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I have been working at WSPA full-time for more than a yearPros
I should perhaps mention that I did not think much of the reviews in this website, but now I have been asked by completely unrelated friends and relatives if it really is that bad working in this organisation and one of them went as far as to say that they would not work here if given the chance. Comments according to which we are not delivering AT ALL, make me and my own line of work look bad and I think that as much accountability we're asking management to have, there should be some of that as well on us, the reviewers.
These reviews present a very gloom picture that it is far from my experience here so I will take this chance to present my view of this organisation. Hopefully I can focus on the things I consider to be factual, in hope that future reviews do comment on these as well. Ultimately this is a forum to share opinions but I insist on having some responsibility for people who are currently employed by the organisation that are making an effort to deliver on their own jobs and that want some things to change. That is the position I am in.
IN *MY OPINION*, WSPA has very competitive salaries which are complemented by a fairly good pension plan. I can say that in my case the difference between my salary in another organisation and WSPA is substantial as I currently earn 1.5 times what I earned some 3 years ago and I did not have access to a pension plan. In addition to the salary itself, I was presented upon arrival with a series of benefits, such as loans for transport and a bike scheme, among a few others. It is easy to take for granted that the location of the office is great, accessible to the main lines and in Central London. Similar organisations with offices in places like Surrey and beyond would make it impossible for me to work in the sector. The office itself is organised, has a modern look and resources (software, printers etc.) are constantly updated. I have also been provided with opportunities to enhance my skills and advance in my career, which I can't take for granted.
The job is very flexible. I have never had a discussion with my line manager about working from home from time to time in situations like having to attend an ill relative or even receive a parcel. I have also the flexibility to come at 8.00 AM and leave at 4.00 PM (normally 9.00AM to 5.00 PM) which means I can balance quite well work with life. True, I had longer days and stressful periods where this doesn't apply and I end up pulling a 8.00-8.00, but I can confidently say that this is not the rule for me and certainly nothing I have seen managers encouraging. I know that there is some inconsistency in the way that the work from home scheme is applied, but for people like me having the liberty to agree on the scheme is priceless.
I have never found trouble arranging my annual leave and the office closes for a week in Christmas so even then the leave entitlement is slightly better than it is in other organisations. I am also aware of current study leave being allowed and members of my team with academic pressure have been able to continue with their studies thanks to the organisation's flexible approach to work.
Many people have made reference to managers simply refusing to recognise the union. I am aware of the existence of a committee that is working with management to get the union recognised and I understand from him that this is a process with some complexities and delays, but I have never heard from them that management have closed the door for conversation and so they have informed in meetings, emails and newsletters. The fact that people here are continuing to simply write "the union is not recognised" is also a statement that goes against colleagues that ARE working to make this possible. This is another example of trigger happy comments that are really not helping us to change things that need to be changed. If you don't know about the union process, speak to the union people, they're no longer hiding in a closet. If you think you're doing us/them any favours by simply saying that there is a direct refusal to recognition you are not acknowledging any of their work. That is irresponsible.
I do enjoy what I do and in my team there is generally and atmosphere of respect and good cooperation. I do not have to worry about someone else working on the same thing so there is no competition. There are expectations, and these are quite high, but the expectations are not set on a personal basis, which is why I think I could never do this for the private sector. As such the atmosphere is challenging, but relaxed. As expressed before, there have been days or periods of the year in my case where I certainly know when these days are coming, but in my line of work, this is not just WSPA, this is everywhere.
Many others have written before that the people are the best part of WSPA. This is most true and WSPA is the kind of organisation where you can relate to people and even make a few friends down the road.Cons
I think that there is a serious problem of communication and that decision and the decision making process need to involve more staff that will be ultimately affected (positively or negatively) by these decisions.
Some of the reviews here have presented a very critic view of the campaign work of the organisation and I think that in some cases they have a point that I don't think I can't add anything substantial. This needs urgent attention and campaign decisions need specific impact assessments so that some of the negative situations described can be avoided. I have to say that I have had the chance to speak to my GLT member about the impact of these decisions and I have always had a reply in the formality of team meetings. While I don't always agree with the reasoning, I had my chance to present my views and answers to my somewhat difficult questions have been provided.
Having said that, I think that the kind of work that this organisation does is not just narrowed down to campaign work. In the time that I have been working here some substantial political gains have achieved, with impact at the heart of UN or with our work with OIE. I am convinced that these achievements have the potential to change the situation for animals around the world. Some current work in WSPA is aiming to that effect and therefore, colleagues of ours are making an effort When our organisation is described as utterly ineffective I don't think we are taking into consideration people who are working on these departments or people who are working in resources allowing this work to take place. I certainly don't feel comfortable describing my job as ineffective.
I think that a good part of the problem is the fact that there is a perceivable distance between decision makers and staff executing these decisions.Advice to ManagementAdvice
Improve your communication channels and implement mechanisms by which decisions are more transparent and there is accountability of said decisions when they have an impact on the organisation or the people working for it.RecommendsNeutral OutlookNo opinion of CEO
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