The Option Institute

  www.option.org
  www.option.org

The Option Institute Reviews

Updated December 8, 2014
Updated December 8, 2014
19 Reviews
3.3
19 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Bears Kaufman and Samahria Lyte Kaufman
11 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Working at the Option Institute has helped me grow so much professionally and personally.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Team in Sheffield, MA
    Current Employee - Sales Team in Sheffield, MA

    I have been working at The Option Institute full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Caring staff, great learning environment, able to make a difference in people's lifes.

    Cons

    Salary is low and does not increase w/ advancements.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Increase salary to decrease turnover.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Over worked and underpaid

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Child Facilitator in Sheffield, MA
    Former Employee - Child Facilitator in Sheffield, MA

    I worked at The Option Institute

    Pros

    If you lack a purpose in life you well might find one here. A masochistic paradise.

    Cons

    Few jobs if any require such devotion. I've heard of attention to detail but options wants attention to minutia. The details of details are scrutinized with great voracity. I would not recommend this job for individuals with families or individuals that have lives of their own.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please look at work loads and salaries! Then consider the benefits of reinventing yourself as a retirement community.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    The Option Institute Response

    Dec 15, 2014Chief Operating Officer

    At Option, we help families during very challenging times, whether it is with a child on the autism spectrum, or with a greater life challenge. As such, we take our commitment to these families very ... More

  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Misery, heartache, mold and raw sewage

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

    I worked at The Option Institute full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Everyone needs a benchmark for how terrible a job can be. Options is the bottom rung in employment. Things can only get better from there.

    Cons

    Weight room mold on ceiling, raw sewage leaking out of the ground, tight & cramped quarters. Low wages and too tolerant of employee drug addictions. Too many geese and geese droppings everywhere. Owners have one way glass door so they can 'critique' or really spy on secretaries interactions with visitors.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make the business into a golf resort or similar vacation venue. Don't hire volunteers or drug addicts.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    The Option Institute Response

    Dec 8, 2014Chief Operating Officer

    this is a fake review, made by one very angry person, which Glassdoor has not helped us to identify, though we have attempted to have this fake review removed. There are no former staff members in ... More

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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    Cult-Like Atmosphere

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

    I worked at The Option Institute full-time

    Pros

    Beautiful location. International atmosphere with clients from all over the world. Some good food. Some nice, liberal, open-minded staff. Some of the teachings of the Son-Rise Program are helpful and sweet.

    Cons

    I would not recommend working for this company. Essentially, the founders and family are making out financially (and through people's misery) while everyone else is hardly paid (and continually made to feel bad that they are not working hard enough). Unless you agree with all the teachings, you are on the outside and will never be accepted. The teaching roster consists mainly of the Kaufman family without any outside sources coming in to teach. Because of this, they are considered a cult and I would agree with this statement. Barry Neil 'Bears' Kaufman wants to be venerated and worshipped - you practically have to eat out of his hand when he enters the room (or be treated cruelly by him for the rest of your time there). He uses his power to tear people down only to build people back up the way he wants to. He incarcerates and ensnares the weak with his manipulative tactics and narcissistic antics. His wife is not much better. They are sham artists who clearly don't care about people as they treat their employees horribly (hardly paying them, asking them to work continuously, making them feel bad about themselves by verbally attacking them), while by comparison the guests and participants are treated very well. These are not do-gooders, rather they are powermongers who just want to be idolized and venerated.

    I have personally encountered Bears Kaufman calling people morbidly obese (fat-shaming is one of his favorites), stupid, and lazy, for all intensive purposes. He says it all under the guise of 'wanting to help them and love them by speaking from an authentic place.' I really do not know how this guy does not get sued every day.

    They are constantly attempting to downplay their 'cult' reputation by spinning damage control. Even if you look at the reviews on this site, you will see that clearly that employees were told to write good reviews at a certain period in time. They were contracted in January of 2014. It is obvious. The reviews are mostly from current employees and are flowery in description. In my mind, this is not professional in the slightest. If you treat your employees well, clearly you would not have to do co-erce employees to show their respect for your company online and contract them to do so.

    Not a place I recommend to work. I wish I could say the opposite was true.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Interdepartmental communication and ability to access feedback from employees. Departments do not communicate well and are fragmented.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    The Option Institute Response

    May 21, 2014Chief Operating Officer

    It would be challenging for OI to 'prove' that what this person is saying is blatantly false, but there is one place where I can easily show this person to be untruthful.

     That area is regarding
    ... More

  6.  

    Working at the Option Institute was one my greatest experiences

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Receptionist/Administrative Assistant in Sheffield, MA
    Former Employee - Receptionist/Administrative Assistant in Sheffield, MA

    I worked at The Option Institute part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    The management staff was extremely understanding when I transitioned from full-time to part-time due to outside circumstances. They were extremely flexible in allowing for multiple schedule changes. The staff as a whole is amazing, the kindness and caring qualities of the staff members are unlike any other workplace I have been employed. Co-workers as well as management staff are always encouraging and looking for feedback, as well as give feedback to help everyone improve themselves as an employee as well as a person. These qualities in a staff team are amazing because it creates a comfortability as well as an almost family style dynamic.

    Cons

    Although the staff is great and the work fulfilling, it can be difficult sometimes due to lack of inter-department communication. The communication within a department is clear, although when it comes to working with other departments, there can be lack of or mis-communication.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    As I was on my transition out of the Option Institute, they began having more staff meetings and solidifying the team to make sure that staff was on the same page and I think this is a great idea. I think that more staff meetings would be great so that communication is clearer and that ideas and concerns and be discussed and expressed.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Working at The Option Institute

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

    I have been working at The Option Institute full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    I get to work in a place that I know is making a big difference in the world.
    I love that my day is varied.
    I have many opportunities to grow and learn new things.
    Many opportunities to advance within the company
    I feel respected by my colleagues
    I have a good wage.
    I work in a beautiful environment.
    I have a great vacation benefit package

    Cons

    Although I get a lot of vacation time which is a benefit I love, I am restricted as to when I can take it due to my job responsibilities.

    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    This has been the most supportive environment I have ever worked in.

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

    I have been working at The Option Institute part-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    The services provided to children with Autism and their families is truly inspiring, the staff is upbeat and supportive

    Cons

    There are so many families in need there is often so much to be done

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Has been and continues to be a nurturing, full-filling, challenging and inspiring experience for the past 10 years.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Teacher in Sheffield, MA
    Current Employee - Teacher in Sheffield, MA

    I have been working at The Option Institute full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    What is taught (how to choose happiness and be more loving and accepting) is also modeled and implemented with staff and throughout the organization, so it feels like a family community. It's a loving, open and honest place to work.

    Cons

    Because it is a non-profit organizations, grand plans can be made and then not followed though with due to lack or resources and high staff turnover. So the direction The Institute is taking can be changed on a regular basis and large projects take a long time.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to assess HR policies and protocols to revamp how The Option Institute serves it's staff and the community.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Great place to work as long as you are not looking for the normal 9-5 grind

    • 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 Option Institute full-time

    Pros

    Open and caring staff and owners. New and challenging projects on a consistent basis. This job is a "make of it what you will" job, if you want it to be a miserable unhappy experience then that is what it will be however if you genuinely like to be challenged and have unique and non routine experiences then this is the place to work. The Option Institute is very open to rising stars and rewards excellence with excellence. If you are just looking to keep your head down and get a paycheck every two weeks then this is not the place to come.

    Cons

    Along with the uniqueness and new challenges there can be unrealistic expectations and unreasonable deadlines for projects however once you understand that these unreasonable expectations and deadlines are ideals and if you believe we should always strive for our ideals then this becomes less of a Con and more of a challenge to be met with clever, out of the box solutions.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Trust the people you have and if you feel you can't trust them get rid of them. There are many staff members that have terrific ideas and truly care about The Option Institute however they are afraid to voice their ideas for fear of then being held accountable if the idea doesn't pan out. Stop worrying so much about who's at fault for something. You will have so many more employees stepping up with full excellence and follow through if they are not concerned that if they make a misstep they will end up losing managements trust.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    rewarding work in the beautiful Berkshires

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

    I have been working at The Option Institute full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    my work at The Option Institute is extremely rewarding -- I see on a daily basis how our non-profit transforms and improves the lives of families with children challenged by autism as well as individuals seeking happier more fulfilling lives. I work with people I like and know that what I do makes a difference. I love that we work very internationally even though we're really in the country!

    Cons

    at times the workload is very challenging which I am accustomed to from my expereince in both the for profit and non-profit world

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    reconsider staffing levels and always be open to new opportunities using new technology

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    The Option Institute Response

    Jan 9, 2014Chief Operating Officer

    Thank you for your comments! Particularly your note about the workload. As a part of the new HR projects that I'm sure you're aware of, know that an evaluation of roles and responsibilities (which ... More

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