The Conference Board of Canada Reviews | Glassdoor.ca

The Conference Board of Canada Reviews

Updated 8 Sep 2019

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Found 49 reviews

2.0
StarStarStarStarStar
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25%
Recommend to a Friend
28%
Approve of CEO
The Conference Board of Canada CEO Susan Black
Susan Black
20 Ratings
  1. Helpful (31)

    "EVERYTHING IS FINE!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate Director in Ottawa, ON
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at The Conference Board of Canada full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Our employees are always getting to meet and work with variety of new colleagues. We produce top of the line research into organizational performance and leadership development. We fully take these practices to heart in our offices, thereby contributing to a harmonious work environment. In-person staff feedback is resoundingly positive.

    Cons

    Any negative sentiments towards our organization and its leadership team must be borne from a sense of entitlement by employees who deserve to, and probably already have had their “positions terminated”. No sweat though, our compassionate HR team are experts in quickly re-hiring the same positions every year to year-and-a-half. Those who have defied the odds and managed to keep their jobs have done so based purely... on recognized merit and nothing else quantifiable. Anyone remotely critical of our employment and/or business practices clearly isn’t on board with our new direction that involves taking everything the previous administration did and intensifying it to a comical degree.

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    Advice to Management

    Stay the course, weather the storm, some other vapid cliché. Let’s all pat each other on the back and continue to proclaim that we’re one of Ottawa’s top employers with a viable business strategy and bright future. We should also invest more in planted Glassdoor company reviews.

    The Conference Board of Canada2019-04-04
  2. Helpful (8)

    "Where research used to matter"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Associate in Ottawa, ON
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at The Conference Board of Canada full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    In theory, there's annual bonus pay (unfortunately, this never materializes in practice).

    Cons

    Ever since a few years ago, the Conference Board of Canada's mission and not-for-profit status has become a bit of a running joke. If there is one thing that is patently obvious while working here, it is that everything employees do, and are judged on, is about the margin, the bottom line, and profit. Nothing wrong with being for-profit, but there is an undeniable hypocrisy about a place that values appearance over... substance and sleek websites over sound research . Case in point, the ever-increasing overhead and numbers of management at the expense of talented researchers who can actually do the work. Perhaps this is a good place to work as an administrative assistant or director, that I cannot say. But if you are a researcher, you have been warned.

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    Advice to Management

    Be honest about what you have become: a for-profit consulting firm that cares little about researchers and that fails to live up to the lofty language on its website.

    The Conference Board of Canada2019-09-08
  3. Helpful (4)

    "Great work life balance"

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

    I have been working at The Conference Board of Canada full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    - Flexible hours and great work life balance - Friendly knowledgeable staff - great benefits and vacation

    Cons

    No cons, great place to work.

    The Conference Board of Canada2019-05-03
  4. Helpful (17)

    "What’s worse, the hypocrisy or the incompetence"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at The Conference Board of Canada for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Even negative reviews consistently identify great co-workers and interesting work as positive aspects of working here. This means this organization has two of the fundamentals to succeed. Which begs the question ....

    Cons

    Where to start? The hypocrisy? The harassment and bullying? The lack of diversity? The sheer ignorance of leadership? The lack of humanity? I could go on. How has this organization gotten away with this for so long? Promoting workplace mental health for example, and making money from it, while tolerating a toxic culture and ignoring the mental health of its employees. Claiming expertise about innovation while... stifling the ideas of employees.

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    Advice to Management

    I’d offer some advice here but who thinks for one minute that they’d listen? Leadership is not interested in what anyone has to say for the simple reason that they don’t care.

    The Conference Board of Canada2019-06-05
  5. Helpful (17)

    "Wicked Problems"

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

    I have been working at The Conference Board of Canada full-time

    Pros

    Since taking office in May 2018, our new leadership has overseen one of the most prosperous transformations in history that will surely feature in a Harvard Business Review case study some day. Notable achievements include: -cutting 25% of our workforce in 12 months and pretending nothing has happened -forcing staff to post on glassdoor since there is no way for them to voice concerns internally without... losing their jobs -leadership so out of touch that they think meeting staff in the cafeteria once per month is a way of developing rapport -securing new research funding with no staff to deliver on projects -securing a new major source of funding with the main objective being to bill as many hours to the project rather than deliver any research -growing our HR team as staff have left in droves (I guess to manage all the severance packages!) -Spending countless money on severance pay (rather than reallocating laid-off staff to other areas within the organization) -nearly doubling our losses -promoting incompetent marketing leadership in month one -incompetent marketing leadership then went on to fall short of their business plan target by 25% -incompetent marketing leadership get to hire and fire as they please and hire countless new marketing and IT staff while other units are starved for staff and cant get approval to hire anyone -alienating many top directors and senior researchers causing them to resign -replacing senior staff with more junior ones to save on costs (if they are replaced at all) -overseeing 5 rounds of mass staff layoffs and then after significant staff backlash in the most recent, April 2019 round, informing staff that would be the last round of mass layoffs -informing customers that staff who have resigned or been laid off would be replaced immediately (but then not replacing them) -emphasizing the importance of culture and values and then ignoring staff complaints regarding unacceptable behaviour by leadership -requiring all revenue-generating staff to participate in a 2-month SWOT exercise which saw most key recommendations ignored and contributed to our significant financial losses this year -implementing an endless array of mental health, resilience, and other workshops to boost staff morale that is at an all time low -making our arbitrary performance management system even more arbitrary -poorly rolling out a new compensation structure that punished all staff below associate director level -arbitrarily dismissing staff including some of the very best employees at the organization -removing all consultants but allowing communications and marketing teams to hire unqualified and expensive consultants -overseeing the reduction of our research, events, social media presence -not giving a single presentation or media interview in 1 year on the job -never giving a townhall presentation off script -hosting a series of roundtables with all staff to give the impression they are accessible and then being completely inaccessible to staff ever since -rewarding all staff that repeat HR jargon and punishing all those who appear to be a threat -hiring people who previously worked with leadership even if they are not qualified -cutting down on various revenue generating knowledge areas simply due to misunderstanding their value proposition or no longer having staff in place to manager the areas -informing management to cut down on staff working remotely (hey, we want to promote diversity and inclusion!)

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    Cons

    We used to have many problems but they no longer exist now that we have a new website.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to work enterprise wide and tackle wicked problems.

    The Conference Board of Canada2019-06-02
  6. Helpful (18)

    "Awesome place to work as a middle aged white man"

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

    I have been working at The Conference Board of Canada full-time

    Pros

    Great place to tackle wicked problems and market aggressively through an enterprise-wide view in a values and culture based environment in order to empower and inspire leaders to build a stronger future for all Canadians through our trusted research and unparalleled connections. As a middle aged white man, my contributions are highly valued by our fair and thoughtful dear president. I highly encourage anyone... that has previously worked as a change catalyst or in a currency related field to apply here. The hiring process will certainly be competitive but you have a good shot of at least securing an interview.

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    Cons

    None, this place is simply superb! Only challenge is I need to take four (4!) buses to get to work. Perhaps the only other substantive challenge about working here is the office tends to thin out a bit early Friday afternoons and leading up to holidays and long weekends. Other than that, the cafeteria food is tasty, our HR team is the best in the game, and I would give this place 10 stars if I could because we are... truly superb!

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    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you're doing! Don't let the haters get to you!

    The Conference Board of Canada2019-05-17
  7. Helpful (20)

    "Award-winning HR Research!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Associate 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at The Conference Board of Canada full-time

    Pros

    The best HR research in the business. Read our work on compensation, diversity and inclusion, healthy workplaces, etc

    Cons

    We do the complete opposite of everything in our HR research. We are anti performance-based compensation, not diverse and anti-inclusiveness, and have an extremely toxic workplace thanks to our inept management. There really is little good to say about working here.

    Advice to Management

    Year one of the new regime has been a nightmare and if we are completely honest with ourselves, we are in worse shape today than when the new regime came into power. We are all aware of our financial mess which has only gotten much worse this year. Lets stop blaming others, spending time on glassdoor, and start reading our HR research so we can figure out how to clean this mess up. Perhaps you aren't best equipped... to do so which requires you to make necessary changes at the very top so they can permeate positively throughout the organization.

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    The Conference Board of Canada2019-05-14
  8. Helpful (15)

    "The Conference Board is not a luxury goods retailer"

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

    I have been working at The Conference Board of Canada full-time

    Pros

    -Flexibility -Friendly and smart staff -Decent benefits and vacation allowance. Average salaries

    Cons

    Wow, this place is a mess. For many years, staff have sought to diagnose what ails the Conference Board. The organization is in the same predicament as other traditional news/information outlets in the sense it is struggling to compete in an environment where many of the same services are being offered for free or lower fees by other sources. We all recognize this challenge but what really ails the Conference... Board is its awful leadership. We have failed time and time again to hire the best and brightest leaders with a vision on how to get the organization out of its morass. Our leadership team consists of people with experience selling luxury goods, coins, or no pertinent qualifications whatsoever to even be a part of leadership (other than they managed to get a role on the executive team because of staff turmoil and they were willing to accept lower pay). One of the most perplexing developments in recent time has been the shift away from hiring economists, researchers, and people with experience selling/marketing services towards the hiring of staff who do not conduct any of these valuable activities. In spite of the recognition that our overhead costs are too high, we continue to staff-up on the corporate services side while our revenue-creating staff attrition.

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    Advice to Management

    The Conference Board is in the business of selling knowledge and connections, not purses and coins. Our leadership team needs to take a serious look at the mirror and ask themselves if they are up to standard. As a data-driven and evidence-based organization, we already know the answer.

    The Conference Board of Canada2019-05-16
  9. Helpful (19)

    "Bullying is Welcome"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Ottawa, ON
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at The Conference Board of Canada full-time

    Pros

    Nice colleagues, good work life balance, opportunities to learn and try new things and pay can be decent depending on your role.

    Cons

    Bullying is welcome at the Conference Board of Canada and it regrettably starts at the top of the organization. Numerous members of the Executive Team have been the subject of bullying complaints in recent months and while each one of them remain in their roles, most complainants have been ushered out the door under the guise of cost-cutting, obsolete skills, or the complainant having an attitude problem. You... would think that our new President's HR background would serve the organization well but she has weaponized her experience to shape the organization to her liking. Those that adopt a "win at all costs" mentality are getting ahead under her while genuinely good people are ushered out the door. Bullying has been commonplace at the Conference Board for years and while the organization has often been late to respond, it has in the recent past removed culprits. Under the new regime, this is yet to happen despite egregious cases of a VP, C-suite staff, a director and an associate director running riot knowing full well the President has their backing. In one particularly egregious case, an employee complained about their VP's behaviour and then weeks later that same VP sent out an email informing us that employee had been terminated. What message does that send? Perhaps it will take another "APTN News" scandal to shock the Conference Board for appropriate action to be taken. For now, the bullying continues and there is no recourse for staff.

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    Advice to Management

    Use. common. sense.

    The Conference Board of Canada2019-05-11
  10. Helpful (16)

    "Now we know what HR does all day!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at The Conference Board of Canada full-time

    Pros

    We have a really hard working HR team, dedicated to quickly removing all glass door reviews which reveal what this company really is. Good job HR! Very efficient!

    Cons

    Read the other reviews on here. Not the planted ones that are 4-5 stars. The real ones that are posted before HR swoops in, desperately trying to save their reputation.

    The Conference Board of Canada2019-05-09
Found 49 reviews