Vancity Reviews | Glassdoor

Vancity Reviews

Updated April 28, 2017
22 reviews

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1.0
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Tamara Vrooman
18 Ratings

22 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great work-life balance, highly valued at company (in 9 reviews)

  • Good Benefits and profit sharing (in 15 reviews)

Cons
  • Many of these 100 it was unclear why they even got a job here and did not have much smarts but had personal relationships with senior management (in 6 reviews)

  • Its difficult to move up to a role at head office if you work in the branch (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (6)

    "Something's fishy/ Something's off"

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

    I worked at Vancity full-time

    Pros

    Some of the people are good. You really believe that these people believe in helping others and see their roles as making an impact. When you are with and working amongst this minority, you really feel empowered to do your job well.

    Cons

    Unfortunately, most of the staff and management are not like that. You know Dilbert? The whole company is like that. Some senior management read some superfluous management tip from some self-help book, and suddenly entire silos are created around that one tip. You have people running business development teams but have only ever attended maybe a seminar on business. They repeat useless phrases, like impact model, impact drivers, etc etc but those phrases mean nothing. You have senior management who are promoted because they are a)_young and b) fits a type. Even though these people have nothing more than a fashion or make-up community college degree. Somehow now they're going to determine the future of the company. The company also incessantly lies about its financial health. It says it's doing well but half the finance team will tell you otherwise. Also, the endless re-orgs and firings. You get the idea.

    Advice to Management

    There is no advice to management. The only hope is that the board sees what's happening and truly reconsiders who they have running the show. Unofruntaely, most of the board positions are bought off, so there's little hope of change. Seriously, for a democractically run organization, VAncity actually "strongly recommends" you to vote for board members by letting them canvas outside branches or offices, and then highlights their names on ballots to the exclusion of other nominees. It's sickening.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "I was hoping & waiting for things to change, but just couldn’t take it anymore……"

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

    I worked at Vancity full-time

    Pros

    - Pay is mediocre (below market), but the benefit program is great : good vacation allotment, dental and health benefits.

    Cons

    - Nepotism (it's just awful)
    - Advancement based on close relationships with senior leaders
    - Some great staff in place, but are completely demoralized by nepotism and poor leadership
    - Organization has lost roots of having managers and senior leaders in place who truly believe in community impact (vs their own advancement)
    - Alternate working arrangements, like occasionally working from home, frowned upon
    - Broken processes that became worse due to inept work done by process improvement group
    - Problem of silos within the organization worse than ever
    - Lack of expertise and leadership from many managers and senior leaders
    - Culture where management and senior leaders only want to hear the positive. Feels like they aren’t interested in improving things. Either that, or they just don’t have the expertise and knowledge to understand what staff are trying to tell them.

    Advice to Management

    Part of Vancity’s branding is that it is an ethical organization. And in many cases, it is. But Vancity needs to be ethical when dealing with its employees, too. Treat them fairly and with respect. Advancement should be based on merit, knowledge and experience. Make changes to rid the organization of the nepotism that is rampant presently. Performance reviews should not be performed by one or two supervisors, but based on 360 feedback, so that performance reviews are more honest and accurate. And Vancity, if a staff member’s performance actually “exceeds expectations”, it would be nice if they actually received this rating, instead of trying to limit the number of people who receive high ratings in their reviews, to save money. It’s demotivating to receive a “met expectations” rating when all the comments in the review actually speak to performance that is exceeding expectations. Time to revamp this HR practice of rating performance.

    The goal in all of this should be provide the best possible service to the membership. The only way to provide excellent service is to have great, motivated, knowledgeable and experienced people in place throughout the organization (ALL staff should have expertise and experience, including management/leadership). Vancity has some excellent staff members, but if things don’t change, they will all slowly leave. I did.


  3. Helpful (8)

    "MISERABLE, TOXIC WORK ENVIRONMENT"

    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 Vancity full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    - You need absolutely no skills or knowledge to advance in this organization! In fact, the less you know, the higher you’ll go! Advancement is not merit or knowledge-based. All you need to do is to fit within a certain “type” (usually young and attractive), keep your opinions to yourself, be a “yes-man”, and you will advance in Vancity. In fact, if you fit the type, it is possible to become a Vice President at Vancity within 18 months with very little expertise or relevant work experience.
    - At parties, you will always have the best “toxic work environment” stories. There won’t be anyone who can outdo you. And you don’t need to exaggerate. Just tell the truth and you will be the winner of the most miserable workplace storytelling contest every time.

    Cons

    - Advancement is based on being a certain “type”: young and attractive. Many senior managers and executives are the same “type”. It’s pretty weird actually.
    - Nepotism, nepotism, nepotism! Certain employees are “the chosen ones” and the company actually openly identifies the employees slated for advancement and these employees may/may not be chosen on the basis of merit and knowledge. Completely demoralizing for everyone else who aren’t chosen ones. If you’re an employee with knowledge and experience but not a chosen, don’t expect to advance any farther. You are there just to do the work, but nothing else. (Such a toxic workplace.)
    - Many managers and senior executives are apparently in their roles because they are great leaders, but in reality, the leadership they provide is superficial at best, because many of these so-called leaders have no technical expertise and limited people management skills or experience.
    - Because of the lack of technical expertise in management, don’t expect things to move quickly. Something that should take an hour to figure out will take weeks and weeks before it is resolved. Much patience is needed to work at Vancity.
    - Only positive feedback is welcomed at Vancity. If you have anything to say that is less than positive, keep it to yourself. It doesn’t matter if the feedback is accurate, or if these things actually need to be discussed so that the company can improve or advance, it is suicide to voice anything remotely negative at Vancity.

    Advice to Management

    Get back to basics, and get back to your roots, Vancity!
    - Vancity is focused on “innovating” and trying to develop new ideas, when it actually just needs to work on its banking basics. The executive thinks innovation is key-term survival, but maybe Vancity just needs to provide old-fashioned banking services and concentrate on doing this banking well.
    - On the topic of innovations, what amazing innovation has Vancity come up with exactly? Most of the recent “innovations” are recycled ideas that have been tried before, or have been “borrowed” from competitors. Yet so much time, energy and resources are used in “innovating”.
    - Vancity has lost its roots. There is a lot of talk about community impact, but the majority of the new managers and executives are all talk. They have learned all the buzzwords that will get them ahead. They are not sincere or genuine and have no real interest in community impact. The only impact that interests them is the impact of using corporate-speak impact buzzwords, so that they can advance themselves. This is yet another example of the Vancity toxicity.


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  5. Helpful (5)

    "Manager"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Business Consultant
    Current Employee - Business Consultant
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great place to work if you appreciate not doing any work except having meetings to discuss previous meetings and perhaps plan future meetings. The only work which gets done is when people bypass the processes in place because they just don't care anymore - talk about sad

    Cons

    This is a company which operates using buzzwords - agile, inclusive, impact, "BDBR", community, "process simplicity", racism, etc. They have no capital to do anything creative nor the leadership to get it done. They will dangle a carrot in front of membership to gain some capital in the coming months. Just think what " impact on the community" an investment of $160 MILLION would have had instead of squandering it on replacing something that didn't need replacement...facts, facts, facts...bury them with more lies,lies,lies...

    Advice to Management

    Stop with your nonsense internal surveys about millenials and employee well-being - all you need to do is review the postings here - it speaks volumes. Its time for change - overhaul your CEO, Board, and senior management. They all need to go. Until that happens you better hope your current staff can weather the storm not too many people are going to stay put for much longer - can't wait for the AGM if you don't tell the truth - your staff will. Let's see if Tamara will be honest or if her handlers will try to sugar coat everything and as usual run out of time before to answer the hard questions.


  6. Helpful (13)

    "Anon"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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 full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Decent pay with above average benefits. A lot of people that work hard even if they are not recognized for it.

    Cons

    Nepotism is rampant. There are many instances you find your self asking "how did this person get promoted so quickly when they know absolutely nothing". You have technical managers who know nothing about technology. You have executives who lack any experience. Makes you really consider if there are dirty secrets out there or if the organization is really just so hell bent on promoting yes-women (and in very few cases yes-men) they don't care about skills/experience/knowledge. Probably the only financial institution in the world which would promote an inept BA to a Director to a VP all within 18 months.

    Advice to Management

    Start acting like a responsible FI. Your commercials lack class just look at the social media feedback - stop trying to capitalize on emotional words like racism and inclusion. First and foremost you are a "bank" (CU) get your banking in order. Offer people better banking and they will come. Offer politically charged leftist propaganda and people will mock you. It's great to be inclusive, be against homophobia and racism, but it ain't nothing to brag about. It's called being "decent". What's next a commercial for your staff washing their hands after #2???


  7. Helpful (10)

    "What a mess!"

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

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

    Pros

    Co-workers are nice people, who believe in Vancity's "good money" brand and community focus.

    Cons

    New leadership vision has very inexperienced people in place and they are inexperienced from both a people leadership and technical expertise perspective. The leadership vision is well-intentioned, with the intent to give the work a fresh perspective. Problem is, it doesn't work! It makes for a very tough work environment for those who are trying to learn and those who need skilled managers.


  8. Helpful (11)

    "Just when people start telling the truth, the yes-men start posting fake reviews"

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

    Pros

    What they say in television ads and bus posters? I don't know, basically just what they say they are but they're actually not what they say. Doesn't make sense? Neither will make good money.

    Cons

    Everything.

    Just look at the previous reviews prior to February. Then suddenly you get a slew of 5 star short reviews? Please. Phony as heck.

    Nepotism is rampant.
    Re-org every other day.
    Executives stacked with inexperienced people who are only there because they fit a type.
    Jargon a plenty.
    Crap pay.

    Advice to Management

    Package yourselves out.


  9. Helpful (12)

    "The same people get the promotions"

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

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

    Pros

    The members finally voted out a long time board member (politico), who seriously did little, collected a pay check, and used the place like adult day care

    Cons

    Company thinks their values are the best around, if you don't match up with what they think, then you are having a problem.

    They do not encourage thoughts other than their own, if you don't sing the tune then you aren't on the magical promotion list

    The place is severely understaffed - they may pay a good starting wage, but they should since everyone works the equivalent of 5 jobs and is told that they must do more with less, and manage their own careers

    The same people who tell you to do more with less are the same ones who have been promoted - easy to follow when you have gotten what you want huh?

    Zero talent management and succession planning - that's why you see so much turnover at the branches

    Advice to Management

    Change CEO and board chair - they need to go!

    Managers need to advocate for their divisions - not just do they say the right things so they can keep their pay checks

    Stop thinking that your value focuses are the end all and be all of society - you're not that special!

    Values begin at home, treat your employees better. There are tons of mental health issues which employees are asked to suppress because it makes the VPs look bad and you're not being a good team player. Just because I'm telling you the truth doesn't mean that I should get a "partially met" on my review.

    If you want to know the truth about how you're doing as a company, don't penalize people for giving you the blunt truth

    I can't build a team on part time contract staff


  10. Helpful (10)

    "Want to discover what feeling miserable means?"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - MSC in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Current Employee - MSC in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend

    I have been working at Vancity full-time

    Pros

    You can become deeply miserable and perhaps learn how to raise above all the toxicity and disrespect. If you master that then you've become a better person. If that is not your cup of tea, I'm not sure why you'd want to work here.

    Cons

    it's not what you know but who you know is king here.

    Advice to Management

    It seems like you're given a discretion at who to treat as your employee and give them your guidance and who to totally ignore. Manager's personal dislikes of employees seem to be applauded and embraces.


  11. Helpful (6)

    "Financial Rep"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Vancity full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great company to work for. The benefits are great and compensation are good. The management are very supportive to all employees and encourage them to become better. The culture is contagious.

    Cons

    The management tend to become very very strict with scheduling and new employees don't have with priority. The goals very high and very difficult to attain.

    Advice to Management

    The management should give all employees the opportunity to give a chance to work with different departments and try different roles.


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