Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

  www.aphis.usda.gov
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Great mission, management leaves much to be desired

Non-managerial (Current Employee)

ProsThe benefits of any federal job are usually what keep people there. The APHIS mission is admirable, and takes a disease risk approach to regulatory decisions. There are many dedicated and intelligent people working for this agency, many of whom are in the field. Training opportunities are available (although this is at the discretion of supervisors, some of whom feel a more well-trained employee is a threat to their position).

Cons- Management is often short sighted: they treat the symptoms but not the overall problem when dealing with personnel issues.
- Nepotism
- "Old boys club" mentality with few opportunities for women and working mothers to be promoted without sacrificing family and personal time. There are structural issues that do not allow working parents the flexibility that is often advertised in federal jobs (ie Teleworking, Flexible hours, Flex time, etc). The "perks" are reserved for upper management only, while lower level employees are forced to choose between coming into work or using vacation/sick time to attend to personal matters. Often times, having a more flexible schedule would alleviate much of the stress associated with work/family obligations.
- Inability to remove under performing and insubordinate personnel.
- "Chain of Command" mentality that forces lower level employees to only be able to report problems to immediate supervisors. Should these supervisors choose not to take action on problems brought to their attention, the employee often has no other recourse, shot of filing a complaint, which can take years to address.
- Few opportunities to advance: there are few positions to advance into within states and often times the only way to advance is to 1) wait for someone to retire 2) wait for someone to unfortunately pass away 3) relocate to another state.
- Employees who are high producers are often overworked to make up for others who are not as motivated.
^Caveat to above: employees who are "low" performers are not penalized for their work. However, often times, there is resentment from those employees who feel the "high" performers are making them look bad.

Advice to Senior ManagementTreat lower level employees as you would treat upper management. Offer more flexible work schedules so that employees feel less stressed about juggling family and work. Management should realize that a happy employee is often a productive employee. There are many intelligent, hard working individuals who feel stifled by the inflexibility of their work environment and often lose their drive to produce. Recognize individuals who exemplify good work ethic to promote a healthy work environment.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
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    1 person found this helpful  

    Great Mission but Employees and Their Talents Lost Among Risk-Adverse Bureaucracy

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    I worked at Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


    Pros: There are few missions that are more noble than ensuring the health and safety of your nation's food supply and agricultural infrastructure. At APHIS,… Cons: •Bureaucratic, slow to make and implement decisions •Risk-adverse management •"Old boys club" •Agency-wide nepotism •Lack of opportunities for career advancement outside the Beltway •Lack of diversity among management •Ivory tower… Advice to Senior Management: Do more than provide obligatory town hall meetings and listening sessions. Actually cut to the root of persistent problems that impede carrying out the… No, I would not recommend this company to a friend More
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

     

    Financial Management Student Trainee

    Financial Management Intern (Former Employee) Minneapolis, MN

    I worked at Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service as an intern for less than a year


    Pros: Over all a good place to work. Wonderful co-workers and immediate supervisors/managers that help and answer… Cons: Not necessarily here at APHIS, but in Government in general… Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend More
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