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Grovo Reviews

Updated February 16, 2018
88 reviews

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3.5
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Steven Carpenter
8 Ratings

88 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • The individuals at the company are hard working and extremely talented (in 14 reviews)

  • Great benefits, amazing culture, wonderful colleagues, real growth opportunities (in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • He was one of the best advocates of a true work life balance (in 9 reviews)

  • There are long hours, but they are flexible (in 9 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (5)

    "Great place to work, exciting future"

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

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

    Pros

    Grovo is an exciting place to work. You are surrounded by a lot of smart, driven, and ambitious collaborators. People get along well and care about the company's success. More recently, our CEO has made excellent personnel changes and brought in impressive talent to leadership positions. I've been here for a couple years and I'm as excited as ever to see where the company is headed. On top of that, the amenities are pretty sweet -- free snacks, drinks, cold brew on tap, bagel Fridays, and our own personal gym with turf, Sonos, treadmills, free weights, locker room and more. Everything cool you'd expect from a promising start up that cares about their people. Location in Flatiron is awesome. If you don't like working here, you have no idea how good you have it.

    Cons

    There is constant change at the company as we grow. If you can't handle a dynamic work environment, this place isn't for you.

    Advice to Management

    Keep making the positive changes! Also keep in mind Grovo employees have been through a lot of changes. While we are a resilient bunch, it is a challenge to deal with nonstop change.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "From someone who actually works at Grovo"

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

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

    Pros

    If you've read some of the other reviews on this site, you can tell that it's been a tough couple years at Grovo.

    Things were really fun here for a long time, at least on the surface. The run-and-gun culture prior to June 2016 was exciting and rewarding, and it's tough not to love a company that celebrates every month's sales goals with a keg (or four). A lot of people joined Grovo because of its work-hard-play-hard vibe. It was tough and fun and great.

    But, that same company that rewarded quick wins at the expense of smart, long-term decisions, was long on ego and ambition and short on cold, hard realism.

    It can’t be overlooked that all of these negative reviews praise the co-founders and original management team for all of the great things (parties, office culture, fast-paced sales, the summer retreat, etc.) and blame some other, different version of Grovo for everything they didn’t like.

    In fact, there are not two versions of Grovo.

    It was the original management team’s lack of discipline and maturity that caused three layoffs, all of which happened on their watch (the last one resulted in a leadership change, as well). It was the original management team that signed an over-long lease for an over-large space and underperformed against its goals, making that decision extremely regrettable. And it was the original management team that chased short-term, arbitrary wins that undermined our long-term financial position and slowly eroded our business.

    It was tough to say goodbye to friends, and it happened too many times. Understandably, a lot of people are still hurting from that. Others, who were not forced to leave, chose to leave when the work of digging our business out got really tough. I wouldn’t try to convince anyone that should love a place that fired them or became something they didn’t love.

    But those people should have the good sense to realize that they don’t know Grovo in 2018.

    We’ve learned from past mistakes and are building a great company in the right way. To a person, our team is filled with caring, curious, and dedicated people; I am grateful to work with them each day and I would be happy to work with them at any point in the future. We are finding our way with a new product and with experienced leaders that have run much larger organizations to greater success than any iteration of Grovo has known.

    If you’re interested in working hard to build a great company that tries to make a small difference in the world, then you should join us.

    Cons

    If one more person mentions the fresh avocados, I'm going to lose my mind.

    Advice to Management

    We could be better at innovating quickly and responding to feedback.

    We are more serious now, which is good, but we should loosen our tie a bit.

    The bi-coastal setup presents challenges for a cohesive culture that we need to move quickly to solve.

  3. Helpful (10)

    "Profits over Employees. Stay away!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Avocados, Flexible work hours. Good benefits (Used to be better though). Sales and CS teams are great. CLO is great for the company. Company is able to sucker companies into buying the product.

    Cons

    Grovo cares more about profits than the people. Lots of turnover. Instead of waiting for the rest of the NYC office to leave they laid off Marketing and Engineering. Company size has drastically shrunk in the last year or two. CTO is clueless and old-school.

    Advice to Management

    Treat your people well and they will help the company grow. Be honest in your decisions and communicate. Without communication employees are left to fill in the blanks


  4. Helpful (15)

    "Guilty conscious if I didn’t warn you"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Grovo full-time

    Pros

    Not much I can say here.

    Cons

    Grovo is not the company it once was, and while that’s unfortunate for all of us who were there in the “heyday”, it’s not necessarily relevant to you – an employment prospect.

    What you need to be concerned with is the shape of the company now, and it’s not good. Why?

    1. Management with little to no experience in their field
    There are a few lingering managers from back-in-the-day who were unjustly promoted into roles they had no experience in (office politics are alive and well).

    2. Executives who are absent
    The current CEO is never around. Prime example, during the most recent layoffs (4 rounds in one year) he was not present, it shows a lack of commitment, compassion, and investment in the company and its’ employees.

    3. An emotionally drained employee base
    See above – 4 rounds of layoffs in less than a year would make anyone tired! Constantly being in fear of losing your job without justification is an emotional roller coaster

    4. Customers are feeling the pain
    Existing customers are reaching out to previous Grovo employees because no one at the company responds to their questions

    To sum it all up, I’ve been remiss in not posting this earlier and I am sorry to anyone who has joined recently or has been there through all of this.

    Advice to Management

    Find a way to re-invest in employees.


  5. Helpful (15)

    "Trying to look good"

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

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

    Pros

    Location, location, location. Generous parental leave, relatively good health insurance, snacks, beer on tap, well equipped gym.

    Cons

    Grovo has lost half of its workforce in the last year. By the time I decided to leave the company it was sooo depressing at the office... Another reviewer on Nov 8 mentioned everything is fine and if you don’t like change you’re not worthy. Well, when changes lead to more problems, uncertainties and people treated like expendables, what do you expect from them? No trust, no people.

    Advice to Management

    There are many ways to achieve success. One of them is to be open and honest. Show, you care about your people, including those who’s leaving.


  6. Helpful (22)

    "Something Rotten"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Grovo full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great people, great benefits (though they have been significantly clawed back by new management), conveniently-located office

    Cons

    Grovo went through a massive change in the Spring. The investors pushed out the founding team and installed a board-friendly CEO named Steve Carpenter. Though Steve lacked the passion and commitment of the founding CEO and had none of the experience or special skills you would expect in a leader of a learning technology company, the good people at Grovo gave him the benefit of the doubt. After all, he came off as a nice enough guy.

    He then proceeded to drive the company culture into the ground. Here is how:

    - Steve came into the position with no vision for the company or what specific value it provides its customers. After 8 months, his vision was encapsulated down to one word: microlearning. Beyond that word, he has no opinion.
    - He promised transparency, then proceeded to never talk about 1) the reams of people leaving the company, 2) Grovo's sales results, or 3) any other challenges the company was facing
    - In the few instances he did address what was happening at the company, he deflected blame to others, often embarrassing himself in the process. He sent multiple emails to the entire company belittling recently departed employees and in one case a current employee who had asked an anonymous question. He would cite in these emails Grovo’s new values, which he himself was breaking by publicly throwing others under the bus.
    - He hired a team of executives who either work remotely, or are barely in the office. Steve himself is barely around, whether he is NY or SF. Either that or he hides. Many people at Grovo consider him an absentee CEO.
    - As a consequence, Grovo which once teemed with hard workers on Friday nights now feels utterly empty and dull on any given day of the week. Most people seem to take Fridays off. This is not a deliberate policy of work-life balance; just a result of no one really wanting to be there.

    If the review from November 8 had any truth to it, Grovo should run an internal culture survey, something that the company once did regularly. Then show those results to the board. Maybe then the board will realize what a big mistake they made, and the enormous collateral damage that was created by their decision.

    Advice to Management

    Consider resigning. There is a way to do it and save face, but please be realistic about your impact on the company. Grovo deserves a better leader.


  7. Helpful (22)

    "Ruthless and cowardly"

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

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

    Pros

    Throughout my tenure I met numerous smart and dedicated people, many of whom I consider great friends. I learned a lot about my line of work, how to better evaluate future employers, and recognizing and defending my worth.

    The founders made mistakes, but I felt there was a genuine sense of admiration and care for employees. Running a business often forces undesirable actions, but at least they tried their best to remedy situations with a soft touch.

    The health benefits were outstanding prior to the CEO transition, especially for single employees without dependents. Super low deductible and out-of-pocket yearly maximum.

    Cons

    Ruthless and cowardly. A simple yet apt description of Grovo’s current CEO.

    It is ruthless and cowardly to openly disparage former employees in company recap emails.

    It is ruthless and cowardly to hide from employees while visiting the NY office, especially after pledging more transparency and availability upon taking the job.

    It is ruthless and cowardly to usurp a company out from under its founders after being trusted by said founders as an interim executive.

    Grovo’s current CEO has surrounded himself with sycophants who calculate how much they can use each other to achieve the most personal benefit.

    Steve, you don’t deserve to lead Grovo.

    Advice to Management

    Steve, investors, and the board — I don’t think you realize how much you need your employees to save your wallets and reputations. You better learn fast before your ego and greed continue to hollow out whatever is left of the shell that used to be Grovo.

    To whoever wrote the 5-star review on Nov 8 — I’m embarrassed for you, though I don’t believe this is a genuine review. Either way, you wrote “if you don’t like working here, you have no idea how good you have it.” Quite the contradictory line considering Grovo has been losing talent left and right since Steve became CEO, so I guess we actually have found companies who value our experience and compensate us accordingly.

    For those of you who go along to get along — you can do so much better. I understand certain departments have it much easier finding a new job, but personal situations notwithstanding, I don’t know how you can maintain any self-respect working for Grovo at this moment.

  8. Helpful (24)

    "Laughable"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Grovo full-time

    Pros

    There are still a few hard working people at Grovo today who are great coworkers.

    Cons

    There are a lot of cons to working at Grovo these days. The culture is non existent. It is a place where people go because it's their job. They do their work and leave as soon as they can. A place that was once filled with energy is now very depressing. The management team is actually laughable. The new CEO doesn't understand the industry (nor does he care to) and he has put together a business plan that will drive Grovo to its final death. Yet, he seems completely delusional and thinks it is actually going well and that people like him. In reality - he is extremely disliked by all except for his chosen few who are just as delusional as he is. There are others on the management team that were promoted during lay offs because they are pushovers and suck ups and will do whatever the CEO and CFO want. They don't care about people, we're never respected by their peers and still aren't respected by their employees - nor are they qualified for their positions. The new CEO is sneaky and dishonest. He talks about transparency being important yet does everything behind closed doors and the employees find out about things only when they are already decided on and finalized (like important partnerships for example). He blatantly calls out people he doesn't like in front of the entire team and disrespects past employees. When he first came onboard as CEO, he said he didn't want to talk about the past management team or their mistakes. Yet he is constantly comparing himself to them and putting their decisions down. There is little to no professional growth to be had, little trust with managers and no successes to celebrate. He has created a toxic culture and it's sad to see. Walking into Grovo today is like walking into a creepy alternate universe where no one is honest with each other, everyone is pretending all day long and it is so eerily quiet that you could hear a pin drop.

    Advice to Management

    Not much you can do to save jen place now - and I don't think you care much about doing that. But if you do - show SOME sign that you care when your best people walk out the door or you will continue to lose people until there is no company.


  9. Helpful (9)

    "Downward Trend says it all"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Grovo full-time

    Pros

    - Lots of smart people who will challenge you

    - Free food/drinks (if you like hippie food)

    - Competitive salary

    - Amazing benefits package (convenient how the company created a parental leave policy when one of the founders was starting their family, but hey the health insurance was great.)

    - Inspirational CEO

    Cons

    While I worked at Grovo I had a different manager about every 2 months. I struggled to get direction - while I consider myself a self-starter, there's still something nice about some kind of feedback besides a generic positive "great job".

    The fact that the company didn't use it's own product is a huge red flag for me. A tech company making a product for career training that doesn't onboard their new hires with that product has no faith in the product.

    Management was completely over-reactionary. They talked about how they would respond to problems that were identified - but they didn't seem to take any time to consider the potential outcomes of their changes, or if maybe they could wait a little to come up with a more stable solution. Policies and directions changed so often that people got very frustrated with a lack of real direction.

    The CEO and upper management talked a lot about diversity as time went on. One thing I struggled with was Jeff's idea that in order to promote diversity within the company, and give minorities and women someone to look up to, they needed to hire POC and women from outside. I don't need only people who look just like me to be role models for me. In fact, that's kind of one of the benefits of diversity - you learn and change by interacting with people who *aren't* just like you. I want people I can look up to regardless of their background. The message being sent was "We will hire women and minorities so you have someone to be a role model for you, when we eventually find them" - how about you use your own product to train, educate and raise up the people already at the company? The lower ranks were plenty diverse.

    I sadly watched as friend after friend was let go, sometimes being misled about why/how, and then finally my day came too. I think the fact that the ratings on here went downhill so fast is evident that something went wrong, and maybe it's time to change course back.


  10. Helpful (9)

    "Hard working individuals let down by management"

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

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

    Pros

    The individuals at the company are hard working and extremely talented. Some of the best peers I have ever worked with.

    Cons

    The leadership teams lack of trust in the professionals they put in place. No chance at career growth.


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