AARP Reviews | Glassdoor

AARP Reviews

Updated July 26, 2017
50 reviews

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AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins
Jo Ann Jenkins
12 Ratings

50 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • They have a great work life balance/ The organization strives to really put the needs of seniors on the forefront of every decision they make (in 48 reviews)

  • A very professional environment with great benefits (in 32 reviews)

Cons
  • Decision making is sometimes slow (in 12 reviews)

  • If you're a young contractor/intern, it can be difficult to become a full time employee (in 10 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "A Mixed Bag"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at AARP full-time

    Pros

    Excellent benefits and above average compensation. A wide array of benefits including a pension plan, fraud watch, good health plan, immediate match and 401k vesting, caregiving leave, and AARP membership. A truly outstanding benefits package.

    A great mission driven organization. Despite the issues/cons there are several true bright spots- 1. the state organization- they are truly employee and member focused, 2. the chief marketing officer if an outstanding leader, 3. after a long dormant state the HR function is finding its feet and offering exceptional strategic development and hiring services.

    Cons

    There are several warning signs...the CEO is wedded to consulting advice received from a single vendor and discounts employee contributions in favor of consultants. The executives (for the most part) tend to tell the CEO exactly what is expected and rarely if ever speak up, so the CEO who is dependent on having good information only received patronizing style advice from her closest "advisors".

    If you are a supervisor your success will largely depend on who you report to- if you are in the states, HR, communications, marketing you will likely do well and be supported. Otherwise expect that you will be stifled in getting your staff, or yourself promoted even if you have over whelming evidence to support your case. You can also expect that is you have a "protected" employee- one who is in favor with the executives, is somehow seen as indispensable, or has some "dirt on someone", then you ca forget about taking any action to remedy the situation.

    Advice to Management

    For many employees the leadership is seen as "soul-less" only caring about their own reputation or upsetting the CEO. Expose yourself to alternative points of view and take employee suggestions seriously.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Lot of waste, slow, behind the times"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at AARP full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good work life balance
    Supports a good social cause

    Cons

    DNA is research, policy and advocacy but want to influence market and develop products. Unfortunately do not have the DNA for that
    Significantly behind the times in terms of capabilities

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Financially Healthy But Otherwise Dysfunctional"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Director in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Director in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at AARP full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    The pros include the organization is financially healthy and has a worthwhile mission, employees who are among the most passionate I have ever worked with and are committed to the mission, and generous benefits.

    Cons

    The cons are that the organization is slow and bureaucratic (and quite dated in its management practices), hierarchical and fear-based with an emphasis on a command and control management philosophy, and does not value human capital or the capacity to learn. Also, career progress seemingly entirely depends on who you know.

    Advice to Management

    I stopped giving advice to management (e.g., via survey and employee focus groups) because it is largely not a good use of time. However, in the past year or so there seems to be a higher caliber of senior leadership being hired at the parent organization (not the subsidiaries) and I would advise management to continue its progress in hiring for competence.


  4. Helpful (3)

    "Meh."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at AARP full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - Bonus structure is above average for non profits.
    - Work life balance can exist, but depends almost wholly on your manager.
    - There are good coworkers to be found, but it's frustrating when you see them constantly ground down.

    Cons

    - Favoritism is a problem from the C-suite on down.
    - There is always a re-org going on.
    - Because of constant 'voluntary separations' and other euphemistic rounds of layoffs, everyone is often on edge and territorial with work and resources.
    - Documented complaints of hostile and inappropriate behavior by employees ignored by both senior leadership and an HR department with tied hands.
    - Appearances matter more than performance. The person who spends more time sitting at their desk - even if they are on FB - is viewed more positively than an efficient employee producing better deliverables.
    - AARP does not resonate with most Americans anymore. As a brand, AARP is past its own prime.

    Advice to Management

    By the time I left, I didn't have any advice, just disdain.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Bad work culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor in Washington, DC
    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at AARP as a contractor (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Salaries tend to be above market.

    Cons

    - Organization relies heavily on contractors who, contrary to the association's stated mission, don't enjoy benefits or overtime pay, let alone a pension or a 401(k). That is just for staff. The same goes for paid vacation. Contractors are nonetheless managed as if they were full time employees, which is borderline illegal.

    - Many senior managers arrived late and left early and took numerous days to work from home. Given the top-heavy nature of the organization, there was an excess of senior managers trying to weigh in on projects while not doing the heavy lifting these projects entailed. This resulted in an endless series of meetings and initiatives that never came to fruition or were abandoned before completion. Given the culture of the place, there was no accountability for any of this.

    - Given the lack of benefits and paid time off for contractors, lots of people came into work sick. I know of at least one colleague who had to travel out of the country to have a surgical procedure he couldn't afford to pay for in the U.S. Ironic for an organization that fights for Medicare.

    Advice to Management

    Make sure contractors are treated fairly, especially in the editorial department, where I worked for. Abuses there are rampant.


  6. "scsep program"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    there were no pros for me.

    Cons

    the way this program is run is for the benefit of aarp, not the senior.

    Advice to Management

    read the law regarding scsep


  7. "Consultant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Consultant in Washington, DC
    Former Contractor - Consultant in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at AARP as a contractor (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Salary was competitive. Got to work on state-of-the-art data center technology project. Had travel opportunities. Project work was challenging although, my time was under-utilized in terms of project assignments. However, using initiative, I found ways to create useful documentation that the other members of project frequently asked to borrow or photo-copy.

    Cons

    Professionalism, corporate culture, team morale, business ethics were not a great match in terms of my personal values and fit.

    Advice to Management

    Integrity pays great dividends towards the dedicated employees. It is understood that business dealings must be profitable and strategically ( if not aggressively) negotiated but being truthful motivates loyalty in dedicated employees.

  8. Helpful (3)

    "Oversight Needed"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at AARP (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great passion for core values of AARP, Good location

    Cons

    Works in a old government fashion and resistant to change. Old building with tons of old offices. Too much hand holding and results in millions of wasted dollars. Doesn't make timely decisions and no accountability, unless you not part of the "clique"

    Advice to Management

    Suggest real 3rd party audits done to manage staff & contractors relationships. Good ole boy network plays heavy here and stagnants morale and getting things done. Hire experienced people who HONESTLY understand the SDLC and Agile Methodology.


  9. "Lakewood, CA This job is a temp mail room clerk/ keyer."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Lakewood, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Lakewood, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at AARP full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    If the leads notice you you will stay for a long time. If they don't even remember you name or you do something wrong you will receive a phone call from the agency at 3pm.

    Cons

    No room to be a permanent employee in the future. When you apply for the job with the agency you meet at a Starbucks or Panera. 10 permanent staff do what they want, Facebook or on their phones. If they make a mistake, temps are to blame. Company will be having in the future all temps. Don't waste your time here. No support from the agency or company. They don't care about the temps.

    Advice to Management

    Think about the temps more, we work and give are all to this company. We process so much money each and every day from aarp members yet we only get paid minimum. If you had us become permanent maybe some people wouldn't walk out. You have loyal employees.


  10. Helpful (3)

    "Outsourced and Outcast"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at AARP full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    AARP has a pension plan - if you actually can stay employed.

    Cons

    Loyalty to the employee base is non-existent.


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