The Optical Society Reviews

Updated December 19, 2014
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2.8
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Elizabeth A. Rogan
2 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. If you have no kids, like dysfunctional management and low salaries, this is the place for you!

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

    I have been working at The Optical Society full-time

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

    Pros

    The members of the society. Most of the lower level staff are highly competent and easy to work with.

    Cons

    Little to no work-life balance in most departments. Having kids or a spouse is frowned upon, especially in upper management. Extremely high turn over rate that is always glossed over by HR. If the board and the members actually knew what was happening at lower levels and what the culture there is actually like they would be horrified.

  2. Valuable professional experience in a negative, mismanaged environment

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

    I worked at The Optical Society full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    The members of the society are very nice to work with and the mission of the organization is admirable. Many lower to mid-level staff are very competent. Opportunity to work on several projects that benefit your career/resume in the long run.

    Cons

    The upper management is not in touch with reality. They do not understand what goes on on a day to day level, nor do they value work-life balance, or care about creating a positive work environment. Their decisions to "lay off" several employees in the past year were not justified (or at least not communicated well enough to remaining staff to seem justified). Morale is at an all time low, and again, upper management does not seem to notice, care or know what to do about it. It's surprising the Board of Directors has not caught on with all of the turnaround in the past year. It's unfortunate because the projects and programs run by OSA are great - they are just losing all of their best talent because of the work environment.

    Advice to Management

    Work-life balance is important for morale. Positive work environments are important for morale. Valuing your employees and understanding the importance of their jobs is important for morale. Laying off staff for no reason is bad for morale. Poor communications is bad for morale. Morale is important if you want to keep talented staff around and advance the organization's goals.

  3. Nice Place to Work

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

    I worked at The Optical Society

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

    Pros

    Very good staff who are dedicated to their jobs. Benefits are good on average with other non-profits of similar size. It's a very nice place to work overall.

    Cons

    Odd review system. Raises are tiny to non existent. Update the furniture in the building. The cubicles are like 30 years old.

    Advice to Management

    CEO needs to stop looking into details and work on the big picture.

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  5. Working for the Optical Society is challenging but can be very rewarding.

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

    I worked at The Optical Society full-time (More than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    The mission and goals of OSA are ambitious. The members of the society are dedicated. Many of your co-workers will be very talented people. There is great opportunity for advancement if you have the social skills and technical knowledge. You can accomplish a great deal here if you can avoid being blindsided by the politics.

    Cons

    You must have the political skills and social background to impress the "in" crowd. OSA tends to reward people with titles instead of money. Dissent is not tolerated, and honesty is not appreciated. You can survive by doing your job well and never arguing; you can thrive only if you know how to promote your ideas and yourself in a highly politically charged atmosphere.

    Advice to Management

    All the inflated titles are really becoming laughable. Please show some appreciation for the people who do the day-to-day work. Stop micromanaging. Hire fewer "directors" and more workers. How many layers of bosses can such a small organization really need?

  6. Helpful (1)

    Not recommended.

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

    I have been working at The Optical Society full-time

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

    Pros

    10% retirement contribution. The location is nice for people who take public transportation, and there are lots of good spots for lunch (expensive, though).

    Cons

    The worst micromanagement I've ever seen. Highly critical environment, mean-spirited, high stress. Very hierarchical.

    Advice to Management

    Read some management books. 'Empowering employees' has been industry best-practice for many years. C-level staff should be focused on 'big picture' stuff! And research shows that positive feedback is more effective than harsh criticism. Try some 'best practices' in your management style, please.

  7. Poor leadership

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

    I have been working at The Optical Society full-time (More than a year)

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

    Pros

    Great mission, history and purpose.

    Cons

    Very poor management with extremely high turnover. Problems start at the top with the board not knowing what goes on inside the organization. CEO in over her head.

    Advice to Management

    A complete third party (Board-led) assessment of the organization will reveal the emperor has not clothes.

  8. Great opportunities to advance

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

    I have been working at The Optical Society

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

    Pros

    Great benefits, excellent reputation, interesting people

    Cons

    Turnover in certain departments

  9. Helpful (1)

    False promises with low pay

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

    I worked at The Optical Society

    Doesn't Recommend
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    The mission and membership and potential is great.

    Cons

    They are losing ground because of outdated management habits and there is a lot of unrest between departments because most of the staff is not compensated as well as other non-profit staff members doing the same thing.

    Advice to Management

    Give fair compensation to employees. Follow through on promises. Balance the workforce so there are more staff to do the work (fewer directors - more people getting the work done).

  10. Helpful (1)

    Good solid non-profit

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

    I worked at The Optical Society

    Recommends
    Recommends

    Pros

    Great Benefits
    Good collegiate atmosphere
    Stable
    Values good employees

    Cons

    Some managers need proper management training, job titles are very changeable and seem to change based on cronyism

  11. Helpful (2)

    Nice people, slow to impossible to change.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC

    I have been working at The Optical Society

    Pros

    Great benefits
    You interact with nice people
    Great location
    IF you are in the right department, ample opportunity to move up
    Reasonable hours

    Cons

    VERY if not OVERLY political. Unless you are higher up in the food chain you don't really have a say. You could be the most competent person in the org on a topic, but unless your title carries weight your expertise will be be ignored and the opinion of someone who has no idea will win out. That could be the case everywhere, but I'm just not sure.

    Advice to Management

    Kill the authority complex and stop politicking all the time.

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