Awana Reviews | Glassdoor

Awana Reviews

Updated July 30, 2017
28 reviews

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28 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    "Cool Ministry! Moving Forward!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Streamwood, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Streamwood, IL
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

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

    Pros

    I've been here only a few years and compared to other ministries where I've served, this place has a pretty healthy culture, and they are working on making it better. Amazing mission. New, younger leadership with a fresh vision. Leadership is working hard to foster an environment where we can do our best work. Awana has a unified plan for working together as a global ministry and everyone is working hard to align. I'm blessed to serve here!

    Cons

    There are some people here who don't understand the business challenges we face in sales and donor ministry. This essentially means that leadership has to carry legacy dead weight. I think that our leadership is doing a good job of working through this. Some people here don't understand some of the challenges we are facing in a changing church ministry culture. I wish management and leaders would move a little faster. Lastly, I think the comments about "nepotism" toward Awana on this site are unfair. The nepotism that exists in this ministry is a result of legacy decisions that were made a long time ago. I don't see any evidence of leadership hiring family members. Those days seem to be gone and the nepotism that does exist is legacy that we are left with from previous leadership days. Keep going Awana - we are moving in the right direction!

    Advice to Management

    Stay on the path you are on. Keep helping us get healthier as a ministry. Keep listening. Keep asking questions. Keep focusing on helping churches and inspiring donors to reach kids. Keep engaging with churches. Keep us disciplined, focused and leading with prayer. Don't listen to the detractors and just keep staying focused.


  2. Helpful (7)

    "Another Year, Another Downsizing!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Streamwood, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Streamwood, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Awana full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Good facilities and work/life balance.

    Cons

    Awana continues to decline and recently downsized employees again - this time affecting over 20 people. Of course, key management personnel were unaffected. Some time ago, the board of directors announced that they would conduct an "international search" for a new CEO - a great decision to move the organization forward. Shortly thereafter, they appointed one of their own board members to be CEO. Awana has a long history of decline and failed management in its DNA but the board doubled down on Awana's culture expecting different results. Instead of watching the organization more closely as it continues to decline, the board recently decided to decrease the frequency of board meetings each year! Truly remarkable. It has been very frustrating watching key executives hire their spouses, brag about their frequent flier miles, demonize people with different perspectives and continue to deliver poor results all while pulling down their large paychecks. The poor quality of leadership and management will ensure the continued decline of Awana.

    Advice to Management

    Hold yourselves accountable for results and stop hiding behind prayer and "mercy" appeals to paper over your poor performance.

  3. Helpful (7)

    "Poor Senior Leaders"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Streamwood, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Streamwood, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Awana full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    The ministry mission is great!

    Cons

    Senior leaders are making poor business decisions especially with finances and people management. Example: Money was spent on a new area for Sr. Leaders. The "new" culture two or three people tried to implement isn't any better than what leaders tried to replace. The "new" culture is, do what two or three people want and you might get to keep your job.

    Every few months it's the same story; sales are down, donations are down so departments have to give back budget, more positions are eliminated and people are moved around. Then more work is put on those that are left. Eventually a new person is hired, cheaper than the previous one.

    Advice to Management

    There are too many inexperienced Sr. VPs and VPs, which is very costly, they are not needed and they were friends of the one who put them in place. Stop scurrying from one thing to another, starting new things then changing your mind and pulling support from things you encouraged staff to do. Sr. Leaders need to embody Christianity.


  4. Helpful (3)

    "Organization in decline"

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

    I worked at Awana full-time

    Pros

    Good work/life balance. Nice facilities. Some employees who truly care.

    Cons

    Awana continues in organizational decline, despite the message they try to send to employees, donors and churches. Best business practices are not followed or carried through on for any length of time. Saying they follow best business practices is laughable. Employees are discouraged from open dialogue about the continued issues. One must drink the koolaid in order to stay at Awana. Senior leadership is still a good old boys network. Sad future for them.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to divergent views. When making the tough decisions to lay off, don't follow up with creating new jobs and promoting survivors.


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Could Be Much Better"

    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

    I have been working at Awana full-time

    Pros

    Employees are passionate about their work. Many employees graduated from religious colleges/universities. The headquarters building is clean and welcoming. The organization tries to leverage technology effectively.

    Cons

    As others have commented, nepotism is common at Awana which has resulted in a dysfunctional culture. Many employees, executives and most US churches are Baptist and hold very rigid doctrinal views. I've noticed that many people here tend to be fundamentalist in their beliefs (believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible) with no room for commonly accepted scientific fact.

    Advice to Management

    Create a more inclusive environment starting at the top.


  6. Helpful (4)

    "Divisive Culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Streamwood, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Streamwood, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Awana full-time

    Pros

    The Awana workspace is nice as they have invested a lot of money into making employees and visitors comfortable. The organization also strives for good work/life balance.

    Cons

    I was prompted to post a review after I heard a remark about sexual identity issues. My supervisor made an offhanded comment about how we could see who will be going to hell as the Bible says by watching the gay pride parade in Chicago this weekend. I was shocked and hurt as I have a child who struggles with sexual identity issues. For all the talk at Awana about being "inclusive," it seems that some senior level personnel have very different beliefs. Some people seem to hide behind religion and the Bible to justify hateful comments and divisiveness.

    Advice to Management

    Become more educated about gender identity issues and train leadership to be more sensitive about how they address this issue. Awana seems to have difficulty relating to the real world which has a negative impact on growth. A divisive culture is not compatible with our hope that all children come to know, love and serve Christ.


  7. Helpful (5)

    "Nepotism Within Senior Management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Streamwood, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Streamwood, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Awana full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The staff here are generally friendly. The work environment is pleasant and the organization does a good job of accommodating personal time off requests.

    Cons

    As others have commented, the culture of the organization is suffering due to self-interested executives and an exclusive culture which has existed at Awana for many years. Change has been very slow due to an inability to clean house at the executive level. This organization has many Baptists and Brethren and the culture is slanted toward their beliefs and doctrine.

    Advice to Management

    Lead by example by eliminating nepotism at the senior leadership level. When the organization hires spouses at the President and VP level, it speaks volumes about your values. Actions speak louder than words.

  8. Helpful (7)

    "Organization in Decline"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Streamwood, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Streamwood, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Awana full-time

    Pros

    Good work/life balance and work spaces. Awana has focused on creating attractive work spaces especially for individuals in the creative functions.

    Cons

    It has taken time to become accustomed to how this organization operates. Several years ago, the Awana culture was rated as "Toxic" by the Best Christian Workplaces organization and it has been discouraging to see the very individuals who were mistrusted by employees get promoted to senior management roles.

    Advice to Management

    Look outside the organization for qualified leadership to decrease the widespread nepotism and favoritism in the organization. Focus on creating a healthier culture by recognizing servant leaders instead of those who are simply leveraging the organization for their own benefit.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Awesome Ministry making Global impact."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    I have been working at Awana 2 years. Best faith-based institution I have worked for! Truly talented people working hard to reach kids with the Gospel and serve local churches. In the last few years' Awana has had a shift in it's vision. Recent restructuring and new leadership has caused 'growing pains' for many employees but change is an organization with deep history can be tough! I see clear pathways being made for a healthier organization, and a new leadership that 'tapped-in' to God's direction, values children and honors it's employees.

    Cons

    Creating a healthy work-place has meant for lots of 'new's' (processes, products, people and directions). Two years ago, when I started, there were so many great people 'misplaced' in their roles due to lack of direction from their managers, they were moved to a role that didn't match their gifts, or they were resistant to change. It has been hard on all to see many great people leave, but I know it is for the best. I do believe there is still a 'ways to go' yet!

    Advice to Management

    Love this ministry! I value how leaders are serving their DR-- keep it up. Survey HR, IT and Accounting departments for better systems that serve employees better.


  10. Helpful (5)

    "Streamwood"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Streamwood, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Streamwood, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Great co-workers, laid back atmosphere, good work/life balance.

    Cons

    Obvious cronyism shown in frequent reorganizations and lay-offs.

    Advice to Management

    You tell us that you care about your employees and value what we do, but the obvious cronyism you display in your frequent reorganizations and lay-offs tell us just the opposite.


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