American Red Cross

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American Red Cross Reviews

Updated August 19, 2014
Updated August 19, 2014
655 Reviews

2.9
655 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
American Red Cross President and CEO Gail McGovern
Gail McGovern
306 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Many of the employees are good people who really want to make a difference (in 22 reviews)

  • It was also very good to know that I was helping to save lives every day just by going to work (in 33 reviews)


Cons
  • I understand they are "non-profit" etc, but that's still not an excuse (in 27 reviews)

  • Too much upper management that sometimes does not know your job function which creates problems (in 26 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Inhuman and Profit Oriented

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Team Supervisor  in  Fairfax, VA
    Former Employee - Team Supervisor in Fairfax, VA

    Pros

    The mission and prestige in belong to an organization with great humanitarian cause.

    Cons

    This organization is so mismanaged and they do not care for their first line supervisors and collection staff. The work hours were erratic and there was no life balance. The senior management at the Chesapeake/Potomac Chapters were slave drivers. There was no compensation for a job well done. It sad when your "field manager tells you why are you here you have so much more potential". Miles of driving and their compensation is an insult they thing teh DC,MD, VA have only straight roads. While the upper management are sitting in their air conditioned and heated rooms the collection team are exposed to the worst working conditions while they are overwhelmed by donors under short staff circumstances. They invested on technology that needs constant updating and training. They concept of LEAN is so warped the executives at Red Cross want to know if they meet their sales quota. They don't care about the blood collection which is performed by tech that are underpaid.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest in your staff and actually listen and commit to action. Your approach to retention is so bad when you have to constantly hire new staff every 6 months. Maybe if you made your tech's salary competitive they may actually like working for you. Don't use the mission that's scam to entice them to work for you.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    American Red Cross Response

    Aug 14, 2014Talent Acquisition Program Associate

    Thank you for your honest feedback and for addressing your concerns with the working environment. We know that our collections staff puts in long hard days and we appreciate the work they do. While ... More

  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Disappointing

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Donor and Client Support Specialist  in  Charlotte, NC
    Former Employee - Donor and Client Support Specialist in Charlotte, NC

    Pros

    Red Cross name recognition and friendships made that carry on.

    Cons

    Donor and Client Support Center, NC. Highly dysfunctional. Old style management much like the government and older incested medical institutions. Outdated and old computers and software. Complicated and unnecessary documentation to justify trainers. Managers scared to lose their jobs so front lines are expendable. Staff unnecessarily replaced to save wage costs. Race biased. Fire without warning or even reason at times. Mgmt makes it up as they go and traps people with problems due to Mgmt dysfunction. Pressure people into leaving who speak up about problems. Commit labor law violations where they can get away with it. Horrible pay. High stress to the point of workers developing health issues. Top management doesn't know the importance of customer service and community relations on the biomedical side. What a shame.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get serious about humane quality or sell the biomedical side. Stop blaming the decreased market place for losing market share. Top Execs: take a group of front line staff to lunch in every region in all major job holdings. No names and no middle management to get the real picture. NO retaliation for information and holes in leadership brought forward. Allow free flow of ideas for improvement from the front lines. See how this compares to the numbers.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    American Red Cross Response

    Aug 14, 2014Talent Acquisition Program Associate

    Thank you for your review. While we are glad to hear about the friendships you have made at the Red Cross, we are sorry to hear about your experience in the work environment. Under no circumstances ... More

  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    Financial pressures leading to poor morale

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

    Pros

    Important mission and great coworkers.

    Cons

    Organization is in a continued period of economic challenges and these have led to belt-tightening, including lots of la

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 7 people found this helpful  

    Losing Sight of Services

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

    Pros

    Most of the volunteers are dedicated beyond belief. They truly are the heart of the Red Cross.
    Getting to serve members of the military, veterans, and their loved ones is an honor.
    Never a dull moment. As a regional employee you're always traveling around your counties and meeting different people which keeps the job from becoming boring
    Kind and committed direct supervisor made the experience much better than it would've been without her.
    Some flexibility to create programs that best benefit families in your area
    Great opportunity to network with other organizations...which made it much easier to get a new job
    Providing veterans with much needed resources and knowing you really made a difference in someone's day.
    Working for a long established organization opens many doors when referring military families to others for direct assistance.

    Cons

    The lack of consistency in pay and job titles. Staff in other regions with less responsibilities than me were paid $5,000+ more than myself and had fancy titles such as "Director", "Manager", "Senior Director", while they did not have any paid staff reporting to them nor were they employed with the Red Cross longer than I.

    Lack of appreciation for hard work. 40 hour work week was unheard of. Expected to staff the building even if it meant having to skip meetings with local military leadership, just so there was a body in the building. Worked most weekends throughout the year as many military events happen on weekends and most volunteers did not want to give up their free time on the weekends. "Comp time" is not part of the organizations policy although some staff members are occasionally awarded it.

    Lack of focus on SAF program. While the Red Cross started because of Clara Barton's commitment to the troops, the organization seems to have long forgotten that. While that line of service is going through "restructuring" it seems they have just added additional staff to report up into, NHQ has completely overlooked the fact that more support is needed in the field on the Regional level to deliver direct services. On a NHQ level- the organization is far more focused on the services that produce funds (such a biomedical which the Talent Acquisition reps on here keep commenting about). While most regions were informed there was no more room for additional staffing to be added for international services, SAF, or disaster, many have found a way to add staff to their Development Departments, which is an extremely overpaid department to begin with. While I understand that the organization needs funding to deliver services, if we don't have the staff to deliver the services people won't donate. We've seen it time and time again. Not to mention, most people don't even know that the Red Cross has a military/veterans program. Communications/marketing for our services with SAF is AWFUL at best and misleading at worst when they actually do put out articles/commercials.

    Also, if you do into the Red Cross hoping to be a "lifer", don't go into International Services or Service to the Armed Forces. There is ZERO room for growth unless you plan on moving to DC for a NHQ job, but most of the people there haven't spent time in the field so they're completely out of touch.

    As someone who once donated to this org, after working here I now put my money towards USO and Blue Star Families after seeing how inappropriately money is spent. We had a donor give a sizeable donation to our local SAF program a few years back and our COO put it towards getting pins to give out to everyone she came across. It makes me sick to think how those funds could've assisted in providing direct services rather than being used on giveaways. Actions like this made me lose faith in where I was working.

    With the announcement of the 2017 plan this past spring before I left, it's clear that the CEO's plan is to further cut staffing and *hope* that volunteers will suddenly want to commit 20+ hours a week to cover the responsibilities of the staff members that will let go. Since I started, our region alone has turnover of 86% of the staff...that's a lot in 3 &1/2 years. Morale among employees is at an all time low and I honestly don't know how the Red Cross plans to turn things around. I will say that they do give employees a chance to voice their dissatisfaction through a survey, there is a very high level of fear of that information somehow getting back to leadership and leading to termination. This may be unrealistic but most Red Cross employees across the country that I know are all walking on eggshells right now if they haven't already jumped ship this year.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    American Red Cross Response

    Jul 11, 2014Talent Acquisition Program Associate

    We thank you for taking the time to leave a review and are glad to hear about the positive aspects of your job, in making a difference to our armed forces. We also appreciate your feedback concerning ... More

  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Most of the people are great, but multiple rounds of layoffs led to low morale and highly understaffed departments.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - AmeriCorps  in  New York, NY
    Former Employee - AmeriCorps in New York, NY

    Pros

    Mission-minded coworkers dedicated to serving the public and those in greatest need. Decent system of emergency training opportunities for interested volunteers and employees.

    Cons

    Office politics, nepotism, and low morale due to multiple rounds of layoffs at that time. Communication from outer offices to main HQ nor staffing was adequate, leading to inefficiency of emergency services to the community as well as the function of the development office.

    American Red Cross Response

    Jul 11, 2014Talent Acquisition Program Associate

    Thank you for taking the time to leave a review. We appreciate your praise for our employees and volunteers, as well as our disaster training programs. We are also sorry to hear about your experience ... More

  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    This place is going under

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Supervisor  in  Oakland, CA
    Current Employee - Supervisor in Oakland, CA

    Pros

    Great people to work with
    Mission is to help save lives

    Cons

    Extremely political
    Poor money management
    No chance for growth
    Poor planning and execution from upper management

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to the people who work in the field and closely with donors. They are your experts and your bread and butter. The changes that are being implemented are effecting the brand negatively and cause such negativity amongst the donors and staff.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    American Red Cross Response

    Jul 11, 2014Talent Acquisition Program Associate

    Thank you for your review; we appreciate your praise for our mission, as well as our employees and volunteers. We agree that they are the life force of our organization and that their opinions and ... More

  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Quality is no accident but this place has gone downhill like a bobsled team with bad rails.

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

    Pros

    The public image is still somewhat good.

    Cons

    Too many Indians and not enough chiefs. Upper management needs to be heavily culled, from DC on down.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Managers consistently struggle with their lack of ability to manage their subordinates (no matter how long they have been there). Favoritism runs rampant. The workloads are unbalanced and if a "higher up" were to observe they wouldn't understand it. Managers are masters at "smoke and mirrors" to control the chaos. Compensation in driving to my work site should be better handled. I can understand cost-saving decisions by making "some" employment cuts, along with refusing to buy basic office supplies, but how do you think it looks when the local CEO backs up and parks in a new, fully loaded truck? Gail McGovern has no clue what her cuts and eliminations do to morale....or does she? It's easy to play the part of a dictator from 400 miles away. Its just about time to move on where I am more appreciated. Clara Barton is spinning in her grave.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Volunteer Coordination

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

    Pros

    Could learn a lot from being a volunteer
    Great place to work
    Nice people

    Cons

    Very low moral
    So many lay offs

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Red Cross instructor

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Red Cross Instructor  in  Fredericksburg, VA
    Current Employee - Red Cross Instructor in Fredericksburg, VA

    Pros

    I love my job, flexible hours, travel.

    Cons

    I wish I could do more in this company but can't move up yet

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    American Red Cross Response

    Jul 11, 2014Talent Acquisition Program Associate

    We appreciate your review and are so pleased to hear you love your job. We encourage you to speak to your supervisor about opportunities and ways to grow and develop with our organization. Thank you ... More

  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Provided a valuable service to the community...always felt good about the job.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Director of Emergency Response
    Former Employee - Director of Emergency Response

    Pros

    The work is important, makes a difference, great people who really care about what they are doing. Good benefits. It's an honor to be among the 3% paid staff - all those Red Cross folks you see - they are volunteers! Great opportunity to be a leader. National leadership always trying to improve things. Terrific team of volunteers - very hard working, very loyal.

    Cons

    Salary is pretty low, especially considering stress level and unpredictability of work schedule (go to work on Monday - come home two weeks later). Tough time for ARC with lower donations coming in - hard to do the good work that is needed in the community.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep focus on employee development, add to volunteer support positions.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    American Red Cross Response

    Jul 11, 2014Talent Acquisition Program Associate

    Thank you for your feedback. We are always thrilled to read positive comments about our work and our people, and agree whole-heartedly that we could not function without them. We recognize the ... More

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