Vancity Reviews | Glassdoor

Vancity Reviews

Updated December 7, 2017
31 reviews

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Tamara Vrooman
24 Ratings

31 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • At times the work life balance which is preached isn (in 4 reviews)

  • Can be difficult to move up to head office positions, network at any opportunity and help out in the community it wont go unnoticed (in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (19)

    "A current perspective"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Vancity full-time

    Pros

    As others have said, Vancity employs some of the best people. Everyday you will go to work with some of the most engaged, motivated, and brilliant people in the financial sector. They care about their work, their impact, and their legacy. However, these people all eventually burn out and move on to other places where their values and worth are going to be rewarded, because Vancity just isn't that place.

    Cons

    Glassdoor reviews are indicative of how many people at Vancity feels. For over a year between 2016 to 2017 a slew of honest and heartfelt reviews flooded the site. These reviews were often brutal in their assessments, and probably took courage for the employees to write. However, in the past month or so, there are suddenly multiple 5-star reviews with little content or message.

    Here's what's wrong: Yes, we had a brutal launch of the new banking software. It was not well-planned, despite having close to a decade to do it. It cost a lot of money. We employed and fired a bunch of people. We promoted folks who in hindsight probably should've stayed as call centre agents or analysts. We spread ourselves thin across multiple markets that we have no experience in. Everyday we come up with new phrases or acronyms. Yes, all that happened. But now let's move on from that.

    Has much changed in the past couple of months? No. What you have is a company in search of a new identity. The market conditions are changing, and so are people's habits and needs in financial institutions. This means that results are not coming through, and staff continues to see restructures and packages. We also still employ a number of consultants who are billing top rates everyday for barely any work.

    I feel that people who speak the truth are getting frustrated that their words don't register. There are a ton of people who want Vancity to do better, to become engaged, but they're not getting the opportunity to do so for fear of retribution. That's wrong, isn't it?

    Advice to Management

    It's okay to admit that you've made mistakes. Now, let's try harder to engage the folks who have been so negative about progress here so that they can offer advice and motivate other disenfranchised employees to do better. Otherwise, we're going to be stuck in the same rut over and over.

    Vancity Response

    Sep 15, 2017 – Manager

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Couldn't agree more with your suggestion to move on from the negativity, to focus on engagement of our staff who, by and large, want better things for Vancity. We... More


  2. Helpful (12)

    "Vancity is NOT better for it"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Consultant in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Current Employee - Consultant in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Vancity full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Sigh, woefully not existent at all

    Cons

    Numerous to mention, but best expressed in the advice to management below..

    Advice to Management

    To the many managers (who have no experience amongst the teams they lead): experience counts, you may think that you don’t need to know the subject area of the team you lead but you’re wrong. You think that you’re getting around needing to know the subject by having the team bond and in your mind work together more...what you are lying to yourself is this: the team is working together more because they can’t count on you for advice, they seek out the advice of other managers who actually have experience....if you think this is effective - what you are doing is effectively getting paid for doing nothing and creating angst amongst your fellow managers who are picking up your slack - but then you’ve made a career of that haven’t you? I’m sure you know out that you’re in place because the senior exec has no skills and is threatened by those who do? Useless individuals know who the other useless ones are and they band together...You are a pawn, but since you’re good at politics you will rise again touting the CEOs buzzwords - which royally sucks.

    Now consultants are getting hired to evaluate what needs to be done because of dismally Low employee engagement scores (and really because the exec doesn’t know what the place does and wants to look impartial before people get canned or told after a decade of employment that they are “no longer the right fit”- more money wasted if the right thing was done in the first place...keeping people in place who have experience - but that’s okay, let’s let the regulators give the place another mediocre audit report before you wake up - now that’s impact! What would be good is if the regulators would look at the executive suite and see what a house of cards it is - individuals in place with no skills put in place because of the insecurity of the CEO - bravo Tamara, you have people in place that you know can’t reasonably challenge your leadership because they are more incompetent than you.

    Consultants...same executives have said publicly that these consultant evaluations will not result in job losses (the only time anyone results to saying this is when this is a real possibility)... if there are job losses, let’s start at the CEO, and then VP level okay? Last time evaluations were done a bunch of employees were down banded in their job levels, but that was okay because they weren’t unionized so the company got away with it....employees are still bitter about that and rightfully so - beware future employees this is a common tactic around this place, bait and switch...especially with HR types moving into operational roles - be afraid, be very afraid.

    Agility is only good if those in place are actually capable of doing the job in the first place. Tamara Vrooman, we’ve had enough...do the honourable thing - leave for your own good but more importantly the good of Vancity employees and members - you are no longer the right fit, it is only then that Vancity will truly be better for “it”.

  3. Helpful (9)

    "To CEO - a fish stinks from the head"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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 Vancity full-time

    Pros

    Benefits, relatively stable position, vacations - it's not getting better, it's been the same for many years

    Cons

    The company is going down because of the delusional leadership. The so-called leaders cannot see where they are bringing the company, nor do they care.
    The CEO is declaring successes and wanting to double the company's assets in 3 years (she wants to increase the company's value from $20 billion to $40 billion), while the company is losing qualified employees that are running away anywhere far from Vancity.

    Advice to Management

    It's time forTamara Vrooman to go. She is ruining the company and employees' work lives.


  4. Helpful (16)

    "Poor leadership"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Vancity full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Good vacation time and benefits are ok.

    Cons

    Terrible leaders... bad bosses.
    Management is toxic
    You can’t do what you have been hired to do. They keep on giving you work that should not come to you to begin with.
    Vancity is nothing what it professes to be to the general public.

    Advice to Management

    Tamara Vrooman needs to be fired. We need new leadership

    Vancity Response

    Dec 13, 2017 – Manager

    Thanks for your comments. I respectfully disagree with your comment that Vancity's inside doesn't match its outside. Time and time again I've met people across the organization who are dedicated to... More


  5. Helpful (27)

    "CEO and Senior Management is the issue"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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 Vancity full-time

    Pros

    The front line staff are doing their best they can and work very hard to look after Members.

    Cons

    The long-term employees have felt a very real shift to the corporate culture over the past 5 years or so. The main issue is the CEO and the "yes" people that have been hired as the new senior leaders. If anyone has the guts to disagree with the CEO, you are essentially fired or demoted (but most are fired and many quit or "retire" early in frustration). For the new senior leaders that are hired, you must share in the new religion - experience is irrelevant. That is unfortunate for both the employees and Members that rely on us to manage their money on their behalf.

    Vancity tries to position itself as a caring and good employer, but unfortunately that is just hype. Personally, I would stay away from applying to Vancity while the current leadership remains, there are better companies to work for that treat employees fairly and with more respect.

    Advice to Management

    The Vancity Board needs to start talking with front-line staff and lower level managers to find out what is really going on. Change is needed at the top.

    Vancity Response

    Dec 13, 2017 – Financial Service Representative

    Thank you for your feedback. As a front line staff, I too agree that we work very hard to look after our members. I would add though, I've raised my hand, brought forth my ideas that didn't match... More


  6. Helpful (12)

    "Sr Mutual Funds Administrator"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    I have been working at Vancity full-time

    Pros

    HR on-boarding process is good.

    Cons

    Terrible manager..micro manages every employee in the dept. Horrible people skills.

    Vancity Response

    Nov 8, 2017 – Manager

    Thank you for your feedback. Vancity is introducing new training and coaching for people managers because we recognize that these are skills and capabilities that can always be addressed and improved.


  7. Helpful (27)

    "Lies and Dishonesty from the top"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Current Employee - Manager in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Vancity (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great event at the PNE each year for $5. You can volunteer at the event which means you don't have to be in the office that day. You get to go to the PNE on work time. I think that is a win win.

    Cons

    The results are in-->just over half of employees are somewhat engaged. Shocking? Only to the so-called leaders. If this isn't a clear indication of how disconnected the leadership is from the employees I don't know what is. It is impossible to believe that any of us still work here considering how many lies and dishonest statements come from the top. At the AGM the CEO said that Glassdoor was a bunch of angry ex-employees. It was actually the people that work for you every day. I could not recommend working here to anyone. It is a constant struggle to do anything but what you are told. What you are told to do is never a good idea. It never works out or after pouring your heart and soul into it the program or project is no longer the shiny object or focus. It is disheartening, degrading and really a complete waste of time and money. This wasting of time and money is something that has been going on for years. It has been going on because of the lies and dishonesty from the top. There is no leadership plan, there is no business plan, there is no employee engagement plan there is just a random assortment of ideas being thrown around and worked on by various people with no unifying thread through it. A manager in one department is thinking completely differently about how to approach something in a different department as neither one can keep the story straight from leadership on what is actually trying to be achieved here. Flavour of the month or the way the wind blows. It is difficult to take the leadership seriously and that is evident on glassdoor and the recent employee engagement survey results. There are never straight answers and lots of unexplained and nonsensical decisions. The rest of the employees are starting to notice the lies and dishonesty.

    Advice to Management

    Transparency. Acknowledge that you have failed miserably. Make right the lies you have told.

    Vancity Response

    Aug 1, 2017 – Financial Service Representative

    Thank you for sharing your feedback. I hope you’ve taken an opportunity to read the business plan that we recently shared with employees, and that you’ll engage in the conversations about employee... More

  8. Helpful (25)

    "No Credibility"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Many wonderful people. Good benefits. Good work life balance. So much potential

    Cons

    A complete lack of leadership from the director level up. Various initiatives implemented over the years are consistently undermined by the very people who need to lead by example, senior leaders. No evidence that "Vancity hires for fit", Multiple examples of cronyism. Director showed no interest in getting to know his staff and lacked a clear understanding of what the team did or was capable of. Lack of empowerment of managers makes the new behaviour based performance plan impossible to implement. Employee performance calibration at the director level is a poor substitute to employing managers you trust to properly assess staff. Extremely difficult to get things done. Not a good place for self starters. General reluctance to make decisions and stand behind them. Untrustworthy and sloppy HR. Rather than investigate a complex personal situation which staff brought to them in good faith, they chose to terminate said staff after misleading them that the situation was going to be resolved. My former department and job, which I truly enjoyed, was ruined by a gradual deterioration of trust, lack of leadership, and poor HR practices.

    Advice to Management

    Stop undermining your own initiatives and lead by example. Staff aren't stupid. It is highly disengaging. Show some integrity. Respect and trust is earned. Your titles give you authority. Don't abuse it. Get to know your staff.

    Vancity Response

    Jul 6, 2017 – Financial Service Representative

    Thank you for your feedback. I can agree that a title is not something to be abused and more and more, we are working in collaborative teams which do not rely on the authority of title, but in a... More


  9. Helpful (24)

    "Unauthentic"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Vancity full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Good reputation in the community. There are staff who genuinely believe in the vision and try to do the right thing.

    Cons

    Unauthentic. Says one thing and does another. Upper management is clueless on how to engage staff. I've seen numerous great people being let go because they disagreed with management. Claims they investigate harassment allegations but doesn't. The alleged victim of sexual assault is never contacted with an investigation.
    When they can't find any cause to terminate they create a lie and ask you to come to a meeting under false pretences only to shock you with a termination letter. They do not allow you to go back to your desk and collect your personal belongings and escort you out the door like a criminal. They do not act in good faith when you report incidents to them and despite policy that states you will not be retaliated against for reporting, you get terminated; without cause of course because they don't have any grounds to stand on.

    Advice to Management

    Have some basic decency and act in good faith and in accordance with policy and procedure.

    Vancity Response

    Jul 13, 2017 – Financial Service Representative

    Thank you for your feedback. Vancity takes harassment claims extremely seriously, I am very concerned to read your comment that suggests otherwise. If you or a colleague has experienced harassment... More


  10. Helpful (26)

    "Wow... these negative reviews say what I experienced even years ago!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Vancouver, BC (Canada)

    I worked at Vancity full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great benefits. Work hours are incomparable - 35 hours/week (you will end up doing OT though). Great vacation time with option to purchase more time off. Generous sick day benefits. Can opt in for RRSP benefits or Defined Benefit Pension Plan which is an ah-mazing benefit to have available in this day and age.

    Vancity is a large local employer, so by sheer numbers the options to change jobs within the company and stay there for years are large - think along the lines of BC Hydro, ICBC, Mountain Equipment Coop.

    Cons

    I feel like reading the volume of recent negative reviews is a vindication of what I experienced years ago but was still simmering under the surface, or at least wasn't vocalized like it is today.
    I left Vancity 3 years ago wondering why the leadership spent so much time touting values and their awesomeness to members when it ignored those same values when it came to employees. They focussed on environmental issues and social issues and yet ignored the very environment of the workplace and the social issues brewing within their own workforce. They worried about increasing mental health issues in the workplace and yet workplace behaviour of management and leadership increased stress and leaves of absences. I know this to be true because I became a victim of workplace -induced anxiety disorder. For all the doubters out there reading, I wish I could attend my doctor’s diagnosis for you to see and therefore believe.

    Here are some details behind the workplace issues:
    The Vancity-izing of everything that’s been mentioned in reviews. That tradition has been in place for years. So much time spent re-inventing a typical business term and process when all that stuff should be "out of the box" and simple, instead focussing on the innovation that matters - that which directly impacts members like products and services. In sum, as a company Vancity wasn’t doing anything different that another bank wasn’t doing and the innovation that we were selling wasn’t actually what we were doing – total cognitive dissonance.

    Same complaint heard year after year, even years ago: too many initiatives. There's no focus and nothing gets done in the end. It was energy-draining as a motivated, enthusiastic person who believed in “impact” and yet how could you have impact when work wasn’t getting done? We were told that we had to protect member’s investments and deposits and yet we were blowing away valuable profits (that could be paid out in dividends) in work that had no outcome.

    I often felt there was a lot of deadwood at Vancity - people who talked big, had ideas, attended long meetings, never auctioned or completed work. Sometimes these people actively stood in the way of change. The volume of deadwood and the impact to the company was magnified for me when I started working elsewhere that I realized how little other nimble, innovative companies tolerated this behaviour.

    Although I don't work at Vancity I still "bank" there because it's a credit union though I have no particular kinship with the latest branding that strictly focus on the marginalized/minority. I like banking with a local credit union where as a member I have a say at the AGM, vote for the Board of Directors (of which every year I vote for whoever is not the status quo) and get paid dividends. I like that I don't give money to a big bank earning massive profits. All of that said, I have started to move my investments out bit by bit because the financial expertise isn't there; I finally started earning some real returns and paying lower investment fees when I pulled out my funds from Vancity. Living in Vancouver is too expensive to subsidize Vancity operations – that is, by taking lower returns for myself so that I can support a credit union with a cause on the front-end and member service and workplace issues in the back-end.
    Given the amount of capital spent on the banking upgrade and the wasted salary and benefit expenses for work not being done, I know every penny I leave in Vancity’s pocket isn’t being used wisely by management. As an employee I was unhappy, then I left. As a member I’m unhappy… will I leave?...

    tl;dr: focus on a great employee experience, get rid of deadwood, focus on member service and products and you may get my investments back.

    Advice to Management

    Board of Directors: time to remove Tamara.
    Tamara, while you're still there try to save your job by 1) removing your leadership that doesn't truly walk the values you talk and 2) focussing innovation strictly on member services and products and not the back-end stuff.

    Employees: if you are facing physical or mental unwellness as a result of your job, please seek help from your EAP and do not be held back by fear if you must walk away and find a new job for the sake of your health.

    Vancity Response

    May 31, 2017 – Manager

    Thanks for sharing your perspective from your time at Vancity, particularly for recommending to staff that they utilize the Employee Assistance Program which is an excellent support for people who... More


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