Highlights for Children Reviews | Glassdoor

Highlights for Children Reviews

Updated July 8, 2017
54 reviews

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2.8
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Kent S. Johnson
33 Ratings

54 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Marketing"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Highlights for Children full-time

    Pros

    Family friendly
    Good values and products

    Cons

    Poor pay and upward mobility


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Not a destination job"

    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
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The vision of how great leadership wants the company to be for its customers and employees.
    The way negatives or spun into positives

    Cons

    The actions or lack thereof that prevent the company from being as great as leadership (CEO) envisions.
    Negative performance is spun into fairytales of positive outlook, instead of taking action and implementing strategies to actually change outlook (lots of talk and daydreaming with 0 action).
    High turnover due to lack of tools to efficiently execute daily objectives, lack of direction, low - mod pay, poor health benefits and no existing benefit an employee would regret losing should they leave company as I did.
    Overall, the company is poorly organized makes poor investments and worse decisions and is not attuned to why performance does not improve when they continue recycle previous failed strategies over and over.

  3. "Strong Values"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Highlights for Children full-time

    Pros

    Great mission and employee commitment to that mission. Working to take the brand and products to a new level.

    Cons

    Many competing priorities. Departments need to work better together on overall planning and coordination.

    Advice to Management

    Think outside the box, change the perspective.


  4. Helpful (2)

    "cheap company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Equipment Operator in Layman, OH
    Former Employee - Equipment Operator in Layman, OH
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Highlights for Children full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    none none none none none

    Cons

    cheap company that doesn't pay anything

    Advice to Management

    pay your employees


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Marketing Analyst"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Marketing Analyst in Columbus, OH
    Current Employee - Marketing Analyst in Columbus, OH
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Highlights for Children full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    great work life balance, great people, fantastic CEO, great products for children, mission driven company, good starting pay

    Cons

    Some customer experience flaws that the teams are working on, and some resistance by certain departments to new processes/ideas.

    Advice to Management

    Good work! Keep giving responsibilities and good feedback to new employees.


  6. Helpful (4)

    "International Division of HFC Toxic Environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Business Operations Associate in Columbus, OH
    Former Employee - Business Operations Associate in Columbus, OH
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Highlights for Children full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Working as receptionist for HFC, I had a good overview of the company and was impressed with the friendly employees, down-to-earth CEO, their mission, philosophy and the company as a whole. HFC embraces the mission of serving children worldwide and helping them not only learn to read, but become emotionally intelligent adults who always strive to do what’s right. Aside from the International Division, I found the company to be an excellent workplace with a healthy work/life balance. Most of the people I met were happy, engaged employees who worked hard for the company, many of them for 20+ years. You'll find the majority of people at HFC to be kind, grounded, and dedicated to their jobs.

    Cons

    There's a tremendous amount of dysfunction within the International Division of HFC. 

    The Management is demanding and demoralizing. 
    As a new employee, you can expect to be criticized if you're not getting things done quickly. The current Director will demean you with passive aggressive comments like, "Why is it taking you 30 minutes to do something that takes anyone else 10?" (Because the training was crappy.)

    Training is Poorly Done
    My training was done by an impatient, condescending, demanding and emotionally insecure woman who was overworked herself and clearly resented having to take the time from her schedule to train me. It’s tough to learn under these circumstances.

    International Division is understaffed.
    While unreasonable demands are placed on mid-level employees, many expected to do the work of two, managers show up for work late - or not at all.

    There's an abundance of gossip and backstabbing.
    The woman who trained me badmouthed everyone, including her Manager and the VP. I overheard her 4 different times badmouthing me, bending the truth.

    Expect no empathy or even concern for your wellbeing. 
    During the 5 months I worked in International, my father was very ill, dying of cancer and it was taking a toll on me. It was the most anxious, sorrowful time of my life which made it tough learning new responsibilities. When I finally told the Manager/Trainer about my Dad's cancer thinking she might have a better perspective of my situation and a little compassion, she feigned sympathy with a dismissive tone, and made it clear she didn't care. 

    The Director is Self-serving and Manipulative.
    At that point (3 months into the job) I handed the Division Manager my resignation letter. She was completely surprised and asked me not to quit with, “This is going to be a bad reflection on me!” I ended up rescinding my resig because I felt sorry for her and at her urging agreed not to mention it to her manager, the VP. At the time I had no idea she was due for a promotion to Director. She obviously didn't want to jeopardize that with my unexpected resignation. As soon as she was promoted to Director, she and Trainer made my job intolerable to force me to quit. 

    I happily resubmitted my resignation letter, and never felt better about leaving a job. It was the most toxic work environment in which I’ve ever worked by far. 

    Turnover within International is Off the Charts.
    Since I resigned from the HFC, Int'l Div. less than a year ago, there have been two more casualties in the role. There have now been 7 people in the role of Business Operations Coordinator/Associate within a 3-year period. If that doesn't scare you, it should.

    Advice to Management

    Take an honest look at a managers’ behaviors. Things will never improve within International until you 1) release toxic employees or 2) counsel them heavily on ethics and professionalism.

    Management needs to stop micromanaging.

    Give trainers tools/training on how to properly teach job responsibilities. Having held a job doesn't necessarily mean one can effectively train someone else on it.

    Hire more people and stop expecting one person to do the work of two.

    Feasible deadlines need to be set.

    Trust the resources with the workflow improvements and suggestions.

    When an employee goes to a Director or HR with concerns, don't dismiss them. They're there for a reason. 


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Great work life balance but not exciting work"

    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 Highlights for Children full-time

    Pros

    Great work/life balance, good people, some depts try to make it fun with events, employees are provided ample access to training and further education, meaningful mission statement.

    Cons

    Political influence, lacks one team mentality between companies, chain of command is too heavy where as it affects work negatively, overall low morale in the depts I work with.

    Advice to Management

    Reduce micromanaging and let employees show you how they are worth their pay without guided intervention.

  8. Helpful (3)

    "International team is extremely dysfunctional"

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

    I worked at Highlights for Children full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I worked as a sales and service coordinator for the Highlights International team. The company is full of fabulous mission-driven people and the CEO is a phenomenal person who is very personably and down-to-earth however, the International team is extremely dysfunctional. There is a lot of bickering and talking behind one another’s backs. It is a toxic work environment where I reached the point I was anxious to come in to work every day. Their work process model is complicated and the training I received was minimal, and when I asked questioned, I was ridiculed for not knowing how to do my job, it was extremely degrading.

    Pros
    Fantastic CEO and family run company, Excellent children’s products

    Cons

    International team is likely overworked and overall very dysfunctional. There are major communication barriers which lead to outbursts of anger and degradation of employees.

    Advice to Management

    Proper training and realistic deadlines for projects. Mocking employees for asking questions and reaching out for assistance isn’t constructive. If it takes twice as long to perform a task the correct way that is still better than making a mistake leaving the client unsatisfied and angry.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Long Hours, No Rewards, and Ivory Towers"

    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 Highlights for Children full-time

    Pros

    - Great company mission
    - Good entry level job if you don't mind working 60 hours a week
    - Digital teams pull the company forward

    Cons

    - "Career" Highlights people are still there because they've learned to step on the backs of others and throw people under the bus.
    - CEO and HR only get involved in poor culture when it reaches Glassdoor status.
    - Bad executive in hires in marketing and analytics have pushed good people out

    Advice to Management

    Leave your offices more and walk the floors - get a feeling for the culture and find those who are driving it down. Look closely at your 'career' Highlights members and question how they are still there and what value they are bringing.


  10. Helpful (5)

    "Great place to work!"

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

    I have been working at Highlights for Children full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    My manager is the best leader I've ever worked for in my career. Overall, strong commitment to culture and very strong mission and values. Family- and life-friendly work environment. Work environment is great.

    Cons

    We are starting to move toward more current technology and practices, but has taken awhile to get off the ground. The family of companies includes several companies that do not always work together well for the good of the whole. Some silos exist but this seems to be getting better. I've had these issues at many other employers, though, so it's nothing new. Some of the reviews here are obviously from disgruntled employees and it would be much better to talk with someone currently working here to get an idea of what it is like to work here.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to try to modernize in all areas, including products, technology and business processes.


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