Achilles Information Employee Reviews about "senior management"

Updated Feb 1, 2021

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4.2
81%
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85%
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Achilles Information CEO Jay Katzen (no image)
Jay Katzen
121 Ratings
Pros
  • "Great people, great product and great prospects(in 9 reviews)

  • "My colleagues are great and the ability to work with people across many countries is a major benefit(in 7 reviews)

  • Cons
  • "This has been a discussion amongst many women recently in Achilles (even on virtual chats)(in 23 reviews)

  • "Manager, Senior management are adding too much work to employees without giving proper compensation(in 12 reviews)

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    Reviews about "senior management"

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    1. 4.0
      Current Employee

      Well run company

      Feb 1, 2021 - Administrative 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      - Great colleagues, majority of colleagues are easy to get on with and are happy to support others when needed. - Meetings held by CEO provide a clear insight into the future plans of the company. - CEO appears to have an genuine interest in all employees and makes themselves available to contact if needed. - Good range of employee benefits on offer. - Study support available. - Other external support services, such as online courses or mental health wellbeing support are provided. - Have dealt with the COVID situation very well, helping relieve some of the stress this pandemic has caused.

      Cons

      - There can be a feeling of an 'us & them' culture between senior management and other employees in relation to various processes and appraisal, this has improved over time in fairness. - Recognition of work can be hard to come by.

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      3 people found this review helpful

      Achilles Information Response

      This is a really interesting review to read, I'm grateful to you for taking the time to write in such detail - thank you. I'm particularly pleased that you feel that we have dealt with the Covid situation well, and that we have tried our best to mitigate the stress this challenging situation has created for us all. I take on board your other comments regarding an 'us and them' culture, and I'd be interested to explore this in further detail with you if you felt open to having a conversation about this. Recognition is something we're working on, so I hope you see material change in over the coming months. I would also welcome a discussion about this to ensure we can recognise all the right people and your input will help . Thanks, Jay

    2. 1.0
      Former Employee, more than 3 years

      Not great, not terrible...

      Jul 26, 2019 - Finance in Abingdon, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      A few years back, Achilles was led by people who really believed in what we were doing, and who treated those below them with dignity and respect. If you look hard, there are still some great colleagues left, but they are leaving quickly.

      Cons

      Imagine me taking a breath and cracking my knuckles. Okay? Here we go. Let's start with the product. I can't remember who said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results, but they probably had Achilles in mind. From here, it can only Accelerate into a Titanic failure (badum-tish) Moving on to what it's like to work there. The HR team is currently engaged in aggressively posting cheery well-being fluff all over social media, brandishing their cuddly credentials like holy water in the face of the emotional vampire that is Achilles' culture. I suppose they have to do something to counteract the rapidly revolving door of staff turnover, but knowing what it is actually like to work there makes this - for me - a deeply misleading and dishonest thing to do. And so to senior management. I have little doubt that this post will be followed by an official response vehemently insisting that these comments bear no resemblance to the 'real' Achilles and refusing point-blank to entertain the possibility that even the slightest thing may be wrong. If top management could get away with screaming 'fake news' at their detractors, I have no doubt they would do so. In any case, suggestions and constructive criticism are met with a Trump-like refusal to believe that anything that disagrees with the party line and ruthlessly crushing dissent like the worst kind of tin-pot dictators. This is not a place where employees are listened to, unless you happen to be one of the inner circle (and by that I mean willing to put aside all integrity to suck up to the top). And if all this isn't enough to give you pause for thought, I'd recommend reaching out to any one of the vast number of former employees on LinkedIn and asking for their unvarnished opinion on the place. I'm confident that the majority will only be too happy to share.

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      9 people found this review helpful

      Achilles Information Response

      CEO

      I appreciate the feedback and while I disagree with a number of comments, it is how you felt so I want to see what we can do to improve. We are far from perfect but we are focused on doing what's right and that is clear from the feedback by the people here. I do agree we have amazing colleagues here who are dedicated and passionate about what we do and how we help out customers. We have the lowest employee turnover that we've had in the past 5 years and our engagement scores are up, so I think the environment is improving, but we can always do more. I'll never apologise for HR and others being proud of Achilles and wanting to promote it. We have invested a lot in people, wellbeing and charitable contribution programs, so I'm proud of people telling others about it. It's easy to say I/we won't listen so why bother, but that seems like a cop out to me. I know we can improve so I would encourage you to provide feedback so I can understand what happened, and see what we can to do change and improve. Please feel free to contact me directly at glassdoor@achilles.com. I wish you luck in your next role.

    3. 1.0
      Former Employee, more than 5 years

      Just not worth it...

      Dec 6, 2018 - Anonymous Employee 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      If you can keep your head down and avoid the executives; the majority of other people there are some of the best and nicest people I've ever worked with. Always willing to help and actually seem to have more of an idea about how the company does and should work.

      Cons

      The management there consistently let all aspects of the business down; trying to foster a friendly 'fun' working style which immediately disappears as soon as anyone mentions an issue with whatever 'pulled out of thin air' plan they are currently trying to sell... Constantly informing all staff that they are valued and wanted - but then screaming and yelling when they don't get their way or someone dares dissent. Regular rounds of redundancies and mysterious staff disappearances (always followed up with a cheery email stating they have left on their own accord and that management is ever so sorry to see them go...) have ruined any faith that staff might have in this company. The very fact that the use of Contractors is so wide spread in the company, even in senior positions, was concerning - even more so was the fact that half of them leave before their contract is over, suddenly realising that there was little to no point in putting forward great ideas - as many managements don't want that, they wanted you to blindly follow them down a path. The last year of working at Achilles was near soul destroying. Lack of respect from senior management mixed with their desperation to push a failing plan through makes this company a depressing place to work.

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      8 people found this review helpful

      Achilles Information Response

      CEO

      Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback, although I am disappointed you didn’t feel comfortable talking me in person or via email and share your concerns. I've talked to many people across the business understand how to improve the way we work, and I strongly encourage that, it's been very helpful. I appreciate the feedback on the people as I agree, we have great people who want to help each other be successful. It's the core of who we are. I’d like to address a generic point you make about Achilles as a workplace. We've made changes to improve how we operate and get closer to our customers, and I'm very pleased to say this has been very well received. Screaming and shouting and being a depressing place to work just doesn't resonate and I never encounter that in any of the offices I visit – in fact, what I find is committed people with a positive frame of mind about Achilles collaborating across projects and ideas. That being said, screaming and shouting isn't acceptable behaviour and if you have encountered that, please reach out to me so I can address this. We have challenges we're working through, and I accept any feedback to improve. I’m sorry that you don’t experience the positives, and my door is always open to hear more about your concerns. Please do get in touch.

    4. 1.0
      Current Employee, more than 3 years

      Poor and often confused engagement from top management causes disaffected staff

      May 2, 2018 - Anonymous Employee in Abingdon, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Oh dear! I struggle to think of any lately. My fellow workers at grass roots are great. Those of us who are left are growing more disillusioned but put on a brave face. I guess there is a belief that the company can be salvaged.

      Cons

      Poor senior management - a clear power struggle just below CEO level. This leads to indecision and misinformation. One Exec member creates all the issues and then she steals all the credit for anything that may go right. Worse still she blames and bullies those who work all hours trying to implement her half thought through changes. Never ever a credit, never ever a simple 'thanks for the effort' (unless you are in her inner sanctum). The management team just create dysfunction in the business. I look at all the 'positive' Glassdoor reviews and they are clearly 'management speak' or written by someone who is paid to 'big up' the company - its all SPIN. Decisions are made, then overturned by certain individuals based on "because I said so!" rather than on a well thought through business case. Impossible deadlines are set, especially where changes to our software 'product platforms' are concerned. This has created a passive-aggressive atmosphere over the past year or so. Senior managers either are 'no shows' at important meetings, forget to share detail and then claim they have or don't deliver actions that they have undertaken themselves and then conveniently forget them. One senior Exec member is narcissistic - her success and profile are more important than anything else. There is a revolving door of people coming and going within the company - mainly going recently. Some employees seem be dismissed by stealth. Its clear to us that members of the management team intentionally or even unintentionally drive division between members of teams or functions - we are staring dysfunction in the eye! Town Hall briefings - When the CEO of the organisation doesn't appear to know what is going on, it's clear that the dysfunction has spread to the core of the operation. He is living in Neverland!

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      8 people found this review helpful
    5. 1.0
      Current Employee, more than 3 years

      If ever there was a business in ‘free fall’ to disaster - this is it!

      Apr 24, 2018 - Account Executive in Abingdon, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Fellow workmates, potential for recovery, dedicated and professional staff. Good potential and current position in the market. The company has a good reputation in what is a challenging market for us.

      Cons

      Where to start? It has to be at the top! Lots of talk about ‘challenging’ the status quo etc. How can you do that in an atmosphere of fear for your job created by good old fashioned bullying and aggressive behaviour by a certain female member of the ‘Exec team’ who clearly favours certain individuals whilst openly castigating others. These behaviour traits went extinct some years ago.....but not here! Poor internal communication and half-baked decisions overturned almost on a daily basis creating confusion. No accountability for lack of progress in this ‘blame culture’. This business is losing its customer base and hence its revenues with no one in senior management being held to account. It appears that the Exec Team is disfunctionL which creates confusion at all levels. The Emperors New Clothes have been delivered to Achilles! When will the next round of redundancies happen to reduce the overhead?

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      7 people found this review helpful

      Achilles Information Response

      CEO

      Thank you for your review. I'm glad you feel we have a good reputation, and I agree that we have dedicated and professional staff. I was really disappointed to read the remainder of your review. I don't recognise the culture you write about, nor the 'disfunctional' exec team. In our Town Halls, and internal communications we talk a lot about accountability, and I believe that this is something that we need to lead from the front. I simply don't recognise the fearful atmosphere you write about - when I spend time in any of our offices, not just Abingdon or London, I encounter a positive atmosphere, with people keen to work for Achilles and who enjoy working with one-another. If you have an issue with a colleague, all you have to do is tell me or HR and we can help - using this forum to single out someone is perhaps not particularly constructive. To make the statement that we are a 'business in freefall to disaster' perhaps shows a lack of understanding - especially considering we have signed new, large customers, grown key lines of revenue and overall profit compared to last year. Sure, the changes we have put in place to create this have been hard, but Achilles is a business in a good place to move forward, and I'm sorry you don't feel this way too. I would welcome the opportunity to discuss this with you - please do let me know.

    6. 2.0
      Former Employee, more than 5 years

      Sales

      Mar 25, 2018 - Anonymous Employee 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Colleagues are nice Tea and coffee onsite

      Cons

      Senior management Nepotism Business and execs appear comfy and therefore stuck in their ways working to ways of old despite what gets communicated.

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      10 people found this review helpful

      Achilles Information Response

      CEO

      Thank you for your review. I'm disappointed to hear you feel that way about Achilles. I take all feedback seriously and if you look at what we have done to improve the organisation over the last twelve months, based on direct feedback from colleagues and customers, I think we have made significant strides, although still have work to do. I would encourage you the same way, please come and discuss this with me.

    7. 1.0
      Former Employee, more than 5 years

      Isolating. Certain leaders dictate to the point of bullying.

      Mar 3, 2018 - Operations in Abingdon, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      There are some really nice colleagues at Achilles who work very hard. The sector initially appealed and was why I joined as working with customers in this space was appealing. Really nice modern benefits put in place. Online and finally competitive.

      Cons

      The business has somewhere missed the market pace and is dated. Senior management is set in their ways and do not appear aligned, with favouritism dictating and that sets the mood across the teams. I looked at my manager and above and these layers were increasing in size yet the actually teams who were doing the work were being exited. Reductions seemed selective on whether you were in the inner circle and the CEO needs to look closer at exec conduct, revenue, size of business and maybe compare over the past 6 years plus number of staff exited by the company vs execs exited by the the company and ask some tough questions.

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      11 people found this review helpful

      Achilles Information Response

      CEO

      Thank you for your review. I am pleased that, like me, you are happy with the new benefits we have in place - I agree that they are competitive and modern. I am disappointed however, to read your other feedback. There have been changes to the structure over the last year, and we have not taken these decisions lightly or without careful consideration of the impact on our operations. We have actually reduced the number of executives and layers to provide more opportunity, but it's something we will continue to look at to ensure we do what's right our colleagues and puts us in the best position to deliver value to our customers. I encourage you to help us improve and come to me so we can talk through what we can do differently to improve.

    8. 1.0
      Former Employee, more than 5 years

      Go elsewhere

      Jan 25, 2018 - Anonymous Employee in Abingdon, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      The bus stop is really close, like literally outside; perfect for quick getaways. It's also right by a chemist which is handy for picking up painkillers to combat stress induced headaches. Also, the vending machine would occasionally dispense more than one item. Result! The nearby coffee shop maintains a constant flow of caffeine which proves invaluable when you are expected to work all hours to manage unrealistic workloads caused by recruitment freezes and redundancies. At Christmas, a premium is paid for a company to come in and abandon Christmas Trees on each floor, normally where only a small percentage of people can actually see them. Oh, I heard the CEO and SMT read a book about WIGs. I’ve been told this means 'Wildly Ineffectual Goals'? Well, it seems to have paid off as Achilles has managed to lose an entire business community and has also witnessed a collapse in knowledge base. To be fair, some line managers showed real talent and great leadership (If they haven't been culled in the never-ending OD). There are a multitude of Tassimo machines which are practically unused and now serve as a daily example of a company that promises plenty but ultimately delivers very little. But by far the biggest Pro for me, is that I do not work there anymore.

      Cons

      Flagrant Crony-ism at the top. Other reviews have already said there is also a lot of favouritism, and I strongly agree. It’s actually really interesting to see how popular the negative reviews are by comparison to the 5 star ones. Almost as if they are painting a more accurate picture of what is going on here? Certainly, if I were to base my decision for working here on Glass Door reviews, I’d be more inclined to take heed of the critics, as should you. Nepotism is rife within the company. It is widely known that Executive team members have offered over inflated salaries to former colleagues who are not necessarily a right fit for the industry. It appears that money is the only thing Achilles can offer to attract talent. It certainly isn't business acumen or the opportunity to join a successful company. This has been made very apparent by people leaving after a few months with the company and having made no real impact, as they realise the magnitude of its failings - which are too vast to list. If that were not bad enough, there is this constant reshuffling of senior management, seemingly with the same people taking up new positions in this endless cycle of rearrangement. Perhaps that is the problem, not so much the failure of fulfilling of these roles but the people being used to fill them. I think it fair to say in this regard that the company has one dictator and SHE isn't the CEO. Unfortunately, it's her way or the highway. Personal development is not encouraged, at least at a company level. If you are lucky enough to have a supportive and encouraging line manager their requests to develop their down line are met with the same reply – ‘not if it costs money’, and yet, curiously, budget can always be found to fund Cotswold business retreats, champagne lunches and first class business travel, particularly when the aforementioned non-CEO is involved. Self-preservation by any means necessary is high on the agenda, and frequently that results in people being ‘thrown under a bus’ by underqualified magpie ‘managers’ to cover up their lack of experience and knowledge. But that’s ok, all is forgiven with a smiley face in an email afterwards.

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      22 people found this review helpful

      Achilles Information Response

      CEO

      I was really disappointed to read your review, and that you feel so profoundly negative towards a company of which I am proud to run. Although I do agree with you that we sometimes forget the small things, and that it's really nice to work at a place that has good food options. We are proud of our recruitment process we have in place for the recruitment of all staff. Over recent months we have made some excellent hires which I believe truly expand, rather than diminish the knowledge base of the company. I acknowledge that during 2017, there was a meaningful amount of movement within roles for many people in Achilles, however now the restructuring is over, I believe that we have the right people in the right jobs to do well. We are confident that training has improved and we are reviewing the skills within the organisation to ensure we have the best training framework possible. We encourage everyone to apply for roles, post them, and in the end it really is up to the individual to participate in his/her development. That said, I take responsibility for improving in recruitment and development and we will continue to make that a priority. I am disappointed that you did not feel able to approach me whilst you worked here – at every Town Hall, and in every email I send, I encourage staff to come and talk to me if they have an idea or an issue. I hope any other existing employees will feel able to approach or email me if they have any concerns. I do wish you the best in your future endeavors and encourage you to be part of the solution.

    9. 1.0
      Current Employee, more than 5 years

      ‘Dead Wood’

      Nov 5, 2017 - Anonymous Employee 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Achilles is extremely resourceful. No matter how many negative reviews get posted here you always get a smattering of polarised standpoints afterwards that are presumably either from misguided sycophants or manufactured by desperate members of HR. I’d love to know who is writing these reviews as their saccharine appraisals and experiences are clearly differing from the majority not to mention reality. Simply put, this company works for the few not the many.

      Cons

      Achilles is in financial trouble and you don’t need to work here to find that out. Having spent too long believing it’s own hype and terrible investment in sub standard platforms the result is a loss of assets and talent in an unprecedented free fall. Even after the recent swathe of redundancies, key employees continue to leave Achilles and tellingly some even with no job to go on to. Stress is rife as roles are simply absorbed into others in place of desperately needed recruitment. As a further insult, the office walls are now emblazoned with company rhetoric. From my desk I see the words ‘Accountable for results’ in black sans serif, stencilled to the walls and yet almost daily you encounter situations that are deemed to be someone else’s problem. ‘People Focused’ shouts from another wall, towering ironically above the heads of a demonstratively self interested HR department. A typical day is punctuated with notifications from the self congratulatory company social network, a place where where AMs and Senior Management back slap each other for basically doing their job, whilst sharing pictures of business lunches consumed during first class business trips and desperately jostling for the CEO’s attention. An initiative that in reality serves only to fuel popularity against any real achievement. ‘One Team’ is a term that is flailed about like a knotted rope to the extent of having now even been adopted by the new HR platform as it’s name. The question is will you be on this team or not and there is clear division between those who are and those who are not and that will all depend on whose shoes you shine, not about how hard you work. For Achilles is about exclusion not inclusion; and that is the true culture of this company. It is a fickle mistress and to the sneering 5 star reviewer from the 15th October I say this: I’m grateful for your appraisal of the recent redundancies being an opportunity to get rid of ‘dead wood’, for this demonstrates perfectly the sort of person who will do well at Achilles and the ‘monkey tree organisation’ that has always been at it’s heart. It is being continually perpetuated by this kind of dismissive and elitist snobbery, and has only served to propel people into roles they are clearly not ready for. If you really are willing to risk the 5 star opinions, then go for it, but remember you are just as expendable and meaningless to this company as the person who wrote that appalling review. You are better than this.

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      21 people found this review helpful

      Achilles Information Response

      CEO

      Thank you for your review – we appreciate every review, whether good or bad, and I think your particular review provides food for thought. All of the issues you raise are important, and you may have heard me address a number of these directly in the recent all company Town Hall meeting. The culture of the organisation, the value we place on employee satisfaction, these are all things that are important to me as CEO, and I do genuinely believe in the company values we espouse – One Team, People Focused, Accountable for Results and Customer First. When we did our Employee Survey a year ago we heard loud and clear that we needed to work on recognition and helping people in other regions feel like they are part of Achilles. I believe in this 100%, thanking and recognising colleagues is important, even if they are just doing their jobs. Including colleagues in other regions is as well and I want to do much more of that, not less. Recognition and inclusion is central to what we are trying to do, and I am proud of the programs we have put in place. Right now our employee turnover is not out of sync with industry averages, and our improvement in this area will continue to be a key point of focus. We are committing to further improving our employee engagement with improved benefits, career development and progression plans. I agree with you that investing in people is key, and I welcome you to participate and give feedback directly to be part of the solution. As far as financial health we are growing revenue, profit and cash, so all very positive from an Achilles perspective. I’m always keen to hear current employees’ views and ideas on how we can improve Achilles – please, come and share your thoughts and opinions directly, and we can work together to improve, as ultimately it’s all our responsibility. Alternatively, please don’t hesitate to email glassdoor@achilles.com to continue a discussion.

    10. 1.0
      Current Employee

      Racing to the bottom.

      May 9, 2016 - Anonymous Employee in Milton, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Honestly can't think of any at this stage. The company has descended so far in the last few years that all positivity has been lost in the chaos.

      Cons

      The changes of leadership (though that word is incorrectly used - there really is NO leadership in Achilles, no communication and certainly no vision nor strategy commonly understood through the business - has ensured that Achilles is a Company which has truly lost its way recently. The debacle of outsourcing its IT 4 years ago hasn't helped, but even now the software is 1990's standard, full of glitches and bugs, consistently late and with huge over-promises made to customers versus what it actually delivers (which is not a great deal in all honesty). The most recent change on management (for it's certainly not leadership by any dictionary definition of that word) has seen a disparate group assume 'control' and in pursuit of either a hidden (bad) or no (worse) agenda other than perhaps to ensure that as many of what remains of the workforce after their culling has finished are as disillusioned as possible with the way they're treated. As others have mentioned, benefits are extremely limited - no healthcare, poor car allowance values c/f other businesses, life insurance just 3x salary (barely ok if one dies 'in service') and a bare minimum 3% pension. Salaries are poor down the ranks; though at the senior level are eye-wateringly high. The one excellent and progressive benefit - a flexitime system befitting a 21st century Co in tune with the need for work/life balance has been removed (with absolutely no compensation offered) as the powers that be deem it to be 'extra holiday' - quite missing the fact that it's simply giving a very few of the 'free' hours regularly worked as unpaid overtone and necessitated by the inadequate platforms and processes back to the hard working teams. There is no sense that Achilles values anything about the people it suggests are its key differentiator as a 'service' provider - people are simply a cheap and expendable commodity judging by the way they're treated by senior management. This is not a good business, and it's spiralling downhill fast.

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      19 people found this review helpful
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