Rise Interactive Reviews | Glassdoor

Rise Interactive Reviews

Updated May 30, 2018
111 reviews

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2.3
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Rise Interactive Founder & CEO Jon Morris
Jon Morris
75 Ratings

111 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Benefits, Working from home, Beer Friday" (in 11 reviews)

  • "My first few weeks working here I learned more about digital marketing than I did in the past year combined" (in 11 reviews)

Cons
  • "Instead, the organization focuses on profitability which ultimately impacts work-life balance for a majority of the teams" (in 13 reviews)

  • "While this creates amazing opportunities, it also sometimes create growing pains" (in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (5)

    "Unique and outside the box (Completely Organic Review)"

    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 Rise Interactive full-time

    Pros

    *Variety of free refreshments: fresh fruit, vegetables, coffee machines, tea, and flavored water machine
    *Student loan assistance
    *Free gym on site
    *Commuter benefits
    *Parental leave, both for new moms and dads
    *Encouraging, welcoming and supportive teams
    *Energetic, diverse culture
    *Growth opportunities
    *Challenging, various tasks
    *Happy hours and other company wide social events
    *Free beer, wine and other treats on Fridays

    Overall, being a part of Rise is an exciting adventure! The Executives are down to earth - they join you for lunch, treat you to lunch, take you out for coffee, take you out to events or will have a drink with you. Everyone is responsive and works to achieve the goal - whether it's client related or if it's your own personal development. Your brain will definitely get a workout here as well - new challenges arise frequently. This should be expected as the internet is a changing, competitive market. You're not "pigeon-holed" either. Rise Interactive is a place where you have plenty of opportunity to learn, grow and gain a lot of experience.

    Cons

    Sometimes the place can get noisy - usually celebrating a win, but other times it's challenge related and everyone is trying to solve the challenge. Communication can be an issue as well - you could find yourself asking for the needed direction that was originally neglected, causing rework.

    Advice to Management

    Keep on being down to earth and utilize those who are ambitious to make Rise a memorable experience that is different from others!

    Rise Interactive Response

    Sep 5, 2017 – Director, Employee Services

    Thank you for the review and feedback. We are glad to see that you have highlighted many of our favorites things about our work environment from the challenging work and opportunities to some of our... More


  2. Helpful (13)

    "I too thought I'd be giving 5 stars when I first started"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Channel Team Member in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Channel Team Member in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    I made some fantastic friends

    Cons

    There are so many it would be exhausting to write the essay it would take to convey all of them. I can confirm that the handful of recent reviews are accurate, though. Just know: the company is falling apart. No new business, underpaid and overworked employees, bonuses are bad (people saw their bonuses in their bank accounts and thought there was a mistake), everyone is quitting, and management is plain terrible. No matter how desperate you are, keep looking.

    Advice to Management

    I witnessed three years advice falling on deaf ears, making me skeptical to even fill out this section. Management: Sit down in a room, read these glass door reviews, and actually act on them. A gumball machine or rise-branded jewelry DOES NOT fix anything. For starters: Pay your employees fairly, stop overworking them, and hire competent sales people and managers.

  3. Helpful (18)

    "Years ago, I thought I'd be giving 5 stars when I left."

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

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

    Pros

    - By far the best healthcare benefits you will receive compared to any other company.
    - Most of the people are pleasant to work with -- great for fostering friendships.
    - Good springboard for entry level candidates looking to begin their career in digital and work for a more structured organization in the future.
    - Perks: Gym onsite, commuter benefits, outstanding parental leave, beer Friday (I would put snacks but they've been cutting costs everywhere lately so the snacks are no longer frequently re-filled).

    Cons

    At the onset, I definitely thought I would be growing a lifelong career at Rise. However, several changes over the last year have unfortunately caused me to lose hope in an organization I once believed in. My goal of this review is to purely tell it like it is, and hope that Rise and the individuals who work there really focus on making things right and those who are considering working there think twice about accepting an offer until things change.

    While Rise may be great for an entry level candidate to jump into the world of digital, it has its disadvantages. Rise positions itself as a leader in digital yet lacks a strong management support structure to help foster young candidate growth and maturity (as many managers who get promoted are not qualified). There is also an issue with the millennial need to constantly get promoted, and unfortunately Rise continues to honor this need when workers complain of being "bored" or "deserving" of a promotion all because of a list of items they checked off. Promotions are most often never based on an individual's growth, and quite often you'll witness the halo effect happening in may departments.

    There is a clear misunderstanding of what project management is and what value it can bring to the organization (I cannot count how many times I've heard people incorrectly state that a PM is simply there to organize, make a timeline, take notes, and schedule meetings). Due to the complexity of projects, numerous internal and client stakeholders, scope complexity and changes to scope, Rise should be leveraging project management heavily if they expect to grow. Instead, the organization has chosen to "decentralize" PMO without any clear structure or intent on keeping the PMs connected to build process. Based on this change, it will be more difficult for the company to tackle one of their biggest problems: inefficiency. Project managers are used to clean up the mess of improperly scoped projects rather than being allocated to look at the bigger picture: tackling key constraints and improving processes to cross-train and streamline organizational efficiency to support all projects.

    The largest problem Rise faces starts at the onset: improperly defined scope in the sales or upsell process. This is by far the greatest issue that has caused unnecessary investment work, inefficient use of client hours, improper resource planning, stressful strain on channel teams (70-80+ hours per week), and loss in account profitability. This is exactly an area that project management needs to be involved in heavily, and unfortunately never dedicated PM time to specifically tackle this problem.

    There is also a false understanding that the project management team did not generate change in a year's time. Again, this goes back to the key issue in which PMs were (and still are) driven to clean up account messes ("stop the bleeding" if you will) rather than being utilized for their strongest skillsets: scope management, risk management, and resource management. On top of this, there has never been a strong leadership oversight to support the project management function, which may be a result of improper education or willingness to listen and understand what project management entails. Likewise, project management has never been explained to the broader organization, adding to the lack of cross-team understanding and the inability to fuel and grow this very much needed function at Rise. Unfortunately, the poor mentality of leadership's understanding of project management will make it very difficult for PM to support Rise or even grow as a role.

    Advice to Management

    Promote strong leadership and build a management structure that understands how to build and strengthen their teams. The current leadership structure suffers from a lack of focus, which causes growing inefficiency and constant misalignment to client scope and needs across all delivery teams.

    Focus, focus, focus. Are we planning to stick to our guns on the Rise 500? Are we going to continue to keep clients that are inappropriate for Rise to manage and/or are causing undue stress to the channel teams? Will we excel in a particular area of media, CX, or analytics? If we are to focus on profit, what are our goals around this? I'd highly recommend ending the feeling that the teams are being "strung along" while this is figured out.

    Bring your Glint surveys to light again -- there is still a VERY clear misalignment between how well the exec team thinks things are going, and how they are actually going. Listen to your people: they are in this day in and day out and are looking for a strong leadership to help make positive changes.

    Train, train, train!! When you got rid of the Spark training and stopped training incoming team members, all channels were negatively affected. Lack of training has caused a general sense of ignorance cross-team meaning, there is no willingness to understand what each team member does to help foster a more collaborative and problem solving culture. It needs to start with Account Management due to the fact that they are client facing -- too often a client is told something that should have first been validated by an expert channel team member. With training, AM as an example could then better support the client and better collaborate with the channel teams.

    Rise Interactive Response

    Mar 25, 2018 – Director, Employee Services

    Thank you for your honest feedback. Our goal is the make this a great place for all people to work from Project Management team members to Millenials to people who start here as a first job and... More


  4. Helpful (10)

    "I thought it would be a great place to work but I was sadly mistaken"

    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 Rise Interactive full-time

    Pros

    Co-workers are great
    Gym Perks
    Great Snacks

    Cons

    One of my large concerns while working at the company is they really don't provide full transparency. This is largely because of the leadership team, who tends to make decisions without having a plan to support it. Most of the time when this happens, the employees are the ones who are negatively impacted as there are no roles or responsibilities defined. Rise tends to then move people around to different teams, even without them having the specialized skill-set to execute the job. Another large issue is that the majority of management has never managed a team before, yet are placed in a higher role just because they are "due" for a promotion (yet "due" is not defined). The company offers no management training or support, so employees don't get the guidance or mentorship needed from their manager. Development paths are only dreams here. Instead, the organization focuses on profitability which ultimately impacts work-life balance for a majority of the teams. When it comes to client delivery, Account Management has strong support when it comes to growth while the PM team does not. Unfortunately, the lack of support for the PM team has resulted in lack of structure, poor management, and zero growth plan to help support accounts. Culture wise, I would agree with the majority of the other reviews that the organization lacks diversity and feels a little bit like a fraternity

    Advice to Management

    Tier skill set and get more experienced people in the office. Dedicate some of your focus on your employees and culture. Most importantly, don't promote people who lack the skill set to do the role because you are just negatively impacting the rest of your employees.

    Rise Interactive Response

    Mar 25, 2018 – Director, Employee Services

    Thank you for your feedback. We agree that the organization needs to provide more guidance and the transparency necessary for employees to do their best work. This would include company direction... More


  5. Helpful (6)

    "Great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Rise Interactive full-time

    Pros

    Management really cares about the employees

    Cons

    A lot of layoffs since I have been an employee

    Rise Interactive Response

    Jan 22, 2018 – Director, Employee Services

    Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. We appreciate the feedback about management and the concern about layoffs. As business needs change, sometimes we have to realign our resources... More


  6. Helpful (17)

    "RISE Loves to work the most skilled to the bone... then spit you out. There is no loyalty."

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

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

    Pros

    *Variety of free refreshments
    *Student loan assistance
    *Free gym on site
    *Commuter benefits
    *Parental leave, both for new moms and dads
    *Encouraging, welcoming and supportive teams
    *Energetic, diverse culture
    *Growth opportunities
    *Challenging, various tasks
    *Happy hours and other company wide social events
    *Free beer, wine and other treats on Fridays.

    So if you're hungry all the time, you'll love it.

    Work hard, save your money, and stick it out if you can. When they lay you off or you decide to leave, you'll have a great resume, and can easily gain a position at a much larger corporation with better pay.

    Cons

    *If you want advancement, kiss your manager's butt.
    Rise does not promote based on skill. I have watched many very talented, the most talented people passed over, while people who try their best to look like their doing work prevail. The one difference? Kissing butt.

    *Are you highly skilled? PROCEED WITH CAUTION.
    They will work you 70+ hours a week at times, while the CEO, COO, and President live their happy lives.

    *No Loyalty from Rise.
    You will love the flavored water, restaurants, beer Friday's, etc. However, at any moment, the company can and will call you into a meeting and let you go. Entire teams of people sometimes. The turnover is incredible. Rise will only protect their bottom-line. You will be used as long as they need your particular skill or for as many bodies as they need to fulfill their projects. Once they've received their money and no longer need you, you are out.

    Advice to Management

    Learn to listen to your employees. It's your weakest point.

    Promote by skill. You have a lot of management who know much less than their staff. The reason management does well is the dedicated skilled workers you actually do have.

    Gain a sense of loyalty, even just a little-bit. You fire your best people to save a buck. Your reputation proceeds you. Many skilled people, who are friends, associates, colleagues at other thriving companies have heard of you before you put out the open positions listing, and many of them refuse to apply.

    Congrats! You grew up and created a company that treats their best like trash.

    Rise Interactive Response

    Feb 27, 2018 – Director, Employee Services

    Unfortunately we have had to say goodbye to some fantastic, hard working employees over the last few months and our leadership team knows they have a lot of work to do to regain the trust of our... More


  7. Helpful (15)

    "If you're joining the innovation (product) team...beware. Everyone else seems happy though."

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

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

    Pros

    - Team has much autonomy on implementation details
    - Benefits are pretty good
    - Great office space
    - People are mostly friendly and jerks aren't hired
    - Most are willing to put in the extra hours to get their work done as best as possible
    - Middle and upper management are really trying their best to make the best situation happen with what they got
    - If you're in any other team other than Innovation (product)...you got a pretty good company here
    - The company uses tools to try to identify the areas that need most improvement

    Cons

    - There is this fake sense of teamwork that seems to be mostly talk and not walk. Collaboration is not natural.
    - There is a large disconnect between executive leadership and middle management in regards to focus and what provides ROI in the near term vs long term ... which in turn causes middle management to pass the bad leadership downward as a result (to no fault of their own)
    - Turnover is common
    - Team members feel the need to communicate after hours in group team slack channels just to passive aggressively show they are working exhaustively hard and likely get praised for it later
    - Priorities are 100% top down and can change in a moment's notice simply because the CEO said so

    Advice to Management

    At the end of the day you're an ad agency and you function like one and you will continue to make money in an industry full of gaps that you can easily take advantage of...so why skimp on enabling the Product (innovation) team function as a self sustaining team of professionals?

    You still have a few experienced and extremely talented individuals remaining that can truly hockey-stick your business into a new era of growth unlike you've ever dreamed of ... yet you continue to remove valuable resources from them (forcing them to be mostly involved in execution 100% of the time) and continue to frequently focus on asking how long the current project will take.

    Unless you invest in your most talented individuals, Innovation is gonna end up looking like the black knight from monty python and the holy grail and expecting them to still continue to go to war for you with no arms or legs left to give into the fight.

    Rise Interactive Response

    Jan 22, 2018 – Director, Employee Services

    Thank you for the honest feedback. We will ensure that we share your suggestions with leadership as we look for ways to continue to improve the work environment for both the Innovation team and Rise... More

  8. Helpful (17)

    "Keep searching for a real company to do business with that values both their employees and customers."

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

    Pros

    None. See cons to gain a better understanding of the type of culture one should expect to deal with either as a client or employee.

    Cons

    Laid off many developers just prior to the holidays to save money. This speaks volumes about the type of company Rise is, its lack of leadership and its disregard for customers. Avoid like the plague and find yourself a company with leadership that has some values and cares for its employees and clients.

    Rise Interactive Response

    Jan 22, 2018 – Director, Employee Services

    Running an organization can be hard. Our leaders make the best decisions possible after a lot of review and discussion. Those decisions are not entered into lightly and it grieves us to have to say... More


  9. Helpful (19)

    "Great if you're 22, get out immediately after"

    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 Rise Interactive full-time

    Pros

    You will learn a lot of random stuff pertaining to digital marketing. This place is a wonderful stepping stone. For that reason: 5/5 stars. Unfortunately there's a lot more to work than it being a means to an end. So...we move on.

    If you like chips, they give you chips and snacks. Don't ask for a raise though, that's chip money, pal!

    They have a nice $10,000 coffee machine. Boy does it make the best coffee ever! Wouldn't it have been great if that money went to the employee salaries? No, of course it wouldn't. Otherwise we wouldn't have a coffee machine!

    Do you really enjoy a glass ceiling? Ah, Rise has one of the biggest and best in all of Chicago. That glass is real sturdy.

    Cons

    No middle management. Nope. It doesn't exist. You work tirelessly and no one can help you. Your manager is there to listen to your concerns and voice those same concerns about their own career to their manager. You can ask for a raise but they will make you list reasons why you're deserving. Trust me, I had this day. I asked for an industry-average amount of money, and thankfully I found a place that could pay me that.

    Another con is they're trying to do anything but pay you more. If you speak up against them, they will fire you. Since my departure, they have cleaned out the place.

    They make you time track everything. They even make you time track the time you spend time tracking.

    Advice to Management

    Oh, gosh. I have none. Management doesn't care about Glassdoor. They used to be a 4.0 in 2016...

    Rise Interactive Response

    Oct 31, 2017 – Director, Employee Services

    Thank you for the review. Rise does, in fact, care about Glassdoor feedback and this response is an indication of our concern. We recently launched a new employee survey platform, are conducting exit... More


  10. Helpful (17)

    "Executive Administrator"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Executive Administrator in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Executive Administrator in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Casual dress and come and go as you please

    Cons

    Very juvenile and backstabbing environment. If you are smart, that wont be rewarded. If you can cheerlead aged men with titles not commensurate with their expirience then youll do just fine.

    Advice to Management

    Jon should gut the place and get seasoned officers verses frat friends.

    Rise Interactive Response

    Oct 19, 2017 – Director, Employee Services

    Thank you for your feedback. Rise has worked hard over the course of the year to hire industry leaders and experts to continue to improve the diversity of thought and experience. This has led to... More


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