Grand Circle Reviews

Updated October 19, 2014
Updated October 19, 2014
51 Reviews
2.2
51 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Alan E. Lewis
24 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Laid back environment, casual dress code, and welcoming of different types of people (in 8 reviews)

  • During my time there, the only pro were the travel benefits (in 8 reviews)


Cons
  • Open and courageous communication crosses the line more often than it should (in 9 reviews)

  • Employees have to buy into company culture; agree with owners beliefs (in 8 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Great people to work with, if you are willing to suck up and throw others under the boat.

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

    I have been working at Grand Circle full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Personal growth, good job to have out of college, encourages open communication. Travel benefits are decent.

    Cons

    The values are intense, mandatory overtime, high turnover rate.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop giving people the opportunity to work in senior management if they aren't competent.

    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Not meant for everyone

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Traveler Support Associate in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Traveler Support Associate in Boston, MA

    I worked at Grand Circle full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Discounts are decent
    Co-workers are nice
    Decent pay
    Training is informative and fun

    Cons

    Irate callers
    Very monotonous, sitting 8 hrs a day just taking calls after calls
    Monitored breaks
    Getting yelled by callers due to other agents' mistakes

    If you can take being yelled at and like the intense competitive environment then this job is meant for you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The call center needs more support from upper management. Also the wait time to contact another department it's absolutely ridiculous.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Company too focused on reacting quickly to plan ahead

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

    I worked at Grand Circle full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Excellent coworkers - generally speaking, the people who work alongside you will always have your back. Company culture can be fun.

    Cons

    So fast-paced that there's no preplanning, and every project is completed at break-neck pace; no opportunities for good work to be created if you're always on a "due-five-minutes-ago" mentality. The C-Level management is a revolving door, and the company values are used as an excuse for poor treatment or to justify bad practices. (It's not 'mean' - it's 'open and honest communication!' It's not 'added at the last minute' - it's 'thriving in change!') The fun aspects of the company culture are undermined by the forced nature of it. I've seen another review that says the call center employees are treated like second-class citizens - this is absolutely true. Marketing strategists are frequently promoted from within with little formal marketing education, leading to a lot of choices being made based on gut reactions.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I don't feel like there's much hope for change, honestly. The entire foundation of the marketing strategy is direct mail, which leads to the marketing portion of the company feeling like a junk mail factory. Please stop hiring and firing executive-level employees without giving them a chance to actually effect change.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    GCC is a dynamic place that you can learn from great co-workers and very slick business model

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

    I worked at Grand Circle (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    - Entrepreneurial environment
    - Fast paced and open communication
    - Always something new going on and you will learn allot
    - You are able to travel and see things

    Cons

    Your status can change hour to hour, seen to many instances where the something didn't work properly and that individual either had their salary impacted or effectively out the door. Real Marketing Strategy is not allowed to run and see results and be able to change with learning's.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    This place made me question the very value of life itself.

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

    I worked at Grand Circle full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Tremendous travel benefits are really the only perk here: You can get unbelievably awesome deals on travel package tours. Mind you, they are designed for senior citizens (um, "mature Americans" in company parlance), so they aren't the way most employees (um, "associates" in company parlance) would normally travel, but heck, they're so dang cheap.

    Compensation and benefits are adequate, hardly stellar, but you can do worse. Of course, the HR staff gave me incorrect policy information when they hired me, so I made decisions based on their mistakes, so who knows: Maybe I could have done better.

    Cons

    How much time do you have? The company "culture" that the higher ups and HR drones prattle on about endlessly is a hollow sham designed to offer superficial placation to employees deeply distraught by the inhumane environment, callow and inept leadership, and ever-changing party line. It's corrosive and tiresome. Despite their stated preference for "mavericks," the folks who get ahead are sycophants who slurp the proverbial Kool-Aid and play ball by whatever rules the CEO sets up this week.

    Speaking of CEOs, wanna know something hilarious? I worked there for about three years, and we changed CEOS SIX TIMES during that span! Can you believe it? Usually I'd define "poor leadership" as a qualitative judgement, but in this case, it's QUANTITATIVE. It can literally be quantified how shady, shifty, and unstable this environment is!

    Vacation time is minimal, ironic considering the one decent perk is AWESOME VACATIONS. Chew on that, wage-slave!

    Working here can become your life. You need to put strict limits on your time and your involvement: Don't work overtime, don't go the extra mile, because it won't make any difference. Treat them like a bank, and walk away at your first opportunity.

    Perhaps the biggest con is seeing good employees slowly become sad, bitter, disillusioned people when faced with Grand Circle's impenetrable wall of dysfunction.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    How's about GET SOME MANAGEMENT and STICK WITH IT. The revolving-door CEO thing is laugh-out-loud stupid. Also, quit using your so-called values to defend your terrible behavior and decisions.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Torture...

    Former Employee - Personal Travel Counselor in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Personal Travel Counselor in Boston, MA

    I worked at Grand Circle full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Talking about travel every day. Discounts

    Cons

    Phone center was like being in jail

  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    The culture and environment is strange and demoralizing

    Former Employee - Traveler Support Associate in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Traveler Support Associate in Boston, MA

    I worked at Grand Circle full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    •great training
    • colleagues are very nice
    • if you can last at least a year you can work in customer support anywhere
    •great way to get foot in door for Customer service and sales for travel industry/hospitality

    Cons

    •the image of grand circle travel as having a great culture that boasts about giving back to the community is misrepresented in a few ways: they use their culture and values to manipulate their call center employees' behavior in a way that only benefits them and exploits their employees. They measure their employees performed almost completely on customer satisfaction surveys and every single customer gets a survey. Of the surveys, if less than 89.9 percent is excellent you could lose your job. I have never heard of this as being one of the sole determinants, and at my current and past jobs the surveys are not so heavily weighted.Their turnover rate is very high and they are constantly hiring and training new people because their treatment of employees' is terrible and unfair. Favoritism, and their cult-like obsession with their company's values drives people away. As does their strange practice of promoting employees after 3 months while the veterans who do put in their time and work hard are ignored. Their 3 to 5 hours of mandatory overtime is made worse by them constantly changing and making employee metrics harder to meet, and then forcing employees to behave by the values of the company and writing a quarterly report on how they displayed the values. Last but not least is the constant change in management, I has 3 different supervisors in the span of 18 months!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The trick to keeping employees is keeping them happy. Increasing the stress level with harder metrics to meet, then making them work mandatory overtime, while demanding they do extra work to prove they are showing the values does not make people happy, it burns them out. Don't try to manipulate employees behavior by having them try to prove they live by the values. This is insulting, manipulative and makes this place appear cult-like. Promotions should be done based on people who know the most, work the hardest, and have put in their time... Not simply on Customer surveys and meeting metrics as the people with the highest scores don't necessarily know the most but tell customers what they want to hear and ask veterans for help.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    Micro-manage

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Customer Service in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Customer Service in Boston, MA

    I worked at Grand Circle full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    GCT gives GREAT travel perks. You get really great deals on their tours. Although you'll be traveling with old people, the price you pay is worth it. I went to Paris for 8 days in December, all meals included, flights included, and accommodation for only about $1100. Great deals!

    Cons

    The micro-managing drives everyone insane. They have VERY high turnover rate. Everyone quits hence why they are ALWAYS hiring. I was a Customer Service Rep and thats the worst job to have in that company. You recieve about 100 calls per shift regarding reservations from very happy and very irate customers. After helping them, the client gets a post call survey (PCS) and you NEED them to score you at an "excellent" every time or.... you can lose your job. Its ridiculous!!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The benefits are awesome! But the micro-managing needs to stop. Let people do their job. Its hard to be productive and efficient when supervisors are over your shoulder telling you that you may get fired if you dont get you PCS score to an excellent. Its stressful! Hence why you have a VERY high turn over rate and why you spend so much money hiring people every month!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    House of Lies

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Traveler Support Associate in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Traveler Support Associate in Boston, MA

    I worked at Grand Circle full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Easy money, great benefits, near the MBTA.

    Cons

    Company culture, values are use to manipulative workers rather than encourage them, no job security. If you are offer a job in Sales or Travel Support, think twice.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Have better time off policies for the Call Center, treat the call center employees better, keep good workers around even if they do not hit their numbers. Stop assuming people are stupid.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    They ask too much of call center employees

    Current Employee - Traveler Support Associate
    Current Employee - Traveler Support Associate

    I have been working at Grand Circle full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    You work among great employees, and most supervisors are understanding and kind. Decent pay and time off. Laid back environment, casual dress code, and welcoming of different types of people.

    Cons

    Management ask too much of call center employees, days are long, never able to leave your desk. At least one person a month is fired or let go. The departments are always under staffed and you have to make up for it by working mandatory overtime. Its a run down position and the company who tries to display "change" will never change this.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stick up for your employees more. Try to be better staffed and quit running down employees to the point they quit or are fired, you're missing out on good people.

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