British Red Cross Reviews

Updated 7 Jul 2020

To filter reviews, or .
3.2
50%
Recommend to a Friend
58%
Approve of CEO
British Red Cross Chief Executive Michael Adamson (no image)
Michael Adamson
46 Ratings
  1. Helpful (5)

    "A tragic organisation which could have been brilliant, stay away!"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at British Red Cross full-time for more than a year

    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

    Continue reading
  2. "Volunteer"

    4.0
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 

    I have been working at British Red Cross part-time

    Pros

    Great staff, gives you customer service and retail experience

    Cons

    Often there's nothing to do, can be quite slow

  3. "sores operative"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at British Red Cross full-time

    Pros

    brilliant people who do good work to help sick people

    Cons

    I have gained a degree in a field I want to move on to

    Continue reading
  4. "Doing good work"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Refugee Support 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at British Red Cross full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    You are genuinely helping people and you're working with incredibly smart, talented, kind people from various backgrounds.

    Cons

    Pay is terrible, and jobs can be very stressful.

    Continue reading
  5. "Could Engage More"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at British Red Cross part-time

    Pros

    They do great research; be part of your community.

    Cons

    No overall structure, so possibility of poor management by middle managers.

  6. "Retail assistant"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at British Red Cross part-time

    Pros

    Get to work with others as a team along with getting to know the customers

    Cons

    Not always having enough volunteers on

  7. "Nice place to work"

    4.0
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 

    I worked at British Red Cross part-time

    Pros

    Nice atmosphere and manager. Always something to do

    Cons

    None I can think of

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Friendly Staff but unorganised"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 

    I worked at British Red Cross full-time

    Pros

    Friendly staff and decent pay

    Cons

    unorganised training process and lack of connection with management

  9. Helpful (1)

    "Dated organisation with massive lack of diversity"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at British Red Cross full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great international and local work. Lots of emergency fundraising appeals. Great volunteers in the services.

    Cons

    No opportunity for progression or development. No diversity within the organisation. Terrible management

    Continue reading
  10. "Great project"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Administrator 
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at British Red Cross part-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Working for an organisation that supports people in difficult situations. e.g. elderly people, refugees, children, etc

    Cons

    Hierarchical old-fashioned structure, difficult to progress within the organisation

    Continue reading
Found 192 reviews