Wizards of the Coast "half day fridays" Reviews | Glassdoor

Wizards of the Coast Employee Reviews about "half day fridays"

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14 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (4)

    "Fringe benefits, dead-end jobs"

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

    I worked at Wizards of the Coast full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Half-day Fridays, unlimited sick days, lots of free products. Can work with great people. Was a fun environment at one time.

    Cons

    No career path at Wizards. Virtually no opportunities for promotion or growth. Management rarely leaves unless laid off and vacancies are typically filled from outside.
    Lots of people who have been doing the same thing forever, so, with nowhere else to go, territory is fiercely guarded.
    Compensation definitely below market.
    Unless you are a VP or have high-level support, trying something new will get you stomped.

    Advice to Management

    Honestly encourage attempts to innovate. It's a small organization, so I have no suggestions on how to fix the career path issue. If I did, I'd still be there.


  2. Helpful (7)

    "Awesome culture being eroded by new management; very sad"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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

    I have been working at Wizards of the Coast full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    First five years, I loved this company. Best job that I have ever had.
    Employees at bottom of company are awesome. They are the best combination of nice people, strong skill set and true dedication to the product that I have ever seen in a company.
    Generous vacation policy.
    Half-day Fridays (but many managers are trying to change this)
    Pay becoming more competitive.
    Execs becoming more open to new ideas from below (Hack-a-Thon and Product pitches to Executives are great ideas)

    Cons

    One year ago, I would have given Wizards 5 stars. I truly loved this company. None of below were true a few years ago.
    New managers and executives in Digital Gaming bring a very negative culture from Turbine. Turbine, frankly has not performed financially very well lately, so why turn everything over to a team with a losing track-record? They believe Wizards employees are "dead wood" and should not be consulted in Performance Reviews. They sacrifice skilled employees for short-term objective of completing the next big project (you know which one I mean). This works in short-term, but it catches up with company quickly.
    Particularly after recent layoffs, there has been a climate of fear. Managers seem to spend most of their time trying to shift blame onto other managers and their reports.
    Most Managers and Directors have little technical competence, but they have a veto power over key project decisions.
    Constantly changing priorities in the middle of projects coming from management.

    Advice to Management

    Seriously down-size the bureaucracy by laying off 80% of Managers and Directors. Assign the 20% who are technically competent to Mentoring roles or to teams confronting toughest challenges
    Let CEO and VPs determine broad annual goals.
    Build around small, autonomous, cross-functional teams to run projects with minimal dependencies from management or other teams. Have teams build rapid prototypes early to validate ideas coming from VPs and be ready to fail most of them quickly.
    Maintain same teams beyond individual projects, to promote team cohesiveness.
    Continuous Delivery so we can deliver updates quickly
    Fully embrace Agile
    Replace manager Performance Reviews with team reviews. Most managers are clueless as to what their reports actually do because they are not on teams. If team is held accountable for results, team members will smoke out any poor performers

  3. Helpful (13)

    "Will look good on your resume when you apply somewhere else"

    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 Wizards of the Coast full-time

    Pros

    Half-day Fridays for most employees, and a lot of free product. Frequent internal organized play events with catered food. On-site gym with subsidized personal trailers available to help you burn off the calories from free soda.

    Work with some incredibly talented individuals to build the games you love, which can be incredibly satisfying at first.

    Hasbro's benefits package is generous with 401k matching and other benefits, including three weeks vacation to start and unlimited sick time that doesn't come from your paid time off.

    You'll get free Hasbro movie screenings, and an occasional Disney movie.

    Cons

    There are little to no development opportunities for current employees. You will be over worked and underpaid. It's no secret that Wizards' salaries aren't competitive with the rest of the greater Seattle area. This will be a significant problem for you as real estate prices continue to rise to Bay-area levels and traffic only gets worse.

    Most management isn't out to help you succeed or grow. They're there to take credit for your talent and exploit your love for Magic and D&D. If you're not one of the 'good old boys' it will be extremely difficult to accomplish anything. Being a "yes" man and a brown-noser are the best ways to succeed at Wizards.

    There's a reason only employees who have been at Wizards for less than two years are happy.

    Advice to Management

    So long as you run an environment that fosters the rewards the mid-level managers and above for exploiting your employees and treating them like garbage you will continue to hemorrhage your best talent for Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and other Seattle tech.

    Take the charges of sexism and predatory managers seriously. It's happening, and it hurts the entire company when nothing is done.

    Changing your mind about business strategy every 6 months is a great way to waste your employee's time and effort, so you should stop doing that.

    Understand that Renton is close enough to Seattle that you need to actually pay your employees a competitive salary so they can buy a home and raise a family.


  4. Helpful (9)

    "Good people leaving and a schizophrenic mission makes me sad :("

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

    I have been working at Wizards of the Coast full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Half day Fridays are probably the best thing to say about working here. A lot of the people are also great. The products are a big part of what drew me here.

    Cons

    A lot of other recent reviews complain about executives, directors, and senior managers being disengaged, incompetent, etc. And they're right. What happens with this though, is that the good people tend to drift away, either through leaving on their own or becoming disengaged themselves due to the pool of toxicity. It's not getting better, it's getting worse.

    My male friends constantly tell me how hard it is to get a concrete advancement or career plan from their managers, HR is an absolute nightmare to deal with (to be fair the new VP there hasn't really had much of a chance yet - the old org was one of the worst I've seen in the industry and I've worked in multiple large gaming orgs) - so you can imagine what it's like for women to get the same. The other women in previous reviews who complain about poor treatment and unequal footing are spot on.

    Advice to Management

    I had hoped with the CEO change things would get better but it hasn't really happened. Some of the last round of layoffs in particular just didnt make sense, given our MANY stated missions and the amount of people who are still here and sit around doing nothing all day. Looking around at some of the useless people left who are collecting a paycheck makes the list of people who were just let go borderline insulting, especially the marketing employees and the tech directors who were actually some of the good ones. I dont get it.

    And for the record, culture isn't a document or a re-telling of some internet article, it's a set of lived values, on display, all the time.


  5. Helpful (8)

    "Old Boys Club"

    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
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Wizards of the Coast full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Half-day Fridays and generous PTO are very nice. Great product program as an employee benefit. The company invests generously in education.

    Cons

    As a woman, I experience near daily reminders that my advancement opportunities are limited. Men who are less competent than women are hired and promoted into leadership positions for no apparent reason, other than they "fit in" pretty well with the other white male leaders. Sexual harassment and discrimination aren't just my speculation; I've actually overheard male coworkers discussing female coworkers appearances and bodies. When I'm directly confronted with sexism, I try to laugh it off and that works okay for me, but it's actually quite demoralizing. I used to love working here, and it makes me really sad to have seen the dark side of its culture.

    Advice to Management

    Training and making statements about culture isn't working. I don't know what it will take. But having nearly all women in the HR department is clearly not what's going to change the company. You have to change the leaders to make real change.


  6. Helpful (13)

    "I wish them well"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Renton, WA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Renton, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Wizards of the Coast (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Half day Fridays, free product, getting to play Magic and D&D at work, relaxed hourly schedule. and lots of free food. The technical team working on the non-game systems and the Magic Online business team is run rather well and cares about the player experience. R&D is the unsung heroes of the company as they keep making Magic a fun game. Customer Service fills in all over the company to their credit.

    Cons

    -Lack of empathy in the executive team and very little understanding of technology
    -Unprofessional behavior accepted from senior leaders
    -Tons of politics and backstabbing
    -Office dating all over the place causing tension
    -Completely risk averse
    -Dire fear of change or losing job or title
    -Very little collaboration
    -Many of the directors were simply good at "playing the game"
    -Lots of win-lose scenarios, blaming and finger pointing
    -Managers who intimidate their employees and anyone who disagrees with them (especially in the Magic Online technical group)


  7. Helpful (9)

    "Worst management ever"

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

    I worked at Wizards of the Coast full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Half-day Fridays
    Some good mid-level staff

    Cons

    Terrible leadership at director, VP, and c-level
    Low pay
    Silly politics guide decision making and planning
    Ugliest office in Seattle
    Incompetent brand team

    Advice to Management

    Look at your core leadership team
    Look at yourselves
    Ask what value you are adding to the business

  8. Helpful (6)

    "Wizards is a great place to work!"

    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 Wizards of the Coast full-time

    Pros

    I've never worked anywhere with a more passionate, creative group of people. People also care a lot about our players, and are willing to go above and beyond to make our products and experiences special for those players.

    Employees get samples of most of our products. If you're a fan of D&D or Magic: The Gathering, that's a huge benefit. If you're not, there's still a great benefits package, half-day Fridays, and pretty amazing creativity put in to Halloween week (this year, one floor was turned in to the bridge of the Enterprise, another Thunderdome).

    The company has grown leaps and bounds in the last 5 years. It's an exciting time to be at Wizards, and there have never been more opportunities to contribute.

    If you love gaming and are a creative and hard worker, Wizards can be a very rewarding place to work.

    Cons

    Things aren't perfect. There are some areas of the business that Wizards is struggling with, but the senior management is aware of the issues and is committed to shoring up these areas of weakness.

    Advice to Management

    Keep listening to your people. I've been really encouraged by the amount of effort that has been put in to identifying what makes employees happy or unhappy. This year's Christmas party was the best I've ever been to, and it's clear that more effort is being put in to showing how much employees are valued.


  9. Helpful (12)

    "Not a shred of accountability to be found anywhere."

    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 Wizards of the Coast full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Not many, honestly. Half day Fridays? Though many poor overworked slaves dont really get to take advantage. Ironically the people who SHOULD be there working are the first out the door Friday afternoons. 401k match is good, I guess. Wizards is lucky the products are so good.

    Cons

    Buck passing as far as the eye can see. The senior manager and director level management ranges from very bad to excellent. The exec team is useless and generally terrible, with a couple members who contribute to a toxic work environment. Zero commitment to innovate and "risk" upsetting Magic. Any time someone questions ANYTHING, rather than owning mistakes and committing to get better as a group, people retreat to defensive positions and lash out, especially the bottom of the barrel people who are lucky to have jobs at all - the rejects from other companies that will actually take the well-below-market salaries WotC pays. I love the products and hoped after I left that they'd find their way and succeed, but it doesn't look like it's happening given the other reviews here in the last ~18 months.

    Advice to Management

    Not sure what to tell you all. You made your bed.


  10. Helpful (16)

    "I would not recommend a job here with the current management team."

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

    I worked at Wizards of the Coast full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    The people I worked with in "the trenches" are some of the best in the business, truly great folks and the people I worked with at Hasbro (the parent company) were awesome. That kept me going for a long time. In addition to those folks, all the best parts of working there come from their perks and benefits -much of which is Hasbro's influence (but many Wizards leaders don't want you to know that.): half day Fridays, benefits package, generous 401k matching, tuition reimbursement, paid holiday between Dec 24-Jan2., daycare onsite, gym onsite, etc.

    Cons

    This used to be a great place to work I had several managers I truly respected and a team that was inspiring to work with. Truly great leaders surround themselves with people willing to tell them the truth. This creates teams of people willing to take risks and create great products. But, by the time I left that wasn't the case. By the time I left, it appeared that anyone who was brave enough to challenge the CEO and was willing to take a stand for their employees had been replaced by people who must be terrified of losing their jobs. That's the only way I can explain how most of the employees can be treated so poorly by their Senior leaders.

    Things take a very long time to move forward. Again, I can only attribute that to leaders being afraid to MAKE a decision until the person in the chain above them approves of the decision. Therefore, many things get left undone.

    I feel the worst for the mid-level managers who seem to merely be doing the dirty work of the Directors and VPs above them.

    Bad behavior seems to be tolerated and in many cases it seems the loudest bullies get the promotions.

    I witnessed someone on the Senior Team rip an employee up one side and down the other for a project that (the Senior Leader) didn't like. The project turned out to be a huge success but no one was brave enough to publicly announce that on a day when the Senior Leader was in the office.

    I also witnessed lower-level employees who came up with an innovative, cost-efficient plan, present it to upper level leaders and have it nastily vetoed. All those employees were laid off (or quit) within 6 months. Later, a Senior Leader took the very same idea and was applauded for such an innovative process.

    If you do apply for a job there, ask about the turnover rate in the department to which you are applying. Those are the departments with bully leaders.

    In my experience, if you are honest, work hard and come up with innovation ideas, you are punished with more work, leaders stealing your ideas, and moved to positions where you're no longer doing what you were hired to do.

    I've observed those who seem to do no work, steal other's ideas, and employ bullying behavior rewarded with promotion after promotion..

    Advice to Management

    All leaders need to take an honest look at their behavior. If they can completely flip the culture back to a place where hard work. genuine innovation and positive behaviors are rewarded (and lazy work, stealing ideas and negative behaviors are punished) then that's great. If not, there needs to be a housecleaning from the top down, in my opinion.


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