Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Reviews | Glassdoor

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Reviews

Updated June 23, 2017
584 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

3.0
Star Star Star Star Star
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John “Jack” J. Lynch, Jr.
16 Ratings

584 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Work/Life balance couldn't be better (in 38 reviews)

  • work from home on non-travel days (for my role as a Content Specialist) (in 35 reviews)

Cons
  • Upper management haven't a clue what's going on (in 37 reviews)

  • Senior management is completely out of touch with staff (in 35 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Trying to get back on track."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Business Analyst in Orlando, FL
    Current Employee - Senior Business Analyst in Orlando, FL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great people throughout the company.

    HMH tries very hard to address the needs of the modern student through innovative solutions.

    New CEO brings a much needed breath of fresh air to the executive team.

    Cons

    CIO ignorance and cronyism has led to numerous horrible decisions and a hostile relationship between "TG" and the business.

    Advice to Management

    Break the cycle and get back on track.

    Technology is there to support the business, and the business exists to serve the customer.

    Focus on bringing the best product possible to the customer and support those initiatives that drive customer value.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Please get this right—Time is running out"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Orlando, FL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Orlando, FL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Coworkers/Peers in Orland and Boston have a deep knowledge of elementary education. Some depts have a flexible work-from-home policy; potential for collaborative environment across sites. Those who have embraced are wonderful to work with. Hopeful our new CEO, Jack, will be able to dig into the guts of our company and empower, untangle, and get us back on track.

    Cons

    Inexperienced coworkers leading large programs and not tapping/utilizing those with the greatest knowledge and potential to lead; VPs and Directors lack elementary education experience and industry knowledge—blind leading the blind; NYC has taken over—they lack collaborative skills across site, seem reluctant to update workflow and additional processes to HMH standards (causing a huge waste of monies and time). Too many inexperienced people were hired at high titles now bottlenecking and keeping those deserving of promotions to remedial tasks. Lack of leadership in the PDM group--lack of working knowledge; is a free-for-all—wild west atmosphere...causing many silos; reinventing the wheel; going back to the 90's—really discouraging. A lot of residual bad-decisions now paralyzing the LA and DA groups—Inexperience is leading programs/groups—no trust in program leaders. No career path; politics is preventing Directors from helping their reports--What a mess--Need leaders with experience, not wishy-washy, BS-ers who do well at CYA...

    Advice to Management

    Trimming and getting our numbers by layoffs, etc. is good, but now is the time to dig into the core of the PDM Groups—PM&S, LA, and DA. You have a huge group of well-oiled, deeply knowledgeable, and committed people that are not being utilized; tap them, elevate them, bring them to the front—couple them with new, fresh ideas/coworkers—don't replace them and send them to pasture. Market tests and UX should be ongoing and deep; Sales should be brought in continuously to collaborate during the entire print and digital concept to delivery process; Project Managers should be coupled with experienced PMs to learn the ins-and-outs of print and digital; schedules are a must and have to be acknowledged and respected as much as market intel—communicate, communicate, communicate—nimble and agile. You have such a robust team of thinkers and do-ers—time to harness, get past the politics, and get down to business, please.

  3. "VP Finance"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Orlando, FL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Orlando, FL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Work from home flexibility and employees are dedicated, but lack systems.

    Cons

    Management communication is poor; lack of strategic direction; poor data management systems/infrastructure. No focus on employee development. Lack of reporting standards. Legacy acquisitions not integrated.

    Advice to Management

    Execute


  4. Helpful (4)

    "Good mission, poor management"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Program Manager in Orlando, FL
    Former Employee - Program Manager in Orlando, FL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt full-time

    Pros

    Decent benefits, admirable mission, good-hearted employees, excellent community involvement

    Cons

    Poor HR department, complete lack of processes, lack of "big-picture" leadership, poor decision making rigor, salaried employees expected to work significant overtime without compensation (don't let the 37.5 hour work week fool you)

    Advice to Management

    Get organized-get titles and leadership organization in line with people's functions. Document processes. Treat employees fairly (as opposed to equally-different people want different things)


  5. "Manager"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Manager in Itasca, IL
    Current Employee - Manager in Itasca, IL
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Most HMH employees have a wealth of knowledge and a desire to make a difference.

    Cons

    Too many employees with negative attitudes sap the energy from others.

    Advice to Management

    Keep evolving to meet the needs of students, parents, and teachers!


  6. Helpful (3)

    "Not what it use to be"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Orlando, FL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Orlando, FL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The product and core value of the company (or what it use to be).

    Cons

    Top level bad decisions and 'Not making the numbers' is catching up with them causing layoffs. Environment and thinking within the company has changed. Morale is at an all time low.

    Advice to Management

    Invest and care for your people. They will ultimately determine if you are successful.


  7. Helpful (4)

    "Need to improve company culture"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Employee in Tucker Post Office, GA
    Current Employee - Employee in Tucker Post Office, GA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    It is a job, immediate co-workers are good people, has potential to be a really good company if they would work on cons listed in reviews

    Cons

    Upper Management is completely disconnected, company cultural trends in caring for employees is extremely outdated, More layoffs to come with "Project Fit"; office area is loud due to low cubicle walls and cramped spacing

    Advice to Management

    Study companies who understand that giving employees more FREEDOM in their schedule and work environment keeps them happy, and they will work harder for you in return.

  8. Helpful (5)

    "Need for better upper management"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Data Analyst in Orlando, FL
    Former Employee - Data Analyst in Orlando, FL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good company, good benefits, community oriented

    Cons

    Upper management out of touch. Directors should have the proper training and education to be a Director. Favoritism is rampant in the Finance Department. Now they are not making the number and laying off. Letting go the good workers and keeping the dead wood.

    Advice to Management

    Train your upper management team to be good leaders and how to manage.


  9. Helpful (6)

    "Nowhere to Go But Up"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Marketing Director in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Marketing Director in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Vacation time accrual, company recognized holidays, flexible office / work from home options. I have done some of the best and most fulfilling work at HMH, and have worked with some of the best people who are still good friends.

    Cons

    Currently there is a toxic environment at HMH due to layoffs and poor communication from top level management. The Scholastic acquisition and impending changes were handled badly and its effects are still being felt. There now seems to be a lack of respect for many employees who work hard, but are often forced out for political reasons such as simply voicing opinions that don't mesh with everyone. Overall a general feeling of dismay among every division of the company. Stay away unless other reviewers deem otherwise.

    Advice to Management

    "Leadership": cut the HR politics and get back to reality. Acknowledge the difficulty of some recent changes and encourage growth, rather than telling staff they should be thankful to have whatever jobs they landed with during this last and most recent "Organizational Change". These changes happen too often at HMH and can be sweeping and incredibly disappointing changes for many. There are now people with 15-20 years rich industry experience reporting to magically made 20- or 30-something year old VPs with moderate industry experience. Stop promoting the less qualified to VP level positions in this K-12 industry while ignoring dedicated, much more qualified staff. And stop throwing highly skilled employees with rich industry-wide experience to random managers who know little to nothing about their background therefore their potential. Promote from within all around, encourage growth.


  10. "Very Good Place to Work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Account Executive in Geneva, IL
    Current Employee - Account Executive in Geneva, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good training, lots of support for sales people, friendly and helpful coworkers, community involvement. Ask employees for feedback to help in the direction of the company.

    Cons

    Hard to find information (too much extraneous or outdated info in their communications hub), lots of management turnover, duplication of effort in many fronts (which they're trying to curb).

    Advice to Management

    "Project Fit" is necessary but scary for some. Keeping the lines of communication open is key.


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