Association for Talent Development Reviews | Glassdoor

Association for Talent Development Reviews

Updated March 22, 2017
23 reviews

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2.9
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Tony Bingham
18 Ratings

23 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    "Volunteer- Board of Directors- Porfessional Development"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Vice President, Talent Development in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Vice President, Talent Development in San Diego, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Association for Talent Development part-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Incredible networking organization; dedication, energy and commitment of volunteers is contagious and inspiring. Good practical information and learning for training practitioners of all levels.

    Cons

    It seems the direction of the local chapter changes every time the board changes (which is every year). Offerings for emerging trends and high level practitioners is limited at times; however it is still a great resource and a great organization to volunteer for!


  2. Helpful (7)

    "OK company, good people"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Alexandria, VA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Alexandria, VA
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Association for Talent Development full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    At ATD you will work with some really smart and passionate people. They provide a casual work atmosphere and have great employee benefits.

    Cons

    Salaries are low and promotions are hard to come by. Staff are also expected to work long hours and weekends.


  3. Helpful (20)

    "Run"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Alexandria, VA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Alexandria, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Association for Talent Development full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    After member lunches, leftovers are put in kitchen for staff. Some great people, although I'd guess it is hard for new people to know who they can trust given backstabbing and fear-driven culture. If you are a pretty young girl with no kids who is OK brown nosing, you may become the CEO's pet. Yes, you can go from recent grad to management with no skills or experience at all!

    Casual dress is a pro, as long as you are OK with casual meaning sloppy clothes most of us wouldn't even go to the grocery store in.

    Some of the members are smart and passionate about improving the workplace -- in their own companies, anyway. If you listen to what they say and ignore what is done at association, you can learn best practices from top practitioners.

    Some have mentioned how hard it is to get a good raise. On the plus side, the lower your salary the longer you are likely to escape the budget-cutting layoffs.

    Cons

    CEO started as COO and forced previous CEO out. (She was a ditz, but at least had experience in training/quality world.) He comes from tech startup culture and tries to run this nonprofit like a startup - minus the payoffs, stock options, and good salaries. So if you like working nonstop for no money and no recognition, you'll love this place.

    Overtime is expected and unpaid. (Not a few hours -- extra time every day and on weekends.) Little mistakes might get you fired -- especially if made by one of CEO's pets who pin blame on you. Membership has dwindled since he came onboard but he has packed board with his admirers so no one can/will point out the obvious reasons for the decline.

    Overtime is essential because you'll spend most of your waking hours in meetings. Endless boring meetings that go in circles and slow time to a crawl. You'll meet about when to have a meeting. And then one of the bosses will walk in late, or show up to the fourth or fifth meeting on a topic and you have to start. all. over. again. So, your real work is done during non-meeting hours... you know, that time most people use to eat or see their kids or sleep.

    Due to mismanagement, layoffs are frequent and typically handled in the most insensitive ways possible. For example, one time they went from office to office to axe people and then had them escorted out in walk of shame.

    One long-time career employee had his entire department outsourced. He was hired back by that outsourced company at a fraction of his previous salary, but was ultimately forced out because he was judged a gossip. Which was one way of looking at it. Another way would be that he was the kind of employee everyone loved and relied upon for news and information - and he did a thankless low-status job very very well. He's dead now. We'll never know if losing his insurance contributed to his early death, but you have to wonder.

    The high turnover has led to an astonishing lack of institutional memory. On the positive side, some people (including me) got consulting gigs as a result. Of course, most people would rather have a job with benefits and be treated with respect.

    Others have remarked that the company is mostly women. Don't confuse that with empowerment. Women are predominant because they are cheaper to hire. And, of course, CEO likes to hire and promote clueless pretty young girls. Just don't get pregnant -- you'll be shocked by how fast you fall out of favor. (Married seems to be OK.)

    Look, if you can afford to work for nonprofit wages, there are plenty of groups out there that actually help make the world a better place. ATD doesn't even do good for their own profession.

    Advice to Management

    I'll make this advice to the board: have the staff do an evaualation of their managers, the CEO, and the culture. Get some members to reach out and survey or interview people who have left since the CEO came into power. It hurts YOUR professional reputation to allow the CEO to act capriciously, treat employees poorly, discriminate against older employees, and favor the pretty young things. It might even lead to a lawsuit one day. USE that OD expertise to start over with a new CEO capable of building a culture of innovation. In other words, practice what you preach.


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  5. Helpful (14)

    "Mean Girls Meets One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"

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

    I worked at Association for Talent Development full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Free snacks. That's pretty much it.

    Cons

    Where do I begin? There is so much wrong with this organization. No adherence to commonly held business principles or practices; poor to non-existent management structure, leading to managers and employees frequently going on unchecked personal vendettas; a completely inept HR organization which can best be described as a cult of personality that makes Kim Jong-Il look like a benevolent leader, and finally the absolute worst of mean girl- sorority culture presided over by HR. Absolutely no one trusts HR. In fact, even the lightest of criticism of the organization was done in whispers behind closed doors. That's how pervasive the culture of fear is at this organization and with good reason.
    In my two years there, I saw frequent firings and lay-offs with the terminations often couched as the employee going off to other opportunities. Upon inquiry, the "other opportunities" were non-existent with the organization forcing the employees to lie in order to receive severance. This Twilight Zone style Kabuki Theater extended to the employees being forced to have good-bye parties hosted in their honor even against their express wishes. This happened to my personal knowledge, not once or twice, but at least three times during my tenure. I also saw first-hand multiple instances of people quitting or being fired within days, weeks and months of being hired. This place is absolutely toxic. I would also add that ATD has a habit of promoting, rewarding and coddling terrible people who exhibit the worst of workplace behavior. I saw frequent vendettas against employees who supposedly committed grave errors, when in reality there were either no errors committed or the errors were committed in the absence of explanation, parameters being set or education/training of any kind offered by management. The ugliest of behavior by employees to one another was acknowledged by managers and HR as being acceptable or even worthy of being overlooked because the favored employees otherwise did "good work". One of the most egregious actions by HR that I and many others experienced was outright theft of wages. ATD has a stated policy that if you do not fill out their cumbersome and poorly explained time keeping paperwork to their constantly shifting standards, you actually forfeit vacation days. That's right, time that you have earned and would be compensated for if you were to leave is outright taken from you as punishment. This happened frequently every pay period. I can't even imagine how much in wages the organization has improperly seized in this manner. In today's improved economy, there is no reason for anyone with options to choose to work here. ATD is the place where rational thinking, decency and professionalism go to die. One final note: I fully expect this review to be followed by a rash of HR sponsored puff pieces regarding how great ATD is, how disgruntled all the negative reviewers are and how it's not a place for any but the most dedicated, hard-working and passionate of job seekers.

    Oh, one more thing-it was widely discussed among employees that the "positive" reviews on Glassdoor are a direct result of HR finally figuring out that there is such a thing as Glassdoor. People had bets that one of the positive reviews were from HR staff.

    Advice to Management

    Save this company from your inept and awful leadership.


  6. "I just got out of school recently, and I am continuing my education through tons of great programs HR creates."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Alexandria, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Alexandria, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Association for Talent Development full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I feel trusted, valued, and respected. My position allows me to maximize my developmental opportunities and acquire new skill sets. I receive a lot of hands on training and direction in my role, which helps me be more successful.

    Autonomy and independence are very important to me; I have the flexibility and freedom to decide how and when to complete projects. I’m held accountable for my work, but that really motivates me.

    Cons

    We change constantly, and we need to make sure our processes stay current.


  7. Helpful (12)

    "This Company Likes to Retaliate"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Alexandria, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Alexandria, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Association for Talent Development full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Decent Benefits, casual office attire, free parking!

    Cons

    ATD/ ASTD is about 80-85% women and possibly growing. Given, there is gossip and office politics anywhere you go, this company can be a bit unbearable at times. I've seen good people disappear without warning for the silliest reasons. Also, I've observed management treat their staff with little respect and the lower employer is the one to leave. For instance, one of the managers gave the 'bird' to an employee and was not reprimanded. Also, I've seen HR and management collaboratively bully and intimidate staff. For example, take a simple matter, magnify it, then fire the individual. I think anyone considering coming to ATD/ASTD should know what they are in for. You are expected to work hard anywhere you go, however healthy work environments are necessary for high productivity. Also, you will not always be told of the additional duties that will come out of no where; you are expected to do EVERYTHING no matter what or who gives it to you. Everything is needed YESTERDAY. If you don't play by these rules, HR will build a case so fast, you won't even see it coming. P.S. no one is really your friend here no matter how nice they seem or how colorful they speak ( If you get the interview-listen to carefully to the colorful language of HR)

    Advice to Management

    Hire a new HR Staff or have Co-Directors who can balance out the need for 'control'. The current HR Structure does not work because one person does everything except payroll. Also, Management should also be reviewed by their staff quarterly. Maybe the staff should review their managers anonymously to prevent retaliation. If a particular department is falling behind, management should be reprimanded or replaced. Its not always the staff. Some people don't know how to lead, especially if they are results oriented individual.


  8. Helpful (9)

    "Great benefits, but..."

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

    I worked at Association for Talent Development full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great benefits. Staff is full of smart, hardworking, friendly people who care about doing a good job. Snack machines are subsidized so sodas are .25 and most candy is .50. Option for free employee parking or mass transit subsidy.

    Cons

    Workloads are insane and the more you manage to accomplish the more they give you to do, usually without either a raise or promotion. Organization is ruled by a culture of fear. Everyone is afraid to say anything that would be construed as complaining or rocking the boat. HR is supposed to be, to some degree at least, an advocate for employees but nothing could be further from the truth at ASTD. HR absolutely cannot be trusted to back you up if you go to them with anything. People frequently "disappear" from the staff. I've never worked anywhere where so many people get fired.

    Advice to Management

    Fix problems from the top down. If there is an "exodus" from a department look into how the director is running things rather than just allowing the staff to dwindle down to the point that new hires have no one with enough institutional knowledge to teach them their jobs.


  9. Helpful (5)

    "Great potential, falls a little short on promises"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Alexandria, VA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Alexandria, VA
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Association for Talent Development full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Flexible schedule, 7.5 hour work day, decent benefits and cool extras like .25 sodas. Great place to learn a role and the members are really great to work with.

    Cons

    The perception of an open door and wanting to work through issues is great, but conflict is not handled that way. Many people simply disappeared when I worked there with an email weeks later.

    Advice to Management

    practice what you preach, use the tools created for the members with your own staff and be honest.


  10. Helpful (5)

    "Great people ... not so great management"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Accountant in Alexandria, VA
    Former Employee - Accountant in Alexandria, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Association for Talent Development full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    There's always food to share in the kitchen after any weekly, monthly or Board meetings. Smart and very hard working people. You can VPN from home during bad weather or if you child is sick.

    Cons

    Expect to work 90 plus hours every two weeks even though policy says 75 hours if they hire you as an exempt employee. Be sure to negotiate your salary otherwise you'll be miserable working long hours for low pay (NO OT). Don't expect management to back you up if you make any mistakes however, do expect management to talk about your mistakes to your peers behind your back or to other department.

    Advice to Management

    Changes needs to come from top down not the other way around.


  11. Helpful (3)

    "ASTD is ok"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Alexandria, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Alexandria, VA
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Flex time option, long term benefits, and if you like predominately female companies, this is one, it's around 75% female.

    Cons

    Frequent organizational shifts that are not well communicated, employee retention is suffering, and the non-profit yearly cycle can get monotonous.

    Advice to Management

    Communication and vision!


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