BCAA "head office" Reviews | Glassdoor

BCAA Employee Reviews about "head office"

Updated Sep 13, 2019

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4.0
77%
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BCAA President and CEO Eric Hopkins
Eric Hopkins
1 Rating
Pros
Cons
  • "cor in Head Office is a bit dated in places(in 5 reviews)

  • "There are honestly no cons that I can think of at this time(in 4 reviews)

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Reviews about "head office"

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  1. Helpful (1)

    "Pleasant peers, very hierarchical company with no regard for human beings"

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

    I worked at BCAA full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Decent benefits Free parking In-building cafeteria "Top Employer", and the company won't forget a chance to make it known

    Cons

    -Meals in the cafeteria aside from basic sandwiches and wraps are known to give people food poisoning, avoid if possible -Severely below market salaries -Supremely hierarchical, anyone below the executive club does not matter -No regard for personal or career development -Very top down organization where feedback, suggestions, complaints, people are not valued As a general rule, people are amicable at BCAA. Generally a nice group of people to work with. You'll be hard-pressed to find swaths of aggressive, confrontational people as your colleagues. That said, that also comes with cons as I'll later share. Management: It can vary a bit from manager to manager but a lot of the issues are systemic, and apply to most any team you will end up in. Managers are for the most part, powerless. As a result, they spend a lot of time managing down, but not up. Yet at the same time, they are wholly disconnected from the trials and tribulations of the teams they do manage. Micromanaging can occur at times when the higher-ups are breathing down your manager's neck, no matter how silly and contrived the ask is. The general message sent is almost always, in short: "I hear you, but deal with it". Managers are expected to report to higher-ups/executives, who then make decisions top down, in a prescriptive manner. All this is done with no input from the people and teams these decisions impact. No input from anyone who spends 8 hours a day and 5 days a week living with the results of these decisions. You're simply handed a commandment from up above, and have to deal with it with no recourse. Teams are never consulted or asked for input on their problems, the managers are supposed to be the only representative of the team, except each manager manages multiple teams and is not in tune with what the issues truly are. In short, changes are made, upper management pats themselves on the back and declares problems solved, without asking or understanding what said problems are. Executive team: Part of this is covered by the management section but unfortunately the executives at BCAA are such gems that a separate section must be warranted. In short, executives at BCAA are truly and utterly tone deaf, with a huge ego to boot. BCAA is a very traditionally hierarchical organization, and as a result, the higher up someone is, the more sure you can be to witness blatant power trips and massive displays of ego. I'm talking people who will openly tell someone to shut up, or pull you into a private room to berate you after a meeting if you dare ask a question that does not fit whatever flavour of koolaid they're trying to sell that week. BCAA has gone through a couple organizational changes in recent years, including executive changes. Each and everytime, the reason is "change", but change never happens. In fact, after a change to the C level executive teams report to, most do not know who the new exec heading their department is, and never know because said executive can't be bothered to set foot anywhere below their floor and greet mere peons. In any rare meetings with these executives, the meeting is always prescriptive. "We're making change A, B, and C, and we're no longer doing this and that." Why and what problems does that solve? You're not important enough to know that information, but they'll happily give you the standard "the executive team decided this" or "we worked through this with the steering committee", which once again, consists of nobody who actually knows anything about the work happening on the ground level. They'll happily answer your question with typical PR speak, beginning with "I understand..." from whichever people management book they most recently read. But any question that actually matters will never be answered/addressed, and they never actually understand. Ignorance, cluelessness, and general apathy is a key tenet and more rampant the higher up you go in the organization. Anyone below your pay grade is just there to take your orders and do your bidding, customer experience be damned. No input, ideas, or suggestions from anyone below C level is paid any mind or considered, but if someone who gets paid enough says "it'd be cool if...", you can bet your life that all the headless chickens below them from directors to managers, to the peons will make sure it's realized ASAP no matter how stupid the idea is, or even if it's harmful for the business. Apparently the most recent genius idea has been to place a working Evo car that costs north of ~$20k in the head office lobby to depreciate instead of having it out on the streets generating revenue and serving our customers. Compensation: This is a topic that has repeatedly come up in many employee satisfaction surveys, in town halls with upper management, but never addressed. The top areas of discontentment amongst BCAA employees has always been in the following areas: Compensation (by a big margin), support from management, and empowerment/enablement to drive change. There have been major company-wide meetings where an executive will show the results of the survey and completely ignore the one item that stands out most: compensation. Low compensation is a very real reality for practically all normal employees at BCAA and is the subject of a constant, grumbling undertone within the organization. Yet after many years and losing valuable employees and candidates to other companies, no change has ever been made. In fact, some key persons in the organization have, on more than one occasion, proudly touted that BCAA as a general rule pays 70~80% of whatever the market rate for a position is. Yes, you read that right, there are higher-ups proud of the fact BCAA pays 20~30% less than the market. In fact, if you press the issue, they will let you know once again, that's what BCAA pays, and if you don't like it, leave. Many employees have been sold compensation packages that were not honoured. That might be a bonus that you'll never get, it might be the recruiter telling you there's work from home when it's explicitly disallowed. It might be a raise after X months that will never happen. Effectively, plenty of people have joined as a result of the HR department at BCAA selling them on compensation details that never happened. These are not isolated incidents, they are by and large the norm. Small embellishments, big lies, how bad it is depends on your luck. If you bring it to their attention the response will be "we'll look into it" then "no", no matter how many times you go at it. For a company that prides itself on its brand, trust, and reputation, this is quite an awful practice. Hiring: Not much to say on this front, but a few key things to be aware of. Once you've signed on and are part of BCAA, you're effectively looked at as an interchangeable cog in a big, slow, and poorly-oiled machine. Whatever job description or tasks you were sold on and told you were going to do, may and will change at a moment's notice, with no input from you whatsoever. Doesn't matter if you're an engineer and you signed on with the mutual understanding that you are looking to further develop your skills and experience on X, you'll be told to sweep the floors if that's what management feels they want you to do (bit of an exaggeration but in practice, not too far off from how extreme the change can be) Career Growth: Employees are not treated as the multi-faceted, skilled people with varying ideas and experiences that they are. As a result, your personal skill set and growth is never considered. In fact, there are town halls where everyone will be told, straight up, that employees should be grateful for having a job and take whatever the company throws at them. If you're assigned to work with tools that will not help you become more proficient at your existing skills or keep you employable, you're expected to just suck it up and do it. No one is seen as skilled and talented labour that has options beyond BCAA, and that is reflected and reinforced constantly through the company, executives, and management. General Morale: You'll notice a lot of happy-go-lucky people at BCAA, or ones that don't seem to be bothered by much of anything. The reason is because most seasoned employees are well aware that making noise and drawing attention to yourself does not drive any sort of change, it just blows back on you. Everyone sits around miserable, whining about the below-market pay, whining about their manager and executives, yet no one will dare speak up. If you're familiar with the "Five Monkeys" thought experiment, you have a perfectly accurate window into BCAA as an organization. Don't be mistaken, plenty of watercooler talks happen, private talks behind closed doors, but the general response is simply resigning to acceptance of the status quo. The age demographic at BCAA falls on the higher side, much like government workplaces, because many of the older employees are on the old pension system, which encourages them to stay till retirement and get paid in perpetuity thereafter. As a result, most people go in to collect a pay cheque and await retirement while not rocking the boat as to risk their family's future. And you can be sure management knows this by the way they treat all their workers as interchangeable cogs with a cost attached. For the most part, most current employees will not leave because they either don't want to give up a nice pension they're about to sign off with, or they genuinely believe the skill decay they experienced while working at BCAA makes them incapable of finding a job elsewhere. It's a very depressing and sad scene, and heartbreaking to witness. Company potential/growth: BCAA as a whole experiences very little growth as the company operates and focuses on its existing legacy. Decision makers are largely comprised of C level executives with marketing background, and the top dogs in marketing. The belief system is that BCAA is insurance, despite all the other business units and ventures, and the mission of the company is quite literally to sell more insurance to more people, which is seen exclusively as a marketing problem. This is further evidenced by the density of the marketing area as opposed to every other business unit in the company -- marketing takes up significantly more sqft-age per person vs everywhere else in the company, save for the executives. The few times that the company has to pay out more insurance than usual due to poor weather and such, a very heavy mood runs through the company and people become generally unhappy/mad. BCAA constantly prides itself on its past and the accolades it collects, and will routinely put major emphasis and events on being named a "Top Employer". You will never see BCAA more up in arms and concerned on anything other than being named a "Top Employer". Any other feedback and comments are largely disregarded as they point to the fact that they're a top employer. The company itself is stagnant, dated, and losing mindshare amongst the younger crowd. There is constant talk about change but change does not happen due to the company culture and hierarchical nature of the organization. Give it 30 years until everyone still on the old pension program hits retirement and BCAA might have a chance at making a real change. Until then, it's on track to continue down this hole into irrelevance, if it can survive that long on its existing brand/business. Summary: From a day to day standpoint, the peers you'll meet at BCAA are some of the least toxic people you can find. Generally polite and non-confrontational, you'll have few issues with peers. However, if you're looking for competitive pay, a company that cares about your career or your opinion, an executive team with a clue, or an HR department that doesn't blatantly lie to you, steer clear.

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    Advice to Management

    Truly listen to your employees, don't just placate them until they resign to sitting around waiting for retirement and not speaking up because it's never well received. Actually take steps to fix engagement survey concerns and not just punish people for submitting valid feedback until they feel the need to pretend everything is great. Upper-management in general needs a massive overhaul, there are serious issues going on and people are either complicit, or embarrassingly clueless. The ship may be sinking slowly, but it is sinking and will continue to until the people that matter stop treating the company like a bad joke with more money than brains.

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    BCAA2019-09-13
  2. "Great Place to Work!"

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

    I have been working at BCAA full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    BCCA has a great culture. People are very friendly and always willing to help. Management is very open and transparent with the employees. There is a subsidized cafeteria in the head office with good food options. They also have a nice gym.

    Cons

    Not very many food options walking distance from the office outside of the cafeteria in the building.

    BCAA2018-04-04
  3. Helpful (1)

    "BCAA Service "Insurance" Advisor - MCC"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - SERVICE ADVISOR in Burnaby, BC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at BCAA full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    They will put you through all the courses you need to get your insurance licence and will continuously support and educate you. Great perks, benefits, head office has a free gym and massage chairs. Nice facility.

    Cons

    A bit if drama, gossip and regular office stuff. The pay could be better but I guess the perks make up for it. Cafeteria food sucks!

    Advice to Management

    Management is actually really good in the MCC so I can't really complain.

    BCAA2017-10-07
  4. "Amazing organization!"

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

    I have been working at BCAA full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    BCAA is a progressive and innovative company and is fantastic for individuals who are looking to develop themselves professionally and seeking career growth. It's a coaching and developing type environment so you can expect to get recognition for a job well done and expect to get constructive feedback when required. The culture at BCAA is amazing and the company really values its employees. The head office has a gym facility and free coffee all day for their employees!

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    Cons

    Parking closer to the building.

    Advice to Management

    Excellent job!

    BCAA2017-03-17
  5. "Great overall compensation and work environment"

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

    I have been working at BCAA full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Head office - rare opportunity in Vancouver to see the business full-circle CEO - Shom Sen is a fantastic leader - top down culture is second to none. As a middle manager, I met the CEO within weeks of starting the job and he immediately knew my name Career development - as a head office and an organization that values personal growth, opportunities for vertical or lateral transfer in the business are amazing. The organization is committed to training and growth of their staff It's an NPO - no shareholders to please, the organization as a whole does well financially, but the bottom line is not a focus, as the money is always re-invested in the organization and its people Compensation - highly competitive comp package, including profit sharing and staff perks, great overall health and wellness benefits, solid vacation offering including opportunity to bank OT for non-management employees.

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    Cons

    Location in Burnaby - not transit accessible. Commuter-friendly for those coming from the east, but not convenient from central Vancouver The mandate of the business is restricted due to its nature and being an NPO, no opportunity to grow outside BC

    BCAA2017-03-02
  6. "Opportunities to Develop"

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

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

    Pros

    Having a head office in the lower mainland allows for us to grow our career. I am on my 5th job at BCAA constantly developing my skills.

    Cons

    There are still a lot of processes and baggage from the past that we have to work through. The new leadership says that the focus is changing to development of employees and tools, which is good change.

    BCAA2017-02-28
  7. Helpful (1)

    "Career Development"

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

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

    Pros

    - Good vision and mission - Competitive benefits - Promote work life balance - Environment sustainability and support the local communities

    Cons

    - takes a long time to get where you want to get to in terms of career development - potentially loss of valuable employees due to the waiting process - head office transformation is required- it is apparently not unified as some departments are more modern and up to date and some are still in their 80's.

    Advice to Management

    - need more transparency in the management action plan with timeline to employees, etc. - stronger leadership in lower management team. - keep the good work on giving back to the community.

    BCAA2017-03-05
  8. Helpful (1)

    ""BCAA, a great place to work" True Story..."

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

    I have been working at BCAA full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Career Progression Above Average Benefits Onsite Gym Great Work Life Balance True and genuine commitment to our Members and Customers Team ethos from the top down Engaging and personable executive team Lots of staff socials and parties A solid commitment to green issues such as environment Lot's of opportunity to support charity

    Cons

    Décor in Head Office is a bit dated in places More parking closer to site

    Advice to Management

    Keep going in this direction!

    BCAA2016-11-25
  9. Helpful (15)

    "Mixed bag of experiences under 2 CEOs"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Home Office Employee 
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at BCAA full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    A very collaborative environment - it's easy to just walk over to someone's deal or pick up the phone and ask for help. At least at the department I worked in, people are willing to lend a helping hand and work together to get things done. Since new CEO's arrival in August 2014, the direction of the company has pretty much taken a 180, but not necessarily in a bad way. Renewed focus on providing value to members (and the whole "membership is rewarding" deal) is honestly a refreshing breath of air. A lot more corporate events and fun little team building activities (food drive, team lunches, bake sale, etc.) make working there pretty good. The team I had the opportunity to work with was very fun, made some good friends. New CEO is also quite personable and has clearly sent the message that he is a more hands-on kind of guy (in comparison to previous CEO who may have been more distant) - you can see him going around head office quite a lot which was surprising. Also he has been encouraging more employee engagement among the departments which I've seen have a positive impact on the company culture. Also a fast-paced, generally dynamic environment - a great place to work if you're the kind of person who likes to get things done. You always feel like your work has an impact and if you are lucky enough to work with some great managers, they will often champion for you.

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    Cons

    BIG CON: This company doesn't deal with change very well. Coworkers who have been with the company longer than I have often complain that process changes are the hardest to implement and sometimes it's easy to be talking about a process change that should have been done 2 years ago. Lack of IT resources make it challenging to implement system wide changes of any kind. Under old CEO, who was moved to another AAA subsidiary, there was a culture of fear and lack of openness. Many often afraid to speak out lest they get fired. More stoic than personable, and kind of sat from his Ivory tower. With new CEO, change was inevitable. But it was immediate - department budgets were cut instantaneously...perhaps the new CEO's way of making a mark. Despite that, senior managers and top level brass were being shuttled to "Leadership Forums" and being put up at resorts and expensive hotels. Favouritism runs rampant, sometimes unqualified people are promoted. Advancing at BCAA is a bit tricky, and can only really be done if a senior leader champions for you - sucking up is necessary. If you do move around, it's often without warning. With current "hiring freeze" and cost-cutting measures in place, many IT contractors (some who have been there for at least 2 years without benefits) were shown the door. Also, with hiring freeze, BCAA would rather burden existing employees (who are pretty stressed out as they are) than fill the role with another person, even internally. Regardless of whether these people have an interest in the role.

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    Advice to Management

    Listen to your employees, and don't put too much red tape in front of them - many of whom just want to be able to do a good job. The lack of tools and all the onerous processes in place make it hard to be the "most trusted organization in BC, famous for doing the right thing". Promote the right people and think whether they are qualified before giving them increased responsibility! Also, invest in your people!

    BCAA2015-01-29
  10. Helpful (5)

    "Co-workers are great, disorganized management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at BCAA

    Pros

    The day time 9 - 5 hours are nice.

    Cons

    no communication on a lot of the changes that happen from head office.

    Advice to Management

    To not focus on the negative and give some positive feedback.

    BCAA2013-03-11
Found 11 reviews
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