Operation Smile Reviews | Glassdoor

Operation Smile Reviews

Updated April 19, 2017
20 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

3.2
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Dr. Bill Magee, Jr., D.D.S., M.D
18 Ratings

20 Employee Reviews

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  1. "National Student Representative"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Student Council Member in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Student Council Member in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Operation Smile (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great opportunity to learn and push your boundaries.

    Cons

    The nature of the company makes it hard to seek full-time employment.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Sr Management Salaries"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Virginia Beach, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Virginia Beach, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Operation Smile full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Our mission is awesome and the culture here is great. People care for each other and do whatever it takes to get the job done. So, this is not a 100% negative review. I really do like working here.

    Cons

    Someone in our office showed me the 990 (?) form from the website. Our senior management salaries are pretty high, especially given that we were told we could get raises last year. Our salaries at Op Smile are not very competitive. It's disheartening to see how much money a few people in the "inner circle" take home. I would bring this up internally, but fear that I would be fired. If there's one thing that's not good about Op Smile its that anyone who disagrees with Sr Management is forced out or fired. Our turnover since I arrived has been really really bad.

    Advice to Management

    Consider a plan that fairly compensates those of us doing the work each and every day.


  3. Helpful (3)

    "Program Coordinator"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Program Coordinator in Virginia Beach, VA
    Former Employee - Program Coordinator in Virginia Beach, VA
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Operation Smile has a unquestionably moving cause. Through a focus on children, OS leverages a company culture that is warm and friendly. The company offers a plethora of unique opportunities to meet and work with ambitious, caring colleagues from around the world. The company empowers entry-level employees to take ownership over large projects, often with minimal oversight (can also be a Con).

    Cons

    Operation Smile is a large, multi-national NGO but still operates like a start-up, "mom and pop" company. While the warm, friendly aspects of this organziation are appreciated by most employees, OS often feels like a family business that fails to make management decisions based on financial realities or patient safety. Management decisions are mostly guided by anecdotes, relationships, personalities, and connections both internally and externally. Fundraising and marketing is often prioritized over the programmatic outputs of the organization.

    Advice to Management

    --Create an explicit career ladder to retain entry level talent; offer opportunities to expand skill sets outside of current
    --Engage more actively with academic groups and public health partners to enable greater quality of care and strategically leverage unique model to change global health community.
    --Move headquarters out of Virginia Beach to retain more skilled talent.


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  5. Helpful (6)

    "Disappointed"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Development Officer in Virginia Beach, VA
    Current Employee - Development Officer in Virginia Beach, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Amazing mission.
    Global reach.
    The quality of surgery given to patients is remarkable.
    The volunteers are the best part of Operation Smile.

    Cons

    No communication
    Lack of transparency
    Poor management
    No clear expectations yet harsh feedback
    The expectation is that you give your entire life to the organization

    Advice to Management

    Listen


  6. "Wish I had never left"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Norfolk, VA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Norfolk, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Operation Smile full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Benefits are of course some of the best, family atmosphere, fun activities for employees.

    Cons

    Salary can be low, and raises don't always accommodate cost of living increases.

    Advice to Management

    Be more competitive with salaries. Benefits are nice, but can't pay rent/mortgage with non-cash benefits.


  7. Helpful (8)

    "Great place to work... But not for everyone."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Virginia Beach, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Virginia Beach, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Operation Smile is a dynamic, fast-paced organization that thrives on innovation and initiative. Self-starters and entrepreneurial individuals can and often do flourish here. The people are passionate and committed to the wonderful cause.

    Cons

    Those who like process and routine should look elsewhere -- this organization still very much has the feel of a "start up." The challenge is that Operation Smile is now a large charity with hundreds of employees around the world -- too large to act like a start up. That dynamic can create a frustrations for even the best employees.


  8. Helpful (5)

    "Needs Some Work, But Could Go Places"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Volunteer in Norfolk, VA
    Former Employee - Volunteer in Norfolk, VA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Operation Smile part-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    1. Very close knit community, most people know each other
    2. Great way to help people - you do feel as if you're changing something even with a small role
    3. Plenty of events and opportunities to keep satisfied

    Cons

    1. Hierarchy similar to a mafia - founders and ALL their family members are the real ones in charge
    2. It's all political or social in the end, so if you can't handle that, may not be the place for you
    3. Hours are long for anybody


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Good Experience"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Program Coordinator in Virginia Beach, VA
    Current Employee - Program Coordinator in Virginia Beach, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great opportunity to travel, great people to work with and great work culture. Operation smile is a great cause that if you are dedicated to your job you can make a great impact in the world.

    Cons

    Not a lot of room for growth, empowered in the field but not the office,

    Advice to Management

    Improvement is needed in acting on feedback from experiences in the field


  10. "A great cause and fun non-profit that is good to work for."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Program Coordinator in Norfolk, VA
    Current Employee - Senior Program Coordinator in Norfolk, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Operation Smile full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Staff is like family
    Still a mom and pop feel with such a large global reach
    Great work/life balance
    All staff is encouraged to participate on an international mission after 2 years of work regardless of their area of expertise
    Great place for new college grads to get international experience before grad/medical/law school
    Almost like the Peace Corps but with better pay
    Organization is always growing and improving

    Cons

    Room for growth is limited
    Some positions are only 2 year commitments
    The resistance for change makes
    Some positions have a very vigorous and competitive hiring process
    Work can be very emotionally engaging
    Going through growing pains

    Advice to Management

    Find ways to retain good staff and bring some people back.


  11. Helpful (3)

    "Disappointing, as seems great in the beginning"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Virginia Beach, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Virginia Beach, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Operation Smile full-time

    Pros

    Working for a great cause is why we work here! You want to help children. There is a relaxed dress code. You may be able to go on a mission in a foreign country even if you work outside the missions department. OpSmile is in a beautiful new building that is also eco-green. Great retirement plan that includes employee matching up to 6%. Full time employees receive Delta Dental and Optima health insurance.

    Cons

    Employees feel micromanaged. The work environment is very demanding, like in warehouse, finance, missions. That means lots of long hours and/or overtime regularly. The young employees in the missions department are overworked and underpaid. There is constant turnover. Every few weeks at least one employee quits--many people in different departments are unsatisfied and they are frustrated and they burnout. OpSmile fired many employees from the Education and R&O Department abruptly earlier this year due to restructuring. One great employee had worked 12 years and was given a short notice, so there is worry about job security. Problems brought to management are not addressed. If you are not an AVP or above, your input is not considered. The founders and their family members have much control over the small and big decisions in various departments, from student programs to development to missions.

    Advice to Management

    Consider the individuals that you supervise and how your decisions affect employees under you. Listen to your employees!


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