I worked at Symplicity Corporation full-time (More than 5 years)
- Colleagues are great (except top management)
- If you're on the tech side, you have a lot of technological freedom and have access to some cool technology.
- Casual work environment
- Benefits are decent
I have seen tons of people come and go during my tenure here. I also have been through 3 different CEOs. Most of these recent positive reviews are from people who haven't been around the block here.
- Erosion of benefits since the sale of the company back in July 2016. Company-wide "raises" of 2.5% (more like COL adjustments hailed as raises). About 6 people got promotions but didn't get a real "raise" to reflect said promotion. The "revocation" of work-from-home option for people in the DC (HQ) area; people had to "re-apply" to work from home.
- No paid training (or even reimbursement upon successful completion of training paid out-of-pocket), despite management saying it will happen eventually (this has been a continual problem across 3 separate leadership administrations).
- Layoff of approximately 13% of the company to be outsourced overseas.
- New CEO (Matt Small) more-or-less forced out old management and replaced with his former colleagues from another company.
- New management is obsessed with the bottom line, and as a result, the staff suffer.
- Tons of turnover, both voluntary and involuntary (despite HR reassuring that the turnover rate is actually pretty good for the tech industry).
- Below-average wages (although I'm sure the VP/C-suite are making average/above average).
- Many departments are terribly understaffed (and have been for a while).
Advice to Management
- Listen to the lower-level staff; they have their ear to the ground and know the inner workings of this company better than you.
- Treat staff like people and not cattle.
- Don't lie to staff. Don't say the company is financially fine. Don't say wages are competitive. The evidence says otherwise (no real raises, outsourcing, etc).
- If you want to retain talent, pay competitive wages. Otherwise, have fun losing your top people to other companies.
I have been working at Symplicity Corporation full-time
It's the great people (leaders and otherwise) that have fueled this company since its inception. Really have enjoyed my time here!
No company is perfect but this one sure comes close
I worked at Symplicity Corporation full-time
-Remote work, however it appears, this may be phased out
-Opportunity to grow with the company as it becomes a larger corporation
-Management working at cross purposes
-High turnover to support a new layer of high level management
-Shipping support overseas
Growing, great/smart people, remote work options
Transitioning leadership so currently lots of change, but this isn't necessarily a bad thing
I worked at Symplicity Corporation full-time (Less than a year)
Great teamwork environment, flexible work environment
New direction without input and buy-in from staff.
Advice to Management
Solicit feedback from current employees to receive greater buy-in.
I have been working at Symplicity Corporation full-time (More than a year)
It is a great place to start work at. It is now the fastest growing company in its sector. There have been many new changes in the company. Heading towards the right direction under the new CEO.
New office location coming soon. Fun place to work at.
Sadly, management needs more experience.
I worked at Symplicity Corporation full-time (More than a year)
* Passionate, dedicated front line employees from before the acquisition. Many of them are industry experts and are wonderful to work with. They made my time at Symp a real pleasure.
* The company used to be split 50/50 in-office and remote. It appears most of the new hires are going to be in the DC-area, highlighting CEO's desire to have people close by. This builds more of a community. If you are seeking remote work flexibility and live in the DC area, this is no longer the place for you.
* New VP's are incredibly experienced and skilled. Most have a background in building BlackBoard from scratch in the 2000's and have other experience to add, as well.
* Solid financials. Very little/no debt and profitable each year. Funded by a massive private equity investor, who removed the old owner and installed the new leadership team.
* Some okay benefits, like 2% 401(k) match, along with FSA (medical and child care).
* Investments being made in internal processes and sales/support systems. Removing the old home-grown CRM and bringing in a real ERP will be tremendous. This was underway when I left.
* Strategy proposed by the leadership team makes great sense. Consolidate product offerings, increase prices to fall in line with the true value of the solutions, and build a great sales team. The international flavor to increase reach using resellers is also ideal to drive major growth.
* Solid work/life. Good time off from day 1 and unlimited sick time. There are also some sponsored events like the company 5k, day of service, etc. They used to have a super flexible remote work policy which was pretty widely abused before the CEO changed it. If you are in DC, you are expected in the office, which I think is an okay way to go. The rollout was botched, but the rationale is good. Be together as often as possible. I'm okay with that.
* New office in Clarendon coming in Spring of 2017.
* Great strategy cannot overcome mediocre tech. The core architecture is 10-15 years old and is held together by virtual duct tape. Things like responsive design, UX updates, data imports, and even calendaring are severely limited by the core platform. The current tech stack is not the most stable and is subject to short crashes that cause users to lose tons of work. The "reporting" solution cannot do multiple if/then functions and looks old. It is barely considered reporting. The best way to go is to update the data model and rewrite the products from the ground up. I doubt this will ever happen because it requires a major investment to time and effort with no 2017 revenues. Prediction: they will keep patching until the system collapses. This is short term thinking that will cost way more long term.
* Average products. While the recurring revenues are good, the products were state of the art in 2005, which means old. They are also far too flexible and have too many customization options. There is no standard offering or easy way for customers to deploy and be self-sufficient. The result: thousands of non-technical customers getting what they say they want instead of what they need. This creates an overreliance on Support and a lack of trust in the products to solve the problem. This is unsustainable for profitable growth and leads to customer churn and low satisfaction.
* Staff turnover. Between November 2016 and January 2017, 20 people left the company. Half are layoffs, half are resignations. They also just completed a major layoff of another 25-30 folks. While no one is irreplaceable, the transition and training costs will be high until things stabilize. I think it will smooth out, but things are tumultuous now (February 2017).
* Leadership interpersonal skills. Certain C-level staff interactions with non-management staff is awkward at best and terrible at worst. I found these folks to be willfully tone deaf and unengaged with anyone who wasn't a VP or investor. A perfect example: Walking by my desk 8-10x a day for 3 months and looking through me like I didn't exist almost every time. There is no cost to making eye contact or saying "hi" once in a while.
* Fake transparency. This is a top-down organization run by capable, intelligent, driven, successful executives. If you are not an investor or a VP, you do not have a seat at the table anymore. Monthly all hands are sold as a time for staff to ask questions. That is rarely true. These meetings are a time for management to openly communicate to the staff how things are going and what is needed from them. During my time, even moderately difficult staff questions were either ignored or dodged, and the meetings were cut short when leadership got tired of taking questions. I felt like staff inquiries were never a priority or taken seriously.
* There is currently no General Counsel. The highly experienced GC was laid off (reason unknown) in January 2017, and his duties are being split by other executives who are trained attorneys. A $40mm company with 200-250 people without an independent GC screams unnecessary risk to me. Note: This may have been resolved, but it is true as of February 2017.
* Ethics part 2. Around Thanksgiving, there was an incident with former HR leadership running meetings to lay off staff, then transitioning themselves from HR into the now-vacant roles. It is inappropriate to allow HR staff to interview for roles they know are coming open and cruel to allow them to run the termination meetings on behalf of the company. This is a potential conflict of interest that reinforces the need for a true General Counsel.
* Pay/bonuses. Many "old Symp" employees are underpaid for the market. If you are coming aboard, be assertive and make your salary expectations clear with evidence from GlassDoor and similar sites. Do not accept less than you think you are worth. If you are promised something like a raise or bonus, get it in writing with crystal clear dates, criteria for qualification, along with penalties for Symp if they don't follow through. I know of employees who had severely delayed bonus payments or payments not made at all in 2016 because their contracts were vague. Get a lawyer to review your offer letter. Don't trust them to meet any verbal or implied obligations.
* Sub-par benefits. Benefits don't kick in until the 1st of the month after you start. They don't tell you this up front, so it can be a jarring way to begin work. The healthcare options are expensive and terrible quality. Paychex, the HR provider, has great customer service after they mess something up (and they will). The 401(k) mutual funds are average offerings and come with high fees. Finally, there are almost no supplemental life ($10,000 cap) and no disability benefits. If you have a spouse or partner to provide better and cheaper options, this will probably be your best bet.
Advice to Management
I left because new top leadership created an environment where I felt my time and work was neither important nor valued. This uncertainty led me to look for and find what has become a wonderful next opportunity. So, thank you for pushing me to find this next step at the right time.
* If you expect people to be in the office every day, you should supplement or cover their parking or offer a flat $2,500 raise to in-office staff, especially folks who were promised flexible work-from-home options when they were hired. Change in policy should not come at such a heavy cost to the employee alone.
* It is okay for top leaders to say "thank you", "I'm sorry", and "I was wrong... and I'm going to fix it." Those are phrases I did not hear after the executive transition. As employees, we don't want parties or ping pong tables as much as we want appreciation when we do a good job. That costs you nothing.
* Build a true V2 of your products and prepare to transition away from the SympleObjects/Manager core as soon as possible. Your current strategy is akin to building a sky scraper atop a nuclear waste site. Build a new foundation.
* Invest in all Symp employees with a robust training budget. This was a limitation under old ownership, and it should not be under new leadership. You have a profitable company. Invest some of the profits in getting better as a community.
* Pay your stars. Now that you have laid off folks who don't fit your vision, invest in your real rock stars at Symp. Pay them at 75-99th percentile for their title. You will get a return on your investment.
* Upgrade staff CPU's. There are people getting by with 5-7 year old laptops that weigh 10 lbs. Get a new contract or provider and give your people the tools they need to kick butt.
I have been working at Symplicity Corporation full-time (More than 3 years)
- free snack
- good location
- option for working remotely
- pay is below market
- not clear for career path
I have been working at Symplicity Corporation full-time (More than a year)
- Flexible schedule
- Fun environment
- Good pay
- The only thing I can think of would be an opportunity to work from home 5 days a week.
nice people and culture, great overall
hard to become senior employee
This will replace the current featured review for targeted profile. Are you sure you want to replace it?
Are you sure you want to remove this review from being featured for targeted profile?