WestEd Reviews

Updated April 14, 2014
Updated April 14, 2014
21 Reviews

3.0
21 Reviews
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Glen Harvey
16 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Good place to work with great connections, but be prepared for office shenanigans

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

    I worked at WestEd full-time

    Pros

    Pay and benefits are quite good for the work you do (non-profit so the executives are not paid millions in bonuses). If you're loyal and hard-working, relationships with management can pay off. Many people come and go (see cons), but that means you can build up some great connections.

    Cons

    Promotion is a long process in which one given within 3 years of employment is rare. Turnover is huge depending on the department/program/director. If the people at the top are of the old school hierarchical ilk, the usual office politics and passive aggressive nonsense apply. Not all programs are like this, so most people have great experiences.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Purge old school hierarchical and passive aggressive management techniques where they exist.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Mixed

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at WestEd

    Pros

    Interesting projects and there are some really great people who work here. Benefits are generally good and there is opportunity to travel. Support staff is generally great.

    Cons

    As is the case anywhere, some managers are better than others. There can be a lack of communication depending on who you are dealing with.

  3.  

    Great place to get knowledge & experience.If you can endure the systemic dysfunction & play the politics you'll survive.

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

    I have been working at WestEd full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    You'll get to work with some very brilliant people.
    Ppl are passionate about the work.
    You'll get exposure to national research and development work in the field
    They really do have a generous benefits package
    People who actually do the on the ground work (the worker bees), are young, super smart, easy going and a well engaged group.
    Business casual to casual dress code
    Depending on the project or department, they offer employees the opportunity to work from home and give you the tools to do your job e.g computer, phone

    Cons

    There's a level of dysfunction that might be beyond repair with upper management. They have very conservative, myopic thinking. They turn a blind eye to hostile work situations or situations that make it impossible to be innovative and to have a team-based, harmonious work environment. Some departments, like ASDS operate like a dictatorship or a factory. They treat employees like Hebrew slaves.
    There's a clear lack of diversity in the entire organization.
    A lot of nepotism.
    A lot of dishonest unprofessional ageing-out directors who don't know how to manage younger generation staff and who are dismissive of their their ideas and hard work.
    No collaboration between departments. If you here mgmt talking about it, It's just all talk it doesn't happen and there a lot of push back at the mgmt level.
    If you're a Phd be prepared to spend most of your time writing proposals to help keep revenue flowing into your department.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Turn the mirror inward. Directors and Executive Mgmt: You all are losing a lot of young very talented staff who can continue to advance the work and success of the company long after you're gone. No amount of company perks can keep a good employee who feels demoralized or frustrated by mgmt incompetence. They'll stay for a while but will have no loyalty or commitment to stay.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Great company for educational research and innovation

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

    I have been working at WestEd full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Tremendous innovation in the educational arena, very smart people, generally well respected in the industry. Large, stable nonprofit organization with offices across the country. Heavily involved in most educational initiatives at the national and state level; recognized as a leader.

    Cons

    Conservative leadership has been unable to get around siloed program structure. Although there is room for advancement, upward mobility is often difficult.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    A Zero Star Rating with a 1 to 5 star option--who are these people?

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

    I have been working at WestEd full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    benefit package rocks!!! 15% of your salary goes to retirement fund (you are 100% vested upon hire)...I believe it's b/c they don't pay into social security. So I do miss that...I miss the money!!! but awful place with bad management

    Cons

    political unrest
    bad coffee
    smiles worth nothing
    backstabbing
    cronies

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    go to hey'all
    no, seriously, it's probably fine if you get in the right department, at the right level...but I knew a lot of people there who all agreed in the messiness of this place

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Hell on Earth - Part II

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

    I have been working at WestEd full-time

    Pros

    Mission, benefits and friendly environment in most departments (other than ASDS, as noted in other reviews)

    Cons

    If you are hired to work in the ASDS department...RUN! Do not work for ASDS. By far, the worst work environment I have ever experienced. The ASDS department is a nightmare. Cold, unfriendly and unprofessional managers. Scope of work is not in-line with original job description. Original write-up "Hell on Earth" is dead on!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Regarding the ASDS managers, "Trust your employees and treat them as a valuable asset." Managed by very unhappy managers (that says a lot about a department). A smile every so often or good morning greeting is a good start.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    Hell on Earth

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at WestEd full-time

    Pros

    Good benefits, cheap parking, sunny neighborhood

    Cons

    Most hostile work environment ever. Talented people get sucked in, find out about the dysfunctional culture, don't leave because they are scared to lose the benefits and that their skills won't translate into other careers, and then become part of the problem. Everyone is disgruntled. The managers are morons.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get rid of disease-spewing managers in ASDS.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    This place is a awful from the top down

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Administrative Assistant  in  San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Administrative Assistant in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at WestEd full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    right next to whole foods?
    Location
    parking

    Cons

    If you like being an assistant for 3.5 years and longer, great place
    If you like a 'not for profit' that seemingly prides themselves on making a difference, but really only cares about the money, great place

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    this is more than advice
    management cares about covering themselves; you won't advance unless you are real good and comfortable sucking up, and even then
    I talked to a number of staff, top to bottom, even one of the high up Project Directors said it's flawed from top down which creates a negative environment
    they care about making money and getting funded, and you'll HAVE to care too
    they have meaningless reviews (mid term and end of year) that requires about 2 hours of written work on your part, and constant revisions so that when it goes to the board, they will be happy; you will outline 'goals' for the next review, and it does nothing for you
    I was total you will never get an 'excellent' review, because they just don't give that
    If you try and work harder and take on more, it does nothing for your future, they will just expect you to do it and wonder why you are stressed
    they promote best in class attitude, etc, and I worked my tail off the whole time, was liked by many people, and got nowhere
    HR will act like they are sincere, but Do NOT go to them, it will backfire big time
    the CEO is a total loon, who cares about her son and daughter and her life, and wested culture! woo hoo it's bs
    it will seem good as gold in the beginning, trust me, it's far from it
    Some departmental assistants make WAY more than others of same amount of time, since Proj. Directors run different depts, and where you are is the luck of draw, i knew of one with 62k/year, and was an admin assist, while others in low 40ks and it's just dumb luck
    I don't usually write reviews, but felt like it over a year after I left

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    A government-funded think tank bubble -- a pleasant enough employer, but not creative or innovative

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

    I worked at WestEd full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    This is a quasi-government agency funded by federal and state soft money, so employees have terrific government-style benefits (hefty retirement package, full medical, etc). The offices are clean and well maintained. The environment is professional and quiet, dominated by introverts (report writers, statisticians, academicians, etc). High quality work products (studies, reports, analyses, etc).

    Cons

    Few opportunities for advancement, and poor internal mobility. When a funding contract runs out, it can be difficult to move to a different group that still has funding. Each funding group has its own Principal Investigator with a lot of autonomy. Some of them are good managers and leaders, but many are not (it can be quite unpleasant working for those who are not.) Lots of internal politics generated by the Principal Investigators and senior managers who jockey for influence and power.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Spend less time on internal politics and more time encouraging innovation, creativity, and risk-taking.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Prominent in the field of education, research, and service.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Assistant II  in  San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Research Assistant II in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at WestEd full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Great reputation in the field, which helps keep programs growing.

    Cons

    Find it challenging to grow within company, and receive support to engage in work that is enjoyable rather than "assigned."

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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