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Top Review Highlights by Sentiment
Excerpts from user reviews, not authored by Glassdoor
- "Bad management: from the director level all the way up to the administrator." (in 30 reviews)
- "The work is frequently boring and the managers are frequently incompetent." (in 18 reviews)
- "The flavor of the monthis embraced by senior management with unquestioning vigor." (in 7 reviews)
- "lack of leadership and detail opportunities" (in 6 reviews)
- "Bad work/life balance, culture of overworking" (in 5 reviews)
Ratings by Demographics
This rating reflects the overall rating of Environmental Protection Agency and is not affected by filters.
Reviews about "senior management"Return to all Reviews
- 3.0Dec 27, 2020Physical ScientistCurrent EmployeeWashington, DC
Good benefits; management supports work-life balance; substantial annual early career pay raises
Politics and bureaucracy frequently inhibit progress; senior management bullies lower management; non-management staff have little chance for promotion to management; career staff hit career ceiling after 4-6 years; little investment in continuing professional education for staff; scientific staff perform more administrative work than mission-critical work1
- 3.0Jun 16, 2013EPSCurrent Employee, more than 10 yearsWashington, DC
Stability working for the federal government. Countless opportunities to work on projects that are of interest to you. Potential opportunities to actually improve the environment for future generations. Diversity of educational backgrounds of staff.
Lack of influence of the Agency in national and global decision-making. Senior management decisions often not based on real understanding of issues, heavily swayed by political perceptions. Lack of real world experience of staff (i.e., too many life-long bureaucrats).1
- 4.0Mar 22, 2014Summer FellowFormer Intern, less than 1 yearRaleigh, NC
Work life balance was great. Many worked 8:30-5pm or took advantage of flex schedules that allowed for every other Friday off. There was very LOW low attrition and tremendous company loyalty ("lifers"). Employment seemed equal to "tenure". I was only an intern so it's not clear to me how quickly one can move up in management, but there were very smart and qualified people here. I was definitely impressed by the staff at the Research Triangle Park office.
This is a large and slow moving, government administration. Hence, many activities were bureaucratic and at time non-sensical (example, ordering statistical software or software tools to conduct basic research). The salary bands are of course lower than the private sector and max out at the senior management level. My manager also told me about how government hiring often works -- it's better to know someone on the inside who can guide you on what the actual position is for.... often times job descriptions are written and tailored for a specific employee who already works internally!
- 3.0Nov 14, 2012EngineerCurrent Employee, more than 10 yearsLenexa, KS
Flexible schedules; challenging work if you choose to engage. Average to hard workers stand out for recognition admist the too many slackers that are tolerated.
Unions run the show in the current administration and they seek to protect the lowest common denominator. The flavor of the monthis embraced by senior management with unquestioning vigor. Turf protection and CYA too much a part of the culture. Too many 'back office' staff controlling and draining resouces from mission related work. There are a lot of lawyers in this office, and many of them prefer not to do legal work.
- 3.0Feb 5, 2011AnalystFormer EmployeeWashington, DC
Work you can't get anywhere else, front runner of environmental protection among nearly all the countries of the world, excellent and extremely well-educated and dedicated senior management
Most people are unmotivated career public servants, they are usually never very bright and rarely committed to working past 5pm (and this is after daily 2 hour lunch breaks), the pay is paltry and the advancement and development opportunities are non-existent.1
- 3.0Feb 20, 2015Anonymous EmployeeFormer Employee, more than 8 yearsSeattle, WA
People who work there value interpersonal relationships between staff, generally have the right attitude about its goals and priorities, and seek to do more with less including giving their all even when it damages them over time. I learned a lot, became a better person, and genuinely was tested and tempered through my rise through the ranks. Job security was also a huge benefit. Work/life balance is great, even if often abused by senior management and those who can hide their grift. Benefits are very good, although they are based on seniority and being willing to ask for them.
The agency is hamstrung by outdated values and hierarchy that doesn't serve it any longer. Politics on a local and national level determine goals and values instead of its core mission. A shrinking budget that doesn't allow hiring top talent nor allows the removal of dead weight is causing cancerous growth to appear in the workforce as top talent leaves the grifters for better pastures. Furthermore, with the recent slow down and regretful turn to subjugated following to Congressional whims and top politician sway, the agency is teetering on becoming less relevant and useful to the American people. Job security was sometimes more important than actually doing the work the agency is capable of doing, thus bringing uncertainty to why people are working there among the staff or, worse, actual undermining of helpful programs and agency actions by its own staff. Career advancement is nearly impossible, there are no plans for growth or succession in place, and workload is increasing substantially while knowledgeable staff is literally being paid to leave in droves to avoid furloughs. This is causing consternation and fear among staff as well as causing younger talent to be placed in positions where they will either fail or become burned out for being merely 'successful' in unclear roles and undefined positions that have no clear benefit to the agency's core mission. Pay is usually acceptable, but it's also clear that pay is not standardized among similar positions so while one person might receive a large amount of money for little demonstrable effort and deliverables another who delivers constantly above and beyond might receive significantly less than what the private sector would provide. It is also clear that it isn't what you do but who you know if you want a pay raise, appearance is more important than actual work, and accountability is nearly non-existent encouraging a culture of doing the bare minimum. Management below senior level readily admits to these problems but literally shrugs their shoulders and claims 'that's the way it is' and 'I know and I agree, but nothing can be done'. Staff can literally break the law, and if they are senior enough, they won't even be talked to about it. I have received physical threats and been nearly beaten by people for merely requesting they follow the same rules and procedures as the rest of the staff who are not as senior as them. Senior management is generally non-existent. They are in eight hour long meetings where it is unclear what they are doing, making an effort to appear they are working while leaving early everyday, or actually not showing up to work or being available when they say they are without any actual accountability or oversight due to their 'leadership'. Employee satisfaction has fallen dramatically, trust in senior management has degraded to Congress approval level bad, and continued resource cuts and an aging staff are quickly making the agency irrelevant to current challenges the nation and our world faces.2
- 2.0Aug 21, 2020Software EngineerFormer Contractor, more than 3 yearsNew York, NY
Thought it would be bad and tiring work. Government contracts were actually quite enjoyable.
The people aren't happy with the current senior management.1
- 4.0Aug 29, 2022Program ManagerFormer Employee, more than 10 yearsGulfport, MS
Highly recommended. Excellent career choice.
EPA Senior management views and initiatives take longer than necessary to reach the regional and branch management staffs.