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I have been working at TNTP full-time (More than 3 years)
-You may be on the road a lot, but the flexibility of working from home when you aren't on the road is an amazing perk that can't be overstated. -Benefits are generally really good as well, although sadly on a downward trajectory. -The bar for the quality of work is generally really high. After a while at TNTP, it is easy to forget that in most work environments, the majority of your colleagues aren't are smart, competent, motivated and articulate.
In terms of overall direction, the organization has been going through a painful reorganization and feels rudderless. However, this might be short-term pain, while TNTP's biggest cons are rooted in its culture. There is a major gap between how little TNTP shows it values its employees, and how much management constantly talks about how much employees are valued. Senior management clearly works for a different company than the majority of the staff. The hypocrisy between what TNTP preaches as human capital management consultants, and what TNTP practices internally is pretty astounding. A couple of examples: As most reviewers have noted, work-life balance is a serious and perennial problem. Management periodically pretends to care, offering up incredibly lame, ineffective "solutions," (e.g. a series of "tips" on how to work more efficiently). The subtext of these initiatives is always (1) some people like working all the time, so if you don't, the problem is really you, or (2) you're probably just inefficient. Thankfully, these meaningless gestures never seem to last longer than a few weeks. "You are ultimately responsible for your own career growth" is the message explicitly communicated to employees. This is a convenient way of offloading responsibility for developing staff onto employees. Ironically, TNTP touts the career opportunities and professional development it offers professionals...but they only apply to a small portion of the staff. Career opportunities are very political. When they are not about good politicking, they are pretty much luck of the draw, dependent on whether or not you get staffed on a project that is high-profile. It is impossible to truly "own" your own development when you get no say on what you work on. No amount of trainings or PDs attended will actually further your career at TNTP; you need to demonstrate that you have already done the work of the position at the next rung on the ladder. (BTW, nothing you've done prior to your employment at TNTP to fulfill this is considered valid.) I strongly believe that poor opportunities are a huge contributor to employee turnover, and personally know numerous employees who have left in frustration over stagnant career growth.
Advice to Management
Address work-life balance. Given us meaningful say in the contracts we work on (staff interest surveys that are subsequently ignored actually highlight how little employees matter, and do more harm than good). Increase base salaries. Reduce the rigid hierarchy - there are a lot of amazingly talented, underutilized people toiling in mid- and lower-level positions who feel dis-empowered. Stop "messaging" to employees and start talking to them. If the organization doesn't intend to tackle a challenge, be honest about it. We are all smart enough to know the difference between PR and substantive action, and the former is frustrating and infantalizing.