CCCS of San Francisco Reviews | Glassdoor

CCCS of San Francisco Reviews

Updated February 28, 2017
49 reviews

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2.4
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Kathryn J. Davis
16 Ratings

49 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    "Program Services Counselor"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Freddie Mac Mortgage Counselor in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Freddie Mac Mortgage Counselor in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at CCCS of San Francisco (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The company invests in adequate training for their employees, treats them well and have great benefits. Company culture is fun yet professional and promotes a sense of community. It's an excellent position for someone right out of college.

    Cons

    Company covers employee at 100% for healthcare and 0% for spouse/dependents. The position is low paying in comparison to industry standards. Low opportunity for growth at the company.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Good Experience; Low Salary"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at CCCS of San Francisco full-time

    Pros

    The work environment was pleasant, and it was a valuable learning experience.

    Cons

    The counselors are barely paid a living wage for San Francisco, while the top management earns $200,000 to $300,000+.

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Unethical CEO"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at CCCS of San Francisco full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The people who decide to work for BALANCE/CCCSSF tend to be mission driven people who care about helping people who are having financial hardships.

    Cons

    The leadership and CEO, Kathryn Davis, is not to be trusted and has no idea what she is doing, bad combination. She has stripped benefits from what was already a very low paying job. Most of the employees were able to justify the wage because the previous CEO provided great benefits and bonuses at the end of the year. Kathryn Davis has stripped all the benefits, has promised bonuses and then taken it back. This past year she declined to give bonuses to employees while taking a bonus for herself at about 2X her annual salary. Corrupt.

    If you wonder how that’s possible, in two years Kathryn Davis has gone through 8 accounting staff including 2 Chief Financial Officers who have all expressed concerns, to basically anyone who will listen, regarding her unethical accounting practices. So expect to be paid low wages while she takes the assets from the company and transfers them into her personal bank account.

    That the board of directors has not investigated this more deeply is deeply concerning. Before taking a job here talk to any staff that works there to get the inside scoop. You seriously should not work there while she's at the helm.

    Advice to Management

    Fire the CEO, Kathryn Davis


  4. Helpful (4)

    "Schizophrenic and confused"

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

    I worked at CCCS of San Francisco full-time

    Pros

    Aspirational mission to help consumers "balance life's important decisions."

    Cons

    1. You could draw a line down the middle of the office that separated staff of the non-profit Consumer Credit Counseling Service of San Francisco from staff of the previously for-profit Balance.
    2. Ask any number of employees what the organization does and you will get widely differing answers.
    3. Staff were increasingly unhappy with relatively low pay and negative work environment.
    3. There are still 3 separate websites for the organization: cccssf.org, balancepro.org, balancepro.net — all of which have nothing in common from a brand perspective.
    3. Credit union clients were leaving in droves because of high cost and low service in comparison to other providers of similar services.

    Advice to Management

    Stop the daily fire drill with expectations for something new. Stop and focus on building a solid foundation on which the organization can stand. This can be a strong organization that does meaningful work, but it needs leadership with not only vision but also compassion.


  5. Helpful (7)

    "Terrible non-profit experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at CCCS of San Francisco full-time

    Pros

    Good employees, good training program

    Cons

    Terrible Pay, non-profit being funded by credit card companies


  6. Helpful (7)

    "Unprofessional - Run!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Credit Counselor in Concord, CA
    Former Employee - Credit Counselor in Concord, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at CCCS of San Francisco full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Healthcare, free coffee, new building and free bagels once a month. Ha ha

    Cons

    What's a supervisor??? No communication. Very bad management team.

    You will get yell at by clients and Credit unions. So sad! A company that does not care about their CLIENTS.

    Advice to Management

    Get rid of the CEO. Start appreciating your senior employees.


  7. Helpful (9)

    "Changed for the Worse"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    It was a good place to work when I started, then we transitioned leadership and the company changed from being a great non-profit that treated people with respect, provided great benefits, hosted team building events and quarterly celebrations to a corporate culture with a CEO that no one trusts or respects.

    Our past CEO, Joanne Budde knew every counselor personally or made an effort to remember their names, hosted fun team building events, cared about all her staff and rewarded good work on top of providing great benefits, insurance plans, bonuses and automatic contribution and match to our retirement plan, all these things made it worth staying....now they're all gone.

    Cons

    The insurance, pay and benefits are pathetic now and the environment is toxic. Since we are so understaffed and have not been able to hire anyone you do get a lot of OT opportunities. The only positive is that you get to meet other good counselors that joined because they want to help people, but everyone is looking for other jobs now and all the old timers that were good at their jobs have left. Since the company is so desperate to hire people and can’t afford to lose anyone you do get a sense of job security and have the opportunity to look for a new job without worrying about being fired.

    Advice to Management

    A change in CEO. No one knows what she does and she doesn’t seem to work very hard. Never shows her face and hides up in her office all day if she isn’t traveling to get us “new business” which she has never accomplished. She had the nerve to cut benefits for all employees while building her own private marble restroom with shower in her office with an expensive chandelier and leopard print furniture in her office...I’m not kidding, it’s tacky and everyone rolls their eyes when she talks about our financial position as an agency considering how much she mismanages the companies finances.

    All of our staff is feeling desperate now and want to see a change in leadership. It's heart breaking to see what's happening to the agency.

  8. Helpful (12)

    "Plummeting Rapidly"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Credit Counselor in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Credit Counselor in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at CCCS of San Francisco full-time

    Pros

    Location (Right in front of Montgomery BART station in the financial district) -- Unless you're based out of Concord (Now 90% of the workers) in which case, make your own decisions about that (most of us agreed that it's a horrible area to work).

    Made some good friends with other counselors. No one in counseling or in the call center was arrogant or egotistical barring a couple of people I came across from time to time (they weren't enough to change the dynamic).

    A few opportunities pop up from time to time but they're for the most part not career-advancing (Will get into this in the cons). You can also choose to give presentations. They're pushing for more presentations, which is a different skill set than simply counseling and a good addition to your resume for when you decide to leave. Good perks if you present too.

    Cons

    The Pay: The general idea among us old-timers is that part of the reason they moved locations is because they can just hire Concord-based employees and pay them the same. Smart move because the pay is not sustainable if you live in San Francisco, Berkeley, or Oakland. Your raises will be insignificant at your one year review.

    The Work: Counseling/Coaching can at times be rewarding but most of us (those who have shared their thoughts with me) agreed that it doesn't offset that after 7-8 months the work is just not great. Repetitive and stressful for all the wrong reasons (you won't feel challenged because the work isn't challenging, you'll just be given tasks outside of your regular work and will occasionally be given less time to do it all). Most of the skills you'll pick up are soft skills, so unless you dedicate time outside of work to learn certain software/etc., the job isn't the best resume booster. Your immediate supervisor will almost never be available. Outside of asking your peers the occasional question, you're on your own.

    The Mood: Most people in credit counseling are drained and ready to leave. There's sense in our department that upper management (whom we don't even report directly to) like to micromanage. One of the senior supervisors is pitching into credit, which is terrible for all of us. This person has no ability to lead or motivate, is confrontational, and straight unpleasant. More often than not they'll make you feel stupid. And if you're in credit, you'll have to deal with them occasionally. Seriously, you shouldn't have to feel stressed every time a senior supervisor calls you.

    Like in many other workplaces, yes some people are a bit lazy and unmotivated. However, the majority of people in credit aren't complaining because they don't want to work, as some of the positive reviews insist. They're complaining because management have made this an unpleasant place to work. Those that are rating this place positively, I wish I'd known what department they worked for so I could have transferred there.

    Career Advancement: Doesn't really exist. If you're in credit, you have a couple of viable options. You can become a housing counselor (slightly more pay) or you can try to go for the occasional supervisor openings. There's rarely anything else. It's a job straight out of college and nothing more.

    Advice to Management

    None that they would follow. When you place people in positions over the basic workforces (the counselors, the FCIP coaches, the intake staff) they need to be able to motivate. You haven't done that.


  9. Helpful (9)

    "It's not your fault, BUT it is YOUR problem"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Housing Counselor in Concord, CA
    Former Employee - Housing Counselor in Concord, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at CCCS of San Francisco full-time

    Pros

    ORGANIZATION/MISSION/MANAGEMENT:
    The job that we do is incredibly important. All the programs focus on empowering people financially- which is an amazing mission.There are people you get to help that would otherwise suffer from foreclosure, stay in debt forever, and possibly never reach any of their financial goals.

    Since the organization is expanding with an high turn-over, the organization within the next few months should have many growth opportunities. Unfortunately with the growth, I don't know who would even be in place to train the new faces. Since people are leaving so fast, including executives who stay only months, it is hard to know whats what.

    There are managers and people in leadership positions that truly care about their employees and the work that we do day to day. And then there are others that do not, and its clear to see which ones are which. I think this is the case with any organization.

    BENEFITS:
    The organization is going through a tremendous amount of growth and seemingly working to balance out the pro's and con's. However the scale as of today, is tipped more-so in the direction of the con's. Many of the pro's from the past have been slowly fading away, and the new incentives have yet to surface. The main pro that has stayed and remains a huge factor for staying with the company are the health benefits. Health/dental and vision are more or less covered- which is amazing. The payroll deducted costs for good coverage does not exceed 15 bucks a month. There is also pet insurance....but I have no idea if anyone would pay for it, let alone see that as a factor for a perk.
    The retirement plan has recently taken on some adjustments. The company matches a portion of contributions which is a plus. Make sure that you check your pay-stubs as the allocations of late have been incorrect, and the organization has failed to pay employee's loans out against retirement, which are still being payroll deducted.

    OTHER PERKS:
    Another perk would include Bagel Tuesday. Your breakfast one Tuesday a month is on the dime of the agency. As minuscule as this sounds compared to other places of employment with elaborate catering and lunch programs, it made my day. These small things made my day easier and gave me a little happiness.

    LOCATION:
    The Concord location also offers a gym. The gym is clean and has a shower. It is not a full on gym, but it has a few ellipticals, and free weights. Its good for what it is. There is an affordable on campus cafeteria which makes breakfast on the go easy. There is a farmers market on Tuesday near by. If you are in the area, the building is right next to Bart.

    Cons

    I'm not going to call them CON'S, I am going to call them GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES. Now, the reason I say opportunities, is because with all the growing pains of the organization and the change needed to move forward, most of these issues that have been mounting for years are fixable with time. I will give the higher-ups the benefit of the doubt that they truly do want to see the business thrive and do not see their employees as warm bodies. At the end of the day it is difficult to make real change when you are working so hard to keep your boat from sinking and plugging all the holes.

    ORGANIZATION:
    Retention/Training and Smooth Operations
    There is a huge disconnect between responsibilities for a particular role, and the actual employees available to do said work. Without proper training and ridiculous turnover, the work increases and the employees able to do the work decreases. There is an "all men for themselves" tone rather than "one team one dream". This is terrible. This is where "it's not your fault but its your problem" comes into play. In each department, as older employees leave and are not replaced, the work stacks up and certain employees will pick up the slack- whether they like it or not. When they are replaced- the replacements are not given the training they need to execute the job and ultimately the weight of their tasks are delegated to other employees. For example, our primary HR employee leaves and the burden of all of those responsibilities are dumped on a new "Talent Acquisition Specialist." As a result, there are issues with retirement benefits, AND more importantly half of the staff DOES NOT GET PAID one pay period. Some get paid at work with a physical check- others need to wait at home the following day for an overnight mail, or need to come in on their day off to get their check. I sincerely hope that was a one time issue. Its not his fault that he was not trained for the role and failed terribly, he was not given the tools to preform his job. Other examples included turn over within the call center and operations. The work for intake of calls or processing DMP's for instance falls on the shoulders of the counselors. The staff is asked to cover the job responsibilities not only for themselves, but also for their colleagues that have left. They are not one counselor, they are now doing the work of 2 counselors. As a result, counselors experience burn out and become dissatisfied with work and leave. Some even leave without securing new employment. On that note, the increased workload is not recognized and causes further issues down the line for all parties (the client, the counselor, and the management). Then the vicious cycle happens again where new employees need to be trained taking up a huge amount of time for immediate supervisors and staff, the older and sometimes new employees are dissatisfied and leave, and the pressure is again on management to make things work with limited staff and also limited time to train new employees with "enough" training to fill the gaping holes. Although it is not the fault of management that the turn over is huge- it surely is their problem. Although it is not the fault that there are not enough employees to make basic operations run smoothly- it is the employees problem. And on and on.

    Things that may help this issues:
    1) Recognize that your employees are not machines. Meaning if you allow your employees to decompress and be off available for an period of time, you will have more effective employees. Dumping work on employees only increases issues with retention and satisfaction of work. This will undoubtedly help with retention.
    2) Acknowledge the work that your employees do. A little empathy wouldn't hurt. You train us to to this with out clients...use it with employees. This will also help retention.
    3) Take time to train more effectively. Better training= better employees. Also cross train. Don't expect employees to know things that you don't teach them.

    MORALE:
    The bottom line: lower level employees are dissatisfied with work. There are many factors that play a role here more or less as noted above.
    There are many reviews that say get negative employees out. The organization has had a negative vibe with all the changes especially post changes with a new CEO. This is to be expected with any changing organization. I believe that part of this dissatisfaction from employees and even management is due to stress. It is incredibility stressful to walk into work thinking that you are doing all that you can to make it better, provide quality work and that is not enough. I believe that sentiment is true for all departments, and all the way up the organizational ladder. As the organization re-staffs, re-trains and re-vamps this stress may be less and less. However, even with a new workforce without "negative" employees I believe it will be important for management to be mindful that they are creating the negativity. Again, it is not your fault, but it is your problem. Management needs to take ownership for their employee's job satisfaction- and if they don't they will again foster new "negative" employees. The bottom line is different people are motivated by different things. Management needs to recognize that some employees are motivated by money. Some employees are motivated by praise. Some employees are motivated by small gestures... lets say healthy snacks. If management fails to get to know their employees and continues to have "US VS. THEM" attitudes you will never build a positive morale, and you will continue to lose your staff and have to deal with this endless cycle of turnover.
    Things to consider:
    1) Read that "Carrot" book in the break room and actually use it.
    2) Get to know your employees. On that note, I realize it may be hard, employees clam up when management walks into the room...this is the "US VS THEM" problem that needs to be squashed, but it needs to happen. Employees are more like to work hard for people that they respect and care about.
    3) Train your staff and reward them when they do a good job. You have employees that have given 10 years of their lives to you and you reward them with a gift certificate for a meal... oh man. this sends the wrong message.

    Advice to Management

    The organization is going to suffer with these growing pains for a while. Aside from the above things to consider, the main thing I would stress to management as an employee that always wanted to do my best, is to seriously consider your employees and stop discounting their concerns. You are not in control of every individual employees happiness, but you do have the power to minimize the toxicity of the morale and keep your good employees if you simply ask them what they need. This organization has the promise to be great, but you can't do it alone. In order to realize these big plans it will need to individual contributions from all of the staff. If you continue to blame employees and not take ACTIVE STEPS to add to the value of their lives you will never keep your employees. Again, it is not you fault- but it is your problem . You have good people, take the time to make them great. You are wrong to say that these reviews are crazy- this is how your employees feel and you are failing to listen to them. This is like seeing a $2000 deficit in the budget, and pretending that there is not a problem. YOU ARE DELUSIONAL if you are not seeing these things as issues. It is not as simple to blame the move. That is an important factor, however the other underlying issues are the real issues here. Take a minute to speak to your employees, or continue to struggle.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Great Mission"

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

    I have been working at CCCS of San Francisco full-time

    Pros

    If you're looking for a rewarding job where you help people this is a great place to be. Great benefits, nice facilities, commuter benefits, gym, game room, etc. Positive working environment. Great immediate manager.

    Cons

    Growing company so things move fast. Employees that don't want to work very hard complain about it. Also lots of young and entitled employees, which gets old.

    Advice to Management

    Get rid of complaining employees, they are toxic. Just look at all of these crazy reviews.


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