Business for Social Responsibility Reviews | Glassdoor

Business for Social Responsibility Reviews

Updated May 22, 2017
32 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

3.2
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Aron Cramer
18 Ratings

32 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Mission-Driven, Great Exposure, Good Culture"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Associate in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Business for Social Responsibility full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Before finding BSR, I was looking for a job where the work was dynamic, the workplace was collaborative, and the people I worked with were brilliant. BSR fit all three criteria and I really feel that the work I do plays an important and necessary role.

    A few pros that have made the most impact on me:
    1) BSR's mission is very much embedded in their work and the employees are similarly driven.
    2) I've gotten exposure to a broad range of issues and companies. It continues to offer many learning and professional development opportunities.
    3) BSR's approach is uniquely multi-faceted. Most people will get to work on single-company consulting projects, grant-funded research, and collaborative initiatives.
    4) For a non-profit, I feel the benefits are good and the salary is competitive, despite the expensive costs of living in the big cities where BSR offices are located.
    5) The global staff represent a wide variety of expertise and experience. More importantly, their EQ matches their IQ.

    Cons

    1) Being staffed on multiple projects at a time requires advanced levels of multi-tasking and work-life balance.
    2) As BSR is relatively small, the HR, Operations, IT, and Finance teams are often stretched thin.
    3) BSR faces the same diversity issue that the non-profit field and the sustainability field struggles with. Despite recognition of this fact, there are not very many efforts around engaging current employees on diversity and inclusion issues.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Nice career opportunity"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Assistant Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Assistant Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Business for Social Responsibility (More than a year)

    Pros

    A lot of learning. Nice place to work at. Compensation is appropriate and a firm that really sticks to its values.

    Cons

    Work life balance may not be that good.


  3. Helpful (6)

    "Admirable mission with flawed business model and mediocre pay"

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

    I worked at Business for Social Responsibility full-time

    Pros

    Employees especially at the junior level are smart and very passionate about the work. (BSR does truly try to make for-profit enterprises think about their corporate responsibility). Good culture that comes from working at a small firm. Nice offices.

    Cons

    The firm however is still clinging to the past with no new offerings that will address today's sustainability problems. Employees are not well paid, and the workload is high. Business model is flawed with an expensive and complicated membership structure that takes enormous overhead to sustain. 2 rounds of layoffs in the last 2 years. Senior leadership is more interested in travel on the client's or the firm's dime. A Managing Director who didn't get on a plane until he was 21 is trying to make up for lost time using any excuse to travel.

    Advice to Management

    Rethink the business model, pay competitively, get to know your clients' business not just the sustainability efforts.


  4. Helpful (3)

    "Much less than expected"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Advisory Services Director in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Advisory Services Director in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Business for Social Responsibility full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Peers, high professional level and big exposure to cutting edge knowledge on the field. Very good place to begin a professional career.

    Cons

    No possibilities to move forward, poor HR handling and many times objetives are unclear and because of that direction is never clear.

    Advice to Management

    Change CEO


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Mostly good with challenges."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Business for Social Responsibility full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great people
    Super informal office environment
    Interesting themes to some of the work
    Great location in NYC

    Cons

    Workload
    Insular management
    Lack of career advancement
    Low salary

    Advice to Management

    Stop investing in things like office space and in satellite offices that aren't working out, and start paying people more competitively. Turnover of extremely talented people is a major issue for this organization.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Mature collaborations at a fast pace"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Business for Social Responsibility full-time

    Pros

    You are working with adults that act like adults. For the most part, people own up to mistakes made as BSR's process is being established. Work hard / play harder. Employees are passionate about their work and take ownership.

    Cons

    Some employees/management act entitled and passive aggressive.

    Advice to Management

    Organization with a more defined end result would be nice. Always having the back of your team members is key as well as being a person of your word.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Good."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Vacation. Interesting service and business model. Connect with big corps.

    Cons

    Pay. Mobility. Micro management is rampant.


  8. "BSR"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Amazing corporate environment, great mission and values.

    Cons

    Cross department communication and functionality


  9. "So badly run"

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

    I have been working at Business for Social Responsibility full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Wonderful people, interesting work, great relationships.

    Cons

    Horrible arrogant yet insecure management and clueless HR. No career advancement.

    Advice to Management

    Move on. You have been here too long and need a fresh perspective.


  10. Helpful (4)

    "Good CSR exposure, disappointing culture."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate
    Current Employee - Associate
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Business for Social Responsibility full-time

    Pros

    The majority of the individuals truly do care about trying to make the world a better place. There are opportunities to get exposure to many different industries and types of CSR related projects as the average employee works on 5-10 projects at a time. The medical benefits are fairly good. Generous amounts of vacation time. The office space is very nice and above the pay grade of a "non-profit" (although BSR is much more of a hybrid model than a true non-profit - the grant side is non-profit, but the consulting side is run similarly to a for-profit). There is the prestige of working at a very well-known company within the CSR/Sustainability world.

    Cons

    There has been 30+% turnover in the last 1-2 years and historically this is common - likely due to employees being continually overworked and undervalued. The projects sold are extremely small, so being fragmented between 5 - 10 unrelated projects at a time creates a lot of stress and the internal model requires employees to “bill” their time to unrealistic levels. There is a fair degree of favoritism, therefore, if you are taken under the wing by someone in upper management, you may have great opportunities to grow and blossom, but a large percentage of the staff will receive no true mentorship, support, opportunities for growth, and advancement. Feedback and communication is not open and honest, and the emphasis is often on the negative. Salaries are extremely low and HR will argue that they are competitive to non-profits, however, the organization, work, and expectations are run as though it was a for-profit. Clear issues with a lack of diversity, and there is no indication that management intends to change the predominantly “white, male” perspective of approaching project work. Surprising, and disappointing experiences of upper management being disrespectful, and unprofessional behavior from HR, bordering on illegal. People come here with passion and energy, but due to the treatment and culture, that enthusiastic spark begins to slowly diminish the longer they stay.

    Advice to Management

    As a small organization, BSR has the potential to be the "family" that is marketed to potential hires, however the culture and ego that has been established from the top down does not allow for this. The lower level employees work incredibly hard and care so much about the mission, however, senior management's lack of appreciation and recognition for their work and denial about the low levels of morale at the junior levels (associates and managers) make this impossible to achieve. Consider revamping your role in establishing a new company culture that encourages a respectful, supportive, intimate culture of an organization of 120 people rather than the distant, cold, uncaring leadership model that might be observed at a company of 20,000.


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