Commonwealth Secretariat Reviews | Glassdoor

Commonwealth Secretariat Reviews

Updated August 1, 2017
25 reviews

Filter

Filter

Full-timePart-time

2.2
StarStarStarStarStar
Rating TrendsRating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
(no image)
HM Queen Elizabeth II
13 Ratings

25 Employee Reviews

Sort: PopularRatingDate

  1. "Great experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Little Africa, SC
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Little Africa, SC
    Recommends

    Pros

    Very fulfilling experience. My Supervisor was excellent, gave very good guidance and feedback on deliverable s. The project had very clear outputs, and the funds to execute the work were sent on time. All interactions were professionally handled, and reports were delivered on time.

    Cons

    The contracts should be for a longer period of time. The time to confirm the contract took a long time, which led to some disruptions and inconveniences.

    Advice to Management

    Short term contracts should be longer than the current 4 months. Also, the time spent with the clients on technical assistance projects, should be increased.


  2. "Great mission but unstable management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Commonwealth Secretariat full-time

    Pros

    Beautiful location, meaningful work
    I recommend this place but with a pinch of salt (depends on the department) and don't expect career progression here

    Cons

    Management unstable, mid-level directors caused a lot of bureaucracy drama, some advisors can coast along without doing actual work
    Frustrating as British taxpayers essentially pay the salaries

    Advice to Management

    Senior management has been flushed out a few times yet worrying trends persist

  3. "The Institution to be proud of but not the management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Adviser in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Adviser in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Meet people from around the world. This could be a good temporary move to gain experience. Many new work opportunities due to the high rate of 'redundancies' and resignations. The last-in-first out policy may benefit you in getting a job, but take care as you may be the first out again. Those with the longest employment get to stay

    Cons

    Both 'remainers' and 'leavers' are feeling bruised. The morale is broken and there is no end in sight yet. New staff are made redundant and their jobs re-advertised to recruit new people. The wood that has been lying around for more than a decade carry on lying around. It's now an organization of short term temps and secondments. Units are so depleted of manpower that it is a madhouse trying to keep projects running. Much of the day to day operation now flailing with even more staff having left by both 'redundancies' and resignations. Be prepared to take the fall for projects if you decide to stay a while. The long-termers will target you!

    Management ignorance in strategy and operations is shocking as the organization heads deeper in the morass and further loss of credibility. When you find you are being undermined, it is not you. When you are treated abusively, it's not you. This organization has lost its way so much now some wonder how it can again find the path to clean ethics, good governance, transparency and honest delivery to member countries. It is embarrassing to still be in the organisation amongst the missing depth of commitment and understanding of Charter. It is so sad to have to watch such an institution crumble while staff keep resigning. The institution is to be proud of, while the top management and their negative impact on staff is sickening.

    Do not expect recognition for what you research and write or the many speeches you create - that other people read - but apparently do not have the skills to write for themselves. You are here to support the 'royalty' who travel constantly at massive cost to member countries along with their entourages who support them. You will be in the tiny minority that has to work the long hours to carry those on top.

    Advice to Management

    Time to stop treating people as temps to be cleaned out at frequent intervals (especially newer staff, so as to protect the old wood who are willing to always be agreeable to anything to keep their salaries going longer). Advertising to fill the job of a person who has been made redundant is not allowed in public or private practice, why would you do it? It is time to clean up the house starting at the top and not by getting rid of whistle-blowers and those trying to deliver services to member countries. It is not the leaks that are a problem, it is the unethical practices and poor use of funds provided by members. Learn to really respect people and not just by paying lip service at staff meetings.


  4. "Force for Good"

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

    Pros

    Its objectives and the diversity of its staff.

    Cons

    Constant state of reform and lack of funding


  5. "Going down the drain"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Financial Advisor
    Current Employee - Financial Advisor
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Engaging with countries and increasingly evaporating ability to influence policies.

    Cons

    It is no longer a development organisation for the greater good. In a matter of months it has lost its way. Decisions, recruitment and even partnerships are biased. Staff have low morale, good staff are made redundant, others are retained not because of their skills but their boot licking and ego massaging abilities, many excellent elements are resigning.

    Advice to Management

    Wake up, get a spark of ethics and professionalism and stop managing as if the organisation is your private business and personal party.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Be careful"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Commonwealth Secretariat full-time

    Pros

    You will meet many nice people from around the world and work in a beautiful palace.

    Cons

    Be aware of colleagues who may undermine you. Management may take your budget away at a critical time leaving you to fail in key projects. If you speak truth to management, you are likely be made redundant - keep your opinions to yourself if you want to stay a while. Leave your ethics and standards at the gate when entering - these are for espousing to other organisations and not for internal implementation. The current state of the organisation needs to be seen to be believed - all good experience. Have your next career lined up to ease your exit.

    Advice to Management

    Ethics and transparency training needs to be implemented starting at the top.


  7. "So much promise"

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

    Pros

    On the whole committed staff

    Cons

    Bureaucracy and out of date processes, inadequate and ineffective management

    Advice to Management

    Make your strategy clear to staff and communicate

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Adviser"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Adviser in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Adviser in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Travel can be rewarding if you can do it.

    Cons

    This organisation is in constant turmoil with employment contracts being terminated mid-term and new people being appointed. Management is realigning the structure to support Brexit so it is no longer a true development organisation. Expect little job security and significant challenges from management.

    Advice to Management

    Improve the people-management skills and stabilise. Stop laying off good staff and employing new for a while and then laying them off too. Improvement of ethics needed.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "The Commonwealth Secretariat"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Commonwealth Secretariat full-time

    Pros

    - Opportunity to work with people from many part of the world
    - As a small organisation the ability to learn many aspects of the business presents itself quite often
    - Ability to interact with government officials from the Commonwealth's 52 member countries

    Cons

    - Bureaucratic
    - Divisions rarely collaborate with each other on projects/programmes
    - Lack of career growth and training opportunities

    Advice to Management

    Invest more in training staff


  10. "A great organisation"

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

    I have been working at Commonwealth Secretariat full-time

    Pros

    A diverse workforce, an opportunity to deliver positive social good in support of the Sustainable Development Goals, and opportunities to travel globally (at senior professional grades),

    Cons

    An organisation with great ambition but limited budgetary resources.


Showing 25 of 26 reviews
Reset Filters