ICMA Reviews

Updated September 15, 2014
Updated September 15, 2014
8 Reviews
1.9
8 Reviews
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Robert J. O'Neill
4 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Amazing place to work

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

    I have been working at ICMA full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    A very flexible and friendly environment. Creative thinking, hard work, and commitment to the mission are expected and rewarded. I joined as a mid-level manager and have been given so many opportunities to learn and contribute in whichever part of the organization I want to. The CEO is very progressive in his thinking. The COO and the Leadership team are compassionate but demanding and are very transparent. Anyone who understands the world of government contracting should know that people are hired and let go based on government awards and availability of funding. To expect any organization to carry staff that do not have funding just shows a lack of engagement or understanding of the organization. ICMA demands a lot of its staff and so this place is not for everyone.

    Cons

    The Washington location, though close to a metro station, is also very difficult for folks who drive in to work. Traffic is terrible in the DC area.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the transparency and communication. Focus on culture of innovation and make sure that the organization continues to be financially stable and viable so it can carry on its mission for the next 100+ years.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Management should not be in the organization name

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

    I worked at ICMA

    Pros

    Close to Metro and Union Station

    Cons

    1. Benefits are poor. When confronted, the crackpot HR team will have endless excuses but then they are busy organizing yoga classes and hot dog lunches
    2. If they mention something at your interview, get it in writing. If not, never expect an acknowledgement.
    3. Systems and technology are to be treated as four letter words and have no place at this organization. The systems they do have are woefully out of date and the solution will be a new spreadsheet.
    4. Financial data is inaccurate at best but it is your fault if it is wrong. Each team attempts to work around the incompetent finance department with QuickBooks. Everything is paper-dependent and do not suggest a change because it has always been this way...maybe worse before the printing press.
    5. You are working in a strict caste system. Leadership team knows nothing about city management and is a group of oblivious friends. They rarely connect to program managers and god forbid to other employees. Don't make suggestions....things have always been this way and are not welcome to change. The exec director has been absent for years and attempts to connect through a blog that is usually 6 months out of date. The COO was created to cover the absent CEO and was the CFO that created constant financial crisis management. All are paid to manage a misreoresented shadow organization. The salaries were set based upon international grants that cause repeated convulsion of staffing and pay/benefits. They are far higher than other nonprofits.
    6. Raises are never (unless you are part if the high-performing leadership team). HPO is to be taught to every new employee; just don't expect anyone in Leadership to lead with the concept. The organization also likes to teach to city managers; don't expect it to be used at ICMA.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The BOD is appointed for short terms so they can be kept in the dark about the absentee management and complete failure in organizational culture. Problems can be solved with the magical two-hour appearance of the CEO who steps from behind the curtain to shower the staff with drivel. Perhaps a focus on members instead if every grant that can justify the overpriced salaries of Leadership team might be a welcome change. Maybe the board should demand and read exit interviews or see if policies are current.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Treat this organization as a stepping stone in your career.

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

    I worked at ICMA full-time

    Pros

    There are several very kind individuals who work for this organization which is a plus. It is all close to Union Station, which makes access to mass transit a very easy task.

    Cons

    This organization is by far a strange and toxic environment. The current who's who of senior leadership is a sad reality of what happens when you let non-leaders hire and run an organization. The mid to senior team is rampant with individuals whom have never worked for other organizations and base their entire decision making on what they read in other association magazines or through peer networking platforms. The current COO, was the former CFO who was instrumental in creating a financing bubble (through risky Afghanistan contracts). As result when one contract fell through the money ran dry and it turned into open chopping season and layoffs for mid to low level staff, yet the key players continue to hold their current positions.

    The current Executive Director is always on travel with no significant presence in the office. Instead his very hefty salary, expense account and executive bonus structure provides him and his wife international trips on the associations dime. Instead of cutting back on travel or working to improve employee moral he is just a silent partner who has failed to nurture and see the organization grow. The most interaction that staff has with "Bob" used to be through his internal blog (an odd way to manage through blogging). Employee moral as a whole seems to have truly tapered downward over the last several years, yet when you talk to the senior team the mentality is that they just hire bad employees. When your retention rate is 36%+ it is time to face the fact that it is not bad employees that you are hiring, but your are definitely maintaining bad managers.

    Best advice to prospective employees is to "stay away."

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It is easy for the ICMA Leadership Team to say that they are working on staff retention, but when these folks are the issue it really is time for the Board to do some house keeping. This includes removal of the Executive Director, COO, CFO, Director of Membership and Director of International Programs. These folks continue to take up space within the organization, and for individuals earning well over $120,000+ their performance or lack thereof should be on the Board's radar. It also does not help that the current COO was instrumental in shaping the creative financing solution that caused the layoffs of several individuals, yet she continues to cover her mistakes as COO.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Poor Learning Environment

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

    I worked at ICMA full-time

    Pros

    Close to mass transit. Flexible work hours, including "Summer hours" (read 5 hours off every week on Friday afternoons if you finish all you need to do that week before then). Mission driven organization. Some very nice people that work here, and some care a lot about you as a person.

    Cons

    Petty office politics suffocates creativity and collaboration. Organization is 20 years behind investing in their employees, systems, business processes, and even office furnishings. Terrible compensation and practically no benefits. Middle management is untrained, inexperienced. Senior management is unwilling to make changes to invest in the company's future. Company culture discourages innovation, risk taking, and new ideas. Expect to do everything yourself here if you work in program management-if you don't then you take the blame for tasks that should be completed by the support business units. Fridays are a joke, as most people work from home (meaning they are not working).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you make the necessary investments in supporting revenue generating activities, you will be able to avoid the layoffs and financial difficulties that you are currently going through.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    I Can't Manage Anything (ICMA)

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

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

    Pros

    Good location, very close to Metro.

    Cons

    This is one of the weirdest organization I have ever had the opportunity to work in. Senior Management is a group of people who are not competent, but have been promoted and have been there forever. Most good people either leave or are forced out. The person in HR is not qualify to be in that position. The International side has a number of people who have only worked in that organization and have never worked anywhere else. It is a very toxic environment. If you are looking for a place to just collect a pay check and go with the flow, ICMA is the place to be.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The Board at I Can't Manage Anything (ICMA) needs to stop ignoring the problems and there needs to be a completely clean up of Senior Management starting with the HR person and get professionals in these positions if this company is to ever become transparent.

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

    Low pay, toxic work environment and checked-out management

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

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

    Pros

    Convenient downtown location; small work load allows for plenty of work-life balance. If your career aspirations do not go beyond occupying a chair and collecting a check, this is the job for you!

    Cons

    First, job seekers should be aware that the pay is low, and the benefits are practically non-existent. For example they contribute $0 to your 401K until you have worked there for two years. HR clearly recognizes this is an issue when recruiting new employees and tries to cover it up by offering very misleading information about company benefits, for example promoting a telecommute policy that they then deny existence of once you are on board. Just remember: if it is not explicitly written in your contact when you are hired, it is not going to happen. Also, there are virtually no raises, so whatever salary you negotiate going is what you will have for the duration of your employment there.

    The bigger problem though is the company culture. The other reviewer who noted that most senior management has been with the org for the entirety of their careers is absolutely correct. Senior staff are generally completely checked-out, and treat any suggestions that would result in extra work for them with hostility. The culture of hostility is present at all levels of the company, with mangers treating staff with contempt, and staff in turn treating one other with contempt. In the short time I worked there I almost forgot what it was like to not be spoken to rudely. Make no mistake: This is a toxic work environment.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Look elsewhere...

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

    I have been working at ICMA

    Pros

    Excellent mission, and some fairly good technical expertise.

    Cons

    The International Team - This was probably the worst organization I have ever worked for. Most senior managers have never worked for another company before creating an insular environment resistant of change, some lack any qualification other than experience there. They tend to be micro managers, and get defensive when new ideas are proposed, in fact I saw good employees "forced out" for this. Systems are non existent and managers task employees on top of their daily work with "hot teams" to fix them...something that should be left to consultants.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get qualified management, go outside and recruit and pay talented people for leadership roles....

    Doesn't Recommend
  9.  

    ICMA

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

    I worked at ICMA

    Pros

    Excellent Mission for its members

    Cons

    All one can think of

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Change senior management

    Doesn't Recommend

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