American Red Cross

www.redcross.org

American Red Cross Reviews

Updated January 30, 2015
Updated January 30, 2015
827 Reviews
2.8
827 Reviews
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American Red Cross President and CEO Gail McGovern
Gail McGovern
392 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Making a difference in recipient lives and promotes diversity (in 37 reviews)

  • Helping People in disasters, having a company vehicle to take clients to the doctor (in 39 reviews)


Cons
  • No work/life balance (it's required that you still check and respond to emails while on PTO) (in 19 reviews)

  • Upper management almost constantly changes operations and organizational structure (in 34 reviews)

More Highlights

123 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    IT is now Outsourced

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at American Red Cross full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    As they have done away with ARC IT Staff in the field, there aren't any unless yu elect to work for National HQ. There yu will be in charge of a staff of employees from another company.

    Cons

    They had a highly respected IT Staff until the to brass at national HQ decided to 'save' money by outsourcing the entire field IT team. They now pay a premium for minimal support from less knowledgable staff. Many of the proprietary systems have and are falling by the wayside.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please reference 'Penny-wise and pound foolish...

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 4 people found this helpful  

    Going down down down

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Albany, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Albany, NY

    I worked at American Red Cross

    Pros

    Good concept for humanitarian assistance. Staff work hard and have good hearts and intentions.

    Cons

    Management doesn't have a clue. Takes advantage of staff, makes poor decisions, wastes staff and donor time. Need to revisit pay scale system. Those in executive positions are highly compensated while others are not. continually downsizing.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Wake up!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    An unfortunate situation of no employee compassion, concern and a disparaging disconnect with management.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at American Red Cross full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The pay can be decent

    Cons

    Poor health coverage. Training is incredibly poor inconsistent with very little direction, guidance or follow-up.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Your open door policy is non existent. Staff are scared with no reason to feel loyal. What you have done to staff since R2 implementation and before actually has created such an air of distrust. Pay attention. We need a quality of life. The expectations and pressures are so outrageous, the only out come is either service failure or process failure. What's left after that? Lives are at stake and with this sort of high pressured negative work environment, the only person that really looses out is the patient.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
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  5.  

    Choose somewhere else... Unless you have NO other choice (Seriously)!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at American Red Cross full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    -You're working for an organization that's generally viewed positively.
    -You will make a difference if you do your job.
    -Looks great on your resume as a volunteer or paid staff.
    -Relatively easy to get a job. Especially, if you volunteer first and take on leadership roles.
    -You can go far as a volunteer.
    -If you love what you do despite the faults, you will make it through

    Cons

    -Overworked
    -No job stability/security
    -No investment for applicable employee professional development (everything is Red Cross training)
    -Nowhere to move to (your lucky you kept your job... for now)
    -People can be moody, whiney, and nitpicky because they're living on the edge
    -You can't help everyone who shows up
    -The cons are a NATIONAL problem. Every Red Cross... Everywhere in America!
    -Work/life balance? Doesn't exist, even on the calmest day

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The CEO makes more than 15x's the average worker who needs a minimum of an Associates Degree (usually a Bachelors) and a minimum of 2+ years experience (This was a few years ago so she probably makes well over $500,000.00 plus perks, free health care for herself and family, tons of vacation time, etc.). The employee's on the other hand are barely living paycheck to paycheck. We don't expect six figures, but struggling to pay the rent because I needed to see the doctor is ridiculous. Many of us are managing regional areas that may involve several states and counties. This is all areas: Blood Services, Disaster Cycle Services, Fund Development, Workforce Engagement, I don't care what section/department, you will be responsible for implementation of initiatives and goals of a wide area with very little compensation.

    Upper management enjoys having the time of their lives, while they treat their paid workforce like modern day slaves. With the continuous national restructuring, no ones job is ever secure. Whoever survives, you'll be doing the work of 20 people with new "initiatives" handed down (with no support) that are just unrealistic. There is a strong culture because we are all humanitarians at heart, but it's not implemented daily. Lights... Camera... Action... for the media though.

    Volunteers are unreliable and you constantly have to stroke their ego to get them to do anything. They often feel that they don't need to support you because after all, you're the one that's getting paid. They hate all the changes, but management caters to them because they are this organizations goldmine. Management pulls on the strings of those wanting to do a good thing, but they do little in return. You won't be getting much in return for your selfless service as a volunteer. However, if you take on a role as if it's your full-time job, you'll get treated better than paid staff. For the rest of you volunteers, you'd be lucky to get a sincere ''thank you''.

    If you're surrounded by employees with low moral after being threatened of being laid off several times, the constant increased lack of job security, low pay, lack of development, and real opportunities for growth... you'll be stuck between a rock and a hard place. On one hand you know exactly how they feel and can't really expect anything different, but their lack of moral is creating a heavier workload on you and well...should you really report them and make matters worse?

    Oh the powers that be... Layoff from the top, we won't notice they're gone. Oh, and since you're not going to invest in you paid employees... you minus well invest in your volunteers. That's all you'll have since you keep laying people off. You're one major disaster away from being disbanded. Good luck running a national "non-profit" organization solely with volunteers. Red Cross will be history soon enough.

    This review is just the tip of the iceberg. You have to be in it, to get it. Seriously, save yourself the trouble. It may seem ok at first, but you'll be like a fish out of water in no time. Being stuck waiting on your next move in this environment (which is a NATIONAL problem) is well...Depressing. :(

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 9 people found this helpful  

    A Den of Thieves Posing as a Charity

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at American Red Cross full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    You get to help people in their time of need.

    Cons

    The American Red Cross operates like a pyramid scheme – those on top get all the perks while those on the bottom get all the dross (low pay, crappy hours, etc.). If you work here your view may vary depending upon your position and department but it doesn’t hide the overall truth. The American Red Cross is in the middle of a massive downsizing that started in 2008 and is set to continue at least until 2017. Nearly all the grumbling you see stems from that simple fact.

    Our CEO Gail McGovern’s favorite slogan is “One Red Cross.” This is either clever propaganda or wishful thinking. The American Red Cross has at least four diverse operations operating under its roof at all times – Service to the Armed Forces, blood services, disaster relief, and health and safety education. Each has their own goals and procedures. But whenever senior management wants to cut costs, they make sweeping changes that end up impacting each department detrimentally.

    For instance: They cut staffing to the bone, close down local chapters left and right, then institute a new policy where only 10% of staff can be off any given day. In most offices that means only one person gets off. If you’re not that person, you are out of luck. You can’t use PTO; you can’t just take the day off without pay. You must come in or you will be disciplined. Essentially, they’ve created uniform top-down system that doesn’t factor in the needs of each individual office or employee. Now, translate that attitude to disaster relief or blood services and you can see why current employees are upset, client complaints are increasing, and there is more negative press about the organization as a whole (check out ProPublica’s series of exposes for yourself).

    That may sound like a petty complaint, but it is just a small example of how everything is done here, and in the end all these “little things” add up. If you want another one, ask anyone about the newly instituted holiday policy. Instead of the usual 10 nationally recognized holidays we are given a miserly six with four “floating” holidays. We are told the company is just following industry standards but shouldn’t a national recognized non-profit be leading the charge for more and better benefits instead of joining the rush to the bottom?

    My particular department is a complete mess. There is no communication from above. Literally, none. I have had a new director for a year and a half and have yet to receive one email from him. And that despite a massive program of changes that he has instituted. The communication is just as poorly handled the other way around. Not only does management never ask any questions before making decisions, but if any suggestion or complaint is sent through the chain of command it disappears into the ether never to be seen or heard from again. This is the very definition of dysfunctional.

     And absolutely none of these changes are about actually improving service. They just make it look like we are improving service by manipulating the numbers. Unfortunately, what management forgets is that these “numbers” are actually individual clients with individual needs. In the end, they have taken a good idea and turned it into nothing but a con game. This has been the most disheartening job of my entire professional career. I thought I was joining a benevolent humanitarian organization and it just ended up being another greedy, poorly run corporation.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None. It's like talking to a brick wall.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 3 people found this helpful  

    Very frustrating. Organization does not treat employeer very well. Inconsiderate to the point of nearly hostile.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at American Red Cross full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Used to be a good organization.

    Cons

    The organization has been taken over by people with a corporate mindset. Management only in it for the money and not for the mission. Upper management mostly trying to maximize their retirement funds. Account managers are the lowest form of life and often treated with little or no respect. 60, 70 and 80 hours a week not uncommon. Blood drives often under-staffed. Equipment and vehicles need to be replaced or upgraded. Tremendous lack of communication. Upper managedment is often inconsiderate and uncaring. Constant change is the rule. Promises made are seldom kept.. No one willing to stand up for those under them.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be careful how you treat those who work for you. Most people will work harder for someone who treats them well. At the present time, I would not recommend that anyone take a position at the American Red Cross.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    The culture is different...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at American Red Cross

    Pros

    The name & its a non-profit

    Cons

    Everything, pay, management, equality, favoritism

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get better management period.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    anonymous

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Manufacturing Technician I in Wichita, KS
    Current Employee - Manufacturing Technician I in Wichita, KS

    I have been working at American Red Cross

    Pros

    Great people to work with. The cause is awesome for helping people in needed. Plenty of PTO

    Cons

    Very stressful, no family life Balance. Long hours for very little pay. Hard to take off because of the turn over.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take better care of your employees, show them that what they do is worth their time.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  10.  

    Not a good place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at American Red Cross full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    They help people with disasters and fires. Benefits are okay I had good insurance there.

    Cons

    They have no perks for the hard working people they want too much management and volunteers to do all the work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get all new management that does not need big salaries and bonuses.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 5 people found this helpful  

    Bad company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Donor and Client Support Specialist in Charlotte, NC
    Current Employee - Donor and Client Support Specialist in Charlotte, NC

    I have been working at American Red Cross

    Pros

    Nothing pros to mention. Run away

    Cons

    They only promote who ever they want, favoritism, horrible senior management, bad total benefits package

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Need to focus on employees especially the good ones

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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