Perkins School for the Blind Reviews | Glassdoor

Perkins School for the Blind Reviews

Updated March 6, 2017
39 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

3.1
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Dave Power
11 Ratings

39 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Great Place to Work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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 Perkins School for the Blind full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Perkins inspires me everyday. It is amazing to watch our students grow. Staff are amazing as well. Everyone is here for the mission, our students and those that are visually impaired, blind or deafblind around the world. While I do not work directly with the students, I feel everything I do contributes to their success. It is great to tell people I work at Perkins because it always brings such a positive response. I find I have the ability to be innovative in what I do, to try new things and make a difference in the overall mission.

    Cons

    Because we're a non-profit, the pay is not exceptional but the benefits are especially the wellness offerings. There is a lot of change going on right now but it is exciting. If you like to work in a fast paced organization Perkins is it.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Non-profit, it is what it is"

    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
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Perkins School for the Blind full-time

    Pros

    Good mission, mostly good people who are dedicated to what they do, as long as not a director or c-level. Days can be kept interesting, usually a different day every day, keeps you on your toes. Historic campus, decent location. Depending on what your position is, there is usually a good work/life balance. You don't have to be at the office late or take work home with you. That can't be said for everyone though.

    Cons

    It's a non-profit, so don't expect a competitive salary or benefits. Don't expect fellow staff that will stay, unless they've already been there forever. Management doesn't seem to care about keeping employees, either by virtue of workload balance, or compensation. But then when an employee leaves, there is an enormous hole left and then there's constant need to retrain and find the right fits.

    Upper management lacks real transparency, constantly changing things with seemingly no purpose. Constantly implementing programs that don't work and leaves Perkins' future uncertain. But in an effort to implement those programs, staff are overworked and treated like means to ends.

    Management hires people they're friends with, rather than who could be the right person for the job, leading to difficulties working between different departments as well.

    For management, Perkins seems like their own sandbox to just play dress-up with products and programs, seemingly without any forethought, and using their staff as tools. Doesn't matter if the staff has a good idea or not. Leads to a very frustrating environment.

    Not a ton of room for advancement in the organization. Positions are fairly closed off, as far as upward movement. An upward move most likely requires a new skill set, and probably outside of what you would want to be doing; positions are very specialized. That, and, they don't seem to want to keep people anyway.

    Benefits need help. The health plan is confusing, with a deductible for the first part of it, then Perkins covers the next little bit, then you cover the next bit after that. Not straight forward at all. Retirement plan is nice that they contribute a base amount, but it doesn't start until you've been there one year, and doesn't vest until you've been there three years. Barely even worth it. I've never seen any plan as bad as that, aside from none.

    There are yearly performance reviews, and yearly raises, but the two don't coincide, or are even related. Everyone gets the same percentage every year. I've also never seen any place like that.

    Advice to Management

    Compensate your employees. Stop hiring for meaningless positions and stick with what works. When you do hire new positions, don't double the workload that's already doubled as it is. Fight for your employees; don't let them walk if they're valuable. It also sends a message to current staff that management doesn't care who's there or not. Everyone's expendable. Stop hiring your friends. Hire the right people. Hire people smarter than you.


  3. "Perkins School for the Blind / Food Services"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Staff Cook in Watertown, MA
    Former Employee - Staff Cook in Watertown, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Perkins School for the Blind full-time

    Pros

    Educational Staff & Students are terrific

    Cons

    Food Services Dept. is poorly managed - for example. provisions delivered late then writing up cooks for late meal services... etc. Lots of favoritism and blame shifting within. A generally miserably led dept. Lots of time off with no pay or temp.UE

    Advice to Management

    Clean house - get honest - pay a living wage to the people who REALLY keep Perkins running and students cared for.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    "Non-profit double standard"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Perkins School for the Blind full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The majority of the people who work at Perkins are passionate about the mission of the School and that passion makes working with those people very gratifying. Work is never boring.

    Cons

    Employees are expected to accept being paid less because they work in the non-profit sector. That is pretty standard for the non-profit world. However, this expectation does not apply to upper management who get much more competitive salaries.This is incredibly demoralizing and communicates volumes about how much management does not value staff. Performance is neither rewarded nor penalized which fosters discontent and mediocrity. There is also little room for advancement and the only way you get a raise s if you are also promoted, i.e. more money means a lot more work.

    Advice to Management

    Take good hard look at the reasons for employee turnover. Stop applying a double standard to employee compensation. Hold the CEO accountable for decisions he made that did not benefit the school.


  6. "You really feel you are making a difference"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Web Team Manager
    Current Employee - Web Team Manager
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Perkins School for the Blind full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The Perkins culture is highly positive and infectious. You really feel like you are making a difference everyday. Everyone cares about what they are doing and we are constantly trying to innovate. Speaking about the Information Technology dept. specifically, our CIO (David Nero) is highly motivated and encourages all of his staff to do more as well. Because technology is a huge part of enabling our population, the CIO wants to constantly move the organization forward and think of new solutions to old problems. Working in IT is a lot of fun because of this.

    Cons

    Work is constant. Because of the small staff, we are always getting new projects and it is tough to keep up. The positive of this is that there is excellent work-life balance. No one is expected to work beyond the designated weekly hours. In short, if you like to stay busy and have a life outside of work, Perkins IT is a great place to be.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you are doing. More communication about the bigger picture would be great. But communication in general is excellent.


  7. "Admission Associate"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Admission Associate in Watertown, MA
    Current Employee - Admission Associate in Watertown, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Perkins School for the Blind full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The people I've interacted with are wonderful- in every department, not just mine! In my opinion, I feel that my work and my personal well-being is respected and acknowledged at Perkins. I feel comfortable yet challenged in a wonderful way. I see myself staying here for many years!

    Cons

    There is some shifting going on, but I see it as Perkins rebuilding their name and reputation as an amazing institute and making sure people know who we are.

    I truly believe that all of their focus is in the right place- the focus is still on getting more students in that need our resources. (So it's not really a con! Just a bump in the road to get us on track)

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what your doing!


  8. Helpful (1)

    "A disheartening place to work"

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

    I have been working at Perkins School for the Blind full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Perkins is a wonderful place to be if you're a student. The staff are dedicated, capable, and making a positive impact on the lives of children who are visually impaired.

    Cons

    In the time that I have worked at Perkins, upper management has gotten progressively worse. It's only a few individuals who are problematic, but they are creating a negative work environment, and morale is very low. Significant restructuring has led to staff layoffs (including some staff who have been there for over a decade). It's an environment where upward mobility is very limited, and many of the staff don't have real job security. High level positions are recruited from outside the organization. Upper level management positions continue to be added, even as the cost of benefits increases for all staff and perks, such as on-campus housing, are eliminated. Pay is low, and promotions are remarkably rare. Staff concerns are not treated with the attention they deserve.

    Advice to Management

    Prioritize the students and the staff. Make a commitment to being the type of high quality organization that educated Laura Bridgman, Anne Sullivan, and Helen Keller. Remember that we're here to serve the students, and that staff make sacrifices to be here because they feel the work they do has value. Understand that laying off respected and valued staff members will negatively affect the morale of staff members who remain behind. Consider that hiring inexperienced high level staff from outside the organization is unlikely to go over well with current staff, who know vision impairment and who have dedicated their careers to helping students and family. Capitalize on the resources you have, instead of wasting time and money reinventing the wheel.


  9. "Great school"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Watertown, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Watertown, MA
    Recommends

    I have been working at Perkins School for the Blind part-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    The students are amazing. They make my day.

    Cons

    The pay and the politics are horrible


  10. "Great school"

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

    I have been working at Perkins School for the Blind full-time

    Pros

    Great school, staff, and environment

    Cons

    Pay is not too great


  11. "The staff is great, but there are a lot of changes right now."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Almost everyone there is amazing to work with. They care a lot about the students and try their best to serve their needs. The staff is very open-minded and friendly, and there is a lot that can be learned from working here.

    Cons

    The school is going through a lot of changes right now, including jobs.



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