San Francisco Symphony - Strong non-profit with growth opportunities but ceilings are easy to reach and political red-tape can bog down progress. | Glassdoor
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There are newer employer reviews for San Francisco Symphony

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Helpful (2)

"Strong non-profit with growth opportunities but ceilings are easy to reach and political red-tape can bog down progress."

Star Star Star Star Star
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
Recommends

Pros

-Smart, educated people
-A leader in the performing arts industry
-Contributes greatly to cultural capital
-Stakeholders believe in the cause

Cons

-Political red tape can stymie
-Upper management can lack necessary skill-sets
-Traditional thinking can squash innovation and competitiveness

Advice to Management

Don't be afraid of change. Be willing and ready to make structural adjustments to remain competitive. Reward the right people.

Other Employee Reviews for San Francisco Symphony

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Assistant Manager"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at San Francisco Symphony full-time

    Pros

    Excellent artistic product, provides the highest level of community engagement of any major orchestra, and has good external reputation.

    Cons

    As with most non-profits, the organization struggles to help its staff maintain a healthy work/life balance, and the opportunities for internal advancement are extremely limited.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "I wouldn't, if I were you"

    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
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at San Francisco Symphony full-time

    Pros

    Working at the Symphony is a joy if you love classical music and are stimulated by a fast-paced environment. Things change and move quickly and sometimes it’s a challenge to keep up, but the employees are a passionate and resourceful bunch. They are, for the most part, deeply invested in the organization’s mission and come to work knowing that they’re doing something they love.

    Cons

    Lack of Communication
    Decisions are made from on high with no explanation or rationale offered to employees. This is made more problematic when the decisions seem to directly contradict the Symphony’s mission. Leadership has been reticent and even patronizing in light of employee requests for more transparent communication.

    Musicians v Administration
    Although they work for the same organization, musicians and administrators do not interact. They are unaware of how the other group operates or what it does, leading to an infuriating degree of miscommunication, misunderstanding, and noncooperation.

    Staff as Second Class Citizens
    The staff is not allowed to park in the Symphony lot unless no musician needs to park. The staff is not represented by any union and has little recourse to management while the musicians are protected by their union and sit down with management to renegotiate their contract every few years. For the first four years of employment, staff get ten days of vacation time, musicians get ten weeks. And let's not even talk about salaries.

    General Panic
    When it comes to putting out fires (of which there are many) there is no long-term planning on the part of management, just day-to-day survival. This leads to chaos and a sense of utter futility for the people trying to implement each half-baked, myopic idea day in and day out.

    Staff Morale
    The staff is an eclectic bunch and together they try to keep each other engaged and happy. The fact that staff-lead initiatives are begrudgingly tolerated by leadership is rather demoralizing. Even as employees accept low salary and very limited vacation time the powers that be can’t see that a few initiatives dedicated to lifting morale could actually make a huge difference for the organization as a whole. Emotional intelligence? Nada.

    Advice to Management

    Plan more than one day in advance. Stop letting all your best employees leave prematurely but also don't assume that they will stay forever. Encourage job growth and development. Listen to the people under you. Take an honest look at the numbers and try to get to the heart of what's going on (regarding ticket sales, turnover, fundraising, everything!).

There are newer employer reviews for San Francisco Symphony
There are newer employer reviews for San Francisco Symphony

See Most Recent

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