Population Services International Employee Reviews about "work life balance"
Updated Nov 20, 2021
Found 15 of over 427 reviews
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Top Review Highlights by Sentiment
- "The people are great and I spend lots of time at work laughing with my team." (in 34 reviews)
- "Great benefits for all employees" (in 18 reviews)
- "great culture" (in 13 reviews)
- "Working with PSI was a great opportunity in the development of my profession." (in 9 reviews)
- "they have friendly staffs at Population Service International." (in 8 reviews)
- "Low salaries, so negociate very well when you get your first job in the company." (in 12 reviews)
- "Disjointed management." (in 12 reviews)
- "Procurement a d Finace team needs to have better leadership" (in 11 reviews)
- "Just because someone has the title of manager it does not mean that they are a good manager." (in 10 reviews)
- "Average pay compared to the others NGOs working in the same field for locally" (in 6 reviews)
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Reviews about "work life balance"Return to all Reviews
- Former Employee, more than 1 year★★★★★
ReconsiderOct 4, 2020 - Anonymous EmployeeRecommendCEO ApprovalBusiness Outlook
Amazing co-workers, people work hard with limited resources and are generally easy-going despite a stressful work environment. Works at being inclusive and listening to all employees. Semi-decent work life balance and remote work opportunities even before the pandemic. Benefits are good.
Pay is very low especially for junior and mid level employees. Salaries were bench marked which has led to lower salaries for APM, PM, and Sr PM employees than they were previously (despite increased cost of living across the board ...makes sense) and HR/ Compensation rarely responds to equity reviews unless it is for high level staff members who already make market level salaries to have an increase. They also are not flexible at adjusting salaries for employees who have been in a similar position for years, have years more experience than external candidates coming in (and may have an MA vs. a BA), or just in general rewarding people for being a team player and even with support from outside of HR you are still told, no. HR then talks about issues of retention and wanting to take it seriously. Make it make sense, please! Now that the workforce has gone remote and people can choose to live remotely in Iowa I guess you can get away with paying people so little. Preach DEI as of late without realizing that things like low pay in DC, lack of clear promotion process or consistent, standard merit increases (I guess they are trying to fix this), or benefits that help people with loan forgiveness directly impacts who can apply and take a position with little room for growth or a decent salary. You really do not need a Masters Degree to figure out why diverse applicants or filling positions with diverse people can be difficult. Most of the opportunities are contingent on your supervisor supporting you or your team. Some teams do not offer this support at all and do not train or onboard employees. Some managers do deserve to be at the level they are at because they work hard and know their stuff, but are TERRIBLE managers, and they should not be managing people below them unless they are coming in with experience and are ready to hit the ground running. All the standardization for onboarding people has been taken on by junior level employees who did so without getting paid to help the org. Overall, both before and during the pandemic the mental health of many people really seemed low.Continue reading
- Former Employee, more than 3 years★★★★★
Great Place to work, super neat cultureMar 23, 2016 - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DCRecommendCEO ApprovalBusiness Outlook
PSI'ers are dedicated to the vision and mission for our beneficiary. They operate in a work hard and get it done culture. Overall, great place to work and grow in the short term. Management is engaged, provides support and wants the best for their staff. Senior management tends to be transparent with organizational wide decisions and wants everyone to be involved.
Extensive network of very well paid VP's and Sr. VP's while lower level staff consistently move to other organizations for better opportunity. Pay scale for backstopping staff is very low causing a tremendous amount of turnover within departments. Upward mobility and career growth is very limited and generally not supported as an organization. Overworked to bring money in the door with very little work life balance.Continue reading
- Current Employee★★★★★
Great work life balanceSep 28, 2017 - Anonymous EmployeeRecommendCEO ApprovalBusiness Outlook
Great work life balance in psi
i love working there so nothing to noteContinue reading
- Former Employee★★★★★
Good Place to Gain ExperienceAug 15, 2017 - Anonymous EmployeeRecommendCEO ApprovalBusiness Outlook
Hard working staff(entry-mid), good friendships out of office, good experience builder it transitioning, coming out of school or have less than 3 yrs of solid work experience. The entry to mid level staff work extremely hard and seem to spend long time at work. Saving grace is that among entry-mid levels good friendshships exist and not unusual to spend a lot of time outside of work with co-workers (atleast those without kids). The professional connections you can make can propel you down the road
The work life balance is preached but not practices. Employees seem to work at 150% to be rated at 80% or meets expectations.Continue reading
- Former Employee★★★★★
Good ExperienceApr 10, 2015 - Anonymous EmployeeRecommendCEO ApprovalBusiness Outlook
Working for a great mission and purpose. Super driven employees. You go to work each day understanding why you are there. Good at promoting/filling positions from within.
Management tends to pick favorites. A lot of departments struggle with work life balance
- Current Employee, more than 3 years★★★★★
Worst NGO you could possibly work forOct 14, 2019 - Program Manager in Washington, DCRecommendCEO ApprovalBusiness Outlook
None. PSI is a H.O.R.R.I.B.L.E place to work. After the initial “high” of working for a company that is apparently known for “getting stuff done” you realize it’s a soul sucking, inefficient, racist, colonizing institution with no intention of changing. C Suite, when are you going to do something about it? Thanks for the 1:1s and the “open door policy” but how many Glassdoor or Ethics Review Point submissions do you need? You did an internal anonymous review and completely disregarded and invalidated all of our concerns. The results clearly show that we are unhappy, have low morale, and are tired of poor management. Your response- “I know you’re unhappy because we just renovated the office and change is hard” like we’re all 4 years olds. What a slap in the face. If you want to join PSI after reading this, my only advice is that the NBD and LAC/Asia teams are the only two that seem to be happy. LAC/Asia team doesn’t go a day without praising their Sr. Regional Director to literally anyone who will listen. Staff on both teams get awesome opportunities! The east africa team was also good before it merged.
Pay is an absolute insult. Those who started at PSI in its heyday are the folks who get promoted to Director of [random new department that does nothing] or VP on a given Tuesday, but PSI “can’t afford” offer junior/ newly mid-level staff a living wage for DC. The number of staff that have second or third jobs is exorbitant. My favorite part of the year is when the director, excuse me I mean VP, sends an email encouraging us to fill out our time sheet with our “true” hours worked. PSI works people to death. Burnout is real. The two people at PSI who basically took it upon themselves to keep morale up left with no jobs lined up. That should tell you something. · Bureaucracy! You can’t get anything done without passing it through 50 people to “chime in”. We get nowhere because everyone wants to be involved but no one wants to push it to the finish line. They just complain and/or spend 4 months saying they’ll read it, get to it a year later and then decide we should go in a completely different direction. This is why we go nowhere. · PSI is racist, xenophobic, and patriarchal, and it’s time that this is called out and addressed. There’s a particular department where most of their junior-newly mid-level staff were people of color and guess what… they’ve all left due to the covert and blatant racism within the department and organization. One intern in particular said “PSI is not a place for women of color” when she left which was painful to hear because the whole point of this DISGRACE of an organization is to empower women of color, yet the ones working here have to leave because it's RACIST and their mental health is at stake. White privilege is so rampant here and that’s probably why the one time we got a black C-Suite member (who we all LOVED) she ran out of here in less than 4 months. They just wanted her to clean up the mess they had made. People of color here get paid less than everyone else in their position or the ones who start with less experience and/or education. Their ideas aren’t heard. They’re looked over constantly and told to wait indefinitely for opportunities that white staff just demand and receive. They can’t advocate for themselves without their team saying they’re “angry” “aggressive” “bringing down the vibe”, etc. And worst of all, they’re only brought into the room when a donor is visiting and it’s glaringly obvious that their team is completely white. I can’t even call out a department here but it’s ALL of them that do this! Then they disguise it as an opportunity for you to grow meanwhile they’ve shot down all of your requests for real professional development all year. POCs at PSI are tokens and that’s it. · The silos make it hard to work in-country and on the PMTs (regional HQ teams). Certain projects (cough cough FP) REFUSE to understand that they are NOT THE ONLY PROJECT these countries have and impose insane deadlines and timelines as if they pay for 100% of our time. Then their teams send passive aggressive or just plain INSULTING emails to PMTs and country staff, call us incompetent behind our backs and chastise our in-country staff for not understanding their kindergarten level, google translate French and Spanish. Or they get upset when no one in-country wants to participate in their silly extracurricular “initiatives” and “challenges” they do to keep themselves busy because they dump all the REAL work on the PMTs. PMTs get no contact with the donor but we’re chastised when our funding gets cut or bids don’t get won but the teams who actually work directly with the donor are consoled by their directors when they can’t even perform simple stakeholder engagement. · Management is so bad it’s scary. Managers are evaluated without input from their supervisees. 50% of your job is to supervise someone and yet that person isn’t included in evaluations – ridiculous. How does that contribute to building capacity? How does that support any staff? Just because someone has the title of manager it does not mean that they are a good manager. We just started a year-long program called “Great Manager’s Training” that is completely useless. It takes a year to figure out that you shouldn't bully your staff? Sr level managers (several who have already taken this training) berate and scream at their staff and give opportunities to only the people who kiss up to them or ignore the abuse. Newly minted managers treat their interns and program assistants like their house-keepers/personal secretaries and as a manager myself it’s so sad to watch. If your manager wants you out, they will find a way to put you on a performance improvement plan (PIP)—which heads up is PSI’s way of kicking you out, but legally. (Looking at you WCA/Global Fund Unit! The fact that people can count how many people of color you’ve bullied and pushed out of your department alone, you should be ashamed). Want a promotion? Get in line. If your manager doesn’t like you, you’re screwed. If your manager likes you but doesn’t want to advocate for you. You’re screwed. If your manager likes you, but no one likes your manager… You’re screwed. Think it’s a good idea to go to HR? Ha! Anything that involves HR is pure unfiltered trash. So yes ladies, gents, and non-binaries you’re ... you guessed it … SCREWED. There are also certain managers who don’t want you to grow before they do, so they stifle your opportunities. · A number of senior level people are paid 100K+ to work remotely in low cost of living cities as we struggle to keep our head above water in DC with wages for people with masters starting at 40K. Interns to APMs are often running out of work by 4:45pm to make their next shift at some bar, restaurant, yoga studio, etc. But will be online at 10pm to continue working on things way above their pay grade. As a PM, I try to advocate for my junior staff but conversations with HR go nowhere. I've even had to help another staff find a higher paying job because they couldn't afford cost of living. · PSI loves the word “strategy” and does not understand what this entails. We have a new one every week. We spend months throwing buzz words and spend 1000s of dollars sending people abroad to roll out the new strategy of the month that no one understands. People that have no sense of cultural competency and yell at field staff or don't even know how to communicate with 'those people' (as they say). They say that the countries are always behind, but HQ never involves them in anything, nothing is ever translated into their languages (especially our Portuguese staff) and instead of the 3 year roll out process at HQ, country staff get a 3 day workshop with a facilitator that has a 1st grade understanding of Spanish/French, an hour Skype for Business phone call where the first 59 minutes we're trying to connect, and an email that promises more information about the 'strategy' that will never come. But the problem is definitely 'them' being difficult not HQ, right? The xenophobia is striking. · They have entire project teams serving Africa, Asia, and LAC with NO team members who are African, Asian, or Latinx. And when they do have them, they fly out the door after they realize what kind of place PSI is). As a POC, if you speak up or have an opinion you are considered aggressive. If a white person does it, it’s more “Jane has so much initiative! What an asset to the team.” If a POC questions anything or advocates for anything they are “too direct”, “childish”, or “emotional” even. They even have to apologize to white staff for their white tears. But when a white person does it and is even seen among other staff as being rude or condescending, senior staff see it as “Adam is a leader… haha he’s so blunt and direct but that’s just his nature!” · Work life balance does not exist and is looked down upon. Unless you’re a director/VP because they’re on vacation 6 months out of the year. Oops, I mean “speaking” at a “conference”. · PSI rolled out a salary matrix almost 2 years ago and HR still can’t explain it. They claim that they do equity reviews to ensure equality across gender and individual experience but they pick the lowest starting number for every position. (Except if you are male.) There is no negotiation…unless you have a manager that is willing to fight for you, but as I mentioned before that is usually never the case. · If you decide to work at PSI, after a couple months the initial excitement disappears because you realize there is no sense of knowledge management. You are basically starting from scratch. There is inadequate training, superficial introductory meetings and no follow up. All the turn over isn’t helping either. Every week there is a ridiculously cringy email of someone thanking PSI for their time (read: burn out) and to please keep in touch (No thanks.)Continue reading
- Former Employee★★★★★
Run.Mar 28, 2012 -RecommendCEO ApprovalBusiness Outlook
The benefits WERE exceptional but have since been cut. There is no rhyme or reason to their salary decisions. This is a good place to get your start but not necessarily a place for the mid-level professional or someone looking for work life balance. You will be pushed harder than you can imagine which at times can be good and allows you to elevate your skillbase and work quality. (Be warned: you will not get credit for your work.) This place seems collegial at first but internally it's very competitve for upward movement and even annual increases. If you are ambitious and don't mind climbing over someone to get ahead, this is the place for you because it's encouraged here.
New hires are told they are given much autonomy and initially you feel that way. Once the honeymoon is over you realize this just isn't true unless you are in the field. DC staff are not treated like professional adults and micromanaged beyond belief. I've never worked for a company that monitored its employees so heavily. Some managers are great but others are downright abusive and are allowed to bully their staff as they please. It goes without saying that you are expected to put in long hours and those that don't are left behind. You think you are working for a great cause and feel good about it. After learning how this company really operates I no longer have the same opinion of NGOs. I question the ethics. If you are a minority, don't expect to be treated like a competent professional or promoted. Just look at the demographics of managers and you begin to see the truth. It's sad that a company that purports to be serving the poor and vulnerable allow their field staff to belittle and mistreat local employees at the country level. I've seen this company burn out so many of my colleagues and PSI does nothing to help these people but show them the door. There is big disparity in pay between employees. The 1% are alive and well at PSI but the person who just built a basketball court on their donor funded property will tell you its all about the mission.Continue reading
- Former Contractor, less than 1 year★★★★★
DecentNov 20, 2021 - Social Media Manager in Washington, DCRecommendCEO ApprovalBusiness Outlook
Remote work option is good
Work life balance not well
- Current Employee, more than 5 years★★★★★
Good culture, strongly mission drivenJun 12, 2015 - Anonymous EmployeeRecommendCEO ApprovalBusiness Outlook
very mission driven. promotes innovation. nice people and culture.
not good at work life balance. You will work very long hours here.
- Current Employee, more than 5 years★★★★★
Good organizational cultureJan 18, 2022 - Anonymous EmployeeRecommendCEO ApprovalBusiness Outlook
Great Work Life Balance. The impact that the organization has on communities is a huge motivation.
The organization is quite big and at times leads to silos and lack of synergies.