YMCA Reviews | Glassdoor

YMCA Reviews

Updated August 16, 2017
5,037 reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • It is a non-profit so the advantages that you would have with a cooperation you do not have with a YMCA (in 219 reviews)

  • I was only part-time for a few months (in 214 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Who would like to work for a company that doesn't follow its own standards?"

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

    I worked at YMCA full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Full time benefits okay... but for the price you pay, they better be.

    Cons

    Many people in managerial positions only care about their job, and will do anything to keep it, including blaming others for mistakes made.

    No raises for past 3 years, last raise was less than 2%.

    It seems that Managers don't care about the staff, paying them as little possible (minimum wage) and expecting them to do work way over their pay grade.

    Advice to Management

    Pay staff more than minimum wage, when others in the same organization make over $200,000 a year, I think the organization can pay better than minimum wage for what is expected.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "High employee turnover is the direct result of poor management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Water Safety Instructor in Greenfield, WI
    Former Employee - Water Safety Instructor in Greenfield, WI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at YMCA part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Free access to gym-health club facitlities, many nice members and nice workers at the lowest levels of the organization. Sometimes, the kind of camaraderie that is created by really mean and inept management occurs, and that part can result in good friendships (not unlike the friendships forged in crises, disasters, and combat).

    Cons

    Even comparing to other non-profits, where crisis management, budget shortfalls and understaffing are the norm, the Y is notably poorly run. Towards the top, there's a mentality that the proper model for operation is the American Megacorporation, so in dozens of inappropriate ways they try to run like Walmart, McDonald's or United Airlines. However, aside from jingositic lipservice, there is no real investment in frontline workers, there isn't even much respect or support for functional levels of morale. Mid and lower level managers are selected for narrow rule enforcement enthusiasm, and misapplied corporate jargon is repeated like mantras: "be professional" (which means, be subservient and obsequious), "be customer friendly" (avoid complaints from the more generous White middle class donors by selectively enforcing or ignoring safety rules for the favored clients). It's hard to believe this is a Christian organization, as they have institutionalized a complete disregard for the human needs and viccissitudes of the army of low paid bottom level workers and volunteers. Put more simply, the organization is downright mean to its staff, starting somewhere way above my paygrade, not just trickling down, rather pouring down as a crushing waterfall to the lower levels. It's just not that hard to notice that YMCA workers are treated poorly, constantly worried about their jobs, overly disciplined. At the Southwest location where I worked the most, non-White employees had the shortest lifespan, complaints from openly racist patrons weren't questioned, instead, suspensions and firings were immediate. An illogical and dizzying array of health, safety, and other rules were partially, selectively enforced, depending on who specifically the clients were, and since this was all quite unofficial, quite the minefield for new workers. I saw many workers suspended and fired for enforcing posted rules against the favorite patrons (percieved to be better donors). I saw workers fired for all sorts of very petty reasons, two lifeguards were fired for reading lifeguard magazines when there was no one in the pool, another lifeguard was fired for swimming when there was no one in the pool; a gym attendant was fired for reading a book. The most loyal workers, the ones coming in on short notice to cover the many suddenly open shifts resulting from the high turnover and low morale, those workers were usually on the firing line first - the long hours exposed those most dependable workers to the meanest supervisors over the most critical times, and violating one of the numerous senseless work rules would be inevitable. Thus, there was a built-in incentive to minimize vounteering to cover extra open shifts, resulting in a chronic situation of being shorthanded, also creating pressure to slip on the many work rules. Employee discipline could best be described as Draconian, many of the mid and lower level supervisors clearly relished being mean to the workers, many of the latter being young people on their first jobs, retired people who were scrapping to get by after unfair pension or retirement plan changes screwed up their golden year plans, and teachers and other underpaid workers on second, or even third jobs.

    Advice to Management

    Trying to emulate large profitable monopoly corporations is ill-advised. Get back in touch with your Christian roots (and this coming from a non-Christian!). Christ's teachings of compassion, brotherly love, forgiveness, all need to be worked into the daily operation of the Y. Lower and mid-management level supervisors shouldn't be enforcer and rule follower types, they should be teacher types, or even actual teachers, people who care about people, people who are capable of common sense understanding, compromise and humane sympathy. If rules can't be universally applied and enforced for all patrons, then change or remove the rules. Stop being hypocritcal, either openly allow promiscuous behavior in the men's locker room, or stop playing the YMCA song incessantly!

  3. "Good company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Childcare in Havre, MT
    Current Employee - Childcare in Havre, MT
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at YMCA full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Good people, fair pay, never bored

    Cons

    I have no cons for this company

    Advice to Management

    none


  4. "It's all about management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Sumter, SC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Sumter, SC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at YMCA part-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Free membership (but only for yourself--if you want a spouse or kids on your membership, you have to pay the monthly difference). You also have to pay for your locker every month.

    Cons

    Terrible pay (minimum wage). No benefits. Stingy about breaks. We were actually told that under SC law, they are not required to give us breaks "but take one if you need one...just keep it short." Managers have very little experience or interpersonal skills. You get the sense that management doesn't care about anyone who works there.

    Advice to Management

    Quit talking about how "Christian" you are and throwing Bible verses around, if you're going to treat employees this way and pay them this badly.


  5. "not the best working experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Cashier in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Cashier in New York, NY

    I worked at YMCA part-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    coworkers are nice and chill

    Cons

    minimum pay = minimum effort. work for many years and did not get a raise at all


  6. Helpful (2)

    "you deserve better"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Summer Camp Counselor in Flushing, NY
    Current Employee - Summer Camp Counselor in Flushing, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at YMCA part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Get to use the facilities for free, which include two pools, gym, basketball courts and squash courts.

    Cons

    Extremely low pay for the amount of work that is asked of you. The desire to avoid the YMCA getting into trouble leads to a lot of ridiculous rules and restrictions. People who are willing to work there generally fall into two categories: cool, intelligent, but just made a bad decision in working at the Y and leave soon after, or community college deadbeats that will do nothing but cause unnecessary trouble and gossip. Those people generally tend to progress to the top because those in management were also once like them.

    If you would like to try working for a camp, go anywhere but near this one. All other camps tend to pay more, and if they don't, at least they are in a better environment with better people, less unnecessary rules and hoops to jump through, and you will generally receive tips at the end of summer. To be honest, there is a certain demographic that puts their kids into Y camps in the city, and they aren't the type to tip or appreciate anything you've done all summer long.

    Advice to Management

    Step your game up. Stop acting like you're the most important people in the world and drop the condescending tones. You're camp coordinators for crying out loud.


  7. "Worst job ever!!!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - After School Counselor in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - After School Counselor in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at YMCA part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    *Working with children
    * free membership
    * the very few training the ymca provides are paid and have food.

    Cons

    *making minimum wage the whole time
    * site director was rude(not all of are like that)
    *Minimal Training
    *site director not training me(telling me it was a waste of her time
    * lack of communication between supervisors and staff
    * No flexibility in the hours

    Advice to Management

    make sure the site directors are training the ALL the staff. and there is no lack of communication. the kids at my site were complaining about 1 mean counselor. have better salary then minimum wage

  8. "EEOC violations at their discretion, conveniently based on personal feelings, not a professional environment."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Wellness Coach in Sewickley, PA
    Current Employee - Wellness Coach in Sewickley, PA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at YMCA part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The members of the Y are inspiring wonderful gracious people, such a blessing!

    Cons

    When your boss is a pathological liar it is all a con and senior management chooses to turn a blind eye to the situation.
    Discrimination
    Unsanitary work conditions, Black Mold, lack of regular housekeeping efforts.

    Advice to Management

    Take the blinders off, look around and see what your members see when they are on the floor stretching, participating in group exercise classes where the instructors have to mop the gym floor because they are embarrassed of the conditions of the facility, meet with your employees to get their point of view on what improvements could be made - they are in the trenches!


  9. "Former employee, great potential for the area, poor leadership all the way around."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Msr in Cleveland, OH
    Former Employee - Msr in Cleveland, OH
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at YMCA part-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The community and members are perfect. Could not wish for better people.

    Cons

    The Cleveland association is just a mess. Seems to me they are worried more about the money they bring in for there own pay checks rather than for there branches, equipment and staff. Always quick to point the finger for something negative and quick to blame and fire, demote, or cut hours rather than to attempt to mediate the problem at the mature adult level. A new CEO and an entirely new director staff would be great! Don't get me started on executive directors and human resources. Def would not recommend anyone to apply within this association.

    Advice to Management

    Def could use a entirely new management team. They are all really ridiculous.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Lack of professionalism at all management levels"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Lancaster, PA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Lancaster, PA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at YMCA part-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The members are the best part of working for the YMCA. Building relationships, watching growth and development among the members is the reward for working at the Y. Of course, you do get a free membership if you can stand to workout where you work.

    Cons

    I am repeating verbatim from an earlier review (please forgive me, but it was most accurate). Low pay, geared toward young and cheap labor. They tend to get rid of the older, experienced workers and hire young workers. This disrupts the programs they have which then tend to fail.

    Advice to Management

    Value and respect the staff who manage to stay for more than a year. Those who run successful programs might just have a good idea what they are doing. Retain and reward successful employees. Stop allowing management to justify their existence with useless emails and meetings. The entire management staff could be cut in half and 80-90% of members would never know the difference. Monies saved could be put back into facility maintenance and paying for qualified and experienced staff.


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