The Conference Board of Canada Reviews | Glassdoor.ca

The Conference Board of Canada Reviews

Updated Nov 6, 2019

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2.0
25%
Recommend to a Friend
27%
Approve of CEO
The Conference Board of Canada CEO Susan Black
Susan Black
23 Ratings
Pros
Cons
  • "While the Executive Team received received one(in 10 reviews)

  • "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(in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. "Agree to disagree with the rest"

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

    I worked at The Conference Board of Canada full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    I think it is safe to assume that the previous posts were written by disgruntled former employees wearing revenge-coloured glasses. It's easy to pick a company apart when you no longer work there and everything didn't go your way. I think the previous comments should all be taken with a grain of salt. - Amazing internal knowledge resources - The opportunity to learn about a lot of issues and topics impacting... Canadians - Great colleagues - Excellent benefits, RSP, and vacation - Supportive management that really care and recognize hard work - Nice office with affordable parking

    Show More

    Cons

    - Slower moving as a lot of stakeholders can be involved in decision making - Non-profit resources (the learning opportunities, culture, benefits and colleagues make up for this)

    Advice to Management

    - Continue to invest in new ideas, new resources, and recognize and reward hard work and talent

    The Conference Board of Canada2019-11-06
  2. Helpful (14)

    "Disappointing experience in an unstable environment"

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

    I worked at The Conference Board of Canada full-time

    Pros

    Opportunities to work on a variety of topics with interesting, intelligent people.

    Cons

    Working here was a stressful experience, thanks to the quarterly mass layoffs, having unrealistic timelines in which to produce results, and low office morale. Several of the senior management and executive team members are known bullies, but HR has yet to address the issue. This job looks good on a resume but it's not worth the drama.

    Advice to Management

    Stop paying overtime hours at a 50% rate of pay.

    The Conference Board of Canada2019-09-21
  3. Helpful (7)

    "DO NOT work at the conference board in economics"

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

    I worked at The Conference Board of Canada full-time

    Pros

    Good colleagues, good food at the caf

    Cons

    Two directors of economics with 20 or more years of experience pushed out. Economists with 2-3 year experience r leaving for better workplaces No good pay or benefits compared to other employers in Ott or in Toronto

    The Conference Board of Canada2019-10-31
  4. Helpful (13)

    "DO NOT WORK HERE"

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

    I worked at The Conference Board of Canada full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Vacation entitlement based on seniority and week-long holiday office closure; RRSP matching and supplemental/incremental contributions based on seniority; Affordable onsite parking; Compensation is good for directors and above. Rest of staff are paid at or below market rates depending on seniority; Dedicated onsite workout/gym room and shower facilities.

    Cons

    Do not get fooled by the re-brand, shiny new website, new mission statement or new corporate values. These were cookie cutter check box items that have been used as smoke screens to mask the real issues and give the illusion the organization cares about its employees and customers. In the last 2 years, this organization has gone from a fun, friendly and positive workplace to a quasi dictatorship that drives... fear and intimidation by a ‘fall in line’ policy upheld by incompetent management. The organization has been transformed by arguably the most incompetent group of executives to be assembled. If not for the not-for-profit charity status, a company run by these ‘executives’ would have gone under several months ago. But let’s not fret, as the president keeps re-affirming: 'we own our building!'. Bottom line, the organization is in rough shape and management will do anything to hold on to power and chase the next dollar. I used to think the research conducted by the organization had meaningful impact in shaping policy for the country. It’s sad to say that the Conference Board has become an organization of hypocrites and gravitates to trendy hot topics, with little to no in house expertise, in order to generate a quick dollar. As examples, they actively promote mental health initiatives, work/life balance, workplace well being and culture while treating their own employees as follows: 1) Managing employees as if they are teenagers by mandating a work schedule that requires employees to be physically present in the office between certain hours and by abolishing any workplace flexibility or family friendly policies/lenience (remote work, odd hour work etc.) 2) Instilling a culture of fear by tolerating, encouraging and promoting bad managers that bully and intimidate employees. 3) Reprimanding and/or terminating employees who have a diverging opinion than that of management and who speak up about workplace issues to their superior, senior management or via Glassdoor. 4) Terminating employees that are on or have just returned from maternity leave, stress or sick leave. It’s been alluded to in other reviews, but I would like to re-iterate it because it is representative of my experience with this organization. The president, executive team and a hand full of loyal subjects run the company like an incompetent dictatorship. Dissidents are sought out and are purged (terminated) on a regular basis, which creates a culture of fear and paranoia throughout the company. If you strive in a chaotic/yes man work environment, love to play corporate games and sell your soul for career advancement, the Conference Board is for you! Don’t say you weren’t warned!

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    Advice to Management

    Who are we kidding here? Advice to management? They have most likely tasked the ‘Employee Engagement Department’ along with Human Resources to try and suppress this post and continue to snuff out authors of negative reviews in order to complete the purge. Keep solving those wicked problems by taking a Board wide approach. The ship looks great at the bottom of the ocean.

    The Conference Board of Canada2019-10-16
  5. Helpful (13)

    "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
  6. Helpful (32)

    "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
  7. Helpful (23)

    "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.

    Show More

    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
  8. 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
  9. Helpful (20)

    "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
  10. Helpful (20)

    "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
Found 52 reviews