British Red Cross FAQ

All answers shown come directly from British Red Cross Reviews and are not edited or altered.

19 English questions out of 19

5 September 2018

Does British Red Cross offer parental leave?

Pros

Good leave, maternity policy, benefits

Cons

No flexi, funny shift pattern

Good leave, maternity policy, benefits

5 September 2018

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24 August 2018

How are the career development opportunities at British Red Cross?

Pros

Great colleagues and volunteers, great learning opportunities and a general amazing opportunity to help those in need. Work and life balance is good and there are plenty of paid holiday.

Cons

The salary is a joke. I could never have supported a family and could not put any savings aside to to and see my family and close friends. It's hard to move into new roles within the organisation and progress career wise. The organisation does not invest in you to gain skills outside your role, e.g to become a manager. I felt quite isolated and relying only on a local manager and did not feel that I was part of the larger organisation. I was frustrated but didn't feel like I had anyone to raise my opinions to when my manager and I was not on the same page.

Advice to Management

Equalities and monitoring is an issue that needs to be solved. Lower levels of the organisation is very diverse but the higher up you get it get whiter and more male focused. Salaries need to be raised. They are lowest in the sector.

It's hard to move into new roles within the organisation and progress career wise.

24 August 2018

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10 October 2020

What kind of career opportunities exist at British Red Cross?

Pros

Great opportunities for training and development

Cons

Can be very busy and demanding

Great opportunities for training and development

10 October 2020

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26 August 2019

What is the feeling of job security at British Red Cross?

Pros

Not micro managed. Teams worked well together.

Cons

Projects set up and working well but then funding stopped for various reasons. No job security

Advice to Management

Be honest with staff if funding WILL be available and not leave it to the last minute.

No job security

26 August 2019

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30 June 2019

How are senior leaders perceived at British Red Cross?

Pros

• Still somewhat respected in the wider sector so quite easy to get another job elsewhere, especially if you're relatively senior. • Pay at senior level is quite good • As you can see from below there's a massive amount wrong, but it remains one of the biggest and most important charities in the country. If you're really confident and in a position to take a senior role it could be a real career making opportunity to fix some of these problems, but it would be a brutal slog for anyone who attempted it. • If you’re looking at their refugee support or international family tracing work they are pretty much the only organisation in the country that does precisely what they do.

Cons

A once really respected organisation, unfortunately it is going downhill fast. I was in a role that had me interact with lots of different parts of the organisation and while none of them are in a good place I’d say the cons vary a bit depending on where you are. In general Poor quality leadership/unfair advancement: especially at the higher echelons of the organisation leadership is shockingly mediocre, often promoted due to office politics or due to being mates with higher-ups. A couple of times I ran into people at senior level who had been transferred elsewhere in the organisation and knew less about the brief for their department than new starters. Most of the organisation (not all teams but majority) is generally more focused on appearing to be successful than actually doing well and there’s a big culture of overly inflating results to try and show you’re getting results, and ignoring actual problems. Quite a lot of middle managers spend a lot of time covering for their heads/directors. I think the chief executive himself is fairly competent but unfortunately he relies entirely on what he hears from his senior staff so is largely responding to a series of fictions. Burnout: people are worked really hard, with deadlines set with little understanding of the reality of the work involved (in part due to be aforementioned leadership issues). This leads to a lot of issues with burnout (line management training treated your staff signing off due to stress as unavoidable and a common event…), one of the most common points for people to leave is at six months in and few people last more than 18 months On boarding is atrocious: people routinely didn’t get the contract in time (a couple of weeks after they started was seen as normal), people often wouldn’t have phones or accounts properly set up and in some cases this got really problematic if people had to handle sensitive information. This is particularly exacerbated by issues with turnover (people are not there long so something that messes up their first couple of months is a big chunk of them) Bullying: not something I ran into a huge amount while I was there myself but I knew many people who had a really big problem with bullying/aggressive management style, particularly from the most senior parts of the organisation (the three worst offenders I was aware of, including the only one I ran into personally, are/were all directors). Diversity/tokenism: they desperately want to appear friendly to diversity but it’s all very tokenistic. Disabled people are so intimidated by HR they tend to hide their status, loads of micro aggressions towards BAME community; generally not a nice place to be if you don’t fit the mould. Very poor management staff relations: there’s been a lot of badly planned and botched restructurings in the last few years and some teams have been quite redundancy happy. This, coupled with all the above problems, have led to really bad staff management relations. The senior leadership is absolutely terrified of this leading to unionisation which they’re very hostile to (especially the chief executive) but they’ve not provided a workable alternative In many teams you don’t get make a difference: probably the worst thing you can say for a job in the charity sector, all of the above has a real impact on effective service delivery. I left after I realised I wasn’t able to use my time to best help people in crisis, which after all should be what everyone in the organisation is there to do. Specific team/functions The administrative functions and people and learning are badly underfunded, with people provided insufficient training and no real way to pull levers in the wider organisation to actually make things work better. Frontline staff are very poorly paid: it’s more of a mixed bag when you get to the support roles or middle management but people on the front line are paid very badly even for the sector. Poor communication between the centre and the periphery: people based in small local offices tend to be rather out on their own/lack support. This is a big problem if you’re based in UK office or one of the other big offices

Advice to Management

Take a long hard look at yourselves, so much of the organisation's problems goes back to very mediocre poor quality senior management and leadership. In particular those who been there a long time need to realise they have become institutionalised so are blind to what needs doing and need to either shakeup their way of thinking or look at moving on

The senior leadership is absolutely terrified of this leading to unionisation which they’re very hostile to (especially the chief executive) but they’ve not provided a workable alternative

30 June 2019

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19 English questions out of 19