Stratus Dental Group Reviews

Updated 19 Dec 2016

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3.1
67%
Recommend to a Friend
52%
Approve of CEO
Stratus Dental Group CEO Brandon M. Dawson (no image)
Brandon M. Dawson
6 Ratings
  1. Helpful (2)

    "Started company at the same time as the one star reviewer"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in Vancouver, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Stratus Dental Group full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Fact, Stratus has reset its leadership team three times in the last four years. Fact, when you are a start-up in a competitive industry the team that gets you from start to finish will go through turn over. Fact, in a free market you are paid what you are worth to an organization. I have never worked at an organization that cared so much about getting it right that it is willing to hit reset when things head off course and do the hard things instead of taking the complacent route that so many other companies tend to in order to keep all the people on the bus happy. The truth is that the bus has a limited amount of seats and they are highly coveted and if you are looking for an organization to coast along in while you build your resume- Stratus is not a fit for you.

    Cons

    Stratus is a services based organization run by people- not machines. People make mistakes and that's okay as long as those same people have accountability and the desire to improve. The best companies hire slow and fire fast. Stratus has, in the past hired opportunistically when back filling a role due to attrition. This practice has hurt more than helped in the long run and is no longer a standard practice. The recent hires within the last 6 months have increased the bench strength of the team and may have caused anxiety to others that do not possess the same skill set or more importantly the creativity and know how to get things done. It's hard to dial it in if your organization is 25 team mates small. But if your ambition is outpaced by your ability you may want to seek employment where expectations match your skill set.

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  2. Helpful (1)

    "Clear vision and focus - excited for growth!"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Stratus Dental Group full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    A major PRO is the ability for individuals whom love growth, challenge and change to truly sink their teeth in and contribute! They want us to have a voice and an impact on the company and our Members. It's definitely true that over the past 5 years, Stratus has gone through a lot of changes. Changes in leadership, staff, and the business model itself. The one thing I have seen consistent through that change is that this company has worked to understand the intricacies and layers of the dental industry and tried to find the area with the most opportunity. Because of that journey, there has been quite a few course corrections in order to get it right - as with most start-ups whom are trying to do the same. I appreciate this because I'd rather work for a company who's striving to get BETTER at how they can help the industry, rather than spinning its wheels doing the SAME things and expecting different results. Also, we have a Founder and CEO who is willing to invest in this journey. He's had to make some pretty hard decisions in order to balance that investment. I respect him for his efforts, his vision, and his belief that we can make a difference. He's building an amazing team.

    Cons

    A con for me is the fact that this type of environment is not for everyone, yet those whom are not a fit for this environment choose to stay here and make it miserable for those of us who believe in what we're doing and the direction that Stratus is going. Those who seek the same type of work environment on a daily basis, who don't want to be exposed to challenges, and just want comfort and a paycheck...this is the not the place for them. We have staff here who want those things, complain that they're not getting it, and blame others for it. Which ends up negatively affecting the vibe in the office. Take responsibility for yourself and find your happiness! Advice to those individuals: It's okay if you're not a fit here - please go find your comfort/fit elsewhere so that those of us who want to be here can enjoy one another and we can find amazing people who DO fit the PROs listed above. Life is too short!

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  3. Helpful (15)

    "Wow. Just wow."

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Stratus Dental Group full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The trial by fire approach of a startup company mixed with an underlying expectation of professional skills and career development pushed me to learn a huge amount of things that I had not experienced before. These include creating and delivering presentations, teaching classes, dealing with pissed off stakeholders (clients), contributing in a team environment, analyzing value, delivering high quality product with significant time constraints (resource/time management), and approaching problems with a solutions oriented mindset. It gave me the tools and experience I needed to polish my resume, demolish my next interview, and get a massive raise (at a new company). There was an unusual amount of amazing people there during my time at Stratus. I formed some awesome friendships and learned a lot from them. Unfortunately, they all left at key moments. (see cons) Bonus: You get to make up new English words and then use them all the time with clients!

    Cons

    To job searchers: Read this whole review and know what you are getting into. It's not all bad, but it is really hard, and you have no right to complain about things you knew to be true from reading reviews. You will not change the company, you will not make a lot of money, the "ground floor" is long gone, there is no incentive plan, the company is not making money, the company has been "about to take off" each quarter for the last 4 years. If all those things are okay with you and you still choose to work here, then go in knowing what you want to take away from the experience and take it. To remaining employees: There developed a very strong culture of closed door gripe sessions about everything that was wrong with the company. Most of these things were true and there was some huge obvious opportunities that were not being properly pursued due to a very pigeon-holed vision of what the company should be rather than what it could be. I knew it was going to be hard, and it was, but it is up to YOU the employee to decide when you're ready to go to the next job. Brandon Dawson created the company, and yes, your income and employment is linked to the success or failure of the company, but you cannot change Brandon's mind about what he wants to do with the company. If it is clear (it is) that he wants to do something specific with the future of the company, and that doesn't jive with you, then leave like everyone before you did. Don't interpret this as defense of Brandon - he is a piece of work, but I am not going to go into personal stuff. There is plenty of that already on here. My point is that this is not the kind of company that "takes care of their own" or is going to repay you for all the times you went above and beyond what should be expected. Do yourself a favor and leave before you reach the "why am I doing this to myself and my family" stage. Yes, Stratus expects way too much for what you get paid and you did get low-balled. The only reason you took the job is because you gobbled up their HR script about professional development and advancement opportunities and the non-existent incentive/compensation plan. It's part of the macro business model and I heard it directly from an upper manager with (very) loose lips (Ha...). --------- Stratus and parent company Audigy Group have admitted (internally) to posting planted Glassdoor reviews to avoid the ratings going down to 1. Trust me, if there is a glowing review, it is because it was planted by a PR person, requested from a favored employee (I was asked to do this at one point), or the person is part of Brandon Dawson's inner circle that actually make decisions and ride the gravy train (or actually continue to drink the Audigy cool-aid in mass quantities - aka his loyalists that haven't figured out that they are expendable once they disagree with a divine decision or initiative) Leadership turnover has been covered already, but let me give you the truth to offset that very strange 5-star review. True, turned over leadership 3+ times in 4 years. True, it is common to have leadership turnover in a startup environment. What you don't know is that these people come in with great intentions, employees fall in love with them when the company starts to shift in a positive direction, these persons get into an argument with Brandon Dawson about the new direction, or viability and sustainability of the current business model, they get blacklisted, and then either get terminated or get all their authority removed for a while before "resigning". Brandon does not want someone to lead Stratus dental to success, he wants a ventriloquist doll (oh, the mental imagery) that will regurgitate his ideologies and execute his vision for the company, and run the day to day operations until Brandon can step in at his convenience and redirect the company. These people are not actually CEOs in practice and they don't actually have any power to lead the company in any direction other than what Brandon has foretold. Stratus was so fixated on a business model that was not successful, that a lot of the amazing people were being underutilized or jerked around and about 90% of them left. So the leaders and employees you needed to take your company to success all left at critical moments and they were back to square one trying to figure out how to make these macro changes with new people. The learning curve is so steep in this company/industry that you cannot have an effective client facing consultant ready before 6-9 months. Hiring a manager from outside is similarly difficult because all the employees know 100% more than you do about Stratus and it's difficult to become credible. The clients can smell BS a mile away, and they are already cynical from the huge Stratus turnover rates that lead to inconsistency in both deliverables and progress within their practices. For the majority of the time I was there, the business model focused on how to retain existing customers and deliver them enough “value” through our ongoing deliverables and services that they would a.) stay with us as a client, and b.) be an advocate for our services and help to sway other dentists. There is a major disparity between the monthly service fee to clients and how much content and value was being delivered. The practice growth strategies developed are novel and “valuable” for the first year or so, but Stratus and the clients are both atrocious at implementation and change management in the practices, so probably 5-10% of our recommendations and products actually got implemented in the practice. One of the biggest complaints was lack of boots-on-the-ground consulting and implementation teams. Consulting is usually a high intensity engagement where you go deep instead of broad, and you deliver a customized solution and sometimes help with change management. It’s a lot of money in a short period of time, but you get personalized attention and solutions that are relevant to YOUR actual business. Stratus is a bunch of canned products that have very limited (if any) real-life testing and very limited proven effectiveness or adoption by clients (and thus clients are reluctant to endorse them since they don’t actually make a big difference). They expect struggling dental clients to pay them large sums each month (beginning at about $3250 and scaling depending on the size of the practice) for multiple years when 75+% of the value from Stratus is delivered in the first 3-4 months. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out why so many clients leave at 18 months to 2 years. Year one is new, they struggle through year one griping about when the will see the ROI, at end of the year they realize that nothing happened but they get a shiny new year-two plan, realize year 2 is the same crap, they complain about value, ROI, and money spent, get personalized attention to salvage relationship, realize it was just a last-ditch effort to keep them, and then finally leave fuming mad. The hardest part of the whole job was probably thinking about all the work you were doing and how hard your whole team was trying, and still have clients complaining about ROI and value all the time. The people at Stratus and the work effort was incredible. The problem was/is the product - Stratus is determined to offer an innovative product that “people don’t even know they want or need” in order to make their mark on the already flooded dental consulting & support industry. Clients were screaming “i want this from you” and instead of pursuing those universal wants, we insisted on systematizing and standardizing what we already had to offer to make it more efficient to deliver. Maybe it was all part of the 10 year plan, but I personally don’t view highly intelligent, educated, innovative, and motivated employees as expendable assets - especially when those people really wanted to help Stratus succeed and be part of something big. I also don't have 10 years to wait to develop my career when I can do it in 2 by moving companies. In 2016, there was a round of lay-offs to "cut the bottom 20%" of performers. The remaining staff were gathered at an all-staff meeting and told that they were the future of the company and that if they were here in this room, they were safe. Not two months later, a handful of people were laid off or terminated again in an effort to downsize and get closer to break-even (lol). I would guess we saw the company go from 55-60 down to what I hear now is about 20 employees. There is a bi-annual exodus from Stratus, and I think they are running out of smart people to recruit in the Vancouver & Portland area. That's a feat!

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  4. Helpful (14)

    "Leadership Writing Their Own Reviews"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Stratus Dental Group full-time

    Pros

    Incredible peers and client's. Challenging, meaningful work that is done by professional men/women with the best intentions. However, 90% have moved on to other companies after realizing the CEO was not a worthy Mentor. These people have gone on to some of the largest corporations in the country and are thriving, networking and making their communities better places to live.

    Cons

    CEO and his friends that are still trying to make the company work are more focused on punishing people that leave, writing fake reviews and blaming client's for their failures. There are still problems to solve within their client base and they have the tools to help them. I'd like to see them do so, rather than spend their time supporting the CEO's dream of becoming a public speaker.

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  5. Helpful (1)

    "Company Culture"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Stratus Dental Group

    Pros

    Teams really focus on company culture, great place to focus on goals

    Cons

    New company still working out growing pains

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  6. Helpful (3)

    "Roll Your Sleeves Up - It's Time to Work"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     in Vancouver, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Stratus Dental Group

    Pros

    The Stratus Team is hard-working, innovative, and supportive unlike many previous employers I worked for. New ideas are encouraged and there is a great deal of autonomy with the position. While changes often occurs very quickly, there is dialogue around what the impact may be and how each function plays a part in the organizational changes. The culture is forward thinking and very indicative of the NW lifestyle. Young professionals seeking a learning environment may do well as long as they are not afraid to receive constructive feedback and aren't afraid to speak up. This is not an environment you can take a back-seat in.

    Cons

    This is a business management consulting company, we don't always practice what we coach to our members. Furthermore, many organizations struggle to fully implement, or appropriately plan for the vast number of fast-moving changes that are presented from upper management, this is no exception. I don't believe the job itself was fully represented during the hiring process, so definitely a sizable learning curve moving into consulting.

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  7. Helpful (16)

    "Just Don't"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Vancouver, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Stratus Dental Group full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Hard working, smart, determined colleagues.

    Cons

    Terrible management. Lack of communication between the parent company and Stratus. Overtime is expected. Unfulfilled promises to members.

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  8. Helpful (2)

    "Stratus Good for Young Professionals"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Stratus Dental Group full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great place to work if you are young and ambitious. The pace of the work drives you to achieve high functioning organizational skills and the engagement with the members drives professional skill development. Team is made up of high performers who respect and support one another.

    Cons

    Incredibly demanding pace and the organization is still developing the organizational framework to support the business model.

  9. Helpful (2)

    "Loved the environment and the Leadership training"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Digital Marketing Intern in Vancouver, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Stratus Dental Group for less than a year

    Pros

    great environment to work in. I was an intern over the summer and I was able to talk with anyone and everyone I had asked to talk to including the president and CEO of the company. Everyone wanted to see you succeed and would do anything to help. I did tons of informational interviews and I felt like I made a dramatic difference at the company just in 3 months. That was an amazing feeling!

    Cons

    Because the company is small, everyone has a lot of their plate. More than I think most people even realize until they are burnt out and need to find a new job.

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