ICMA Reviews

Updated April 13, 2015
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2.7
16 Reviews
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Robert J. O'Neill
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Employee Reviews

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  1. Knowledge Network Intern

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

    I have been working at ICMA as an intern

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Very flexible and understanding when it comes to work schedule.

    Cons

    The organization is always evolving and changing to better serve its mission, but this can create uncertainty in employment.

  2. Working at ICMA

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

    I have been working at ICMA

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Staff are great. Lots of passionate staff.

    Cons

    Imbalance of workload and quite a few senior level "free riders".

    Advice to Management

    The issues with inefficiency is related to senior level free riders. The organization needs to take a hard look at that.

  3. Inspirational, challenging, exciting place to work with good benefits

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at ICMA full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    ICMA is a mission-driven organization with caring, passionate staff and leadership. It offers flexible schedules; some teleworking options under the right circumstances; and good retirement, vacation, and sick leave benefits (on par with European organizations, as another reviewer said). It also demands a lot of its staff, so many are very busy and have a lot of opportunities to learn new things and take stretch assignments. Salaries are on par with other nonprofits. Promotion opportunities come if you stick around, but may not happen as quickly as other places since the staff is relatively small and higher positions don't open up as much. I find it a challenging, exciting, and inspirational place to work and make a difference.

    Cons

    Because ICMA, like many nonprofits and even private sector companies, is trying to do more with less, demands are heavy. This can be good as I described above, but can also lead to work-life imbalance if the employee is not willing to push back or let things slip. Attrition among newer staff seems high, possibly due to a combination of low nonprofit salaries and high workload. Staff engagement seems high but inconsistent across the organization, and I think workload may be inconsistent as well.

    Advice to Management

    Continue the focus on members and mission, consider higher salaries for entry-level positions, and be willing to cut lower-priority programs and services so that workload better matches the human resources available. Continue working to improve processes and technology as you have been, and consider heavier investment in web development and administrative support staff.

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  5. Helpful (1)

    Medium-sized non-profit with a great mission, great network, and passionate staff.

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

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Job flexibility is excellent, and non-compensation benefits are better than most orgs, unless you're a European-based group. The staff are driven and passionate, and tend to stay with the organization longer when space is available. Some innovative decisions have allowed ICMA to extend its services and opportunities beyond a classic membership group, working in international development, domestic policy, and grant-funded services to communities. Most teams encourage innovation and new product ideas, and I have created, advanced and sustained several new programs that did not exist 5-10 years ago. Every day is different and always engaging - it's a privilege to serve the members we serve, and advance the pursuit of excellence in communities globally.

    Cons

    It is a medium-sized non-profit, so advancement is limited and salaries and benefits are good, but below private sector comparables. With mid- and senior staff staying on in long tenures, this limits advancement for early career entrants, so the org loses a lot of new talent to attrition. Some new business models have failed to produce lasting financial returns.

    Engagement across the organization is not universal and some team members feel completely engaged and supported, while others feel highly disengaged and not supported. Regarding innovation, while it is encouraged, if you have a new idea you need to 'make it happen' through sheer force of will. There are few staff or financial resources you can call on to advance a new idea. Though that's not unusual in any organization these days with the loss of innovation or contingency funds.

    The organization has restructured teams and management about five times in 10 years, and while iteration is good we tend to forget where we were and what we've talked about when we try to engage new staff.

    Poor internal communications leads to a lot of uninformed gossip, which has a large toll on morale.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to engage staff at all levels, improve internal communications, increase transparency in decision making, and encourage change with innovation funding or support. Continue pursuing a definition of the ideal employee type (the focus on personality traits and fit over education and skill) and secure these people at the point of hire, and build a real KSA to get the most out of the skills possessed by staff. Encourage fun.

  6. Intern

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

    I have been working at ICMA

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    I absolutely loved working at ICMA. The hours are reasonable, which can be rare in DC and there are great benefits like being next to a metro station and having a gym in the building.

    Almost all the people there are great to work with and I really enjoyed most of the projects I worked on there.

    Cons

    The work isn't always the most exciting but I think that is true of every job.

  7. ICMA Lacks Management

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

    I have been working at ICMA

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Flexible work schedules are especially helpful to those looking for work/life balance.
    During the summer, staff is permitted to compress their workdays in order to leave at noon on Fridays.

    Cons

    The management team lacks the leadership skills necessary to assure that ICMA will survive another 100 years. There is no job security.
    Due to the continuing staff reductions, morale is very low.

  8. Helpful (1)

    Lacks long term growth

    • 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 (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    ICMA has a group of dedicated employees who are passionate about their respective roles, and this is a big plus. The benefits are fairly standard, but the retirement benefit is nice.

    Cons

    At a core there is a general toxicity in the air that always has you wondering whether your job is safe. Over the last several months layoffs have been the norm, with very little long term planning being implemented.

    Advice to Management

    You've been at the helm too long, it's time to admit you don't have the experience to grow the association.

  9. An Excellent Place to Work

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

    I worked at ICMA full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Good pay and benefits; even balance between work and life, with a lot of programs and activities for employees; management is great, as are the coworkers.

    Cons

    Too much focus on business in Afghanistan. They really need to expand their geographical scope.

  10. 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)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    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 Management

    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.

  11. Helpful (1)

    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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    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 Management

    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.

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