APCO Worldwide Director Reviews | Glassdoor

APCO Worldwide Director Reviews

Updated Oct 6, 2019

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Found 16 reviews

2.7
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48%
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55%
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APCO Worldwide CEO Brad Staples (no image)
Brad Staples
9 Ratings
  1. "A great place to build your career"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Director 
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Given the breadth of APCO's work, there are many opportunities to learn new skills, industries and issues. Leadership encourages employees to not box themselves in, push themselves and explore new territories.

    Cons

    To break down walls, there can be limited structure, which means you need to be a self starter to thrive.

    APCO Worldwide2019-07-22
  2. Helpful (1)

    "You can learn a lot if you're willing to fight your own battles"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate Director in Washington, DC
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at APCO Worldwide full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    APCO boasts a diverse portfolio of clients for both long- and short-term projects, which opens a lot of opportunities to learn different industries and work with a lot of people. The "entrepreneurial" culture rings true, but what that really means is that you're on your own to fight your way through office politics. Great place to cut your teeth at advocating for yourself, working under constant organizational... change, and learning to trust very few people. Once you put in a few years and earn the trust of those who matter, work/life balance is manageable due to being so independent and being able to create your own schedule. Arrive at 10am, leave at 5pm, or go on a trip and "work from home"... as long as the work is getting done, no one will ask questions. Compensation is reasonable if you're an aggressive negotiator or have a manager who does the same.

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    Cons

    The office politics are beyond repair. Nepotism has led to a culture of cuddling up to senior leaders who pull weight politically & fending for yourself, sometimes at the expense of others. Management may claim to have your best interest in mind, but they're all just out for themselves, too. Must have a thick skin and be willing to tolerate a lot of BS to be successful. Constant organizational change and waves... of departures leave little stability and isolate true talent. The office is very cliquey, so it feels like being thrown back into high school, choosing which table to sit at in the lunchroom. Choose wrong, and you're doomed.

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    Advice to Management

    Take a good, hard look at the culture you're building. Your junior staff is overworked and underpaid, your mid-level staff is fighting for resources and for the attention & praise they need to be promoted, and your senior staff is more focused on their own success than ensuring the people under them are being supported, all while protecting the individuals they favor and overlooking others who are genuinely... talented. The ability to navigate the APCO political web outweighs the skills needed to manage clients properly & produce high-quality work.

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    APCO Worldwide2019-10-06
  3. "Great place for entrepreneurial spirits"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Director in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at APCO Worldwide full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Interesting work for well-known companies and organizations. You have the ability to make a difference for the client. People can carve out their own path and career.

    Cons

    You need to be your own advocate and navigate to the path and clients you want

    APCO Worldwide2019-09-30

    APCO Worldwide Response

    October 8, 2019Talent Director, North America

    Thank you for posting! Firm leaders and human resources are working with managers to partner with employees so collectively we pave the way together. Here’s to 10 more years!

  4. Helpful (3)

    "The mojo is gone..."

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

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

    Pros

    APCO was a sweet place to work. Fun and creative people all around and you could contribute is so many ways. Good travel, out of the box thinking, interesting issues and clients. Also quite international. Once there was energy here, now is sad and grim.

    Cons

    APCO has lost its mojo. At first, it happened slowly and then it happened suddenly, gone in a burst of wind — and no one can bring it back. The thrill is gone Margery, just look around. Your well-meaning lieutenants — from the CEO to the COO to HR and Accounting — lack any purpose or spark or leadership. Their like dull, loyal functionaries and why? A little $$, I guess. Sad, but thats what its all about here.... Its not about the people and no one sees that this path is a sure way to lose even more $$. Certainly not the hapless HR group. As warm as a witch in December they are even less approachable than Accounting and less competent — no easy thang considering that Accounting cant get invoices out the door correctly and on time. One *shivers* to think about the accuracy of the actual financials. *actual shivers, yo, full bodied shivers* And it’s not just that HRs policies are arbitrary — they don’t even have any policies. There a widespread belief that their utter incompetence creates an environment that favoritism and bias flourishes without restraint. Very often, the loyal but incompetent flacks rise and everyone else falls. HR just goes along with this, backing any view if it comes from the higher ups. Spineless. Pathetic. So outta step. And it goes on and on and on.

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    Advice to Management

    The place is hopeless because the people in the most senior roles compare so poorly to the ones that came before them. Any body that was strong became a threat to the top and they got rid of them. A drastic reduction in the quality of talent. The GR team is basically non existent. Healthcare is a shadow of its former self. There is no common purpose or goal. They move people around geographies in ways that make no... sense. And no one is held to account for so so so many stupid decisions and bad results + the leadership is especially unaccountable. No shocker there. Accounting constantly makes serious errors. In accounting everything they do is wrong or incomplete or late and worse. It’s a joke. The troubling thing is that there r no corrective actions. No decent billing no collections no cash mgmt no system or controls especially no controls. The accounting team is a frantic & nervous mess that is actually worse today than a year ago. Goals unmet, system installation a disaster chronic problems between the regions. No one believes the company is on a path to decent profits and even the profits they tout are highly questionable. Some think they record incomes in that seem questionable just to meet IRS guidelines. Spinners gonna spin. HR see above. The compensation system is totally unfair and arbitrary. Part of this is that the most senior leadership feel entitled to all the money and just look out for themselves. HR plays games with the numbers to fit the scheme they want. They think ppl are stupid. They say there no reduction in force but there is — they do it quietly but everybody know. Whos in charge? Is it the founder? Her son? The CEO? No one knows, it utterly confusing and they all avoid responsibility. Its him, no its her. It is all of them!!!

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    APCO Worldwide2019-09-28
  5. Helpful (2)

    "God people, significant leadership challenges."

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

    I worked at APCO Worldwide full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Smart people, good reputation in some global markets. Several long-time clients. Strong expertise in public affairs in Europe and the Middle East.

    Cons

    Leadership is not making good choices on business expansion, lack of investment in digital capabilities, decline in creative work, and lack of importance placed on retention of key senior staff. Financial growth has been stagnant for the last decade. Lots of turnover across all levels in the last few years and important senior people leaving in the US. CEO is in Europe and seems detached from global staff.

    Advice to Management

    Recognize why people hire APCO - for senior staff expertise and overall quality of work, for not having the retail tactical capabilities every agency hires or being in every market. Be smaller but better, Be nicer to people and more loyal. Be honest.

    APCO Worldwide2019-07-17
  6. Helpful (8)

    "Unmet Potential, HR is Cold & Heartless"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Director in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    APCO was once was a fun place to work. Great projects, clients and people. You felt you could make an impact no matter how junior. There was comraderie, a good culture. You were part of a team and could get to know colleagues from all over the globe. There was a family atmosphere. And on it’s best days, ever so rare now, you can catch a sliver of this.

    Cons

    All the pros are gone. The senior leadership is totally greedy and full of themselves. They want to sell the company to enrich themselves at the expense of everyone else who does the work. They take and take and take — money, stock, benefits, whatever they can get their grubby ya da on. In a services business HR is massively important. But for the last year and half, HR is cold, distant, rigid, unsupportive. As a... team, HR is totally dysfunctional — an endless comedie of errors, poor leadership, mind boggling ignorance. Even the most basic things they get wrong. Misstep after misstep, you just can’t make this stuff up. No one trusts HR, not even the leadership has confidence in it. And HR whines endlessly about their lack of resources even though they have teems of people. Teems of inept people running in circles like chickens without heads.

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    Advice to Management

    The depressing thing is that not too long ago there was openness and warmth. Margery, the founder, was more visible and projected endless confidence and optimism. So it is confounding that they’d have, for instance, an HR team that is the exact oppositee of her: unoriginal, no creativity, ineffective every way. They should know by now that it’s better to cut your losses and move on — before everyone else does and... you’re left without a company.

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    APCO Worldwide2018-10-08

    APCO Worldwide Response

    October 15, 2018Chief Talent Officer

    Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. I particularly take to heart your comments specific to our HR team. We care deeply about the experience of APCO employees and our HR team is committed to providing the best services and caring support to our staff. We understand that there is always room for improvement and are committed to continuous progress. We made a lot of investments in employee programs over the past year based on feedback we received, including those we believe will improve the employee experience and career advancement opportunities for our employees. I welcome your candid feedback and suggestions for improvements. Please reach out to me directly and let’s have a conversation. Agnieszka Yank, Chief Talent Officer

    Show Less
  7. "Good place to build a career"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Art Director, Creative Technologist in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at APCO Worldwide full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    As an Art Director and Front-End developer, I worked with a lot of fascinating clients from the big to the small, designing and building neat things. I never got bored, and I worked with dedicated, smart people.

    Cons

    Fairly corporate, with a focus on timesheets. Which makes sense since we billed our clients for time spent. Par for the course, but exhausting.

    Advice to Management

    Hire more people to do the dirty work, fewer middle management types.

    APCO Worldwide2016-10-16
  8. "Smart People, Strong Culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Director in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Really smart people. Warm culture. Interesting client assignments that don't fit traditional labels. Great flexibility to crave your own career path.

    Cons

    Collective style leadership leads to slow decision making. Need for greater accountabilities. Need to stay competitive on compensation.

    APCO Worldwide2016-10-14
  9. Helpful (1)

    "APCO great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Director 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at APCO Worldwide

    Pros

    APCO is genuinely global without silos; full of work abroad options; racially, ethnically, sexual orientation, etc. diverse; entrepreneurial; and caring.

    Cons

    We are working at putting some more systems in place to encourage our best practices.

    Advice to Management

    Protect the great culture we have and keep allowing the kinds of opportunities that make APCO a truly special place to work.

    APCO Worldwide2016-06-19
  10. "A world of opportunities"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate Director in Dubai
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at APCO Worldwide full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Global network Delegation of Authority Investment in talent Flexibility

    Cons

    Lack of positioning given what the agency is capable of

    Advice to Management

    It is not just about the numbers

    APCO Worldwide2019-06-24

    APCO Worldwide Response

    July 5, 2019

    Many thanks for your feedback and all the very best for the future. Alison Chisnell Global Talent Director

Found 16 reviews