Vokal Reviews | Glassdoor

Vokal Reviews

Updated March 15, 2017
18 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

3.8
Star Star Star Star Star
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Vokal CEO Reid Lappin
Reid Lappin
9 Ratings

18 Employee Reviews

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  1. "I love it here!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Office Manager in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Office Manager in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Vokal full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great freedom to accomplish task in your own way. Work life balance is amazing and the people are some of the best I have worked with.

    Cons

    I really don't have any cons


  2. "Great Company Where Everybody Know's Your Name"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Systems Engineer in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Senior Systems Engineer in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Vokal gives its engineers a lot of latitude and flexibility as far as technologies are concerned; though that great power comes with great responsibility. If you're on your game and deliver on committed work, it's up to you how to use your time, what languages or stacks to use, etc.

    Cons

    Really the main downside is true of working for any agency—dealing with less-than-ideal clients. Not all of them are respectful, cooperative, and willing to listen to well-reasoned advice. Something that was personally challenging for me (so this might not be a downside for you) was keeping detailed track of how I spent all my time; again, something that just comes with agency territory. Those aren't really knocks on Vokal itself, though, more just something to keep in mind if you come from a non-agency environment.

    Advice to Management

    Just remember to be completely transparent and don't be afraid to communicate fully, even when the new isn't great.


  3. Helpful (3)

    "Not a stable job"

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

    Pros

    Talented engineering team from whom you can learn a lot.
    Many snacks in the kitchen, healthy and unhealthy.
    If needed you can work from home
    Hack days twice a year

    Cons

    The company doesn't follow its core values.
    When the company was facing some difficulties many people got laid off without prior notice.
    The salary could be better.

    Advice to Management

    Make a backup plan for unexpected situations or at least be honest with your employers and give them prior notice.

    Vokal Response

    May 4, 2016 – President

    First off, I want to thank you for your time at Vokal. We wouldn’t be where we are today without the talented people who have contributed to the success of the Vokal family. We take everyone’s ... More


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Helpful (6)

    "Highly Unstable"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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 Vokal full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    • Flexible work times
    • Kitchen stocked to the brim with awesome snacks
    • The social atmosphere is very friendly
    • Great PTO plan

    Cons

    • During my time there, people were regularly let go without any notice (including prior notice to them or notice to the rest of the office)
    • There's a regular sense no job security
    • Developers are kept in the basement, with few windows and natural lighting, while management and non-developers occupy the more spacious and naturally lit upper level
    • General mistrust of upper management

    Advice to Management

    Have better backup plans. When your first response to a drying pipeline is layoffs, it breeds animosity. Be more communicative when things are looking south. No one likes a surprise layoff. And monitoring employees as they pack their things to leave is weird.

    Vokal Response

    May 4, 2016 – President

    Thank you for your review and supportive commentary on the business, culture, and our growth. Like any company going through a growth period, there are pains and we certainly have learned lessons in ... More


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Company has seen better days"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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 Vokal full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - Great work/life balance
    - Easy to be friends with coworkers inside/outside the company - so many great people
    - Unlimited paid time off
    - Dog friendly office
    - Smart development team
    - Variety of projects

    Cons

    - Inexperienced upper leadership
    - Very little transparency or communication
    - Projects are not best-in-class, and are sometimes chosen out of desperation
    - Vokal’s culture is open but also very secretive. Important decisions are passed down with no explanation or clear purpose.
    - Too many middlemen and “directors” who have a tendency to over-manage. The company is using a management structure for companies in the 150+ people range.
    - Cramped office space with many comfort/amenity issues

    Advice to Management

    Create company wide and team goals - and measurable ways to meet those goals. Keep improving the sales process to leverage your teams to produce the best possible solutions. Cut down the directors and the over-managing to create a more inclusive culture of trust and respect. Listen to what your employees have to say.
    Hire only the best employees and give them concrete ways to improve - so you don’t have to fire them later on and blame vague “business reasons” or the even more generic “performance reasons.” Lastly, when you create company values like "Family" - make sure you stick to those values to the bitter end.

    Vokal Response

    May 4, 2016 – President

    Thank you for your thoughtful review and for your contributions to Vokal. As we have mentioned time and again, we wouldn't have made the considerable progress as a business without the support of ... More


  7. "Contractor"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Consultant Contractor in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Consultant Contractor in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Vokal (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Amazing people and work culture!

    Cons

    Some growing pains as a booming start up

    Vokal Response

    May 4, 2016 – President

    Thanks! All feedback is helpful for leadership and potential new team members!


  8. Helpful (1)

    "Great Culture, Rapid Growth"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Vokal full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Very talented group who truly like working with each other. Great work/life balance and focus on company culture.

    Cons

    Rapid growth causes quite a bit of change, not bad, but must be adaptable in position.

    Vokal Response

    May 4, 2016 – President

    Thank you for the contributions! We appreciate all feedback to support leadership and potential new team members!


  9. "An amazing place to improve one's self"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Engineer in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Vokal full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    By far the best thing is the amount of personal and professional growth I've experienced here. It is a intelligent group of people who all seem to care about building great products. As a member of the engineering staff, every part of our standards are defined by the people doing the work day in and day out. It is truly a place to learn, grow and contribute.

    Cons

    Some of the dogs can be a bit of a distraction. There always seems to be a shortage of conference rooms, but due to rapid growth I anticipate we will be in a new building before long.

    Advice to Management

    Keep your trust in the people you've hired and don't be afraid to show humility.

    Vokal Response

    May 4, 2016 – President

    Thank you for the kind words and the thoughtful suggestions regarding how we can improve. A new office this June should help support the rapid growth and culture concerns raised. We greatly ... More


  10. Helpful (3)

    "Great place to work, build your career, learn and be around awesome people"

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

    I have been working at Vokal full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Vokal is an excellent place to grow and build your career. No matter what your job area is, you will learn and grow more in your first year here than almost anywhere else. You have the privilege of working with people you truly enjoy being around (during and outside of work) and respect. You work on many types and varieties of software and strategic projects, including helping build other startup software companies from the ground up.

    Cons

    If you don't like change and require rigid structure and process, Vokal is not the place for you. Each project is custom, and therefore slightly different.

    Advice to Management

    Continue enabling your employees to grow professionally and grow their teams. Also, please buy more cheese sticks for the kitchen...

    Vokal Response

    May 4, 2016 – President

    Thanks for the supportive message and thoughtful suggestions - more cheese sticks in no time :)


  11. Helpful (4)

    "Plenty of room to grow, great non-traditional benefits."

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

    I have been working at Vokal full-time

    Pros

    They offer benefits around technological growth and capacity, some reimbursement for equipment and peripheral purchases, flexibility to work from home here and there, and plenty of PTO if it's not abused.

    Also, there was a recent office change and there's plenty of space to stretch out and empty desks that'll soon be filled. There's a ping pong table, two cafe/kitchens, and typically a dog moseying around. Outside of work, there's also a kickball league, yoga classes, sponsored happy hours, and other group events. The work-life balance is phenomenal.

    Management is mostly transparent and there are staff meetings to relay relevant business information down to everyone. There's a friendly camaraderie within the teams and constantly updated on-boarding process for new hires.

    Cons

    Traditional benefits like health insurance and 401K match are decidedly lacking. Not a fan of Aetna for health insurance and costs/options were better at previous employers. 401K matching is non-existent but not a surprise for a smaller company. Growth of the company over the last few years should warrant it changing but there hasn't been any sign of that yet.

    Advice to Management

    I'd like to see improvement to the health insurance options/prices. I would also suggest to pursue utilizing employee potential to a greater degree. The talent pool is amazing and would be more than capable of producing internal content for sale/repurposing that could bolster the current business model.

    Vokal Response

    Sep 9, 2015 – President

    Thanks so much for your review! We're excited to report that we have a 401K with a company match, and we're switching over to Blue Cross Blue Shield in November, 2015. We always appreciate the ... More


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