City of Calgary Reviews | Glassdoor

City of Calgary Reviews

Updated March 19, 2017
14 reviews

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2.0
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City of Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi
Naheed Nenshi
6 Ratings

14 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Work life balance emphasized with flex time (in 25 reviews)

  • Great pay, pension, and benefits; flexible work week schedules; job security; excellent career development opportunities and training (in 11 reviews)

Cons
  • Human Resources is a strategic service, and needs to be able to intervene in business units that are not playing by the rules (in 5 reviews)

  • Low pay, office politics, some people take advantage (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Need to try a little harder"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Independent Consultant in Calgary, AB (Canada)
    Former Contractor - Independent Consultant in Calgary, AB (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at City of Calgary as a contractor (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Most of the people there are great to work with. Some departments are really working hard to provide up-to-date solutions.

    Cons

    Typical in-house competition between departments. As in with two depts. A & B; dept A "thinks" they are competing with dept B. When actually there is no competition and dept A is getting it all wrong because the manager is in a position where they do not belong.

    Advice to Management

    Surveys that you send out to employees are NOT a way of gauging satisfaction as they are not anonymous. Hire a outside 3rd party to perform an analysis on the services that you are providing. Have the 3rd party interview all employees and not just the managers. While it is a great deal of work to interview all employees; asking just the managers for input regarding their personal performance is a massive waste of time that will yield false reports.
    An example; there is an effort to promote "a remote workforce", with the intention that some (non-support) employees can work at any place, at any time. This sounds fantastic, however some middle management cannot stand the idea and require their staff to be in the office warming a chair from 8am until 5pm. It is to the point where some of those managers believe that the "remote workforce" only applies to themselves and not the general staff.


  2. "Ok place to work"

    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
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Opportunity to work with different teams. Flexible work hours.

    Cons

    First year no vacation. No real sense of teamwork.


  3. Helpful (4)

    "Analyst"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - IT Analyst in Calgary, AB (Canada)
    Current Employee - IT Analyst in Calgary, AB (Canada)

    I have been working at City of Calgary full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Pros are typical of a large organization, non really stand out after having worked in several other organizations.

    Cons

    Managers can be over pipcky about taking time off. For union employees, the first year you get NO holidays. They say that you do but what happens, is you earn 10 days in the first year and then this can be taken in the second year. It actually equates to just over 9 days due to flex days. The second year, you earn just under 15 days. then that's it for 8 yrs. I would not recommend this employer if you are older. All large organizations I have worked for typically give 3 weeks or 4 weeks from the get go. the city is years behind. I am only here due to the economic downturn in Calgary.

    Advice to Management

    Too many micro managers.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    "Communications"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Communications in Calgary, AB (Canada)
    Current Employee - Communications in Calgary, AB (Canada)
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at City of Calgary full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    - huge team
    - lots of varied skills and projects
    - lots of colleagues for networking
    - very good pay compared to some other places I've worked

    Cons

    - hate to say it, but the management is out of touch. A bit outdated when it comes to digital communication and very out of touch with what we do on the front line. Also, top leader often says inappropriate things about staff, gossips and picks favourites.
    - There have been countless complaints about management and HR has come to meet us as groups and individuals about low employee survey scores but not much happens. Now they have some new managers and shifted some things around but that may mean problems are just being shifted or covered up.
    - recommend working here only if you can find an area reporting to a lower-level supervisor where you don't have to interact much with the upper management in CSC

    Advice to Management

    Listen to employee feedback. Stop collecting it over and over and actually act upon it.


  6. "Not the best..."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    There is a lot of diversity.

    Cons

    So behind in thinking and approaches in every almost area. Could learn from other municipalities and industries but refuse to incorporate those best practices.


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Employing their buddies and cronies"

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

    I worked at City of Calgary (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Public service ... doing a job that benefits all citizens

    Cons

    Certain senior individuals forget that they are public servants ... paid by the taxpayer. They feel they can do whatever they like, ruin people's careers and never be held accountable.

    Advice to Management

    Don't give jobs to your buddies and cronies. Labour Relations in cahoots with the management ... never asks the employee for their side of things. Good people dismissed because of petty politics. I have written to the Mayor about this ... no response or action. The senior guys feel they are immune and can do as they please. Very bad deal for the taxpayers.


  8. Helpful (2)

    "Silos, red tape, political"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Management Systems Analyst in Calgary, AB (Canada)
    Former Employee - Management Systems Analyst in Calgary, AB (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at City of Calgary full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Perhaps the best part about working at CoC was the work-life balance. It is easy to put in your hours and forget about work at the end of the day. On-boarding training to acclimate new staff into City culture and process is extensive.

    Cons

    Creative thinking and new solutions are not encouraged. Very little autonomy and discretion afforded to staff. Managers tend to either micro-manage or engage in "drive-by" managing; City culture doesn't appear to reward honest discussions and feedback, so you get used to just repeating the company line about whatever is being discussed. Some individuals were extremely unprofessional - missing meetings, stonewalling projects - and there didn't appear to be any way to get them or their management to care about it. Responsible risk-taking is actively discouraged; if it's not the safest possible play, just don't do it.

    Advice to Management

    Train your people to think about what is important in doing a job - not just following a rigid process and filling out mindless templates. Trust your people to offer valuable, creative solutions. Seek more feedback from the rank and file about how your middle and upper management layers are performing, but the employees giving that feedback must feel safe - i.e. anonymous - so their feedback will not harm them in the future.


  9. "Bloated team size"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Applications Support Analyst in Calgary, AB (Canada)
    Former Employee - Applications Support Analyst in Calgary, AB (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at City of Calgary full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Near transit. Women in management.

    Cons

    Poor pay for Calgary. To many people on a team (not enought work to go around).

    Advice to Management

    You are hiring people who are capable of doing their jobs. Let them. Reduce team size. I was on a team of 4. The team could have handled the work with 1 person.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Ok place to work if you really don't like change."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Safety Advisor in Calgary, AB (Canada)
    Current Employee - Safety Advisor in Calgary, AB (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at City of Calgary full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    There are a lot of different industries within The City of Calgary. The work / life balance is pretty good.

    Cons

    The longtime employees are reluctant to change, the systems are at least a couple of decades behind, tough to get meaningful work unless you're part of "the inner circle".

    Advice to Management

    "Good enough" really isn't good enough. Learn from other more progressive municipalities and industries around the globe (not just Edmonton).


  11. Helpful (7)

    "Poor place to get ahead for smart people. Management show favoritism in Supply Management. Lower pay"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Buyer in Calgary, AB (Canada)
    Current Employee - Buyer in Calgary, AB (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at City of Calgary full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good work-life balance, every second Friday off.

    Cons

    Very political. Limited way to develop your career due to internal politics. It would seem that managers like to give preference to their friends and other people they like. It is apparent if they do not like you as they will pass you for promotion.

    The interview process is a joke. Most of the people can tell you who is going to get the job before the process is complete. Sr.Management will "highly suggest" that certain people apply for the promotions.. and no surprise, these people get the job.

    It should be a fair and transparent process but to everybody in Supply Management who has been working here, we all see how these people manipulate the process and award it to their close friends. Very disheartening and shows little integrity.

    It is also good to note that it is a unionized environment. This means that there are those who will rat on you if you leave 10 minutes early. Even though you came in half an hour early, they have to accost you due to the "perception" that you are leaving earlier. My goodness, in all my years I have never seen adults being treated like children. They give you a "warning" that somebody is watching you..... really? What sort of environment is this?

    However, if you are a permanent employee or a favorite, you can go on 15 min smoke breaks 4 times a day. But a temporary worker would be scrutinized. Sorry state of affairs in Supply Management. Who has time to be "watching" when people come and go? Laughable.

    I really feel sorry for temporary people. Just get your experience and leave. That is the best course of action. They will not promote you , they will not develop you, they do not care.
    .

    Advice to Management

    Please stop placing your friends who are unqualified into higher positions. You are draining the work force, especially in Supply Management. Most of the superstars or qualified young employees leave because of this type of favoritism. Don't be old dinosaurs who are scared of change and try to protect your pensioned jobs. You are destroying the City of Calgary's reputation.


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