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Grand Circle Travel Employee Reviews about "courageous communication"

Updated Jun 12, 2020

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3.2
40%
Recommend to a Friend
32%
Approve of CEO
Grand Circle Travel Chairman and CEO Alan E. Lewis (no image)
Alan E. Lewis
224 Ratings
Pros
  • "Amazing travel benefits (been to 18 destinations with the company)(in 38 reviews)

  • "lots of great people, good benefits, easy product to sell(in 24 reviews)

  • Cons
  • "One of the values is "open and courageous communications"(in 23 reviews)

  • "Company values of Open and Courageous Communication and Risk Taking are lip server(in 19 reviews)

  • More Pros and Cons
    Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.

    Reviews about "courageous communication"

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    1. 3.0
      Former Employee, more than 10 years

      Hard company to work for...

      Jun 12, 2020 - Accounting Clerk in Boston, MA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Good travel benefits, at least before the pandemic hit...

      Cons

      You constantly have to jump through hoops because of frequent performance reviews. Doing a good job doesn't ever seem to be enough. Open and courageous communication is supposed to be valued, but only if it's not directed at the wrong person.

      3 people found this review helpful
    2. 1.0
      Former Employee, more than 1 year

      Just Know When To Leave

      Nov 16, 2018 - Marketing in Boston, MA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Fantastic wellness program Benefits Potential to learn a lot and meet great people

      Cons

      To prospective employees: while my instinct is to say “don’t’” or “run” like the legitimate reviews here, here is my advice if this place is currently your best option like it was mine. You could have a decent experience at GCC for a little while, especially if you have a manager who protects you from the inherently toxic culture, but keep your resume updated. Know when it’s time to reclaim your autonomy/self-respect and leave of your own volition. Every day people joke about the negatives- how easy it is to get fired, the owner’s temperament, even how many desks you’ve sat at due to constant reorgs, but at one point the cognitive dissonance wears off and it’s just not funny how miserable everyone is. Few have managed to stay for years while remaining level-headed, compassionate, and humble, and I honestly congratulate them while counting them on one hand. The People and Culture department (HR) does a great job considering the Sisyphean work they’re tasked with, so when I say culture I’m not blaming them. I’m referring to the fear/intimidation techniques employed by the upper management that trickles down to through each tier of associates beneath them. Hardworking but completely inexperienced people are catapulted into inflated titles and positions of leadership if they speak the Grand Circle cult language and cozy up to the right upper management. Underqualified but brimming with hubris, they then run teams into the ground, and proceed to jump to new ones before accepting any blame. The “values” of GCC are contradicting and set you up to fail. “Open and Courageous” communication encourages associates to be unnecessarily rude, demanding, and often downright cruel to other. The attitude stems from the frequent temper tantrums of the owner, who is a childish bully and puppet master. His calculated intimidation tactics are darkly fascinating to witness. This review is long enough without citing the myriad of examples of management’s abuse, but find any of the reviews about this year’s Businessworks skit fiasco. It was almost six months ago and he’s still punishing the entire company for his own embarrassment (taking away perks, bonuses, outings, etc). The pros of working at GCC (meet some great people, learn a lot, potential to travel, fantastic Wellness program and benefits, a really cool product) are heavily outweighed by the cons. This place will challenge your integrity. Just be prepared and know your worth.

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      17 people found this review helpful
    3. 2.0
      Former Employee

      Good Work, Toxic Environment

      Jul 5, 2016 -  
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      1) You learn a great deal about the travel industry and is very rewarding if you like to travel yourself. 2) Great travel benefits. 3) Casual work attire. 4) Good location.

      Cons

      1) Pay is strictly OK unless you've been there forever. Raise system is insulting. 2) There is a company culture that hinges on a system of "Values" which sound great in theory but end up being a huge distraction. Management offers rewards for these values on an incredibly arbitrary basis. They are so obsessed with impressing each other at every level that it detracts from the workers' ability to get things done in some cases. 3) This company enacts major changes on a whim that have far-reaching impacts. 4) For sales and service employees, metrics are partially based on customer reviews after every call. Precisely zero leeway is given in these results no matter the content of calls (massive itinerary changes, cancellation of trips, financial changes, you name it). This can result in termination. 5) Management occasionally sets up 'performance plans' and then disregards them, terminating employees before the end of said performance plan. 6) The owner (Alan Lewis) does not operate the business by the values he claims to embrace. Open and Courageous Communication is one such value and people have been fired for speaking their minds to him. This is also systemic at every level of management.

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      17 people found this review helpful
    4. 1.0
      Current Employee, less than 1 year

      Horrible experience.

      Aug 28, 2013 - Traveler Support Associate in Boston, MA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Travel perks, people who work there are generally cool. Decent pay and benefits.

      Cons

      Worst job I have ever had. I would rather clean toilets as a janitor as I did one summer. Expectations are extremely high, even when you are performing well it is never enough and you will be loaded with lots of responsibility and no support. Values at this company are the most annoying part of the job. You are given raises on how much you can rat out other employees or pretend to speak up to management. You are told from day one that they encourage open and courageous communication, they just say that to make you feel good, and very rarely listen to any of the call center associates. Meetings are useless and then you have to rate the meeting on a scale of 1-5 and no 3's. It might not sound obnoxious but everything about this company is immature. I felt like I was in highschool. If you are ever stepping outside the micromanaged atmosphere you will be threatened with termination and then.....terminated. My peice of advice...If you have no other options, you should apply. If you are young, unsure of your career, or can find something 14.00/hr+ find a different job. There is a reason they have a add for employees in the metro newspaper for the last year. 114% turnover in the call center last year. Average call center is 50%. They do mass lay offs each year. Recently fired a lady who was in the call center for 8 years after she was given a near impossible goal to meet. She came with 1% of the goal and then was fired. No loyalty to employees.

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      5 people found this review helpful
    5. 2.0
      Former Employee

      Great benefits, BAD career growth

      Sep 9, 2015 - Anonymous Employee 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Travel benefits, pto and most of the people are great. Good opportunity to see the world, fun young culture. Company does a lot of great charity work.

      Cons

      In the company culture, open and courageous communication is encouraged but I've seen many smart people who are up to speed on current trends get hired, speak their mind and get let go shortly after for it. The values only work in your favor if what you have to say is exactly what upper management wants to hear. I didn't learn or grow much in my role because the company's decisions are disorganized and reactive so associates are always picking up the pieces vs making smart decisions and a strategy. I love travel so I actively made the decision to stay longer because of these benefits knowing I was somewhat stunting my career growth. CEO is absolutely crazy, is extremely disconnected from day to day, but barges in on day to day meetings and initiatives, making calls on what he thinks is best. It often felt like he would read an article about xx, make snap decisions and implement immediate changes, just to change them the next day based on a new tid bit of irrelevant information he gained. A bunch of great people let go recently and if a rational voice speaks out against him they're gone on the spot.

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      5 people found this review helpful
    6. 1.0
      Current Employee, more than 10 years

      Keeps getting worse

      Oct 13, 2016 - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      I will always say the people (not upper mangement) here are amazing. Truly amazing

      Cons

      The culture and core values are a lie. Didn't use to be but they are now. No work life balance, even if you try to manage it, they won't leave you alone. Associates are not Number 1. Open and Courageous communication is only allowed if it supports the owners beliefs. Speed is everything Quality is nothing. Risk taking is just walking in to your desk in the morning to see if you still have a job. People are jumping ship left and right. People are being terminated with no real reason besides a harsh performance review, that will ALWAYS put someone at the bottom regardless of how well they perform. There is no set plan or course of action. When one is set the only thing you can know for sure is that it will change right up to the 11th hour and you will still be expected to make it perfect. Approvals for anything are near impossible to get, there is no trust in the employees who have expertise in specific areas, recommendations are ignored. And the only way to get ahead is to tell upper management they are the greatest thing since slice bread and then you should be wary because you head is now on the chopping block.

      Continue reading
      15 people found this review helpful
    7. 2.0
      Former Employee

      Intensely chaotic and dysfunctional

      Apr 26, 2011 -  in Boston, MA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Great people. Casual dress code. Very philanthropic company - i.e. Grand Circle Foundation. Great benefits for long-term employees - i.e. paid sabbaticals every 5 years. Opportunities to travel around the world at a discount.

      Cons

      VERY intense culture - emphasis on company's core values almost cult-like. Very high turnover; don't get fooled by the 43% of associates who have been there 5+ years (many of them with 10+ years of service); the remaining 57% turns over constantly. Open and courageous communication crosses the line more often than it should. Can be unprofessional at times and it's intimidating to see associates get thrown under the bus by other associates or senior management in front of others. The SPEED by which things move can be overwhelming. Change happens so often and so quickly that it's very hard to keep up. You work long hours with little downtime; it's a very exhausting place to work. It's all about "what can you do for me NOW?!?" - it's a very REactive environment. Technology is VERY outdated; senior management outside of IT doesn't understand technology - still too much focus on direct marketing.

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      7 people found this review helpful
    8. 1.0
      Former Employee, less than 1 year

      Turn Around, Run Far and Run Fast Dude!!

      Dec 5, 2016 -  in Boston, MA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Nice in-house perks: acupuncture, chair massage, yoga, nicely equipped gym. The travel benefits are good, but I was not there long enough to partake. Nice location in Boston. Some very good people.

      Cons

      Employees (associates) fearful of upper management, especially of Alan Lewis. If you are not a sycophant don't accept the offer. "Open & Courageous Communication" goes one way -- DOWN. Don't stand your ground if you are being belittled and treated like a child -- you will be shown the door. Extremely high attrition rate, both from voluntary and involuntary separations. Associates are not tech-savvy in any sense of the word. Made suggestions to increase password complexity, and new hire IT Training -- it was deemed too hard for the associates to understand. There is no standard way of doing anything and it is very frustrating. You will be told there is a standard, but exceptions abound.

      Continue reading
      17 people found this review helpful
    9. 2.0
      Former Employee

      Difficult to Stay Employed

      Nov 22, 2011 - TeleSales Phone Representative in Boston, MA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Opportunity to Travel at a discount Friendly Coworkers Generally nice and friendly customers Stimulating work environment

      Cons

      Unreasonable Performance Measurements Although they stress corporate values of "Open and Courageous Communication" and "Risk Taking", there is still the same level of politics and throwing people under the bus, and talking behind their backs, that there would be at any other company. They need to actually live by the values, rather than give lip service to them. Associate Responsibility only goes so far. Work/Life balance can be very difficult with the workloads, and crazy, constantly changing priorities. Zero job security

      Continue reading
      4 people found this review helpful
    10. 1.0
      Former Employee

      Not stable company.

      Jul 21, 2009 -  in Boston, MA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Location, Cheap travel, Benefits, casual enviroment

      Cons

      1) Company is not stable. They laid off 100+ people last year due to economy. 2) A group interview where you have to "make a raft with straws and save egg" to measure your teamwork/communication skills. Very strange. 3) Very gossipy office environment. 4) You have to "MEMORIZED" companies values which are "Open and Courageous, Communication, Risk Taking, Teamwork,Thriving in Change,Speed, Quality" 5) Company has "Teamwork Build Day" once a year and you have to do "TRUST FALL". 6) Co-workers are very fake to each other. Very uncomfortable. 7) You have to stay and work late - ALWAYS, ALL THE TIME 8) They like to see cheerleaders/football players type of personality.

      Continue reading
      10 people found this review helpful
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