Alberta Blue Cross

  www.ab.bluecross.ca
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Alberta Blue Cross Reviews

Updated Jul 23, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.3 22 reviews

80% Approve of the CEO

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Ray R. Pisani

(10 ratings)

55% of employees recommend this company to a friend
22 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
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    Good

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsFreinedly people easily to mingle overall good

    ConsNothing Work lagging More meetings

    • Culture & Values
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    • Approves of CEO

     

    A great company to set roots

    Manager (Current Employee) Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    ProsI have been working for Blue Cross for 17 years. Alberta Blue Cross is a great value-based company. I have personally benefited from the "wellness & Balanced Lifestyle" as the management team from all levels are always very supportive when staff is facing personal or family challenges; I have had the best support and understanding when I needed it - a rare commodity for a large corporation.

    "Continuous Learning" is another salient value in this corporation. Since I joined Alberta Blue Cross, I have been supported in several training and professional development initiatives - ranging from technical, to project management, to a formal University business degree. The support is exceptional.

    If you are willing to invest in yourself and this company, Alberta Blue Cross is eager to invest in your future and your career.

    Alberta Blue Cross is highly involved in our community with a variety of programs ranging from charitable fund raising, to an excellent summer student program for University students. It is not uncommon for talent to be identified at the early stages from summer students. Alberta Blue Cross is willing to invest in this young talent and often offers full time employment to our students upon graduation.

    Alberta Blue Cross fosters loyalty through their H.R. and management policies; it is not uncommon to meet employees ranging from 10 to 30 years of service.

    ConsAs Alberta Blue Cross is a not-for profit organization, salary ranges at times may be a few points behind market average. However, this is only a negative aspect if a new potential employee, or an existing employee, is focused on just that part of the compensation package.

    Every employee can take advantage of the educational funding, as well as the incredible flexibility when needed - thus the life/work balance core value. This flexibility and support for education not only balances but outweighs the minor salary gap which may exist for certain positions.

    Advice to Senior ManagementManagement should continue to apply current values and protect their staff. As large corporate projects become active, employees may be required to work longer than normal hours. The Management Team needs to be vigilant that our value of "Wellness & Balanced Lifestyle" is not eroded due to workload.

    I have seen and experience this in the past, however, upon completion, Alberta Blue Cross Management Team is ready to switch back to our balance between work and personal/family life. Keep doing this. Keep supporting the staff and Alberta Blue Cross will continue to be a preferred employer.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Great Company!!

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsI have worked for Blue Cross for over 12 years. Blue Cross has proven to be a progressive, community oriented organization which I am proud to be part of. My work is challenging, the people are great, and the atmosphere of the company is supportive.

    ConsGreat company, absolutely no cons!

    Advice to Senior ManagementThe Management Team in the department I work for are very supportive, knowledgeable, and well respected by staff.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Overall a positive experience here so far.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsHave been with the company for over 6 years, enjoy my work and coworkers are great. Personally really like that ABC provides a worthwhile service to Albertans and is not-for-profit, also that we have a real commitment to community involvement and include employees in this.

    ConsPay isn't top in the market but that's a trade off for having a good pension, decent time off and other benefits.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    Great work life balance

    Anonymous (Current Employee)

    ProsGreat NPO company, friendly work enviroment. Health oriented organization that focuses providing health insurance to all Albertans. Great benefits too!

    ConsSalary is low compared to industry standards, bonus structure is decent within the sales areas but still not comparable. Movement within the company can also be challenging at times as internal growth is not pushed by management.

    Advice to Senior ManagementReward employees that express growth within the company with career paths, instead of shunning them away.

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

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    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    Terrible Place To Work

    Customer Service Representative (Current Employee) Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    Pros- The only Pros were my benefits, which were free, and I quote, "for the first time ever!" - They are free because they raised the ammount taken from us for the pension. Other than that, not much cons.

    - Good training

    Cons- I got into this job with the idea tht "everyone at Alberta Blue Cross is nice and great to work with" - couldn't have been more wrong. People from other departments barely talk to each other....actually they don't even say hi. Its all the one, big, rude atmosphere.

    - A lot of politics and favoritism. I worked in the Customer Service department. The managers are actually nice - but then again, we barely saw them. The team lead I had was catty and rude, and got upset with me for taking a day off, so after that all she did was shoot me dirty looks when I said good morning and hello. They all have favorites, and the favorites work as "rats" for the managers and team leads. They make things up and spread lies, mostly out of jealousy. Terrible experience there.

    - The contract I signed said that I had 12 sick days in total. I had taken 3 and I got called into the manager's office by an angry Team Lead with attitude, and was told that i was going to be written up to HR, because: " the corporate average for absences is 4 days in a year". Why do I have 12 days on contract if I have no more than 3 before being called into the office? All the senior staff agrees with my opinion about this because they still get called in daily.

    - VERY low salary

    - No room for advancement. Some people have been here for 23 years and have not moved up. Its the fvaorites who do.

    - Lots of internal bullying.

    Advice to Senior ManagementI am actually leaving this position and going to a different company. I will NEVER push anyone to ever apply for a position at Alberta Blue Cross. I think a big clean up and a big confidential asking of employees in the Customer Service Department (and others) of what they feel is wrong should be done. You will find I do not speak alone about issues above. I had a job with a very prestigious organization prior to ABC and never had I one complaint about myself. ABC made me HATE getting up for work.

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

    • Culture & Values
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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Revolving door of Individual Product Sales

    Individual Product Sales (Former Employee) Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    ProsGreat benefits
    Nice people
    Cushy job, earn days off, and 3 weeks vacation to start

    ConsMy fiancé and me went to the Alberta Blue Cross job fair at a time when we were both looking for other employment. There were lots of people there, and many people were very interested. My fiancé and me both applied for other roles than sales, but that was the only department that called. I realized that they go after many people because of the huge turn over in their sales department. I had no plans to take a sales role but was told that this would be different than most sales positions and sales targets would be obtainable, and they would work with you to help you there. So I agreed. I would find out that management is not really that concerned about your development or working with you.

    The start salary was very low. In the first month you are given training to obtain your Accident and Sickness licence, in order to sell. This usually means by the time you hit the phones to actually sell, you will not be receiving any of the bonus. Your first three months are tough do to that little pay, I made more in retail.

    When i first entered the department i noticed many empty cubicles. I did ask a few times why this was. I was always told by management that they were "growing" and wanted to increase the staff. This was a lie. Some of the employees made comments and jokes about the turnover. I saw two new people starting every month. People either quit, or were fired. The people qui,t hated the sales atmosphere, and wanted nothing to do with that job. The people were fired were given very little time to get their numbers up. People have also been let go because of low numbers, even if they had been with the company for some time. It seemed that there was only so much loyalty if you did not make your numbers.

    You're given six months. This is enough time to make budge but do not call in sick, or miss work. Management will act like they care but will fire if you do not make those numbers. I had a pretty serious life crisis during my first six months. I approached both managers about the problems. Both were very sympathetic. The female manager lied to me. I was told that she understood, that i had nothing to worry about, and that I had lots of time. The course of tone she took with me changed in a matter of three weeks. They were telling me things would be ok, while they hired and trained my replacement. In the the month i had my family emergency, I miss some time. This effected my numbers. I could not make budget. At first I was told that I was ok. The next week I sat down with the female manager, she was concerned and offer help. The third week, the new month and new quarter, I was let go. I had very little time to get myself back on track.

    The worse of it all is how they let me go. I was given the option to sign my own resignation in exchange of an extra two weeks pay. At the time I did ask about being let go for EI, but with my family emergency I needed money. Especially making so little. I probably could of fought it, I felt that there was some discrimination. I signed that resignation, it was a mistake and take ownership.

    If you do take this role, understand that is a sales role just like selling used cars. The management will smile and tell you one thing and mean something else. This role was very repetitive in nature and the knowledge was easy to understand. The department wants only numbers, and does not really care about helping you develop into something better.

    There is very few places to go in this role. Management are younger, meaning that the only spot above you is probably not going to open up any time soon. There are 30 people in this department, its not designed to help move your career. I moved on and found a lot more money else where.

    Advice to Senior ManagementMean what you say. If you are going to run your department like a used car sales lot, then let people know that before applying. I know you have to keep employment up but I would of never taken the position if you actually meant what you said.

    Understand that you can actually help people develop into something better. You did not help me while I was there. You gave out numbers but never had people really discuss those.

    Also understand there is karma in your lies, people do not want to work for management that are like that. Trying to bribe people with an extra two weeks of pay to sign there own resignation is dirty and wrong. Stop trying to protect your own backs.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    NIce People, Low salary

    Database Administrator (Current Employee) Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    Pros• People are very positive
    • Nice Building
    • Management very supportive
    • Benefits

    Cons• Non-competitive salary
    • Very low annual salary raise(almost the same as the previous year)
    • very low raise on promotion
    • HR never negotiate on salary

    Advice to Senior ManagementAlthough this is a non profit organisation but for good people to stay, salary must be paid according to the market standards

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    • Approves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Out of touch, dated culture

    Team Manager (Former Employee) Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    ProsThe business is interesting and can be very challenging/rewarding with the right manager. The diversity of opportunities is also fantastic with the right manager.

    Fantastic pension.

    ConsThere is significant stagnancy among management. They are out-of-touch and seem genuinely confused when good staff leave or are dissatisfied with decisions that are never explained. The surface culture of work/life balance and innovation is just that - there is very little allowance for flexibility in how staff work, so committed management-level staff (and even lower) end up working too many hours/weekends off the record to keep up with job requirements. Good people have been leaving in droves over the last two years.

    The education allowance is tricky - I was able to take advantage of it because the manager I had (before he left) was phenomenal and would go to bat for me - but most people weren't able to take advantage of it because of pressure for managers to decline requests.

    Compensation is poor, but the pension is fabulous if you're staying for 20+ years. (Which is why people do, even when they don't want to be there.)

    Advice to Senior ManagementListen to your staff. Embrace innovation. Don't make changes for the sake of making changes, but evolve to be better and to solve problems. Get staff support by helping them understand the vision of the business. Value talent.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
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    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Completely lost touch with its employees

    Somewhere In IT (Former Employee) Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    ProsThe people there is what would make someone want to stay. Various charity events and their great employee culture make this a great place to start a career at.

    ConsPoor pay that they claim is competitive with the "market", however it seems they compare to other non-profit companies.

    Very wasteful spending, they tend to also waste a lot of paper for a company that claims to be "green".

    Over several years, they have lost touch with their employees and no longer seem to invest in their employees. There are so many people with longer tenure that for a young person such as myself, it seemed there was absolutely no room for advancement unless you waited 10 years for someone to retire, and even then they would still consider hiring an external person rather than continue to invest in you and groom you for that position. There are a lot of promises thrown around that go unfounded, for example, promise of helping you move up in the company into a better position but when asked to approve the courses required to take it, you're given the run around, it took me 3 years to finally take a single course and it wasn't even the one I wanted to take but one they felt would help (in hindsight it did not help me AT ALL, the one I wanted did.)

    Age discrimination and favouritism is rampant here. I know of several people simply fired because they "did not fit in" with their manager, but worked very well with everyone else in the company.

    Over the last year alone, I know of several people (including myself) that have felt very similar and have left the company to go elsewhere.

    Advice to Senior ManagementInvest in your younger employees, especially ones that started there young and spent a lot of their adult life there. They are your future. Don't necessarily just give in to what they want, but hear them out and help them. If a position isn't open, keep in touch to see how you can make them want to continue being there. I know several employees that left to other companies, yes for more money, but would have stayed for less, or the same pay, by simply having their career goals met.

    Training for your baby boomers/older employees on how to deal with the new younger generation is essential!

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

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