Reed Elsevier Group Reviews | Glassdoor

Reed Elsevier Group Reviews

Updated November 27, 2016
11 reviews

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Reed Elsevier Group CEO and Director; CEO, Reed Elsevier PLC, Reed Elsevier NV, Elsevier Division Erik Engstrom
Erik Engstrom
7 Ratings

11 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • They ensure we have a work life balance (in 14 reviews)

  • good people, good benefits, good company (in 9 reviews)

Cons
  • Senior management is much more concerned with making the finances look good than with actually growing the business (in 9 reviews)

  • High turnover rate makes for a very disjointed kind of atmosphere (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (4)

    "Uninspired senior managment"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Dayton, OH
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Dayton, OH
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Great co-workers, until they left for better places to work

    Cons

    Management is so unknowledgeable about the business that they constantly hire outside consultants to tell them what to do. We've seen every one you can name. Bain, McKenzie, Monitor, PWC, and others. They even had an initiative one year on "Innovation." And of course, Crispin Davis hired an outside consulting firm and paid them millions of dollars to run an "innovation" program. Be innovative, or else!!! In that program, of the ideas that "won," and were therefore funded, none ever came to anything. The one I was most aware of was quietly killed after about two years, having achieved absolutely none of its objectives and having cost a ton of money. OF COURSE all this was funded by cutting programs for normal everyday business. True innovation, either by ongoing improvement, or leapfrog ideas, is smothered, because management doesn't trust people with ideas. They only trust people with MBAs from a specific handful of business schools and then only if they have had work experience with-- you guessed it, those consulting firms.

    The senior management of Reed Elsevier Group doesn't know enough about the companies in the group to be able to assess the decision-making and leadership of the management teams for the divisions.

    Advice to Management

    Crispin Davis is being replaced. To the new guy I say: look very very carefully at what is going on, especially in the United States. Read all the reviews on Glassdoor.com about all the RE companies. There is a lot of concern and complaints about outsourcing, but even putting that issue aside, you need to be aware that the management of these companies is abysmal. Oh, and by the way, all that outsourcing? Check into whether the cost savings are really there over the long term. And further, what will be the ultimate incremental cost if you try to repair the significant loss in quality (a concern which is being brushed aside, as the message gets massaged at each level as it goes up the management chain).


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Fear is how most of us live daily!"

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

    I have been working at Reed Elsevier Group full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Good benefits and some perks

    Cons

    Management that is so out of touch with reality and more important, it's employees. People stay for their paycheck and lack of options.
    Constant daily changes with no regard of what employees already do, and they never consult those who do the job to see if even feasible.
    Lower level employees are held accountable for all management decisions. Management is never held accountable.
    If you disagree you're fired.
    No internal advancement, they only load up staff with no opinion staffers.
    No women to upper management. Men rule at all levels.

    Advice to Management

    Wake up! Morale is in the toilet and after all these years I repairable. Don't know anyone, and I've been here 10+ years likes where they work, or would ever speak up because of daily fear drilled into us.
    I'd say listen to your employees....but trust factor left long ago, as was respect.
    Practice your own company values!


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Lack of leadership, no strategic plan for future development"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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

    Pros

    Decent benefits, get to work with some very knowledgeable industry colleagues.

    Cons

    Lack of management oversight, manager bullying, HR department has a complete lack of interest in employees, no training/education/mentoring, promotion virtually impossible unless you are close friends with upper management, no respect or concern for clients, out-of-date products and strategies, management will not commit to competing in the digital marketplace. Current leadership of Reed is more like caretakers than innovators.

    Advice to Management

    Senior management must pay attention to the conduct of middle/upper managers, listen to what clients are asking for and saying about us (anonymous surveys only go so far), prod all managers to support staff training and education, human resources MUST take employee concerns regarding management conduct issues seriously and address them, and take decisive steps to grow the product lines to compete in the modern academic marketplace.


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  5. Helpful (7)

    "Run away if you are thinking of working here"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Systems Engineer in Miamisburg, OH
    Current Employee - Senior Systems Engineer in Miamisburg, OH
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Reed Elsevier Group full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Can't think of any anymore

    Cons

    Lots of cons.. In IT we have a reorg at least twice per year. They are always laying people off.
    Benefits used to be good now I can't even afford my own prescriptions. I spend $500 a month on health insurance and can't afford anything for myself. I have to choose whether I'll pay for mine, my wife's or my daughter. Can't afford all 3.
    Haven't had a decent raise since 2000.
    They are constantly outsourcing to India, Singapore or Philippines.
    Many people don't even get raises. When you do get one, it's 1.5% or 2%.
    They brought in a VP for 3 years who had the task of firing as many people as possible.. He fired so many people that there weren't enough engineers around to do the work. Engineers called them the Mafia because they all had Italian names and were all from New York.
    NO direction from executive management. They don't have a clue..
    Engineers support thousands of servers and get zero in the way of gratitude.

    Advice to Management

    You want those servers to keep running along? PAY YOUR ENGINEERS BETTER
    start listening to us.


  6. Helpful (7)

    "Use you up and dump you - was much better years ago"

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

    I have been working at Reed Elsevier Group full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Large, multi-national media company that successfully transitioned from print to digital. Lots of diversity and interesting locations, projects and really great, dedicated people.

    Cons

    Executive management can be stifling and are often misguided by expensive consultants. Loyalty, passion and dedication are quickly forgotten when senior management changes. The really sharp senior executives who get recruited and hired are smart enough to leave within a few weeks leaving behind backward-thinking mediocrity.

    Advice to Management

    Former CEO Sir Crispin Davis was dedicated but best known for his 10 years of continual cost cutting. His successor Erik Engstrom has continued that legacy with a spend-to-save mentality that drove the share price up but at great cost to the workforce - resulting in layoffs and eroded customer retention. Recommend focusing on employee value and contribution vs. rank and titles. The firm values and invests in leadership but not the required expertise to a large degree.


  7. Helpful (5)

    "Project Coordinator"

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

    Pros

    If you're looking for a stable job, this is the company for you.

    Cons

    Employees are visibly invisible. Tier management flies in for quarterly town halls, which is usually a presentation of revenue for the current year and projection of the following year's expectations.
    Performance development is non-existent.
    No one will train you on anything.
    There is a pure disconnect between management and employees.

    Advice to Management

    See Cons. Do better.


  8. Helpful (1)

    "Terrbile Management"

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

    Pros

    Decent Pay but not worth it

    Cons

    No room for career advancement


  9. "They don't know what they're doing."

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

    Pros

    Relaxed, quiet workplace. Great location.

    Cons

    None of the departments talk to each other. My manager never gave me any direction or clear guidance on what was needed. High turnover rate makes for a very disjointed kind of atmosphere.

    Advice to Management

    Try to adapt a corporate culture philosophy. More training for management in how to actually manage their employees.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Poor comminication and decisions from Senior managemnt"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Windows Systems Administrator L3 in Oxford, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Windows Systems Administrator L3 in Oxford, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Salary was OK if you worked overtime. Team I worked in was good and we were able to attend some training.

    Cons

    Bad decisions and complete lack of communication from senior management. So poor that the directors outsourced devisions to an Indian company. No thought of employee welfare what so ever.

    Advice to Management

    N/A


  11. "Neutral - Daily Routine Job"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    I have been working at Reed Elsevier Group full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Voluntarily attend more training sessions for your personal development.
    Transportation facilities.

    Cons

    Missing domain expert leadership of missing management group.


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