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StepChange Debt Charity

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StepChange Debt Charity

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StepChange Debt Charity Leeds Reviews

Updated Oct 15, 2021

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Found 178 of over 302 reviews

2.9
48%
Recommend to a Friend
59%
Approve of CEO
StepChange Debt Charity CEO Phil Andrew
Phil Andrew
99 Ratings
  1. 5.0
    Current Employee, more than 3 years

    Wonderful place to work

    Aug 7, 2021 - Anonymous Employee in Leeds, England, England
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Great organisational culture. Friendly and relaxed atmosphere. The charity responded really well to the pandemic rolling out remote working to all colleagues and have introduced a flexible home working policy which will drastically improve work life balance for colleagues. Fabulous new Leeds office. Well designed in role development framework for operational colleagues allowing pay progression based on performance and development.

    Cons

    The charity has recently been through a restructure which has lowered morale and trust amongst a lot of colleagues. It will take some time to recover from this.

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  2. 4.0
    Current Employee, more than 10 years

    Forward looking, and progressing now - I can only say what I see

    Sep 14, 2021 - Anonymous Employee in Leeds, England, England
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    - Flexible working - Good, positive and collaborate working environment - Exec who do listen and do want to move the charity forward positively - I acknowledge previous reviews but whenever I've made suggestions I've never been slapped down for doing so - the Exec are making the effort to communicate better than they have ever done in the past - and I think Phil genuinely wants this to be a good place to work - I've been invited to workshops to put forward improvement ideas - I hope there are more of these to come

    Cons

    - Past 6 months have been difficult because of the redundancies because they affected everyone, not just single departments like they had in the past - There is a lot to do, and I think the leadership is sometimes overwhelmed by this - The IT systems are creaking, and I know work is going on in the background - but the charity could do better in communicating what it's doing to fix and improve

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    1 person found this review helpful
  3. 3.0
    Former Employee, more than 5 years

    Good cause, Poor execution.

    Sep 30, 2021 - Debt Advisor - Client Support in Halifax, England, England
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    The advisors are mostly great. Free coffee & tea - not really a pro as it should be a staple of the office. The overall cause is amazing, we help so many people in need.

    Cons

    Training - usually too long or full of repetition/ big changes get no training and it's a quick "oh this is the work around" Honestly if I took a shot for every time I hear the phrase workaround I'd be in an ungodly state of intoxication. Team leaders - looking at how WFH is within reason the new normal, I noticed team leaders having barely anything to do besides micromanage- Reduce them some more to save money big phil. Overall energy/ morale - from how I felt before I left and speaking to others that are still with SC, morale ? gone. Fix this, it isn't hard. A few more thank yous, asking how everyone is e.g. are you struggling with anything? feeling worn down? more of that goes a long way. Perhaps use this "empathy/ sympathy" you ask advisors to use with clients on your actual advisors. I'd mention parking being expensive but at this point it seems about as productive as wearing a mask below your chin during a pandemic so I'll leave that be. PULSE. This amazing, top of the line incredible AI/ Ultron system the charity is supposed to get, give that to CSP or at least be transparent with it- after all the rest of the charity uses it. Customer - this isn't a negative towards the individuals that call, no this is more of a how we manage/ deal with customers. LET US EDUICATE THEM. Honestly just allow the DA's to spend more time educating on how things work with budgets, good tips ect and stop using out of date info just because it's easier for the client to say "oh things are the same as last year". Final thing, I know all of this will be ignored. Just like all the other feedback we give in the job/ exit interviews. No doubt I'll get a response saying please contact us to discusses this - I would love too but for what ? A thank you we will note this. You guys need to understand this charity is incredible, the people they help need it. The advisors, Well in the words of my lord and savoir Keanu reaves " you're breath-taking" Things can be fixed here but there needs to be more give then take.

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    5 people found this review helpful
  4. 5.0
    Current Employee, more than 3 years

    Helping clients

    Oct 15, 2021 - Advisor in Leeds, England, England
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Speaking to clients is the best part of this job. You really feel like you're making a difference. The TLs are nice enough and support you if you're having problems. Great office in city centre.

    Cons

    IT is a nightmare and it feels like nothing works, this makes doing my job frustrating. Some 'colleagues' just need to move on instead of spreading poison.

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  5. 4.0
    Current Employee, more than 5 years

    A job with a mission

    Sep 25, 2021 - Anonymous Employee in Leeds, England, England
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    I chose to apply for a role at Step Change because I was sick and tired of working for a corporate bank whose only ambition was to create a profit for the shareholders. At Step Change, everything we do is geared towards helping people in desperate need of financial advice. Our help and support have helped save people's lives (as our clients tell us regularly). A couple of years ago, one of my friends disclosed they were struggling financially. He didn't know how he would tell his pregnant girlfriend - this was giving him anxiety, and he couldn't sleep. He knew I worked at Step Change and asked for my advice, it was simple "give us a call or go on our website, and we'll support you every step of the way". Fast forward two years, and he's on a debt solution and will be debt-free within three years. He couldn't be more thankful for the help Step Change provided him. THIS IS JOB SATISFACTION. I know from experience that other Leeds based organisations proactively identify their most engaged employees and ask them to complete positive GD reviews. They do this even just two weeks after joining their company (I mean, who isn't optimistic about their new role just two weeks in?). Step Change doesn't do anything like this - and maybe that's a bit naive, but at least it's more honest. Some people may have genuinely had a bad experience and left for valid reasons - that happens in every organisation - but I also think a large portion probably left under a cloud due to under performance or similar. There will also be people who have been here years and years who remember the charity as a small operation with 8% pay rises - those days are long gone. The Charity has had to become more commercial and that isn’t for everyone but some prefer to stick around and be negative rather than find a organisation more suitable for them. Please remember, everyone's experience is relative to them. We're all inherently biased, and every review should be viewed through that lens. That said, alongside the extreme job satisfaction you get working at Step Change, the people are another huge positive. You'll struggle to find anyone at Step Change that doesn't genuinely care about helping people; that's why they joined in the first place. We have some proper laughs with each other, and I can genuinely say that some of my colleagues are now my best friends. I also couldn't have asked for more from a career development perspective, either. Suppose you are willing to put the work in and 'knock-on doors' that you want to open. In that case, you will find countless people willing to put in their own time to help you either through mentoring or introducing you to the right people within the business. Some people sit there waiting for someone to do it for them and then complain that they don't 'get developed'. We're all the masters of our own career, but it's great to have some help along the way - which you get at Step Change. I know I could probably get paid slightly higher elsewhere for what I do. Still, you can't put a price on working for a genuinely socially driven organisation, especially when you get to work with your friends every day and have a clear career path ahead of you. We've also just moved to a new office in Leeds, which feels like a great place to work, with lots of natural light and contemporary fixtures and fittings. The balance between working from home and in the office is excellent, especially when you genuinely enjoy being in such a friendly and smart environment.

    Cons

    Now for the not so good. Firstly, and this is an important point, Step Change is a not-for-profit organisation, so every penny counts and is carefully accounted for. Suppose you're coming from, say, a big corporate bank. In that case, you'll be used to (or maybe not) significant investments in technology that are delivered whenever needed. That is not the reality at Step Change. Don't get me wrong, we're improving things all the time, but there's only so much money to go around. It can be frustrating when the technology you need for your specific role gets pushed to the back of the queue by something else. That said, if you take a step back and look at the bigger picture, you will understand why that happened. It's generally because something needed to change for compliance or a change in regulation that meant systems in another team had to change. The result is that you sometimes have to work with slow and cumbersome tools, and I can understand why people get frustrated at this. Things are moving in the right direction, but the technology I use day-to-day is the only reason I've not given a 5-star rating. However, I expect this to change in the not too distant future. The other con I have is difficult to define, but let me try. Step Change is a charity for our clients i.e. we provide a free service to those who are most in need. Though Step Change is not a charity for employees, people shouldn't expect it to be. Many of the operational roles are traditional call centre-type roles. I think some people join and are surprised they have KPIs and performance targets. These targets make perfect sense as Step Change (like any other business) has to be as efficient as possible to break even at the end of the financial year and continue operating. So my advice is to join with your eyes open and understand that you will have performance targets to meet. If you don't meet them, you will be coached and performance managed, like in almost any similar business. If you're looking for somewhere you can make up your own rules, then this probably isn't the place for you.

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    2 people found this review helpful
  6. 5.0
    Current Employee

    Doing important work

    Sep 14, 2021 - Debt Adviser in Leeds, England, England
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    I've worked here for nearly 3 years and it's been a bit of a rollercoaster. We've had some redundancies but that is done now and all the way thru I've been able to work from home. I'm going to start coming back into the office a bit more. The new Leeds office is really smart and very close to the shops. We help some really vulnerable people who are having a very tough time and it's great to be there for them.

    Cons

    I wish we hadn't had to make redundancies earlier in the year and some of the stories clients tell about their situation are sometimes heartbreaking but at least we help.

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    1 person found this review helpful
  7. 4.0
    Current Employee, more than 5 years

    Repetitive Work

    Oct 12, 2021 - Debt Advisor in Leeds, England, England
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Nice friendly supportive work colleagues

    Cons

    The actual job can be repetitive and boring

    1 person found this review helpful
  8. 3.0
    Former Employee

    Used to be great

    Aug 21, 2021 - Customer Service Representative in Leeds, England, England
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Team is great, doing priceless work for people in debt, good options of development and wage increases initally, not so much after a longer service.

    Cons

    Senior management is a joke, out of touch with what the frontline staff deal with and need, demoralising decisions. Promised charity will be fine through pandemic but made 10% redundant out of the blue, only to recruit after a month. Targets that make no sense and damage call quality and staff performance. Systems constantly broken, lagging etc, you will get blamed for these even though most are global issues and you do your best to work around it, a joke since they cost millions.

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    2 people found this review helpful
  9. 2.0
    Former Employee, more than 3 years

    Absolute joke of a 'charity'

    Sep 28, 2021 - Debt Advisor in Leeds, England, England
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    My fellow debt advisors were and still are some of the best people I've ever worked with. Most have left. The attrition rate is one of the worst I've experienced. Most people I worked with ended up very unwell due to toxic micro management and ultimately left. The clients. However, I think if they knew exactly what it was like behind closed doors though they'd be disgusted. The rosy , glossy front clients see masks a festering, rotting core.

    Cons

    - Inept, hypocritical senior management hell bent on turning Stepchange from the fantastic charity it once was into a soulless cog stuck endlessly in the creditors back pockets (I'd be very surprised to see it hold its charity status much longer. All hail capitalism) - aggressive social media team trying to dilute the genuine feelings and concerns of real people on here - naive employees indoctrinated by Stepchange who see the abhorrent sickness policy, mass redundancies/people jumping the rapidly sinking ship etc as being a case of 'aww well it's a charity'. No. They have groomed and gaslighted you, stop making excuses for them. - No accountability. High attrition rates linked to people 'not being able to hack it'. High sickness,usually stress related (especially amongst debt advisors), again linked to people not being able to hack it and being told to just find something else. At no point do team leaders, managers and senior managers ever think that maybe it's the systemic, toxic culture of micromanagement and flogging good workers until they break. I fear, they fully know this and simply do not care.

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    11 people found this review helpful
  10. 1.0
    Former Employee, more than 3 years

    Shock Redundancies Poor Leadership

    Oct 12, 2021 - Annonymus Employee in Leeds, England, England
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Great for clients and some nice people to work with

    Cons

    Poor leadership favouritism and cliques

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    4 people found this review helpful
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