Alberta Health Services Reviews | Glassdoor

Alberta Health Services Reviews

Updated May 12, 2017
35 reviews

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Verna Yiu
3 Ratings

35 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • work/life balance can be tricky sometimes (in 7 reviews)

  • Little to no input into duties or environment, leaving staff to feel powerless, dejected, and disenfranchised (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Alberta Health Services"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Flexible work schedules in some departments.

    Cons

    Very limited opportunities for advancement.

    Advice to Management

    Too many levels of management.


  2. "Gap between words and deeds"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Edmonton, AB (Canada)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Edmonton, AB (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Alberta Health Services full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good cause job working for the patients

    Cons

    Incompetent and insensitive management

    Advice to Management

    Adhere to AHS values

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Top-down mentality, too much "busy work", no support for middle mgmt"

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

    I worked at Alberta Health Services full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Excellent benefits for out of scope employees
    - Name looks great on resume
    - Neat initiatives as you get a closer look into what improvements Alberta will get in terms of healthcare
    - Learning more about healthcare

    Cons

    I worked in Health Information Management and my experience was a complete nightmare because of too much "busy work", top-down, passive aggressive leadership,"unsafe" environment for out of scope employees, an unsupportive boss, and little to no transparency or authenticity (though this would be expected in a large organization anyway).

    I highly respect AHS as a whole, but my particular business unit (Health Information Management) left me nothing short of emotionally damaged. I was let go over two years ago shortly after finding out I was pregnant as they "eliminated my position" and I still feel the after-effects of the awful experience.

    I was reprimanded for:

    1. Registering for too many courses on the Learning Management System. My boss literally pulled up a list, printed it out and counted it before reprimanding me about it - I'm not sure what the problem was, but it was worth pulling me into an HR meeting about it.

    2. Booking medical appointments. I had surgery a couple of weeks prior to working at AHS and had post-surgery follow-up appointments. I was trying to get pregnant and needed medical intervention, which required specialists who worked daytime hours. I can say it now that I have a healthy and happy child, but I wasn't comfortable disclosing this the medical reasons to my boss at the time and I didn't appreciate being reprimanded about daytime appointments, especially given that this is a healthcare organization. My boss did request doctor's notes for *each* appointment, which I gladly provided. I asked to work extra hours to bank to make up for medical appointments and that was not only kayboshed, but was an offensive suggestion. This "issue" (?) was also brought up in the HR meeting.

    3. Not completing "busy work" on time despite meeting internal client deadlines. I was apparently hired for my skillset, but was tasked with doing work that wasn't exposed to in the past (and didn't get absolutely any coaching on), and was reprimanded for not making fast progress on it. And when I did complete work for internal clients that did speak to my skillset, it was dismissed because it wasn't a deliverable specifically for my boss. My boss's busy work took priority over internal client work.

    4. Using a tablet to take notes. I have a highly secure device that I've been using to take notes. It is as safe, (if not *more* safe) than a physical notebook since it was password protected. I write slow and can't capture notes as quickly as I type, so it's the #1 tool I use to stay organized. This was taken away from me because it sought to be a security issue. The worst part of it, is that my boss had her assistant investigate the concern with second-hand information instead of me speaking with IT directly. Her assistant asked IT if I can use "my iPad to record meetings", when really, I was just using my Surface to write notes). IT shut it down right away, obviously, because the information given was inaccurate.

    I was given only one week to be come oriented, and within the first week I was tasked with real client work - which was exciting for me, and I completed, but it wasn't good enough because I hadn't started on the busy work yet. I was micromanaged. I was middle management and was expected to be my boss's "puppet" and micromanage the team that reported up to me (who was remote, by the way), which I was not about to do. Leadership was passive-aggressive and absolutely top-down (hence my point #3), and when I wrote a letter to higher leadership about my experience after I was let go, not surprisingly, it didn't go any further.

    It was basically a personality clash that went sideways really fast, and HR was not about to support a new employee (myself) over someone who has worked there for many, many years. HR was present to protect the manager. After the HR meeting about the LMS courses and my medical appointments, I disclosed to HR that I just found out I was pregnant, and for the first time, cried out of frustration and helplessness. I then got let go a few weeks later.

    I am extremely valuable in my field of work and this experience left me feeling feeling undermined, and quite frankly, traumatized. I hope that no one ever experiences anything remotely close to what I did.

    Advice to Management

    Support your middle management and have HR in place to protect both employees and leadership, not just leadership. Enough with the top-down mentality!


  4. "Surgical Processor"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Surgical Processor in Edmonton, AB (Canada)
    Current Employee - Surgical Processor in Edmonton, AB (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Alberta Health Services part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Boring if you like boring

    Cons

    80% of the department doesn't speak English and has trouble reading. Union mentality and very hard to work hard and achieve results. They are only hiring casuals so I went to school to get a job that doesn't have full time employment attached.

    Advice to Management

    Come out of your offices once awhile. Remember that good staff aren't the ones that have been there the longest and can neither read nor write but the ones that you want to stay will leave because they see terrible promotions being made across the board.


  5. Helpful (3)

    "Bullying, Lack of Transparency, Poor Culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - WCB Advisor in Calgary, AB (Canada)
    Former Employee - WCB Advisor in Calgary, AB (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Alberta Health Services full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good benefits, pay, time off

    Cons

    In the Exempt (HR) world - rampant bullying, lip service to "pillars" of accountability, transparency. Throw time and money into poorly designed HR/HSE policies and programs without consideration for practical implications or the staff to implement anything. Constant turnover due to burnout and frustration. (HR/HSE)

    Advice to Management

    Support front line managers and reduce the dead weight and consultant roles that contribute little to front line. Practice the Pillars - respect is not demonstrated by moving bullying managers around instead of dealing with issues. You cannot say you are committed to employee safety if the recommended ratio in healthcare is 1 HSE for 400 employees but you resource 1:1000. (And have 8 Director and above level positions for a department of 200-300 staff).


  6. "Loving Your Human Resources"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager in Mount Royal University, AB (Canada)
    Former Employee - Manager in Mount Royal University, AB (Canada)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Gives a fairly high salary than most employer in Alberta. Has a lot of training session opportunities for employees. Follows the Union Agreement way beyond common sense and good reason.

    Cons

    The Union is so influential to the point that affects the daily activity of healthcare delivery to Albertans.

    Advice to Management

    There is overwhelming work and less staff to do it.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Mental Health"

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

    Pros

    Good work-life balance. If you are looking for predictability, job security, and dislike challenges, this could be a good fit for you.

    Cons

    If you are looking for a progressive environment and career growth, look somewhere else. Professional growth opportunities are not based on performance, but seniority (i.e., quantity of time in a position, not quality of work done. Union mentality, as expected...as most positions are union-based). If you are driven, want fast-paced, this company is not for you.

    Advice to Management

    Develop criteria for evaluating performance and based professional growth off of this, not seniority.

  8. "Nurses Aid"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Nursing Attendant in Calgary, AB (Canada)
    Current Employee - Nursing Attendant in Calgary, AB (Canada)
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Alberta Health Services full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    You get to assist people when they are in the most vulnerable situation and usually lack of health, you can make a difference to someone and make small connections with patients

    Cons

    very hard physical work, easy to become injured; with the number of patients and workload assigned you have very little time to make connections with patients; most nurses do not assist with bathing, or changing beds so that is left up to you; you work either 12 hrs shifts, or if you are unlucky enough to work 8 you work 7 days on 8 hrs per day, 2 days off, then 5 days on 8 hrs per day, then 2 days off and the cycle repeats

    Advice to Management

    Be clear in your expectations even if it means spelling it out, let your staff know when they have done a good job or exceeded expectations right away and same with having to correct work don't leave it until the yearly review


  9. "Staff nurse"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Staff Nurse in Calgary, AB (Canada)
    Current Employee - Staff Nurse in Calgary, AB (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Alberta Health Services part-time

    Pros

    I love the work I do with my patients and I have great collaegues.

    Cons

    Increased use of harassment and bullying by management.

    Advice to Management

    Show support to staff that work hard and go above and beyond. A spirit of cooperation with patient support groups is mutually beneficial.


  10. "Communications Advisor"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Communications in Edmonton, AB (Canada)
    Former Employee - Communications in Edmonton, AB (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    You will never get bored and learn many different skill sets. The people you work with have respect for the communicatioms role.

    Cons

    Too busy. The salary is not comparable to government. The department can be quite competitive and mean. Change management for the system will go on forever.

    Advice to Management

    Communications advisors are middle between corporate and the management in cinical. Remember that when you go over our heads to get what you want.


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