Winrock International Reviews

Updated June 19, 2015
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Winrock International President & CEO Rodney Ferguson
Rodney Ferguson
21 Ratings

42 Employee Reviews

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  1. Wait and see

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA

    I have been working at Winrock International full-time

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    I came to Winrock before the organizational-change process began. I’m pretty low down in the ranks, and I have to say that the changes here have opened up new worlds of possibilities for me. Already the organization feels more globally-focused, more inclusive and, for the first time since I’ve been here, more diverse.
    As I understand it, Winrock was overly-dependent on a narrow stream of funding sources and we must diversify and change to ensure our operations are sustainable. We can’t help others if we’re not around to do it, or if we are not thriving. I can appreciate some people’s longing for “the good old days”. But just because Winrock’s future does not look like its past does not mean the future isn’t bright.
    The CEO has a mandate from Winrock’s board of directors to align our organization’s direction with changing currents in global international development. There is new blood in management – people who can offer new expertise and fresh perspectives. All of this can be confusing, but I think we should at least take a wait-and-see approach. The need for change is coming from outside the organization because international development as a whole is changing. We have to be smart and change with it.

    Cons

    Traditionally, people have stayed here a long time, so there has not always been a lot of room for advancement.

    Advice to Management

    I don’t think management has made a strong case yet to staff about what all the changes are going to accomplish, and why outside pressures are requiring internal adaptations. (That might explain some of the sniping on Glassdoor.) My advice is to create a sense of employee ownership of the changes that are needed, and empower them to become agents of change at all levels of the organization. There needs to be a greater sense of urgency about achieving organization-wide buy in. A concrete and tangible vision of what Winrock should become could help calm the waters that are being stirred up staffers who can only see what Winrock is right now or has been in the past.


  2. Helpful (1)

    Sad to See a Great Company Crashing

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

    I have been working at Winrock International

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

    Pros

    Benefits and Pay are good

    Cons

    Lack of Vision, Mission and Focus.

    Advice to Management

    Declare victory and move on to some other company run by your Pals.


  3. Helpful (1)

    direection not clear

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Program Officer in Crystal City, VA
    Current Employee - Program Officer in Crystal City, VA

    I have been working at Winrock International full-time (More than 5 years)

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

    Pros

    competitive salary, committed employees that really care about development work

    Cons

    reorganization taking place and not going as anticipated

    Advice to Management

    Need VPs that understand the business - and focus non-profit


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  5. Helpful (6)

    Razzle Dazzle and Browbeating

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Corporate Staff in Crystal City, VA
    Current Employee - Corporate Staff in Crystal City, VA

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

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

    Pros

    Very good benefits and many employees have flexible work schedules. Good bonuses and cost of living raise most years.

    Cons

    Revenue, new business and morale are down while turnover, number of executives with big tiites, and consultant expenses are up. Most of the new Winrock executives have consulting backgrounds and it is their first time in an executive role actually manaaging a company that had incredibile growth the past 7 years. They seem lost at times and over compensate by blaming the past regime for anything that goes wrong. They also seem fixated on superficial items like upgrading their offices with glass doors, technical gadgets, and new titles to impress their DC peers. For the first year it was a bunch of "razzle dazzle" but now its morphed into a combination of "browbeating" and "razzle dazzle" as Winrock loses credibilty.

    Advice to Management

    You are quite the contrast to the old regime that was not afraid to actually listen to staff and get their hands dirty in the field. The old regime actually cared about Winrock, the staff, and the old boring mission of helping farmers help themselves.

    It will be interesting to see how long before the Board realizes there is not a lot of trust or confidence in the new leadership. In the meantime we’ll smile and say “yes sir” and hope we are not in the next wave of layoffs, forced resignations or forced retirements which are needed to make room for new directors and consultant expenses.


  6. Helpful (1)

    Catching up

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Program Officer in Little Rock, AR
    Current Employee - Senior Program Officer in Little Rock, AR

    I have been working at Winrock International

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

    Pros

    Winrock is finally making changes in response to the market. Nothing had changed. Now there is a lot of change fast. We asked for change and now it is here. No staff were let go in this round though some people left. If you can't work here then iit is right to go. They are now opening a new center in Arkansas and had some jobs that had to be in LR. Change takes time and I think it is overdue. SMT keep it up . Good to be listening to staff more and being professional

    Cons

    Need staff training. When are jobs going to be advertised? $$$ still seem to be ok.

    Advice to Management

    Get more training for staff. Stay the course. Don't worry about glass door as much.


  7. Helpful (5)

    Had it's good days and it's bad days

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

    I worked at Winrock International

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

    Pros

    The people that actually do the work are hard working, dedicated and a pleasure to work with.

    Cons

    Sr Mgmt is totally clueless, it is just a game to leave their mark on the world.

    Advice to Management

    Get out and let people who understand international work run the show


  8. Transition but still a great place to work

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

    I have been working at Winrock International full-time (More than 5 years)

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

    Pros

    Opportunities to work on many different tasks, good colleagues, good salary and benefits, improving systems, friendly environment, Fridays off sometimes, fun Halloween and Thanksgiving shows morale going the right direction. I don't know when changes will be over but think new staff so far are good. They are trying to create career paths.

    Cons

    Changes mean staff reorganized and some staff are being made redundant. This is sad. It is hard to know what is going on.

    Advice to Management

    Tell us the plans. What is happening to programs? Other NGOs are also laying off so it is hard to know what to do.


  9. Helpful (4)

    NEW BELTWAY BANDIT

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

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

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

    Pros

    I joined Winrock years ago because I believed in the mission and I trusted the senior leadership. I also admired the legacy of the Founder and how the past leadership worked hard to create a positive working environment. While there was always room for improvement, there was always a basic level of trust and commitment from staff that made Winrock unique and not the typical Beltway Bandit.

    The Pro is that I've found Winrock benefits better than most.

    Cons

    The Con is that I find it truely sad Winrock just become another BELTWAY Bandit when it laid off a bunch of experienced junior staff and kept building office space for more new Bosses in the DC Office. Laying off and forcing a bunch of experienced staff to leave so we can hire new Bosses, consultant buddies, and hold Board meetings at lavish locations - REALLY - THINK WE DON"T NOTICE?

    Advice to Management

    Hire some new bosses that have actually been successfull a the executive level leading an internatinoal development company.

    Hire Board members who can see through smoke and know what is needed to lead an international development company.


  10. Helpful (3)

    BIG TRANSITION

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Director in Little Rock, AR
    Former Employee - Director in Little Rock, AR

    I worked at Winrock International full-time (More than 5 years)

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

    Pros

    The last 7 years were very exciting with Winrock doubling in size with growth in all three program groups. Winrock gives staff 10% for pension and vests after one year. Life insurance is 3x salary. All staff get 4 weeks vacation after 2 years and the work schedule for US staff gives you every other Friday off because the normal work day is 9 hours. The Little Rock office is the HQ and has about 75 staff while the other office is in Crystal City with about 75 staff. Most of the Little Rock staff are long-term and truly care about the mission of helping others help themselves. Medical benefits are also very generous and the monthly cost is based on your salary so the higher paid staff pay more. Lastly, the people working in the field and dedication of US staff to support them is great.

    Cons

    As a guy who spent 20+ years with large "for profits", I was as attracted to Winrock by the fact the prior CEO and COO wanted to run Winrock like a for-profit but keep its unique values and culture. They were successful and doubled the size of Winrock and then retired. The new CEO of 16 months never ran a company but did a great job of listening to staff and making everyone feel comfortable. Since his background is in marketing and communication consulting, he brought in a several consulting companies to help create a strategy and strengthen project management. I've been through these exercises many times before and my main concern was the lack of transparency, time lines and details. From a distance it looks ok but when you get closer ask what was actually accomplished and how is the organization actually performing, it gets kind of iffy. Right now the organization is kind "Chilled" and many staff are in a wait and see mode.

    Advice to Management

    My concern is that there has been a lot of talk and money spent on consultants but nothing has really impacted the staff. For example, another INGO I know started the change process at the same time as Winrock and they have already created and are almost done training their staff in a "project management certification" tailored to their company. They also tend to tap the resources from within the company before they hire consultants. My advice is to hire a Sr. Program VP or COO who has successfully led a large Development INGO for more than 5 years. They will know how to standarize processes and create a career path for young staff that allows them to cross program silos.


  11. Great Company in the Past - not sure about Future

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

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

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

    Pros

    Excellent benefits and most supervisors are very supportive of work/life balance. Almost every employee is on a schedule where you get every other Friday off so you have a long weekend. Lots of long term employees who really care about the people they serve. Offices are very open and company is committed to being "green".

    Cons

    Not much training or opportunity to advance. Not really a con but I'm not sure what the new CEO who was hired over a year ago plans to do. He was a communication consultant in the past and had never been a CEO before. He has brought in a bunch of consultants and we've completed a bunch of surveys. He is a very good talker and seems nice but we don't see many specifics.

    Advice to Management

    Most people won't say it but we feel like we are on a train in a tunnel and we don't know who is driving (consultants or ?), don't know what track we are on, and don't know if the light is another train or the promised land.

    I'll be patient but I don't want to be in the engine.



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