NGP VAN Employee Reviews about "work environment"

Updated Sep 17, 2020

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3.8
74%
Recommend to a Friend
70%
Approve of CEO
NGP VAN CEO Stu Trevelyan (no image)
Stu Trevelyan
61 Ratings
Pros
Cons
  • "There are challenges with growing pains(in 9 reviews)

  • "Low pay remains a fact despite some pay bumps that were granted to the lowest-paid employees(in 6 reviews)

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

Reviews about "work environment"

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  1. Helpful (2)

    "Excellent Company to Work For"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Client Services Specialist in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at NGP VAN full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Excellent work environment providing great services to a worthy cause. Fun place to work with smart, dedicated people. Great window into a different side of the political world.

    Cons

    Communication between departments is sometimes difficult, which can cause problems to drag on longer than necessary. Communication within departments seems to be very strong, however.

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  2. "Good company to work"

    3.0
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software QA Engineer in Washington, DC

    I have been working at NGP VAN full-time

    Pros

    Good work environment to be there and also good vacations

    Cons

    Not provided visa assistance better


  3. Helpful (9)

    "Lots of good people, but too much micromanaging"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at NGP VAN full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    There are a lot of wonderful people who work at this company and want to do good work for good people. We have a family leave policy that is relatively generous, a convenient location (at least in DC), drinks and snacks. Dress code and work environment are casual. I am not typically working crazy long days, and am able to establish some boundaries between work and life (not true in the campaign or non-profit world a lot of us are coming from). My coworker peers are kind and generous.

    Cons

    The CEO and board (which is extremely small) micromanages the budget in a way that is completely unsustainable for a company as large and growing as this one. The result is an enormous disconnect between what people on the ground need and what executives can and will provide for them, and there seems to be no intellectual curiosity from that group to learn more from their employees asking for help. Authorizing hires for departments that don't directly effect revenue is difficult, and seems to require stats and evidence the board is not willing to define, but still expects. Many departments are underresourced, and count on dedicated people who want to do good work, rather than sufficient staffing. Imagine if they had both? For example, the HR department has been underresourced for over a year. While that may make good business sense on paper, it means the same 3ish people are managing all HR duties for a company that is acquiring new companies, moving offices, and hiring new people rapidly. The result is that things fall through the cracks, people don't have the capacity to do things that need to be done, and the company can point to the small number of HR staff to defend themselves for not doing things they should (like standardizing job descriptions and pay ranges for all job postings) because they don't have the capacity. Meanwhile, new executive positions are created with almost no communication about why or how they're being hired for. The result of this is an executive level that is largely an echo chamber of people who know each other and have worked together before. Not coincidentally, it is not a diverse group. I know someone on here mentioned that the pay here is "better than average" in DC but the truth is they have no way to say that because there is almost no structure or realistic ranges available for positions (some job postings go up with ranges stretching $80K!), and there is secracy and discomfort around having discussions about money in the open. Some may be paid more than average, but I know from my experience and knowledge of some people's salaries, that many are paid much less than market value and much less than they need to survive and thrive in Washington DC (where rent is one of the highest rates in the country) in the year 2019. The salary negotiation process is secretive and undefined. Also -- PTO is part of our compensation, and changing that policy to better reflect the way it's described in all our job descriptions ("generous") is not a favor they are doing for us, but a necessity. I appreciate that they tried to be open about the change, but was pretty disappointed by the unanswered questions in the finished policies.

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  4. Helpful (11)

    "A solid place to work, but lots of room for improvement"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at NGP VAN full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    There are a lot of things to love about VAN as a workplace - really cool coworkers, a fridge always stocked with La Croix, casual dress code, working on a product with a mission you can believe in, room for creativity and experimentation in the work, good feedback and relationships with bosses, etc. etc. Overall it's been a good professional experience with plenty of opportunities for learning and developing new skills, and enough flexibility to be a workplace that I enjoy being in every day. I've had great relationships with my managers and coworkers and really appreciated a lot about the work environment.

    Cons

    It feels nearly impossible to get a raise or otherwise negotiate pay due to the way that finances and budgets are run, so there may be limited room for real career advancement here. Additionally, many junior staff are severely underpaid for both the field and geographic area. Employees aren't given paid sick days, which encourages people to come into the office sick (and get everyone else there sick).

  5. Helpful (10)

    "Great colleagues, disappointing compensation & management"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - N/A 
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at NGP VAN full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The daily culture for the most part is relaxed. You can wear whatever is comfortable, snacks are always stocked and the majority of colleagues are lovely people who are working with a great mission in mind. Progressive work environment with progressive clients.

    Cons

    Terrible pay for junior employees, much lower than many market prices for the same positions at the same level. Huge pay disparities and it is difficult to get a meaningful raise. Communication from management/execs could be much better, often times seems like they have no interest in hearing critical feedback from staff on how things could improve.

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  6. Helpful (4)

    "Listen to employees and pay them a living wage"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at NGP VAN full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Working for and with Democratic campaigns and good organizations, the relaxed work environment, and great healthcare benefits. Friendly, liberally-minded coworkers who (generally) believe in the same causes you do. Flexibility and ability to work remotely or leave for appointments during the day, though this is very dependent on your team.

    Cons

    Entry-level jobs receive pitiful salaries, around $35k for some teams, with no room for negotiation. This is not a livable salary for DC. Other salaries are below market for DC. To work at NGP VAN is to take a pay cut in order to work for a "progressive" company. The company touts their progressive values but does not live them. Some examples: low salaries with no room for negotiation, lack of investment in hiring diverse staff, and the CEO hiring his friends (mostly white men) for high-level positions with no transparent or outside hiring process/search. How much you enjoy the job will depend heavily on your manager, and management style varies widely, even within the same small team. There's limited training for management and there's a lot of managers who are not easy to work with or for. Higher-ups (both VP-level and lower-level management) will ask for feedback but then are not actually receptive to suggestions. Finally, a lack of foresight from management as the company grows. They have resisted staffing-up some departments at the appropriate rate. HR is way too small for the growing company, and they waited too long to hire new staff for other departments (Support, Data) as the company grew.

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  7. Helpful (9)

    "Not much is appealing about this place besides the people"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at NGP VAN full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    - Most of the people you work or socialize with in the office are kind, respectful and fun and for the most part believe in progressive values; - Laid back work environment where you can dress casually and work from home if you need to, depending on who your manager is. Fridge is fully stocked with beverages at all times, kitchen always has plenty of snacks and company orders large quantity of beer every week for Social Friday.

    Cons

    - The pay for entry level jobs is absurd and not enough to sustain a decent quality of life in a city as expensive as Washington D.C. Entry level employees often have to work a second job or get help from their families to make ends meet. When they raised the entry-level salary, it only went up by 4k and was still lower than 40k. The CEO and execs should be ASHAMED and EMBARRASSED that they are paying their employees so little compared to other companies in the industry that pay employees in similar positions 10-15k more. Even non-entry level employees at NGP are paid less than others at comparable companies; - PTO (Paid Time Off) and sick leave policy needs revision. They only allow 15 days of PTO a year and since there is no separate pool for sick days, if you're sick you have to take days from the PTO pool. This results in employees coming to the office sick or working from home sick because they don't want to cut into the few vacation days they have. On the other hand, plenty of higher ups and managers somehow have plenty of time to go on trips and take time off whenever they want; - The majority of managers are either completely unresponsive and unavailable, or not capable of managing. Most of them were promoted due to nepotism instead of merit, which results in a lot of ineffective managing; - Managers often give entry level employees tasks that don't fit their job description because they don't know who to pawn off miscellaneous tasks on or because members of the sales team don't feel like doing certain things. When employees have tried advocating for themselves in these cases and tried bringing different solutions to the table for completing these tasks, the managers claim that the solutions they propose make the employees' lives easier and more convient, when in reality it's just the opposite. This makes employees feel severely underrapreciated; - HR is severely short staffed and doesn't have the resources to properly tend to important office needs, for example finding a bigger office space. Some of the HR staff also comes off very cold and unwelcoming, so people don't feel comfortable going to talk to them about any workplace problem they might have.

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  8. Helpful (8)

    "Great culture, but room for improvement"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at NGP VAN full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    – Rewarding to work on a product that has a progressive mission and cause – Friendly colleagues, positive/encouraging work environment, good company culture – Middle management, staff, and entry-level staff are very diverse – Casual dress code, a fridge always stocked with La Croix and snacks – Lots of room for creativity and experimentation (a yearly Hackathon!) – Great opportunities for learning and career development

    Cons

    – Raises, reviews, and promotions are only done at the end of the year (even if you were hired mid-year) so it's very difficult to negotiate. – Quite a few positions have very low pay relative to similar positions in the same fields and region. – PTO policy is a major sore point, there is no distinction between sick time and vacation time with just 15 PTO days a year. As a result, this encourages people to come into the office sick (resulting in other people getting sick) or working from home (which means longer recovery time) – The upper management/executive team, including some new hires, is mostly white men and mostly white.

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  9. Helpful (5)

    ""Progressive" company that doesn't preach progressive values internally"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales Team Member in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at NGP VAN full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    -Relaxed work environment -No dress code -Employees are able to openly talk about mental health -Employees are liberal-minded -Snack closet

    Cons

    -Pay is extremely low -- only enough to make ends meet -Little to no bargaining power -No sick days available -Lack of professional development opportunities -Workplace culture of dissatisfaction

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  10. Helpful (4)

    "Great people to work with"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at NGP VAN full-time

    Pros

    Talented staff who really believe in the causes they work for. Fairly relaxed work environment and flexible scheduling. A decent mix of work/life. You definitely have the opportunity to make friends.

    Cons

    Salaries are artificially low. This causes a lot of quality people to leave. NGP VAN is a mission oriented company working for political campaigns and non-profits and they seem to use that as a justification for the low wages. There isn't much room for advancement - lots of entrenched management at the top.

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