American Red Cross

  www.redcross.org
  www.redcross.org

American Red Cross Reviews

Updated December 18, 2014
Updated December 18, 2014
778 Reviews
2.8
778 Reviews
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American Red Cross President and CEO Gail McGovern
Gail McGovern
370 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Making a difference in recipient lives and promotes diversity (in 37 reviews)

  • Helping People in disasters, having a company vehicle to take clients to the doctor (in 39 reviews)


Cons
  • No work/life balance (it's required that you still check and respond to emails while on PTO) (in 19 reviews)

  • Upper management almost constantly changes operations and organizational structure (in 34 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    American Red Cross blood

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

    I worked at American Red Cross full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Love the idea of the mission. Dedicated and hard-working professional coworkers. Brand recognition opens doors. Donors and recipient stories are heart-warming. Very challenging opportunity for a new go-getter with great people skills. Could be a good place to start building career.

    Cons

    Actual work rarely feels like meeting a public 'mission'. Aggressive hard-to-reach numerical goals based on volunteer participants (who have other priorities) creates constant high stress, very real challenges without good solutions, complaining-blaming, turnover, poor morale, hard to reach goals that increase each year, long hours and imbalance, personal expenses to do the job with continually reducing financial rewards, and more. Very complex departmentalized, slow-working centralized groups create internal difficulties to get anything done. Higher up management decisions are hard to influence and handcuff worker-staff from employing creative or other skills they said they wanted when hired. All this caused me to leave despite the mission.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Support the team morale. Really recognize field-challenges and reward successes, not just annual goal achievement. Allow individual creativity to achieve goals that appeal to specific target marketing vs forcing national program compliance.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 5 people found this helpful  

    Weak Leadership that is disconnected from the workforce

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

    I have been working at American Red Cross full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Mission
    Dedicated and hard working workforce

    Cons

    Senior leadership is disconnected from the workforce and doesn't respect the need for a reasonable work-life balance
    Very low morale
    Senior leadership team that is either unaware of or doesn't care about the morale and welfare of the employees
    The majority of employees don't trust the senior management team (recent company survey)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Time to sweep the senior team and bring in some new talent

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

    It Doesn't Feel Like You Are Working for a Humanitarian Organization

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

    I worked at American Red Cross full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    The mission of the organization inspires and gives you a sense that your job matters and you are making a difference. Depending on what department you work for, you may be able to work virtual one or more days a week. Used to offer a great Pension Plan benefit that was discontinued.

    Cons

    These cons are specific to the IT department in Headquarters and may not be applicable in other areas of the organization:
    1. Organization spends no money in providing technical training to its employees.
    2. Working virtual and or on a flexible schedule depended on who your boss was and how he or she felt about it. The criteria for working virtual and or a flexible schedule is not applied consistently.
    3. The organization is consumed with internal IT politics and since the organization performs reductions in force practically every year, this creates the perfect opportunity for an unscrupulous manager to manipulate a good employee out of the organization without regard to his/her performance. Also it creates a situation where it is easy to intimidate and manipulate people by fear.
    4. Internal processes make opportunities for advancement rare and difficult. In order to promote an employee (i.e. from Programmer I to Programmer II) , It is necessary to create a new position, which requires plenty of justifications and red tape. Then the position is open for internal applicants to apply, including the person you want to promote. After all that effort, you are lucky if the end-result is a promotion for the person that earned it and that you are trying to promote.
    5. Employees and contractors are often asked to be on 24 hour production support on weekends and week nights without any additional compensation or reward. There are departments where there is no consideration for a balanced life.
    6. Raises are very low.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    1. Treat employees with the same appreciation you treat volunteers.
    2. Promote the Red Cross values internally.

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

    American Red Cross "family," NOT.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Lab Technician in Detroit, MI
    Current Employee - Lab Technician in Detroit, MI

    I have been working at American Red Cross full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    My coworkers are amazing.

    Cons

    We are seriously underpaid. Upper management has no interest in changing work conditions nor do they have any conscience in closing departments at the drop of a hat. Within a few years they closed both the Detroit call center and the National testing Lab. The news of the call center closing came at a meeting that was supposed to be regarding a new software system. It was TOTALLY unexpected. They didn't even give priority placement in other departments to their current employees. I've NEVER seen ANY company do that.
    The American Red Cross has a reputation for being compassionate, they are FAR from it.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Bleh

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

    I have been working at American Red Cross full-time

    Pros

    Some days you really feel like you are making a difference, but that is the exception rather than the standard. Pretty amazing volunteers who are willing to give so much to the organization because they believe in the mission. Getting deployed to disasters can be exciting (but draining)

    Cons

    TONS of workplace drama, no support from colleagues, and incompetent managers that called in HR too late. The team was loosing long term, reliable volunteers due to unhappiness with paid staff managerial styles. Expected to be on call 24/365

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pick a structure and stick to it. Job and title changed 3 times within 10 months.

  7.  

    Call Center Leaves Much to Be Desired

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Telerecruiter in Charlotte, NC
    Former Employee - Telerecruiter in Charlotte, NC

    I worked at American Red Cross full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Commission
    Company Values
    Amount of PTO

    Cons

    Hours
    Upper Level Management
    Base Pay
    No Room for Advancement
    Management does not promote within despite the fact that you may be at the top of your division

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great place to work when its financially stable

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

    I worked at American Red Cross full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great variety of people to work with! It's like a second family away from home. Great pay, PTO and benefits. Great mission to work for.

    Cons

    It's not financially stable as of right now. No balance of work/life.

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

    Great Organization, hard work - you have to be passionate about helping people to be satisfied

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

    I worked at American Red Cross full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    At the end of every day, I was proud to do the work I do. PTO policy is fair, but with the light staff it's hard to get off work. With the current restructure, a lot of people are losing their jobs. However, I will say that it is for the right reason. Management doesn't make $$$,$$$ while lower level make nothing. Merit is based on performance

    Cons

    Pay. A lot of long unpredictable hours, working in a smaller chapter has many challenges with used "hand-me-down" equipment. Put it this way, it's 2014 and 90% of our computers are not wireless.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    way too many pointless reports and phone calls. I spend hours completing the same report in a different format. Utilize what tools we do have. However, with the direction the org is heading, I see a lot of that happening. I would like to see more lower level positions and fewer high level positions. Decentralize some of the decision making.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 4 people found this helpful  

    Great mission and overall successful, but always teetering on the edge of dysfunction.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Director in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Director in Portland, OR

    I have been working at American Red Cross full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    It is an organization that really makes a difference. Provides real value to the community. A good place to advance if you take initiative.

    Cons

    Always cash poor. History of bad decisions during the last several decades. Reactionary rather than proactive.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Corrective actions during the last couple of decades are too much gimmick, and not enough deep, cultural change. Mandates come from Headquarters but lose their intended effect by the time they are applied to line staff. ARC needs to build an effective bridge between the vision of senior leadership and the multitude who actually perform the work. I recommend building a broad team of liaisons at the supervisor and department lead level (this is the point of cultural traction). Inspire them, provide them training/tools to influence their peers, and commission them to spread the vision(s). I realize this has been done before, but it has not been sustained, monitored and reinforced. It should be like waves on a beach- unceasing. Wave after wave of inspiration, hope, and group identity: Exceptional customer service, efficiency, employee excellence, quality. Deep in every person's heart is a desperate desire to be on a winning team. Make them believe they are the best, and they will be the best.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    Happy with my position, but uncertainty about the future makes work life challenging.

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

    I have been working at American Red Cross full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The feeling that you are contributing an organization that makes a difference in people's lives.
    The importance of the goal of providing safe and available blood for patients.
    Reasonably good compensation.

    Cons

    There have been numerous Reductions in Force both inside my department and around the company. There is a looming budget deficit that will probably mean yet more layoffs. Morale is low and uncertainty high.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It is disheartening to see so many people laid off when upper management continues to be paid extremely well, especially in the upper levels of Biomedical Services.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    American Red Cross Response

    Oct 3, 2014Talent Acquisition Program Associate

    Thank you for taking the time to leave a review. We are always pleased to hear praise for our mission, and could not fulfill it without our dedicated employees and volunteers. It is true that we are ... More

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