Alterna Savings

  www.alterna.ca
  www.alterna.ca

Alterna Savings Reviews

Updated October 22, 2014
Updated October 22, 2014
10 Reviews
2.0
10 Reviews
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  1.  

    Exciting future ahead for Alterna

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

    I have been working at Alterna Savings full-time

    Pros

    Alterna is taking a leadership role in co-operative banking within Ontario and we're seeing a lot of membership growth. Great community focus and staff is encouraged to volunteer for all sorts of causes. New senior management team is doing a great job. A lot of exciting projects underway. Benefits package is very good.

    Cons

    Don't expect your job to be laid back. The company is very good at work life balance but this doesn't mean 9 to 5 every day.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep leading the company in the right direction.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  2.  

    Not a healthy environment

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

    I have been working at Alterna Savings

    Pros

    Benefits are the only thing alterna has to offer employees right now.

    Cons

    Comments below are very reflective of this poorly run financial institution. Bullying and intimidating staff, unqualified managers are causing good employees to go on sick leave or leave period. Staff know not to trust HR.
    They are far from confidential. I agree it is a poisonous environment, looking to leave myself when I get an opportinity!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire educated managers who will treat staff with respect. Hire branch managers with an education. Listen to the employees. Morale is very very low now.

  3. 4 people found this helpful  

    A very poisonous work environment

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

    I worked at Alterna Savings

    Pros

    -Benefits, including matching pension and health/dental, are quite good.
    -A lot of great people to work with at the back-office.
    -Staff regularly runs good fundraising campaigns internally and externally.
    -Credit union does some good to the local community.

    Cons

    Where do I even start?
    -Higher management's heavy-handed and borderline bullying tactics are strongly encouraged and perhaps even rewarded.
    -Rude behaviour is also allowed with barely any impunity.
    -Executive team brings in new staff outside of the company's hiring process without any consideration of the new recruit's management style or compatibility to their fellow co-workers.
    -Micromanagement is turning staff from hardworkers to "pleasers", which causes them to hinge on merely getting management's approval and even their livelihood (i.e., their next paycheque).
    -Employees are burdened with heavier workloads and overtime while management continuously deny additional resources or new staff. Which is contrary to the company's work-life balance message. Sadly, it will continue to get worse due to recent acquisition of another major credit union.
    -Considerate and hardworking employees tend to disappear without warning. Were they terminated due to alleged sudden drop of work performance or were they seen as adversaries to management?
    -Extremely high turnover rate of front-line staff due to poor training and screening process.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Fix the company's morale and accountability ASAP. The board of directors need to stop hiring new staff outside of the company's hiring policy and instead be more considerate to the employees below them. Current management will have to be revamped immediately and replaced with quality staff who do not exhibit only micromanagement and "tough and no nonsense" behaviour. Management needs to listen to the current staff's immediate needs and not give them the runaround and false hopes. Human resources need to be more rigorous with hiring member facing staff and not merely pull anybody off the streets. With such rampant low morale and routinely accepted rude behaviour, you will only allow current employees to look somewhere else.

    For those who are thinking about applying for Alterna Savings should think twice. The more recent comments below are true and reflective of the current work environment. Unfortunately, as long as management continues to look at the bottom-line only, I do not foresee a good future for the credit union.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    Favoritism at it best....

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

    I worked at Alterna Savings (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Benefit package for dental and the extended health plan was great. Made some really close friends.

    Cons

    Management leads with intimidation. Favoritism is quite noticeable. You are encouraged to speak up, but, if you do, be expected to be ignored by management. Plays the silence game. Don't even think that you are able to go to your manager in confidence, they tell the other employees, and it will be used against you. And don't go to HR, they are no help. And they wonder why morale is so deplorable?
    Members are starting to become aware how the company is being run and are also becoming dissatisfied.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get rid of your managers are not producing. Get rid of the non-performing people. Get qualified people to manage who actually care about their employees, success of the company and you will see a upturn on the workplace morale. Show more appreciation to the hardworking staff that do the work so you managers can get the recognition and the huge bonuses. Best yet, give your bonus to your employees, they did the work to make you look good.

    Doesn't Recommend
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    New Management doesn't have a clue

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

    I have been working at Alterna Savings full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great people to work with
    good benefits

    Cons

    cutting people without letting us know what the restructuring is for; what is the end goal
    hiring all its execs in Toronto when our head office is in Ottawa
    wastes time on non-client facing projects
    building is falling apart

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    communicate, show your plan

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

    A dog eat dog world

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON (Canada)

    I worked at Alterna Savings full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Health and dental benefits is good.

    Cons

    Too much finger pointing. no one take responsibility for any error. Little teamwork within the department and within the organization. Operates like a bank not a Credit Union. Selected staff has the privilege of receiving information pertinent to the job, others are left out

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You need to take a look at the # of staff exiting ( Toronto). Usually high....something is not been done right

    Doesn't Recommend
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Has been good to me so far!

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

    I have been working at Alterna Savings

    Pros

    - Friendly people
    - Great Pension & Benefits
    - Proximity to the top (contact with Senior Management Team at all levels of the organization)
    - If you have good ideas and work hard, it will pay off (Fairness)
    - Committed to the community
    - Great hours

    Cons

    - Pay is technically in line with other organizations, but staff are overworked
    - Turnover seems to be an issue
    - Some employees don't necessarily "buy in" to Alterna's value system

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Even in an extremely difficult business environment you've managed to set the ship in the right direction. For close to 100 years Alterna (formerly CS COOP) had the benefit of guaranteed business from civil service employees. This is no longer the case, and you've recognized that and adjusted as such. Right now certain things may be painful, but in the long run I believe Alterna will continue to succeed. Very excited about Alterna's new online banking capabilities and our shift towards the latest high tech services already offered by the big banks.

    Recommends
  9. 4 people found this helpful  

    Get the experience, then move on!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - I'll get Fired if I say what it is... in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Former Employee - I'll get Fired if I say what it is... in Toronto, ON (Canada)

    I worked at Alterna Savings

    Pros

    +The benefits are great for medical, dental, vision
    +Vacation time available
    +Weekends go mainly uninterrupted depending on the sales quarter

    Cons

    -leadership based on intimidation. Ruthlessness are driving away great employees
    -rewards and recognition is not there. For instance, a rep had received a gift certificate for 4 appointments while another who brought in close to $1 million in sales is not even given a nod of thanks
    -horrible communication. How to proceed in week 1 may not be the case in week 5 for the same situation
    -lack of / blocked from much needed resources to assist members
    -the blame game is rampant. Expected to be blamed even if you had nothing to do with the situation
    -you are expected to mind read mgr thoughts. If you are even caught speaking to someone the mgr had beef with the week before and didn't know about it, expect to be excluded
    -if you are rising to fast in your sales, expect to be sabotaged by both mgr and staff
    -expect not to get information from team meetings missed even if you ask for it
    -if you air your concerns of colleagues coming in late from breaks and lunches(causing you to be late), expect to be accused of doing the same
    -expect mgr to state false things about you then tell you not to speak when you try to defend yourself
    -do not say anything in confidence or it will be used against you, I've seen this happen to another colleague
    -expect to take on more assignments without a pay raise
    - teamwork is lip-service
    -expect to have your position be made very difficult if you are not on the "in-crowd" with mgrs while their minions get away with murder
    -there are lazy employees that stay there like used furniture, yet they are protected due to seniority despite there being no union

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    -weed out ineffective managers and employees
    -ensure there is adequate resources for employees to do their jobs
    -set up anonymous surveys so you can see what employees REALLY have to say about their work conditions
    -provide the adequate funding for special projects, not all employees have the money to pull it off all the time
    -members are leaving in droves because disrespectful staff (inc'l mgrs)- they treat them like dirt
    -the service is poor, staff morale is poor, some mgrs are shady, it's a bad deal all around before the merger there were members lined up - now it's a ghost town...

    Doesn't Recommend
  10. 5 people found this helpful  

    Was a great place to work before the merger but not anymore

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON (Canada)

    I worked at Alterna Savings

    Pros

    The benefit package is incredible in terms of dental, extended health.
    No shift work so evenings and weekends are free.

    Cons

    If you don't meet sales goals, forget about a pay increase even if you excelled at every thing else.
    The pay is much lower than other institutions for the same job.
    Management is way more concerned about bottom line than staff morale
    Head office doesn't understand the challenges at the branches

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Leading with intimidation and negativity is destroying company morale and you will not be able to retain quality employees if you continue
    Customers are becoming increasingly unhappy and won't keep their business with the company much longer

    Doesn't Recommend
  11. 5 people found this helpful  

    A bank with a skin of a Credit Union

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - In Branch Employee (not Teller) in Ottawa, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - In Branch Employee (not Teller) in Ottawa, ON (Canada)

    I have been working at Alterna Savings

    Pros

    Vacation is relatively easy to take in some position. Not much penalty even if you don't meet the target as long as you work hard - which is fair.

    Cons

    Not much opportunity for advancement. No budget to pay for your continuous education. Management ask for lots of feed back, but they ask and not do anything about it. Not much money making opportunity. Unequal treatment or advancement. Expect the institution as 'Bank' - although it is Credit Union, it is always comparing themselves to the major banks and trying to operate like a bank. Not much penalty even if you don't meet the target as long as you work hard, which is fair on best reason, but other side is that even if you do well, not much reward either.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Try to understand the bottom employees - too many management in between.

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