel less-than transparent.

    Forum One Response

    Feb 1, 2017 – CEO

    Thank you for your comments, and it’s good to see you value the “pros” you mentioned - those are important to me too. I’m sorry to see that we’re not meeting your expectations in other ways. I’ll add... More


  7. Helpful (7)

    "New leadership is dishonest and dysfunctional."

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

    I have been working at Forum One full-time

    Pros

    It is better than being unemployed.

    Cons

    This is a company that once had the best interests of its employees in mind. However, since new leadership took over in early 2016, there has been a systemic loss of honesty and integrity across the management team. For anyone considering going to work there, understand that there is very little job security and that the leadership has tried hard to manufacture a "fun/family" culture when their management style is anything but - this includes HR and the C-level staff. Think "Office Space," but not at all funny.

    For anyone looking to interview here, fair warning that you will be overworked and underpaid. Reach out to current and former employees and do your research if looking to partner or join.

    Advice to Management

    Remember what originally made you successful, weed out dysfunctional leaders.

    Forum One Response

    Feb 1, 2017 – CEO

    Thank you for your comments. You obviously care about Forum One, and so I’m sorry we’re not meeting all your expectations. We have been growing and making (needed) changes to the organization the... More

  8. Helpful (6)

    "Great Culture and Benefits"

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

    I have been working at Forum One full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Forum One's company culture is the greatest I've seen. The people here are extremely smart, friendly, and helpful. It's truly a team atmosphere. There's also a lot of transparency as to how the business is doing as a whole, which is nice. The benefits are also top-notch; a great medical, dental, and vision plan and a retirement plan which includes a 401(k) and an ESOP.

    Cons

    The base pay is not very competitive, and is markedly lower than what other companies are offering; though it seems, there might be some improvement on this front.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to listen and to value your employees as your greatest asset; keep doing what you are doing, and the company will continue to succeed.

    Forum One Response

    Feb 1, 2017 – CEO

    Thanks for your comments!


  9. Helpful (8)

    "Shifting culture is killing what used to be a great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Alexandria, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Alexandria, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    --Transparency around financials
    --Flexible work hours
    --Work with really cool organizations who are doing great things in the world

    Cons

    --Tendency to blame an individual for a project failure
    --Lack of career development and advancement
    --Shifting culture that is focused on money over staff satisfaction

    Advice to Management

    Show your appreciation for your staff and help them grow and advance in their careers.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Time with Forum"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - SENIOR GLOBAL PROJECT LEAD in Singapore (Singapore)
    Former Employee - SENIOR GLOBAL PROJECT LEAD in Singapore (Singapore)

    I worked at Forum One (More than a year)

    Pros

    Diverse population of colleagues. Exposure to different cultures and built up my experience.

    Cons

    The organisation was undergoing merger and acquisition.


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