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Compassion International Reviews

12 reviews

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Jimmy Mellado
6 Ratings

12 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Everyone works toward the same goal, which is releasing children from poverty in Jesus' name (in 16 reviews)

  • This company is committed to helping other people around the world who are struggling to meet the basic necessities of living (in 6 reviews)

Cons
  • Work/Life balance can be difficult (in 5 reviews)

  • Lack of communication, lack of direct engagement with leadership, bureaucracy and inability to get decisions from leaders (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (15)

    "Low Integrity & Accountability, Great Benefits"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Team Lead Specialist in Colorado Springs, CO
    Current Employee - Team Lead Specialist in Colorado Springs, CO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Compassion International full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Benefits. Weekends off. Paid holidays. It's kind of nice to work with other Christians, but also a con too. Great ergonomics team. And the coffee in the break room is free.

    Cons

    No one is required to do their job, and all in the name of 'grace.' Supervisors and peers have no idea how to do their job and it goes on for years and no one is evaluated, legitimately coached, or let go.

    It is acceptable to keep extra people on a team even though they are incompetent, again, all in the name of grace. It is also perfectly acceptable to extend a 15 minute paid break to 30 minutes or even 45 minutes. Additionally, upper management purposefully schedule "lunch meetings," so they can eat for free at donor's expenses. All of this is not good stewardship of funds for a non profit.

    Compassion also claims that more than 80% of the income goes "directly to the sponsored child." In reality, they just have clever accountants who justify the majority of people's salaries under "child development."

    Extremely dissatisfied with the lack of integrity at this institution.

    Advice to Management

    Legitimately evaluate performance and take action on low and under performers. Do something to mitigate or eliminate the silo effect between departments.


  2. Helpful (13)

    "Bizarre Culture"

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

    I worked at Compassion International (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    They do a very good job of helping children in poverty, along with their families. Sponsors also have the opportunity to give family gifts and then see pictures of how you're helped them, which is very rewarding. Their approach is unique and helps kids and their families get back on their feet, live instead of just surviving, and equip them with a fighting chance at real success in life and in Christ - you're not just throwing money at them. Compassion brings many children and families to Christ, and also helps any children from any religious background, which is great. Sponsors have a real, tangible relationship with the kids and it's very rewarding (please note there are many safeguards in place for the kids in case of dubious sponsors). I will absolutely continue to sponsor children from there. Other pros: Weekly Chapel. They also had wonderful, inspirational speakers during chapel. It was also a blessing to be able to pray out loud at will, before meals, and with and for your team. The compensation is above any other ministry I applied for. They were fair in the severance packages when they had to lay off 5% of the company due to upper mgmt.'s incompetence.

    Cons

    Everything else. I'm a Christian and thought I would love working with other Christians, but overall I found the culture bizarre, although I heard from my co-workers at the time it's better than the culture at most ministries. If you are someone who wants to get work done in an efficient, timely way, this place will drive you crazy. The upper mgmt. were/are all mostly "Good 'ole boys", and completely out of touch with the rest of the worker bees, not to to mention they grossly mismanaged their $, caused an unprecedented 5% lay off, while not one of them were laid off themselves. All the CEO does is cry. I was totally turned off to working with Christians and will never work in a ministry again because it wasn't for me, but it was a great learning experience even if it wasn't the right fit.

    Advice to Management

    The entire Sr. mgmt. team needs to be let go - all SVP's and above. The President needs to stop crying at the drop of a hat. Also: Crying because you have to lay us off when you and your team continue to draw rock star salaries and stay employed was really hard to stomach.

  3. Helpful (10)

    "High tower"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Colorado Springs, CO
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Colorado Springs, CO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    What we do every day, release children from povery in Jesus name...awesome. Good working hours, good work life balance if your job does not require travel.

    Cons

    Higg tower managers. Gallup does Not tell Compassions story, employees do. Disconnect between departments terribly. Stress brought on by new computer system. Stress from lack of communication and connection with CEO and with upper management.

    Advice to Management

    Get out of your office and sit with employees. Department managers quit cutting into other departments decision making. Quit putting control of departments under marketing department that does not speak to nor reach out to constituents one on one. Let those on front line with sponsors speak into the work we do. Less micro management from your high tower, more working side by side.


  4. Helpful (13)

    "Wonderful mission at the ield projects while organizational values not in alignment at headquarters"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Manager in Colorado Springs, CO
    Current Employee - Senior Manager in Colorado Springs, CO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Compassion International full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    The plus is having a connection with the sponsored children in the field projects around the world. Employment engagement is high on the mission... reinforced by 5 year anniversary trip to the field as best employee benefit.

    Cons

    The senior leaders are unaware of how toxic the working culture is in many departments. They either don't care to know, or do not know how to change course after having steady staff growth for so long (ten years or so). Very poor people managers throughout the organization.

    Advice to Management

    To senior leaders... leave your ivory tower and mix with the folks... get to know the unvarnished truth from the rank and file. There is a whole layer of management that is concealing the truth.


  5. Helpful (10)

    "One of the best jobs I have ever had until the politics kicked in"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Human Resources Manager in Colorado Springs, CO
    Former Employee - Human Resources Manager in Colorado Springs, CO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Compassion International full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great mission. They talk the talk...unfortunately they don't walk the walk.

    Cons

    Politics politics politics. The worst thing that can happen is to make hiring and firing decisions based on political motives - especially in the non profit sector of employment. Unfortunately that was and is all to prevalent at Compassion. The idea that one can go further if they get rid of the ones with positive influence and high credibility is a real downfall for an organization. When it is a "Christian" organization it is even worse...it devalues the mission and the leadership. This is pretty prevalent at Compassion, and it shows. How awful to have lived through this there after more than five years of positive influence and credibility.

    Advice to Management

    Start transitioning the old guard...out with the old and in with the new. Management needs a complete overhaul. Get some humility in the top leadership roles - the senior VPs should go. Arrogance begets arrogance and there is no room for the "Good old boy mentality." You claim to be spiritual leaders, but you play politics like no other organization I have ever worked for.


  6. Helpful (11)

    "Proficiency in Marginalizing and Overwhelming Professional Staff in Context of Rapid Growth and World-Changing Mission"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Professional Staff in Colorado Springs, CO
    Current Employee - Professional Staff in Colorado Springs, CO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Compassion International full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Noble place to work. Really good pool of talent. Great benefits. Great location in Colorado Springs. Great vision for the future. Business casual culture. Does not have the overly "religious" feel of some Christian organizations. The culture allows people the freedom to be real. Pockets of healthy work environments do exist. People genuinely care about the mission.

    Good career starting point for someone who has a journeyman mentality and is willing to move through different parts of the organization.

    Cons

    Executive leadership is strong on strategic vision, but markedly less effective in leading the organization to fulfill that vision. Good ol' boy network is alive and well. They don't like to hear bad news. Dissenters are perceived as whiners or troublemakers.

    Mid-level professionals love Compassion's mission but hate the culture of diminishment and mixed messages from different levels of leadership...all of this in the context of a demanding work environment. Mid-level professionals new to Compassion routinely have their prior experience in the corporate world rejected because the they are "new", "not trusted" or "don't speak the language".

    One of the markers of a poorly-run organization is overtime. Burn-out and overtime is common-place in some parts of the organization.

    Advice to Management

    "Shame breeds fear", says author/speaker/researcher Brene Brown. That describes much of the corporate culture in three words. There is a culture of fear and intimidation that emanates from certain leaders who marginalize their professional staff unintentionally and sadly in some cases, intentionally.

    Your professional staff don't trust the upper echelons of leadership. Author/speaker Patrick Lencioni talks about meetings after meetings as being a marker of distrust. I see these meetings after meetings all of the time. The amount of emotional energy being spent on issues of distrust and disappointment is palpable.

    Staff are grinding...dealing with the angst over the how change is being managed and how strategic initiatives are railroading business-as-usual...all while still attempting to maintain double-digit grown...is draining...and often demoralizing to your good staff...because the amount of work is just so overwhelming. Many of your key staff have one foot out the door because they have lost confidence in leadership and, despite their willingness to do so, they can no longer do the job being demanded of them.

    My advice to executives: Escape from your ivory tower offices and travel schedules and get out and mingle on the shop floor with the staff and mid-level professionals. Get connected with your staff two levels below you. Do it intentionally. Do it routinely. Manage by wandering around. Use the opportunity to build trust and tune-into the realities of what your professional and line staff are experiencing. Develop trust by re-establishing a presence with your staff in contexts other than just chapel or town-hall public appearances.

    You have a chance to turn this around. Do what you espouse: love your people and dignify them with your presence. Get to know them, again...or maybe for the first time. Spend a day in their shoes every once in awhile. Win back their trust and you will unleash a multiplier that will rocket you towards your envisioned future. In the absence of the trust of your staff, your Gallup "Best Workplace" Award is just a bunch of chest-thumping.


  7. Helpful (4)

    "Great mission with faltering leadership"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Mid-Level Manager in Colorado Springs, CO
    Current Employee - Mid-Level Manager in Colorado Springs, CO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Compassion International full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Compassion's work with children in poverty in the developing world is excellent and effective. Their program models and partnerships with the indigenous Christian church in the countries in which they operate provide the foundation for their success.

    Cons

    Executive and senior leadership aren't seeing the true status of the deterioration taking place among rank and file employees. Lofty goals aren't provided with the infrastructure or proper support necessary to achieve success which is putting incredible stress on those tasked with meeting these goals. Extreme compartmentalization between departments creates confusion and inefficiency among employees. Many long term employees are leaving or actively searching for new opportunities due to ongoing, unaddressed frustrations while others are being terminated without due cause. Several in senior leadership, especially those who have been brought in over the past 5-7 years, exude a sense of arrogance and superiority that has created instability and fear in their direct reports. Those who attempt to bring issues to the attention of other leaders or the executive team soon discover nothing will be done and they are now labeled as trouble makers. Ongoing internal restructures are ineffective as they typically don't address the core issues and serve only as window dressing which has resulted in extremely cumbersome processes that make it impossible to be efficient, effective and nimble.

    Advice to Management

    Stop relying on Gallup surveys and the word of senior managers regarding the health of the employee base. Spend some significant time with the rank and file employees so you can see first hand how inefficient the processes that have been implemented over the past 6-10 years are bogging down the organization. Take a long, hard look at the current restructure movement and understand that the greatest assets you have are the employees that are sold out to the mission. Technology is only a tool to help people achieve their goals, not a solution that in and of itself will fix the issues that you are facing.

  8. Helpful (7)

    "Great Mission:Lousy Leadership"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in Colorado Springs, CO
    Current Employee - Manager in Colorado Springs, CO
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The mission of Compassion is noble and good. The International staff are very dedicated. I wish the same could be said for US leaders.

    Cons

    An addiction to change...organizational amnesia...a lust for the new and different, the "glitz". Leaders who espouse principles and values and then don't exercise them themselves. They have sold this fable to the entire organization.

    Advice to Management

    Seek feedback from outside of the executive leadership team. Without it, you come to believe your own stories and you lose honesty.


  9. Helpful (11)

    "Amazing work done in the developing world, not a great place to work in the US"

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

    I worked at Compassion International full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - Amazing work done in the developing world, they are making a true difference in the lives of many children: bringing hope, real resources, and Jesus.

    Cons

    - Your quality of life is very dependent on who your manager is and unfortunately there are many people promoted based on who they know rather than ability to effectively support and encourage direct reports.
    - HR is poorly managed.
    - Very wasteful spending in many areas by people who are seen as "important" while less senior employees can't get approval for necessary training and resources.

    Advice to Management

    Clean house in HR and promote a culture that values working as a community and does not have a major rift and cultural difference between senior, midlevel, and lower workers.


  10. Helpful (7)

    "Great mission, ineffective leadership, unhappy employees."

    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
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Compassion International full-time

    Pros

    The mission of Compassion is wonderful and fulfilling. God continues to bless the organization and the children it serves.

    Cons

    Compassion has become arrogant. Employees are leaving, or wanting to leave, due to the unhealthy culture created by ineffective leadership. The organization does not seem to notice or care about the exodus of good employees. Compassion has received the Gallup award two years in a row for best places to work, however, one on one conversations with employees reveals a different sentiment. Employees are dissatisfied, confused, fearful, and frustrated.

    Advice to Management

    Leadership needs to step down into the working ranks and pay attention to what is happening at the grass roots level. God is blessing the Ministry, but He does not want leadership to stick its head in the sand when it comes to dealing with the unhealthy culture.


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