Penguin Group Reviews | Glassdoor

Penguin Group Reviews

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40 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (5)

    "Nice atmosphere, poor management"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Editor in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Editor in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Penguin has a good reputation and a lot of talented editors, so there are opportunities to work on interesting/high profile projects and the quality of work is high. Editorial staff here learn a lot and make important contacts. Depending on your immediate supervisor the atmosphere is relaxed and the benefits are good.

    Cons

    Many of Penguin's practices are antiquated - even for the generally old-fashioned publishing industry - and instead of helping productivity end up creating busy work. Promotions are slow in coming and happen haphazardly. Many editors are frustrated by publisher and management decisions, but there is no way to communicate dissatisfaction or problems within departments to higher level supervisors. There is constant pressure to publish "commercial" projects and to steer away from "literary" titles, and you can expect to work late or on the weekends a few times a month.

    Advice to Management

    Penguin has an elaborate performance evaluation system in place, but it only works from the top down. Problems with mid-level management often go unnoticed by those in a position to address problems. Adding peer reviews or 360 degree reviews - bottom to top reviews - would be useful in at least increasing communication within the company.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Interesting, Creative, and Stimulating Work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Editor in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Senior Editor in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Penguin Group is a congenial, creative, and fun place to work. With over 75 years in the business and offices located all over the world, they obviously know how to run a great business and keep their employees happy. Penguin is owned by Pearson Education, the largest educational publisher in the world, so there is plenty of opportunity to explore different facets of trade, educational, and online publishing if you find yourself stagnated in one particular area.

    Cons

    Compensation is very, very low. You may need to take on freelance work to make ends meet (I do). Bonuses are not offered to employees.

    Advice to Management

    We're having a great year...consider a bonus that's actually meaningful to employees (which means, not a couple thousand at Christmastime, but an actual percentage of our salaries).


  3. "A laid back company with smart and young employees."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Marketing Coordinator in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Marketing Coordinator in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Young, smart, and fun company. The employees are very open to helping each other out and the atmosphere is generally laid back. Tons of free books!

    Cons

    Compensation is really low, but comparable to the industry. Work at times can get a bit monotonous.

    Advice to Management

    Allow lower level employees to to have more responsibilities and pay them more.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    "Great company, crappy industry"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Assistant Editor in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Assistant Editor in New York, NY
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great sense of community, friendly environment, skill-building classes and workshops, opportunities to work interdepartmentally, decent benefits, never had a problem taking time off when I needed it, green initiatives, commitment to digital workflow

    Cons

    Extremely low salary, often feel overworked, no way to control workflow, advancement opportunities are few and far between, lack of communication of management's vision to the staff

    Advice to Management

    Policies aren't consistent between people or over time, which leads to confusion; leadership should meet with staff more often to articulate what they want in terms of acquisitions


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Boring"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Good for stability and ongoing benefits. People work here for many years, and can get comfortable easily.

    Cons

    Too corporate, not exciting enough on a daily basis to be challenging enough. If you're the type who needs to thrive on workplace energy, it lacks that.

    Advice to Management

    Would have appreciated more room for growth. Process is way too slow. Feels more like a place where one can grow easily complacent and not challenged enough.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Nice place to work, but difficult to pursue a career"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Generous benefits package;
    Ample vacation time and reasonable flex time;
    Coworkers and managers are generally helpful, friendly and competent;
    Free books!

    Cons

    Salaries are low and uncompetitive and promotions are few and far between. These two factors combine to employee attrition in many departments. Departments are bloated so there can be alot of downtime.

    Advice to Management

    I'd say that Penguin is a nice place to work, but it's not feasible to pursue a career at the company due to the pay.


  8. Helpful (4)

    "Great place to work, if you prefer to get paid in books, instead of the money."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Production Manager in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Production Manager in New York, NY
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Generous benefits, training opportunities, nice people, great building and location.

    Cons

    Very low pay.
    No opportunities for advancement unless you spend there a decade.
    Management doesn't recognize and appreciate talented and dedicated employees.
    Appraisals are non existent.

    Advice to Management

    Value and promote your employees. Recognize hard work and accomplishments financially instead of counting pennies. Otherwise nobody who's talented and ambitious will ever stay.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Review"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales Coordinator in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Sales Coordinator in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Penguin is a great place to build a career. It is a nurturing environment and people are generally very friendly. Compensation is average for the publishing industry and time off is generous.

    Cons

    There is little opportunity for advancement. The company is resistant to change. Both the software and hardware used are dated.

    Advice to Management

    While Penguin is great at recognizing a job well done, this recognition does not translate into career advancement or salary increases. If you want to retain great employees, give them more incentive to stay.


  10. Helpful (4)

    "Good place to work, stuck in current position"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Ample vacation time, half days on Friday in the summer, generally don't lay people off, 70% discount on books, casual environment, Christmas week office is closed. I work with a nice group of people. The Penguin name/buying power enables me to work with vendors in a way I wouldn't be able to with smaller publishers.

    Cons

    Bad managers aren't fired, people say in their positions for years, work not challenging/lots of downtime due to department bloat. I work on very few titles. Advances in technology has made my job more efficient but there are still the same number of people in my department, doing the same tasks. Penguin is behind the times when it comes to technology and has a lack of urgency with regards to change.

    Advice to Management

    Need to examine headcount or re-examine roles in light of excess downtime


  11. Helpful (1)

    "Good people, poor pay."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Marketing in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Marketing in New York, NY
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    It is a fun, creative bunch of people. Everyone takes their work seriously, but most of the office is out by 5 PM. Penguin publishes many good books, which is the best part of the job.

    Cons

    The starting pay for entry-level positions is atrocious. I saw many people give up on a career in publishing because they were unable to make a decent living and had no hope of breaking 50 or even 40k. Promotions depend on the department and your supervisor, and often assistants would get promoted but not replaced,so the opportunity to truly grow was limited.

    Advice to Management

    Invest more in your people, and you will have more stability.


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