Grist Reviews | Glassdoor

Grist Reviews

Updated February 24, 2017
11 reviews

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2.7
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11 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Grist"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    The people are the best part about working at Grist. Sadly in the time I have been there, many people have left.

    Cons

    The turnover rate is extremely high. The management and the overall running of the company is unorganized. The "vision" is constantly being discussed and updated much to the chagrin of the non-managerial staff. There is also a massive gap in pay and treatment of managers vs non-managers, including but not limited to Grist paying for transportation and furnished apartments in the most expensive neighborhood in Seattle for management staff who only live there a few days out of the week. Grist is very negligent about hiring people of color and the staff is 99% white, despite a lot of talk about being diverse and inclusive.

    Advice to Management

    Hire people of color. Don't waste money on apartments for the managers. Distribute the salaries more evenly.


  2. "This is a great place to get hired away from."

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

    I worked at Grist full-time

    Pros

    Many talented writers and editors. Positions open up frequently. Good place to build up clips. 

    Cons

    Toxic management, endless meetings about vision, huge pay differences, constant staffing churn, general cluelessness around supporting POC staff and interns.

    Advice to Management

    Respect the people who do most of the work of running the operation and get out of the way.


  3. "Founder's Syndrome and Out of Touch Management for an Incredibly Small Organization"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Culture & Values
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    The staff is great and is generally only one of the things keeping people there. It's a small organization and has been able to be scrappy to the best of its abilities.

    Cons

    There is 100% turnover every few years, and it has everything to do with leadership. Staff salaries are low, especially when comparing to senior management, whose perks include fully-furnished Seattle apartments if they are remote. They claim to be a diversity-friendly organization, but this means hiring non-white people as freelancers with no benefits, while hiring almost entirely white people for all (editorial and non-editorial) staff positions. The Board is well-meaning but disconnected because they are based around the country and communications are primarily funneled through the CEO and President. HR is technically assigned by someone with no HR background and no interest in helping employees with HR issues. The Founder/CEO would not be able to be hired at any other organization due to his lack of professionalism, so Grist suffers from Founder's Syndrome.

    Advice to Management

    Oust the CEO. Don't hire senior management just to fill a position. Listen to staff concerns. Hire an outside HR consultant if the in-house staff doesn't have the skill set to do HR.


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  5. "Really smart people doing great work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Grist full-time

    Pros

    Smart, creative group of people who are making a difference and doing some really cool things in the nonprofit media space. Whatever issues may have existed in the past seem to have been addressed, because this is a great place to work. I really appreciate the freedom we're given to do our jobs, and I love the people I work with. One of the best jobs I've ever had.

    Cons

    Salary levels could be more competitive, but I imagine that's an issue for most nonprofits in Seattle.

    Advice to Management

    Keep allowing staff the freedom to do great work, and continue to embrace the idea of focusing on the quality of work over quantity.


  6. "Great people, creative space"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Editor in Berkeley, CA
    Current Employee - Editor in Berkeley, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    It's a wonderful place to work if you want to be creative. Experimentation and wit are highly encouraged. And I just really enjoy the editorial team - a bunch of talented goofballs who love what they do.
    We get to participate -- and sometimes shape -- the national conversation over green issues. That's exciting.

    Cons

    The flip side of unrestrained creativity is a certain level of chaos. Though there may be a zero-sum game between chaos and bureaucratic stricture, and I tend to want to err on the side of freedom.

    Advice to Management

    There's probably a way to formalize and streamline some of the workflow. Some meetings could be shorter. When we have a formal outline for story meetings things tend to move more smoothly.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Here be dragons"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

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

    Pros

    Despite years of dysfunction, Grist still manages to attract fantastic people. The organization is staffed by stellar individuals who pour their hearts, souls, and many long hours into their work.

    Cons

    Grist’s founder/ CEO is a talented fundraiser, but his inability to set a clear course for the organization is legendary, and his failure to foster talent results in a revolving door for staffers.

    During my short time at Grist, I saw near-complete staff turnover. That included every member of the senior management team, several of whom were replaced more than once.

    Despite this, in 2012 the CEO made roughly $250k, more than three times what senior members of his editorial staff earned. (You can find the latest tax docs on Citizen Audit.)

    Last I knew, there was no sign that the org’s board of directors was even aware of these problems. That’s too bad. Grist has a worthy mission and a masthead chock-full of potential.

    Advice to Management

    Grist will never live up to its potential without fresh leadership.


  8. Helpful (4)

    "Capable of great things, but never quite delivers"

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

    Pros

    Org embraces new tools and technologies. Open to employees working remotely and having a flexible work schedule. Great opportunity to work with lots of smart and talented people.

    Cons

    Not the best at making the staff feel valued. Turnover is high which prevents org from progressing to its highest potential. Senior management is working to address these issues, but the dysfunction remains pretty high.

    Advice to Management

    Invest in your people and trust them to do the work you hired them to do.


  9. Helpful (4)

    "Cliquey, unfocussed"

    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

    I worked at Grist full-time

    Pros

    Some passionate, nice people who genuinely believe in being green and sustainable, with a sense of humor were there. Interesting visitors all the time.

    Cons

    CEO and Senior staff (writers and fundraising) are cliquey and are not open to other viewpoints. Always chasing money for fundraising, which felt more important than the readers and issues. No sense of humor from Senior staff. Sadly, I never got a clear sense of direction about where the website was headed, it was always looking at what other sites were doing and trying to copy them.

    Advice to Management

    There are other people who work for you besides the writers. Listen to other points of view and stop being so stubborn. Let your readers have fun and show some humor. What happened to being edgy and a little controversial?


  10. Helpful (5)

    "CEO is terrible, staff is friendly"

    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

    I worked at Grist full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Mostly friendly staff, there's a couple of bad seeds who can be extremely cliquish and ruin it for the nice people, but for the most part friendliness prevails. Outstanding editorial team makes up for lousy leadership from the CEO.

    Cons

    High turnover. CEO is a super micromanager and incredibly abrupt, rude, condescending. A lot of great people have left or been fired, mostly due to him. I would warn against accepting any position there that works with him directly or indirectly. Staff who don't have to work with him seem much happier. It's too bad- they put a lot of energy into recruiting good people and HR is fab, and then the CEO comes and flushes it all down the toilet.


  11. Helpful (3)

    "Great people, lousy leadership, no transparency"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Editorial in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Editorial in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Grist full-time

    Pros

    Grist's best asset is its people. It's a fun, lively place to work. It feels good working for a nonprofit doing cool, progressive stuff.

    Cons

    For how small it is, Grist can sure be dysfunctional. C-level staff don't communicate vision beyond vague brushstrokes. Mid-level management is well-intentioned yet ultimately ineffective. Turnover is high. Major shifting of gears occurs, seemingly at the whim of outside consultants, without much warning. Pay is low. All of this breeds resentment and failure to keep talented people who have fled for more stable pastures.

    Advice to Management

    Invest in your best staff members. Help them grow and make them happy. Otherwise you'll keep hemorrhaging. Be more transparent and have well-thought-out reasons for major changes, or at least involve staff in huge decisions.



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