Macmillan Cancer Support Reviews | Glassdoor

Macmillan Cancer Support Reviews

Updated October 14, 2017
64 reviews

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2.6
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Macmillan Cancer Support CEO Lynda Thomas
Lynda Thomas
35 Ratings

64 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Working at MCS can be immensely fulfilling due to the company's aim to help people who really need the help (in 8 reviews)

  • Great to work for such a great cause (in 7 reviews)

Cons
  • Massive staff turnover turning into a death spiral of any talent (in 8 reviews)

  • When I brought this up to senior management, they sided all together and tried to intimidate me with their horrible mind-games (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (2)

    "Macmillan today"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Corporate in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Corporate in London, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Macmillan Cancer Support full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Incredible people, I never ceased to be amazed by the skill and enthusiasm of my colleagues. We have a brilliant habit of recruiting from within and their are lots of opportunities to develop into something you really enjoy doing.

    Cons

    Macmillan is going through change at the moment which is really unsettling for some people, which is completely understandable. Everything cannot change at the same time as it would result in too much disruption. Things are ambiguous at the moment but I have faith that things will settle down eventually.

    Advice to Management

    Stay resilient it is really hard for everyone going through change.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Avoid"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Macmillan Cancer Support full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Well known brand and easy to fundraise

    Cons

    Things have gone rapidly downhill the last two years and there's been a mass exodus for the door. What once was a great culture with inspiring people who worked hard, has been replaced by lots of leaders who haven't worked for a charity before and are clueless, a blame culture, some lazy practices, and huge wastes of donors money. Regional Fundraising is particularly bad with leaders not being sure what people should be doing, changing what people do constantly, so much staff turnover, and lots of fundraisers working at home not being supported. No one helps each other and the layers of managers all sit in meetings doing very little. It's sad because years ago the regional teams gave much support to donors all over the country and that made Macmillan stand out. Now donors are lucky if they get a call back. Three years ago they added new teams, now the same teams being made redundant, no one knows what is needed and moral is rock bottom. There is also plenty of examples of bullying and unprofessional comments and actions of managers.

    Advice to Management

    Hire some people at the top who have charity experience, stop the pointless meetings, look after the donors who many are often not happy, sort out IT and HR.

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Caring and sharing"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Macmillan Cancer Support full-time

    Pros

    Caring and sharing
    Hours and pay good for sector

    Cons

    Decision making long process
    High turnover of regional staff

    Advice to Management

    Be less risk averse and engage with regional staff more


  4. Helpful (8)

    "All integrity gone"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Macmillan Cancer Support full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Many people allowed to work flexibly
    Public support still high (for now)
    Free tea and coffee in kitchens
    Relaxed dress code.

    Cons

    This once great organisation has lost its soul. Directionless, top heavy management structure and massive spend on consultants who are not selected through competitive process but because of who they know. Directors and Chief Executive massively out of their depth. No substance to any of them. Morale on the floor. People who care are being pushed out but no matter, Macmillan has deep pockets. This is an organisation kept going because of its past achievements and public support. This is unsustainable. If I could give this no stars, I would.

    Advice to Management

    The chief executive needs to leave or nothing will change. This is a reputational disaster waiting to happen. It is tragic for those of us who are here because we care and not for the money or status.


  5. "Lovely atmosphere"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Fundraising Officer
    Current Employee - Fundraising Officer
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Macmillan Cancer Support full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Lovely, knowledgeable staff and great atmosphere.
    Good support on career development.

    Cons

    Management a bit out of touch with employees
    Too risk-averse

    Advice to Management

    Listen to employees, be more approachable and take advice from people on the ground.


  6. Helpful (8)

    "If it was the NHS it would be in special measures - don't bother donating or applying"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Support Specialist in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Support Specialist in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Macmillan Cancer Support full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    A successful brand and high performing fundraising function
    Highly resourced

    Cons

    Leadership culture - CEO inexperienced behaves as one amongst many, unable to lead, little to no knowledge of individual directorate financial and operational dysfunction and encourages silo working and promoting "fifedom's"; lack of disclosure of CEO salary or review; hubris has led to "renowned 4 year change programme" to recreate a mgmt blue chip consultancy model which is now not fit for purpose led to £5m+ on mgmt consultants, resembles NHS restructure and fragmentation 2012;The state of the current restructure demonstrates and exposes the lack of leadership and has led to huge staff turnover and mass redundancy at a cost to donors. poor accountability of spend; encourage to spend, spend, spend at year end.

    Money money money - the use of funds to "pump" prime cancer services is being used to fund "fun" quality improvement projects with friends, little to no measurement is done on the investments made (new year, new budget mentality) and little impact is made to close the gap in cancer care for people, Macmillan serves those already served well. Macmillan has lost credibility with a range of partners, its CEO is inexperienced in handling senior relationships and openly described her role as doing "fun and fluffy stuff".

    Diversity a big challenge - BME staff paid less and not promoted (unrepresentative, snowy white peaks), disabled staff forced out (yes in a cancer charity); complaints not addressed; recruit "mates" with similar background, yes this was an actual campaign by HR; unpaid interns; bullying culture; poor career development for junior staff; mgmt heavy lots of layers; recruit ex-mgmt consultants with poor behaviours; poor support for carers for ppl with cancer who were forced to leave; overt misogyny displayed weekly in executive leadership team; discomfort and aversion in engaging with "ppl with cancer" across all leadership levels; acceptance of the status quo and apathy, people come and leave - check the retention figures, morale as bad as NHS staff, despite healthy compensation.

    Advice to Management

    Share the insight from this website with Board members - why are they allowing this to continue for 4 years. Get in front of it and deal with it before you are held to account. Undertake a review top to bottom to deal with the toxic culture and people (a review not led by the revolving door of HR Business consultants who stay on average 4 months) otherwise it will eventually affect the bottom line. The funding will drop.


  7. Helpful (6)

    "Incredibly poor management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Macmillan Cancer Support full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Shorter working week, flexibility in hours (when approved)

    Cons

    I've been working for Macmillan a good while, and the past few years have shown a rapid decline in overall morale.

    The management culture is bullying, deceitful and back stabbing. Some of the managers also show no leadership or support to their staff, and often take them for granted by following their own personal agendas rather than the good of the company.

    There are however happy to gang together when they feel their leadership is questioned, and quick to stifle anyone who dares to speak up.

    For a charity who prides itself on empathy and support for cancer sufferers, it's seriously lacking any towards its own staff.

    Advice to Management

    If the managers don't fulfil their duties properly, they should be held accountable. Listen to the staff also !!, senior managers will paint a pretty picture of things to hide the real truth.

  8. Helpful (6)

    "Great cause, poor leadership"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Macmillan Cancer Support (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great to work for such a great cause. The people on the front line are amazing, and there are loads of great people behind the scenes too. Salaries aren't too bad for the sector. Great brand too, and it looks great on your CV.

    Cons

    The executive team seem more interested in playing politics than showing leadership. The culture has changed following an influx of well-paid senior managers with corporate backgrounds. The organisation has gone downhill since the current chief executive took over. There's a lot of change going on, but none of it seems to make things better. A lot of this seems to come from the "technology" section who seem to have their own agenda. A lot of money seems to get spent on consultants and it can be quite demoralising, when you think where the money comes from.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to staff, accept challenge and scrutiny, and try demonstrating some our stated "behaviours" yourself. Stop introducing poorly thought through new ways of working. Stop assuming everyone with a corporate background is a demi-god and look within when you recruit.


  9. "Friendly place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Marketing Manager in Vauxhall, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Marketing Manager in Vauxhall, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Macmillan Cancer Support full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - People are very supportive of one another
    - The cause is inspiring and the people (beneficiaries and staff) you meet drive you to do great work
    - Wonderful brand that allows for creativity

    Cons

    - Uncertainty of direction
    - Mixed leadership - some who are reluctant to change and move forward and others who push us to be innovative - hence a lack of clarity on goals
    - Very large organisation so can be difficult to understand the different teams
    - Under resourced in certain areas and over resourced in others which makes work delivery difficult

    Advice to Management

    - Listen to staff members
    - Embrace change and become an innovative sector leader again
    - Provide clear direction and as the values state - be open


  10. Helpful (3)

    "Slow moving, blame & isolation"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Macmillan Cancer Support full-time

    Pros

    Good holiday entitlement. Ok salary.
    Some examples of excellent management and fundraising in the regions.
    The cause does some vital work, and the media coverage of the charity is excellent.

    Cons

    Top management are in their own little bubble- asking for cost cutting and going the extra mile, but they seem excluded from this request.
    They are very vocal on the million pound partnerships, the smaller stuff is of no interest, which is hugely de-motivational.

    Don't expect career progression unless you're a favourite of top management or live in London.

    The biggest problem is everyone fighting for the same piece of pie- which leads to fighting between teams or not sharing information and if you don't stand up for yourself theres a definite feeling of isolation and bullying.

    So much turnover in staff and delay in recruitment. Increases in annual salary a joke.

    Management love an online survey- just don't like acting on the results, unless they fit the direction they want to go.

    Morale is low, right across the directorates.

    Advice to Management

    Get out of your team and stop attending 'safe' events.
    See the real everyday and listen to peoples concerns.

    Decision take too long- get on with it!


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