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Grayling

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Grayling Employee Reviews about "senior management"

Updated Sep 23, 2020

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Found 10 of over 165 reviews

4.1
75%
Recommend to a Friend
94%
Approve of CEO
Grayling CEO Committee Loretta Ahmed, Sarah Scholefield, and Jan Simunek (no image)
Loretta Ahmed, Sarah Scholefield, and Jan Simunek
29 Ratings
Pros
  • "Work from home Fridays is nice to avoid the toxic environment of the office(in 14 reviews)

  • "Great place to work and learn and also work life balance is good cares about employees wellbeing(in 9 reviews)

  • Cons
  • "Senior management turns a blind eye to the extremely high turnover rates (over 10 account servicing staff have left within a year)(in 10 reviews)

  • "Team spirit (between the PA and PR team)(in 9 reviews)

  • More Pros and Cons
    Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.

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    Reviews about "senior management"

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    1. 2.0
      Former Employee, more than 5 years

      Disappointing

      Jul 6, 2017 - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Flexibility, including the ability to work from home, was one of the main things Grayling still had going for it by the end of my time there, though word is that it's since been reduced. There are a still a few good mid-level people left, and the high turnover sometimes means promotions happen quickly. I was able to work with a wide variety of clients, some of them very cool.

      Cons

      Senior management is disconnected from the people doing the day-to-day work, and doesn't seem interested in prioritizing changes that would really improve the work and culture. Morale has steadily decreased since the Huntsworth acquisition several years ago. For a long time, there were still fantastic, bright, hardworking people in the mid-to-senior levels, but many of them have been laid off in the past 18 months or so, while many others have jumped ship. Junior employees have left as well, as the growing lack of mentors and strong leaders has left them without growth opportunities. A once-impressive client roster has dwindled.

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      2 people found this review helpful
    2. 1.0
      Former Employee, more than 1 year

      Sinking Ship, terrible management

      Aug 12, 2015 - Senior Account Executive in San Francisco, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Unlimited holiday time (but very unstructured), Work from home Fridays Self starters flourish Strong female team

      Cons

      - Basically no training on entry. Even entry level people are thrown into accounts and just expected to just put in the hours and figure it out. Attempts were made to add some level of training in recent times, but still the on-boarding process was awful. - Senior management is all over the place. Very out of touch with what is going on with staff and accounts, outside the flagship ones. Account managers expected to keep the accounts going with no input from management and then thrown under the bus if something happens. Cycled through a number of managing directors, all with no experience about how to run a business and deal with people. The VPs didn't seem motivated to win new accounts and would try and use employees contacts to get references rather than go out and seek some new accounts. Terrible atmosphere: People were constantly leaving and no-one new coming in. This led to some people having really big work loads with others scrambling around looking for things to make themselves look busy. Senior management were rarely in the office, choosing to work from home or what not, which meant that there would usually be a bunch of under 30s in the office at all times. - Accounts were constantly leaving and therefore people were being let go, by the luck of the draw of their account leaving because senior management didn't know what to do to keep them. - The recent merger was handled very badly so every single person from the original acquired company has left. Therefore there was very little experience among team members expected to run Enterprise accounts. Yet people formerly with Atomic (mostly consumer practice) were kept on because the new CEO knew them better.

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      5 people found this review helpful
    3. 1.0
      Former Employee, more than 1 year

      Held a lot of promise but failed to deliver

      Jun 26, 2015 - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Really great health benefits and had flexibility with work. Work from home Fridays were a huge plus and some of the clients were fairly impressive to have on the roster. The HR people were probably the best part of the company - very responsive and tried to help bad situations wherever possible.

      Cons

      the management was not committed to finding new business and did not seem concerned about their employees growing as professionals. It became a cutthroat environment with public shaming and calling employees liars without having basic facts. Junior staff was made to work long hours with no direction from senior management. Managers were not given the tools or guidance they needed to effectively manage. Reviews were non-existent and when employees pushed for reviews they were punished. Each office acted as its own entity and there is not a cohesion throughout the company. Grayling, in comparison to other top 20 agencies, does not act like a big player. No one stuck to budgeted hours and interns were expected to work extra hours without compensation. Employees were threated, yelled at and called names by managers and senior management did not show concern. Overall it was an unfortunate setting and not a place to grow one's career or learn.

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      8 people found this review helpful
    4. 1.0
      Former Employee, more than 3 years

      Grayling is a sinking ship

      Apr 27, 2015 - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Grayling treated its employees fairly well in terms of perks: work from home Fridays, full benefits, unlimited vacation*.

      Cons

      With senior executives (CEO, managing directors, founders) leaving left and right since end of 2014, the company, formerly known as Atomic, has definitely hit its one year mark of rockiness since the company was acquired by Grayling and took on the company's name in Jan. 2014. It is the egos and belittling manner of Grayling's senior management, though, that serves as the biggest contribution to Grayling's current downfall. While choosing favorites, senior management often has a "every man for themselves" attitude, often throwing junior team members under the bus to save their own butts. While the company boasts its unlimited vacation policy, employees were often criticized for taking "too much" time off which caused them to feel guilty and as if their job was at risk for partaking in a perk that was supposed to be available to all. Lastly, Grayling struggles to onboard and maintain clients on a longterm basis. Clients often cycled in and out every 3-6 months which caused employee workload to be either incredibly high or very very low. With the agency's largest client being a Silicon Valley payments giant, Grayling was very vocal about the fact that this client was helping to keep the agency afloat, making job stability feel very nonexistent.

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      7 people found this review helpful
    5. 1.0
      Former Employee, less than 1 year

      Terribly managed company run by sharks who will cut you out the moment you serve your purpose.

      Mar 15, 2015 - Assistant Account Associate in San Francisco, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Best things about working here? Grayling offers some seriously particular set of professional standards about decorum. These are not skills to underestimate, as a job in PR is a job in creating an image. I do respect that.

      Cons

      Grayling lied throughout the hiring process. The job I received was not the job I ended up doing, and the people who worked at the company were cut throat and ruthless. There is no graciousness, acknowledgement of a job well done, or training. They throw you in expecting you to pull the skill sets out of nowhere. Associates will throw you under the bus the second they get a chance, and unless you want to work for a company where you're constantly on-call to deal with the needs of malicious senior management, I would avoid working with Grayling. Be signed on with a set of job expectations, and immediately learn that those skills are useless and you must focus your attention on menial tasks. Grayling, more than any other firm I've since worked for, is award obsessed. Be prepared to waste time attempting to earn awards for pathetic campaigns lacking innovation. Be prepared to do backwater PR and get ready to "smile and dial" for some old school phone calling media. You know, because ever reporter in tech LOVES getting a phone call to be annoyingly begged to cover a second rate product they don't care about. Don't get creative with your outreach, as the general work of the firm at this time was as bread-and-butter (and obnoxious to media) as you can get. Apparently many of the problem sources have since moved on, so YMMV, but I would avoid Grayling and cut your teeth at another company who will bother to train you and work as a team. Poisonous company with poisonous leadership.

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      9 people found this review helpful
    6. 1.0
      Former Employee, less than 1 year

      Toxic, negative and a waste of time. DO NOT JOIN

      Sep 23, 2020 - Manager in Singapore
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      None that could outweigh the negatives

      Cons

      Senior management turns a blind eye to the extremely high turnover rates (over 10 account servicing staff have left within a year). Senior management will and have blamed this on many reasons but themselves (X was not good anyway, Y didn’t like the clients, Z wanted to pursue other interests instead) but in actual fact, everyone had attributed the reason for their departure on the toxic and negative work environment. Unless you can put up with being shouted at over the smallest things, unreasonable work hours, HARASSED on weekends, late at night and ok with being micromanaged, please do not join this horrible company. You will also not find opportunity to learn as people here treat it more like a sweat shop than a place where you stand to benefit. I urge you to place your mental well-being above this and look elsewhere, or be prepared to leave within weeks like many here have in the past 4 years. Nobody should have to go through such a horrifying work experience. It is not normal and shouldn’t be, even in an industry that’s known for late hours and a busy schedule.

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      3 people found this review helpful
    7. 5.0
      Current Employee, less than 1 year

      London AM

      Oct 11, 2017 - Account Manager in London, England, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Working for largely excellent and high-profile clients across a range of sectors. Work is varied – and therefore interesting – and success is recognised and rewarded. You get significant client-facing responsibilities at all levels, as well as training and genuinely valuable line-management which all assists personal development. My team colleagues are a pleasure to work with – diligent, fun, intelligent, creative, empathetic – and there’s an ever growing culture of inter-team working which engenders a positive environment in the entire office. Annual reports, client retention, new business, new hires etc. all evidence a business that has excellent people, which is full of energy and which is thriving.

      Cons

      As with most agencies, sometimes there’s overtime. However, colleagues are always on hand to offer support and overtime is recognised by team and senior management.

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    8. 2.0
      Former Employee

      Could have been so much better

      Feb 6, 2017 -  in London, England, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Some brilliantly creative people with an illogical commitment to the cause. In my time, we had some fantastic clients too who valued relationships and backed ideas with resources.

      Cons

      Some senior management were out of their depth and hanging on to positions for their salaries instead of committing to continuous improvement. Maybe they have all been found out now and moved on!

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      3 people found this review helpful
    9. 1.0
      Former Employee

      Fake office environment with few prospects

      Dec 17, 2014 - Consultant in London, England, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      great clients and that's about it- the company culture leaves much to be desired

      Cons

      I worked at Grayling for just over 3 years as a Consultant in the Brands team. I mainly stayed because of the clients and the some of the great relationships that I had them. However, as the years went on the office environment became incredibly catty and I felt that I needed to get out. I now work for another agency who do normal hours (9-5) and I actually appreciate having a life outside the office!! In the Brands team I felt a pressure to work after my hours (9-6) - sometimes working until 8pm (!) which took a massive toll on my social life. Being a sociable person, I was also extremely surprised by the lack of social and team activities that were encouraged. There are hardly ever 'Friday drinks' - despite the promise of 'finishing at 4pm on a Friday'. Believe me - this never happens. There is also a very strange culture where at the end of the week staff nominate someone who they think have 'gone the extra mile'. Often, if you work hard and achieve great results and no one nominates you- it makes you feel rubbish and completely undervalued. The whole thing is a popularity contest encouraged by the senior management and forced upon the whole team who look visibly uncomfortable whenever the 'nominations' come around. I also felt very sorry for some of the junior staff who were treated very badly while I were there. They were told to write up media lists day after day- I can't see how this helps them further their careers in PR? Also not long before I left, two new junior staff members joined- one in particular some of the female management took an instant disliking to (made obvious by their catty and unprofessional remarks). She had not been there very long so I suspected it had to do with the fact that she was very confident and pretty. Luckily this happened after I handed in my notice - but it made it clearer in my mind that I was making the right decision. As with some of the reviews below - there are no 'benefits' that come with working at Grayling. You pay for everything yourself except from the weekly fruit. This is shameful when you think of the hours some of the staff work.

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      5 people found this review helpful
    10. 2.0
      Former Employee, less than 1 year

      Never fails to disappoint

      Jan 15, 2014 - Consultant in Doha
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      You do learn a lot.

      Cons

      -Senior Management seems to be made of people that quickly identify their favorites and leave others hanging. -Being "one of them" is more important than your skills. -No investments in their staff. You should be glad you have a job is how it works. -Amazingly high turnover - in one year that I've been with them, a full 10 people team left and was replaced by new staff.

      4 people found this review helpful
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