American Academy of Otolaryngology - Once was a great place to work - but now poorly run, and on the decline. | Glassdoor
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Helpful (4)

"Once was a great place to work - but now poorly run, and on the decline."

Star Star Star Star Star
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Alexandria, VA
Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Alexandria, VA
Doesn't Recommend
Disapproves of CEO

Pros

They take work-life balance seriously enough that it's a part of their core values. The 403(b) employer contribution was 9 percent, which was extremely generous. The office location is very accessible to the King Street Metro.

Cons

The office facility is brand new, but hardly collegial. Managers sit in offices, while lower level employees are in shared 'work stations,' which makes phone calls and spur-of-the-moment meetings difficult and intrusive to others in the area. Glass walls on the manager offices make it evident when someone goes in to speak with a manager or HR, and becomes immediately subject to whispers 'on the floor.' Elevators rarely work. Temperatures are difficult to regulate, so floors have severe hot-cold spots. It's difficult to use the internal meeting spaces for organizational business because there's so much emphasis on renting out the space to outside organizations who serve as a source of revenue.

The organization should be financially stable with a high saturation of membership among the target demographic, and past financial planning has left it with a large reserve fund. That said, very poor real estate decisions when the economy was about to collapse has it's cost them dearly. As a result, the organization has struggled under the weight of severe budget shortfalls, and was forced to first cancel openings following departures, and then do a round of across-the-board layoffs that shattered morale. Those left behind were burdened with fewer staff to do the same amount of work. Personnel shifted to other positions to make up for gaps in coverage were not given the necessary training to excel at those new positions, and wound up frustrated and unmotivated. The situation could have been remedied by using some of the large financial reserves to make up for the deficit, but the board and leadership were inclined to instead freeze and cut staff, and refused to cut programs.

Titles are random and without counterparts in other organizations, which makes comparing jobs, salaries, and levels of experience problematic.

Personal time off policy is misleading, and downright frustrating. They'll tell you upfront that you get 25 days of PTO each year - five weeks of vacation, right? What they don't tell you is that this includes sick time. Also, they only allow you to carry over up to 10 days each year (they offer a buyout to carry over zero days), which resets with the end of their fiscal year (July 1) so if you expect to take a vacation or get sick in August, good luck.

When they switched the PTO policy, they left in a lurch dozens of people with significant time in the organization who had banked a large number of sick and vacation days. Those people lost everything.

Some managers fight for their staff even when asked not to by management (in the spirit of putting organizational business over personal politics), and those under them earn favored status as a result, while those who work under a manager who "plays fair" wind up getting hammered down (squeaky wheels regularly get the grease at AAO). It's the workplace equivalent of a lawyer blurting out something to the jury, having it stricken from the record, but knowing that the jury heard what was said and was influenced anyway.

They've attempted to promote from within - but refuse to compensate those individuals for the new responsibilities being taken on. As a result, people are coasting, knowing there's little incentive to perform at a high level.

Everything is a losing battle when it comes to change - senior leadership doesn't want to change how the organization does business when an employee suggests a new tact, but will demand immediate movement when the board of directors mentions that same initiative.

Don't expect a reference from your manager, supervisor or even your colleague when you move on to a new opportunity - the organizational policy is that they can confirm that you worked for them, and won't provide any additional feedback to potential employers.

Advice to Management

Remember what made AAO a place you wanted to work at and get back to that. The young staff doesn't have the same level of devotion that you might, and won't tolerate the environment you've created.

Other Employee Reviews for American Academy of Otolaryngology

  1. "Great place to work"

    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

    I worked at American Academy of Otolaryngology (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great 403(b) employer match, flexible work schedule, great location, interesting to learn about clinical subject matter from the periphery of healthcare, great maternal / paternal leave policy

    Cons

    Micromanagement, healthcare reform causing headaches for membership, lack of upward mobility, lack of strategy from management

    Advice to Management

    Adopt a COO with healthcare information technology background


  2. "Toxic Work Environment"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at American Academy of Otolaryngology full-time

    Pros

    Next to King St Metro. Work-life balance is solid (you can expect to not check your emails after you leave the office)

    Cons

    Incompetent directors and senior directors. No accountability for lack of performance -- seniority beats experience and performance here. If you've been here long enough, you are fine. Very poor communication within team and across departments. Last year an average of two people quit a month...in an organization that has 60 employees, that is considerable and only adds to the communication issues, as no one is there long enough to really learn process and improve the place. Out of the box thinking is frowned upon. Telecommuting policy is horrible --no flexibility. If you're sick, they will not care. Senior leadership blames directors for problems, who blame senior managers, who have nowhere to turn or even less competent staff to turn to for problem resolution. Nothing is ever resolved effectively.

    Directors and senior directors do not read their email and constantly ask for updates project status etc, they claim they do not understand or were not kept in the loop. Thousands of emails go unread...again, leading to communication issues.

    Internal staff survey, which assesses how staff feel things are going, is only done every 2 years, which does not help issues at all. Most staff are not even there to see a survey because they are caught between the 2 years. New staff are not allowed to participate in the survey.

    Very poor morale all around.

    The place is not even financially stable at this point --membership dues are increasing and resources are diminishing for them and for staff. Internal resources are being cut too, as they cannot afford tissues or basic first aid for staff. They are looking to rent out their auditorium to improve revenue streams; no luck yet.

    In general the place is struggling and needs a new CEO (currently Dr. James Denneny) that knows how to lead and delegate.

    Advice to Management

    Learn to rely on your staff. Provide more autonomy to your staff and learn to trust their input. Why else did you hire them? Have Senior Directors take leadership training. Be open to innovative thinking and new processes. Learn to listen to staff grievances because you will continue to lose staff.


There are newer employer reviews for American Academy of Otolaryngology
There are newer employer reviews for American Academy of Otolaryngology

See Most Recent

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