US Department of Veterans Affairs
3.2 of 5 464 reviews
www.vacareers.va.gov Washington, DC 5000+ Employees

US Department of Veterans Affairs Reviews

Updated Jun 30, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.2 464 reviews

                             

71% Approve of the CEO

US Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki

Eric K. Shinseki

(195 ratings)

60% of employees recommend this company to a friend
74 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    Be careful with Administrative and Support careers.

    Administrative (Former Employee)
    Lebanon, PA

    ProsHelping Veterans obtain good medical care. Decent paid time off. Basic benefits.

    ConsThe worst issue is rampant nepotism and cronyism in assignments, hiring, staffing, promotions, reviews and opportunities. Lower and Middle management operates largely unchecked and often with their own agendas. Chronic severe understaffing in administrative and IT tech fields compared to medical professionals.

    Approximately 25 % of medical staff openly disrespectful and sometimes hostile towards Veterans
    .
    Some benefits are not comparable to other large employers; No employer co-pay towards Dental or Eye care insurance. No short term disability program at all.

    Multiple years of pay freezes.

    With the right connections, you may do a fraction of the work load and quality level as your peers and still receive equal or superior ratings.

    Advice to Senior ManagementAdopt a new management culture eschewing continuous "band-aide" fixes. More closely monitor actions of middle management. Disperse the "Mother-daughter-sister-father-son-brother-neighbor-fellow church-member" confederations. Instead, hire more Veterans and far less insiders.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Federal jobs are not always worth the money

    Mental Health (Current Employee)
    Detroit, MI

    ProsGood pension plan and step increases. You will know your salary at the time of the interview. The union is very good and management does respect the union. The majority veterans are very appreciative of the services they receive.

    ConsLow work & family balance. Significant amount of stress which can carry over into your personal life. Constant pressure of productivity percentage but not quality. Management cares about what looks good on paper (e.g. percentages). Management does not like to promote or hire within. They would rather hire someone off the streets than to hire an internal applicant. There is racism within the VA. Be careful because its easy to become bitter due to work conditions. Most employees stay only because they need the money to support their families.

    Advice to Senior ManagementSay what you mean and mean what you say. Stop telling employees something on Monday then change it on Tuesday…be consistent and honest.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Went in with optimism, but facilitates waste and laziness

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsBenefits are great, retirement is so-so. There is an encouragement to stick to your 40 hours/week (with some qualifiers, noted below), so work/life balance can be acceptable, generally. The government's system for accumulating time off is great. Compensation is not awful, but not not great, though on the upper end for my position. There is something nice about having purpose in serving a specific population.

    ConsThere is no shortage of willingness to mislead employees. I was hired based on a specific skill set to coordinate a program, explained as if it was on the cusp of implementation. It wasn't, years ago, and still isn't.
    So that's the worst of all: The environment is steeped in tradition that makes approving any changes more than difficult. Then most of the employees treat anything new as heresy. It pretty much wholly discourages creativity.
    Additionally:
    - Easily 2/3 of staff are disgruntled, plaintive, oppositional, and generally negative.
    - There is essentially a "tenure" system which makes problematic employees difficult to deal with (at best).
    - Each medical center is a large organization with discrete groups and highly inadequate coordination between them. Recipe for nightmares.
    - There are minimal rewards for quality work, innovation, and high performance. For most employees, rather than try to do good work because they'll get a raise/bonus/etc., they simply work hard enough to not get disciplined. A dinky pin doesn't say much.
    - While employees are encouraged to stick to their 40 hours/week, clinicians are often given workloads that require considerably more time. Notifying management leads to reactions that create disincentive to work with management.
    - They have this weird proclivity to structure things similarly to the military. Giving hiring preference to veterans doesn't make that any better. It's a healthcare system; treat it as such.
    - There are only advancement opportunities for a few career paths.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPut emphasis into encouraging employees who do well. Even if informal, it creates a more positive culture and may even improve morale. Hopefully the benefits don't need explanation.
    Creativity should be a valued thing if you're going to encourage better performance. Redesigning a process shouldn't have to be kept under the radar.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Bait and Switch tactics and I took the fall for it.

    Medical Reimbursement Technician (Former Employee)

    ProsServing our vets. Retirement and vacation benefits. Coworkers.

    ConsUnrealistic quotas for probationary employees that have problem sites. Lack of training and hired for one position and switched to another 1st day at orientation. Then being dismissed after being told that you exceptional at your job, except for meeting quotas that you were just under 5 months earlier (the review period) but are exceeding now is beyond ridiculous.

    Advice to Senior ManagementDon't state and promise additional training then relieve the employee from duty instead stating that they're not making quota when in actuality you're trying to reduce the workforce because the CPAC is overstaffed and over budget. Especially for a review that was 5 months prior and now has been corrected and exceeded.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Worst Federal Job that I have held.

    Contract Specialist (Current Employee)

    ProsThis job prevented a break in federal service for me and a good paycheck. Training is very accessible and pushed by management.

    ConsLack of leadership from local management along with lack of leadership from senior GS employees. Trying to learn the job is difficult without mentoring. Prejudice working environment. Gossip. Everyone looking for a different job. No promotion potential in my office. "Select" people can do what they please while others are punished or told differently.

    Advice to Senior ManagementEquality needs to be shown within the office. Diversity among work groups. Take time to mentor employees and teach them how to correctly do the work. Listen and process some of the gossips before it gets out of control and everyone leaves.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Depends...

    Staff Pharmacist (Current Employee)
    Cleveland, OH

    ProsGreat Benefits
    Working environment good
    Modern Facility
    Advanced Medicine

    ConsSeverly understaffed
    Job satisfaction dependent on you Supervisor, Mine was awful
    Slow, slow, slow to implement changes
    Satisfaction depends on supervisors. Co-workers, etc.
    My supervisor discirminates harrasses against older Pharmacists
    Don't bother applying if you are over 35

    Advice to Senior ManagementRemove the Inpatient Pharmacy Supervisor. Listen to Staff Pharmacists more. Hire more !

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Very unorganized hospital

    Foodservice (Former Employee)
    San Francisco, CA

    ProsHigh level of job freedom. No one really "watching over you"

    ConsUnorganized, poor quality of care, administrative people dress in sweatpants to work, if the DMV was a hospital, it would be the VA

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Psychological Killer

    Addictions Therapist (Current Employee)
    Anchorage, AK

    ProsBeing able to give back to the men and women of this country who have sacrificed their lives so I could live in a free country.

    ConsAllowing an employee with a high school education to supervise, provide oversight, and write performance evaluations on licensed, professional, clinical staff. All unlicensed staff with college educations are bullied, intimidated, micromanaged, and retaliated against by a narcissist with a H.S.D. (High School Diploma).

    Advice to Senior ManagementWhen a sheep in wools clothing is given power, the Veterans are negatively affected.

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    interesting

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    Proshelping those who served our country

    Conspay is inadequate for the skill level required

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Logical people need not apply...

    Loan Specialist (Current Employee)

    ProsFlexible work schedule. Flexible leave. Retirement benefits.

    ConsIf it makes sense don't do it. If you think your here to help vets, you are wrong, the lender is who we cowtow to. I've seen better salary and health insurance in the private sector. Know that you are just a number, you are not here to think. Vets have veterans preference in the application process however I would not refer my worst enemy to work here. If you do choose to apply, be forewarned the application process moves at the speed of government often weaving you through convoluted twists and turns only to never get hired or worse actually getting the job. A large part of the bonuses are distributed to management and you're lucky to see 2% of your salary. Great deeds are largely overlooked. There is no room for growth unless you are a blonde female and are party to the "Suzy Miss Sunshine Club". They spy on your instant messages and emails. The younger employees are often looking for jobs elsewhere and the older employees have been beaten into submission, i.e. the Government Beat down. The employees wear the disdain for jobs on their faces day in and day out, some counting down the longest days to retirement, few grasp on to that last bit of hope that a job offer will come through and some, well some have taken the short walk down a long barrel.

    Advice to Senior ManagementWe are here to help veterans, not serve big business or even try to make them happy. The lenders certainly see the fruits of dragging our vets across the coals, management should stand true to the guidelines and quit bending the rules for the big banks. "To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan" Lincoln

    Aim to micromanage the lenders, not the employees. Reward inspirational efforts, exceptional work, phenomenal ideas, and superior employees. Offer tuition assistance. Allow employees to use different paths that get the same work done. If an employee doesn't meet productivity year after year, fire them. We are people, not machines treat us as such.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at US Department of Veterans Affairs reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for US Department of Veterans Affairs CEO Eric K. Shinseki. All 74 reviews posted anonymously by US Department of Veterans Affairs employees.