Wizards of the Coast "middle management" Reviews | Glassdoor

Find your next job here

Wizards of the Coast Employee Reviews about "middle management"

Show All Reviews >

7 Employee Reviews

Sort: PopularRatingDate

  1. Helpful (7)

    "Great company to work for, if you can avoid management."

    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

    Free product, there's really no good reason to work here unless you are a Magic
     or D&D fan.

    Cons

    Upper middle management. Whether its an inept VP or CEO, there's a lot of layers of blame before it gets to them.

    Benefits are just garbage.

    Always hiring non-diversity. It always seems like a new, over-paid white male comes through the door.

    Hire a CEO that has actually produced a game.

    Low pay. People are vastly underpaid for trying to be a "tech company".

    Promote people who actually deserve it.

    Advice to Management

    Take some classes in leadership and strategy. Keep people who actually know their job and drop those lazy managers who blame others or pile their work on to front-line workers.

    Stop bringing Microsofters in.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Progressing slowly, but in the right direction"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Renton, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Renton, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Wizards of the Coast full-time

    Pros

    There are a lot of very passionate people here, especially those that work on the games. It can be a very fun workplace, especially during set releases as there are a lot of on-the-clock opportunities to play with the company's products. Company is relatively generous with giving employees product. 401k program is a huge plus. You get a lot of vacation just for starting at the company, and starting this year you can roll some of your unused vacation time into the next year. Executives have stepped up in the last year and are showing a lot of interest in improving their understanding of the teams and the needs of their employees (not perfect, but they obviously care and are showing an interest, and have made great lengths in just the last few months). Company is headed in a great direction right now.

    Cons

    While real effort has been made for cross-functional team support, many teams still feel silo'd and still have their own process for completing work. Some teams have made the leap to new technology and management tools while others have stayed behind, making crossover at times very difficult. A few teams are particularly burdened by too much bureaucracy and formality for every change, which can be a nightmare for small tasks and can lead to extremely inefficient workflows. Middle management is hit or miss; for some teams they're very helpful, others need to be looked at closer by upper management. Benefits outside of vacation and 401k are a little under industry standards; healthcare perks have scaled back in recent years.

    Advice to Management

    Keep listening to your managers and lower-level employees; while you can't solve every problem they have, listening to them does identify trends in where you can have the most impact and in many cases this year you've managed to accomplish a lot. Take a closer look at your directors; most are great but some are quietly getting by without contributing enough to the company.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "An excellent place to work. Fun talent need apply."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Renton, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Renton, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    If you like interesting games, and want to make a difference in some of the best games out there, it would be a challenge to find a better place to work. The work life balance is good. The top manage is actually good, and getting better. Most importantly, the digital roadmap should excite anybody who wants to be part of the type of change that only comes about once in a decade for a company this size.

    Cons

    Some of the middle management is poor and in need of further training or replacement. There remains some dissonance between business vision and execution. The month of Halloween is way too much fun (insert dry humor).

    Advice to Management

    Look at your senior business managers and directors carefully. Several of them need support or need to be replaced. Support your technical teams with excellent tools and governance.


  4. Helpful (4)

    "Trust Gap between Management and Employees Possibly Insurmountable"

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

    I have been working at Wizards of the Coast as a contractor (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The ability to work on world-famous IPs people genuinely care about.

    Cons

    Non-compete clauses force creators to keep their head down and work within overly restrictive limits. Corporate cuts always affect R&D funding first, ensuring that middle management survives while creative elements die out. No thought is given to creating or fostering new brands in favor of maintaining a status quo that any outsider can see has a limited shelf-life. No thought is given to creating new games to compete in markets slowly being overtaken by companies with more competitive market strategies. Individual career growth for independent contributors and creative positions is nonexistent. Benefits for full-time employees have been slashed in the last fiscal year. Wages in technology departments are significantly less than average.

    Advice to Management

    If you are going to hire creative people LET THEM CREATE. Stop creating fiefdoms of project managers. Create avenues for advancement besides migrating into management. Companies such as Boeing are learning how to do this, why can't you? Grow brands by creating games. Don't be afraid to disrupt the status quo. MAKE SENIOR MANAGEMENT ACCOUNTABLE TO SO-CALLED 'CORE VALUES'.


  5. Helpful (11)

    "Brains wanted, but not really welcomed"

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

    I worked at Wizards of the Coast full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Everything on the game R&D side seems great. They produce a great product and have a loyal consumer base.

    Cons

    If you're with the company in any other capacity aside from active R&D on a product line, expect to be overworked and underpaid. Despite the best efforts and token gestures of senior management, the company is still very top-down, and middle to upper-middle management tends to be extremely cut throat. Questioning a supervisor in any capacity isn't welcomed, regardless of whether you end up being correct and you'll likely be more penalized for not being 'in line' than your supervisor will be for being wrong. Marketing/branding/sales have an absurdly disproportionate amount of sway in matters not directly related to their department, to the detriment of everyone involved.

    Advice to Management

    Greg Leeds, the CEO, seems to genuinely care and want to hear from the people in the trenches, but he's surrounded by severely incompetent middle management that don't accurately relay (or honestly, even understand) the problems with the company.

    Sadly, as awesome as it is to be a gamer working for a game company, that is also Wizards of the Coast's biggest failure. The company is absolutely FULL of people in important positions that have no business doing the jobs they are expected to do. There are dozens of people who have no qualifications in marketing, customer support, game development, or management that are making key decisions. Management needs to start making people responsible for their own failures rather than constantly passing the blame down.

    Short version: cut the yes men and start hiring based on qualifications rather than tenure.


  6. Helpful (8)

    "It's a fun nightmare"

    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 3 years)

    Pros

    Wonderful IPs that excite fans and employees alike.
    Casual work environment.
    Good stepping stone to other organizations.

    Cons

    Brand/Marketing departments on the D&D side of the house are ignorant of their products and show no signs of wanting to learn. Completely ineffectual.
    People in the Technology org are making their entire careers on software that is over budget and behind schedule.
    No room for growth without being part of an executive manager's inner circle.
    No recognition of or compensation for strong work ethic or results if you are not in middle management or higher.
    More managers than actual individual contributors. This sounds cynical. This is true, however.
    Technology department is wholly dependent on mediocre work from contractors and outside vendors.
    Non-compete clause is extremely strict.
    New ideas are not encouraged. For a company that lives and dies by its IPs, they are remarkably resistant towards encouraging innovation or new products.
    Pay scale is well below market.

    Advice to Management

    Stop taking credit for the hard work of the people you manage.
    Learn about your product from a ground level.
    Gut your middle management and marketing teams, particularly on the D&D side. Nothing good is being done there outside of the R&D org.
    Consider providing actual career paths for hardworking and invested employees instead of cold hiring managers with no understanding of or appreciation for the product.
    ENCOURAGE CREATIVE GROWTH.


  7. Helpful (4)

    "Management Issues"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    My co-workers created a great atmosphere.

    Cons

    Middle Management can sometimes be brought in with little understanding about the products they work on and a lack of desire to learn.

    Advice to Management

    Try to understand the products you create before telling others how to work. It can be difficult to respect your management decisions when you have little to no knowledge of your product.


Showing 7 of 148 reviews
Reset Filters