Gensler Design Manager Reviews | Glassdoor

Gensler Design Manager Reviews

Updated March 18, 2019
13 reviews

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Design Manager

4.1
StarStarStarStarStar
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Approve of CEO
Gensler Co-CEOs Andy Cohen and Diane Hoskins
Andy Cohen and Diane Hoskins
11 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "The work-life balance is really good" (in 27 reviews)

  • "Gensler has an incredibly creative work environment" (in 53 reviews)

Cons
  • "There is so much going on, it is too easy to let work/life balance take a back seat" (in 40 reviews)

  • "Nothing out of the ordinary (can be long hours, navigating politics)" (in 36 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "It is what you make of it"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Design Manager in Houston, TX
    Current Employee - Design Manager in Houston, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Open, collaborative, but most importantly ENTREPRENUERIAL environment.

    Cons

    It is not always obvious that you are able to take your own path.

    Advice to Management

    Keep an eye on design.

    Gensler Response

    Mar 19, 2019 – Gensler Response

    Thanks for the terrific feedback! We love to hear from our people and are thrilled that things are going well for you!


  2. Helpful (5)

    "Design Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Design Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Design Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Gensler (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    - Top clients and trusted industry relationships
    - Wide-ranging project access across many verticals
    - Top name recognition
    - Superior IT support, file sharing infrastructure, and cross office collaboration

    Cons

    - Poor compensation despite promises of non-salary benefits (profit sharing, etc). - There were literally collection jars for designers who didn't make enough money for food [as of 2018], which was appalling.
    - No time for learning or mentorship, slave to the 40 hour timesheet

  3. Helpful (1)

    "gLove"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Design Manager in Philadelphia, PA
    Current Employee - Senior Design Manager in Philadelphia, PA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Part of a larger family beyond the immediate office that focuses on design and building their teams; believes in sharing at its core; data and research is fuel for innovation; opportunities for growth far exceeded my expectations; opportunity to be a part of an office and business development infrastructure in addition to project work;

    Cons

    Balance of work and initiatives with life outside the office is a challenge, requiring focus and prioritization with realistic goals, which is key to most things where success is important.

    Advice to Management

    Invest in tool / platform improvement (Dashboard and Tableau). They’re really good tools and the transparency is awesome, but mining what could be improved by feedback from DM leaders, etc. could greatly expand our impact and make us more efficient. 1+1= >2


  4. Helpful (6)

    "Great if you are in "the club," but watch out if you don't drink the kool aid"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Design Manager in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Design Manager in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Some great people below the management level. Great clients.

    Cons

    The work can be a bit boring as the bottom line is always budget and not creativity or design. A lot of hierarchy and bureaucracy despite the "flat structure." Too much favoritism amongst the chosen few. There is no value in having so many development programs if the same few people are involved in all of them and no one else is given an opportunity to shine.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your employees, especially when they tell you something they are passionate about or have an interest in (or even experience in!), there is a lot of potential and untapped talent in the company.

    Gensler Response

    Jan 8, 2018 – Gensler Response

    Thanks for taking a moment to provide feedback on your experience at Gensler. We appreciate your mention of our terrific people, who we strongly believe are our firm’s greatest asset. While we... More


  5. Helpful (16)

    "Firm Culture Issues -unfortunate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Design Manager in Southwest, PA
    Former Employee - Senior Design Manager in Southwest, PA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Gensler full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    I liked working on interesting projects, and the firm knows that is what brings new staff in who are hungry to work on projects for big name clients.
    There is a sense of power that the firm has so when you say to an engineer or vendor you work for gensler they jump to attention.

    Cons

    I did 4 years when Ed Friedrichs was the CEO, he was alright and the firm was about people. I moved and came back in 2011 and did 6 years and it was as awful as newer staff had warned me.The firm knows you want to work for the big name firm so senior associates and leaders try to use that in exchange for making you hit ridiculous deadlines which require all nighters (without charging your all night time) while they go to principal retreats and leadership meetings and put time on your project even if not working on it. There always seems to be that perception that if you don't want to sacrifice someone else will fill your seat in a minute. Not about people anymore. We are a commodity. Some people just deal with it, and some like me had to boomerang back again to see if things changed but they did not. I need to pay for my kids things so I went back for promise of a big bonus, but it wasn't worth it for the rest of the time.

    Advice to Management

    Diane and Andy are too removed to know what's going on. Leaders need to be more in touch with the worker bees not just focus on the senior associates and principals that parade in front of the office principal looking for pats on the back. Try to remove deep politics from promotion and old leaders too stubborn to change. Sad that the firm has lost a lot of respect from ex staff but they don't see it. Gensler is the Coca Cola brand and people will always drink it even if they know it's bad for them.


  6. Helpful (8)

    "Happy to go to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Design Manager in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Design Manager in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    I am happy to go to work each day because I work with a such talented people, on beautiful, innovative projects for outstanding, appreciative clients. It's a great position to be in.

    Cons

    It's a large company, so the onus is on the individual to seek out ways to feel connected. With that said, Gensler provides ample opportunities to feel plugged in, if the individual takes advantage of it.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to stay connected to your staff and be integrated in the day to day, even as upper management.


  7. "Project Manager's Perspective"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Design Manager in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Design Manager in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    Friendly, collaborative, and helpful colleagues. People have obvious passion for work and there's not an atmosphere or culture of backstabbing or personal advancement. Best workplace I've been in.

    Cons

    Personal development is highly encouraged, but only off-hours. Extremely tight tolerances for billable time.

  8. Helpful (5)

    "Big and slow"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Design Manager in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Design Manager in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    talented and committed coworkers are fun

    Cons

    competitive management makes cut-throat environment between studios and offices


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Amazing firm!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Design Manager in Newport Beach, CA
    Current Employee - Design Manager in Newport Beach, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    You can make your own way and take your career any direction you want. Gensler truly lives by the "one firm firm" philosophy. The network between the offices is amazing. I have had the opportunity to work with some of the industry's top talent on incredible projects.

    Cons

    Some people struggle to maintain their desired work life balance but it is really up to each individual to achieve this balance so I don't think it is a true reflection on Gensler.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Great place to Grow and Progress your career - at any age!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Design Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Design Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The people are amazingly talented and enthusiastic. There's a real design energy and ethos in this community that is infectious.

    Cons

    There is so much opportunity that you have to be able to say "no" sometimes or you WILL get overwhelmed.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to recognize, support and develop young talent.