US Department of Veterans Affairs

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US Department of Veterans Affairs Reviews

Updated August 16, 2014
Updated August 16, 2014
502 Reviews

3.2
502 Reviews
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Approve of CEO
US Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki
Eric K. Shinseki
214 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great work life balance as overtime typically is frowned upon (in 18 reviews)

  • The VA has good pay, good benefits and opportunities for training (in 33 reviews)


Cons
  • It was clear that it was a hostile work environment from day one (in 16 reviews)

  • The upper management had no idea what was happening in the different departments (in 14 reviews)

More Highlights

64 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    After almost decade. It was time to get out for my health

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Social Worker  in  South Bradenton, FL
    Former Employee - Social Worker in South Bradenton, FL

    Pros

    Job stability, pay, helping vets

    Cons

    Terrible unethical management, They have a list of policies and procedures for you to follow, but management chooses what to follow. I have personally witnessed violation of due process and lack of regard for any ethics, laws. As a Social Worker, you are marginalized if you speak your mind (as a social worker should). Even after all of this VA stuff in the news, the management still says they provide "exceptional healthcare and their VAC is the best. Denial and deceptive practices keep this place in operation. My advice, if you have a brain and think for yourself, stay away and find
    something else. It is all about numbers and bonuses.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Nothing, they don't listen to you

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  2.  

    Terrible!

    Current Employee - Management and Program Analyst  in  Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Management and Program Analyst in Washington, DC

    Pros

    The honor of serving our Nation's Veterans

    Cons

    Antiquated technology, extremely fast turnaround times for workers in central office. Horrendous upper management.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Unsupportive bureaucratic culture

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Social Worker  in  New York, NY
    Current Employee - Social Worker in New York, NY

    Pros

    The best starting salary and above average benefits (except for vacation time) The work is meaningful and the clients are great.

    Cons

    Social Workers feel oppressed, disregarded, disempowered and misinformed by unnecessary mid-management. ethics leave much to be desired. Can't tell if middle management is incompetent or just nasty. I hope this is different in other VA locations but will leave as soon as the right job presents itself. I'm sorry
     I let the pay suck me in.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Learn how to manage people -- it shouldn't be by fear tactics and negativity. And stop with the impossible to meet metrics. Don't you read/listen to the news?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Internal hiring creates sub-optimal work environment

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

    Pros

    Population served; Opportunities to relocate and transfer; Pay

    Cons

    Medical professions compete against each other even though the VA promotes interdisciplinary teams; Internal transfers and promotions create incestuous and petty dynamic at some locations

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop supporting culture of Draconian hierarchical Kafka-esque hellscape by not rewarding leadership for "turning a blind-eye" or "staring straight ahead."

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Vicious and Backstabbing.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Project Manager  in  Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Austin, TX

    Pros

    You can't work anywhere else and are comfortable being in an impossible situation. If you care about veterans or anything you need to quit, as I did, and run. The culture is unsalvageable.

    Cons

    No communications. Leadership gets their position by seniority even though they often have no skills pertaining to the job.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop talking about helping veterans unless you intend to do so. Everyone there is just trying to climb the public service ladder and has no sense of how to run their jobs.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    File Clerk

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - File Cerk  in  Bronx, NY
    Current Employee - File Cerk in Bronx, NY

    Pros

    The benefits were just okay

    Cons

    The company seems horrible in which way they treat employees. Government workers at their best.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get with the program and hire new people who are innovative.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Go somewhere else

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

    Pros

    8 hour days- very relaxing.

    Cons

    Background: I’m a GS 14 with a Master’s in public policy and BS from a military academy, combat disabled veteran.

    Most people have concern with getting into the VA, my story is a bit different. I’m sharing my negative experiences with moving within and ultimately leaving the organization. I work at VACO- VA central office in DC. I came in as a GS 12-10 to get as close as my matching pay from the private sector. The position capped at a 12, I was naïve enough to think I could just navigate my way through the ranks a year at a time. Doesn’t work that way at VA. I interviewed for three different positions at the 13/14 level over a three year period. In my own bias observation, I was more qualified than those interviewing me- which if you haven’t experienced leads to awkward conversation. Pockets of the good ole boy system are in place: 1) protectors of the tab (career employees) 2) for profit education 3) retired military officers. These three groups strive to maintain the order. If you don’t fit into one of these you will have difficulty progressing.

    During the time of turmoil at the VA, and it seems every week a high profile appointee is getting the axe/resigning, I secured other federal employment. I gave a three week notice, but because the timing of the pay periods it was considered a two week notice. This is important to note, because VA extended me to five weeks in total. I have to wait the maximum 30 days to start at my new agency. You might figure I have important projects or continuity issues to resolve before departure- nope. The topic of my exit meeting with my supervisor consisted of new projects to accomplish before I exit. The scope of the projects are well outside my “duties” and expertise. Can’t really figure this one out. Only hurts the organization and me, but it would require emotional intelligence, self-awareness to understand.

    As Vets struggle to get in, I am struggling to get out. I’ll make it through by exhausting annual and sick leave over the next few weeks. The agency is broken with “leaders” who are not leaders. “leaders” who maxed their technical areas and now sit in managerial positions. It’s embarrassing to work for someone who can’t depict from goals and tasks. There are so many problems within, VA focuses on patching the issues with long term strategies that brief well never to be executed. The organization is flooded with ideas, but never make it past the monitoring phase when priorities will shift again. Lack of change management. VA should focus on fixing the infrastructure, starting with the “leaders.” As a result of the current leadership, the talent gap at the agency will continue to widen over the few years. I’m abruptly ending this, done venting.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    POOR, discriminating managers and directors

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Staff RN  in  Bay Pines, FL
    Former Employee - Staff RN in Bay Pines, FL

    Pros

    benefits, "the underlings" cling together for support

    Cons

    Management, management, management, treat the underlings unfair, bullying by Nurse Managers and Chief of Primary Care lies, doesn't listen, toxic environment runs rampant,

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    teat your employees as real people, they in turn will produce better quality of work

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Our Nations Heroes deserve better!!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Registered Nurse  in  Amarillo, TX
    Former Employee - Registered Nurse in Amarillo, TX

    Pros

    Great satisfaction caring for our Veterans. The Veterans were so grateful and I received praise, gratitude and hugs from them everyday I was there. I am grateful for each and every Veteran I cared for and the job satisfaction I received from serving them. I was rarely thanked by patients in the private sector for the first 20-years of my career.

    Cons

    Small minded individuals were tolerated along with their gossip, unsubstantiated accusations and work place sabotage. If unable to dismiss someone on facts drummed up reasons are accepted.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get in the trenches and really see what is going on and being tolerated. The veterans deserve better care from better employees that are not ridding their timeout to retire on our tax dollars for a pension! It should not take 2-3-years to get glasses and teeth or 3-6 months for elective surgery!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    Waste of time

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Mail Clerk  in  Denver, CO
    Former Employee - Mail Clerk in Denver, CO

    Pros

    Compensatin plan for federal employees

    Cons

    Everything, kiss butt atomsphere, and it is not veteran friendly

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    They need to consider changing careers

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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