National Recreation and Park Association

  www.nrpa.org
  www.nrpa.org
There are newer employer reviews for National Recreation and Park Association

1 person found this helpful  

Outstanding place to work

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

I have been working at National Recreation and Park Association full-time (more than 3 years)

Pros

I am very committed to recreation and health. NRPA provides parks information to help them keep a focus on health and fitness. The work is rewarding on a daily basis. Very flexible work schedules and focused to family needs. Open door policy on communications. All ideas are listened to and considered in relationship with the goals and purpose set out for the association.

Cons

The economy took a hit on the budget of members. Changes were made to correct for the corrections in local budgets.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Continue to keep paced with members needs. Keep us relevant to the industry.

Recommends
Positive Outlook

16 Other Employee Reviews for National Recreation and Park Association (View Most Recent)

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  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    NRPA Needs New Management

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

    I worked at National Recreation and Park Association full-time

    Pros

    1. Some excellent benefits: telework option, flex time and more than 20 days PTO

    Cons

    Most problems at NRPA are rooted from poor senior leadership/management (this includes VPs and most directors). Some of these issues are:

    1. Lack of a concrete vision and direction from senior leadership. The vision constantly changes every few months which creates a feeling of instability among staff. What is even worse is that senior leadership uses the “teamwork” ploy by requiring staff to help them create a vision. The overarching vision and futuristic direction of the organization falls under the responsibility of senior leadership and management. The staff’s responsibility it to meet the goals that will reinforce and enhance the vision but this is clearly not how it works at NRPA.
    2. The inability for senior leadership to develop a clear, smart vision is because many of the staff in these leadership positions have been promoted using a very inconsistent and non-transparent promotional process. Several of them are severely under qualified to be in management positions.
    3. Senior leadership have extremely poor interpersonal communication skills which causes staff to be fearful of approaching them with no reservations. This is creates an unhealthy relationship between staff and senior leadership.
    4. Because the vision and direction keep changing, this leads to “task shifting”. This becomes particularly problematic when you are a professional with a specific skill set because it goes against the job description you were hired for and job description you accepted the position for. For example, you will be asked to “tele-market” and persuade members to renew their membership while you are a, let’s say, IT professional. The “teamwork” ploy is used in this case as well.
    5. Senior leadership does not apply rules and regulations consistently to all staff. Inconsistency leads to lack of trust from employees which had resulted in a very, very high turnover rate which has a domino effect that ends up in instability.
    6. The shuffling of staff to and from different departments and different positions leads the organization to let go of a lot of staff whose positions all of a sudden become unnecessary. The excuse of "they were not a good fit for the organization" is more than often used rather than leadership doing a self-evaluation on the management strategies they are implementing.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Senior leadership, management and HR, wake up! Start to notice the instability at NRPA. Stop being defensive and start to take action. As a leadership team, you should know that poor management trickles down to low employee satisfaction and morale which only gives you low productivity. This organization will only become successful when you start to acknowledge the issues you have and then make improvements. This is management 101.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 7 people found this helpful  

    A Roller Coaster Ride Full of Ups and Downs

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Ashburn, VA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Ashburn, VA

    I worked at National Recreation and Park Association

    Pros

    Every review on this site is meant to be a combination of fact and opinion, and taken as such in deciding where to apply for and accept employment. To be fair, I will specify if my "Pros and Cons" are facts or opinions.

    FACT: Great Benefits (403b match of 6% w/immediate vesting, 26 days of PTO, 13 paid holidays, 80% medical and dental covered for employee and family members, teleworking option)

    OPINION: dedicated employees; great mission; membership is dedicated to the mission; new CEO challenged employees to look at the organization differently;

    Cons

    FACT: Turnover of 75 percent+ over 3 years. On my last day, only 15 employees remained who were there on my first day in a staff of more than 60. This doesn't include those who came and went in between. Very few staff have been with the organization more than 5 years.

    FACT: Since 2008 when the new CEO started, the downturn in the economy has had an impact on non profit organizations, especially those whose members are connected to public funding. Tough choices had to be made to keep the organization in existence.

    FACT: Beginning in 2008, the structure of the organization has changed on an annual basis, at a minimum. This has included different combinations of departments, changing of top leader responsibilities, and shuffling and dealing out projects and responsibilities like a deck of cards.

    FACT: In 3 years I had one documented review. My job responsibilities changed multiple times with documentation only once.

    OPINION: There is a lack of trust among most staff, of the leadership as a whole, and a feeling that anyone could be next to go. Often when people do "depart" from the organization, there is head shaking and a lack of understanding behind decisions.

    OPINION: Promotions and demotions are handed out inconsistently. Because of the lack of reviews, staff are defenseless when decisions are made, as they have no documented history to show their value or effectiveness. There is no value in formal education, as there are many people in supervisory roles who have not completed any 2 or 4 year degree programs.

    OPINION: Leadership sets unrealistic goals. While achievements belong to the team as a whole, when goals are not met, the staff in the trenches become the scapegoats.

    OPINION: Most staff have negative or ambiguous view of members. For a membership organization this is disappointing, as without members, what are you?

    OPINION: No place of employment is perfect, and to expect such would be unrealistic. Just like the parks they protect, NRPA can be a great place. However, be sure to stay aware of your surroundings just as you would in any new environment so that nothing jumps up to bite you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    STAFF: It's okay to live in the moment, but plan for the long haul. Don't make quick decisions without thinking about the long term impact.

    BOARD: Pay attention - while you have been removed from the day to day management of the organization, you still have a responsibility to the members to ensure that the CEO and leadership are making decisions in the best interest of the association. Don't be afraid to ask questions.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
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