- Work/Life Balance
- Culture & Values
- Career Opportunities
- Comp & Benefits
- Senior Management
The lower level staff are lovely and know how to have a laugh even when being beaten down by politics and lies. This is the only pro. there really is nothing else good about GSM
1. Unsafe working environment - students are free to spit at you, throw chairs at you and threaten to hurt you and the company lets them return as if nothing happened!
2. CEO is ignorant and doesn't care about the lower level staff
3. no one actually knows what the company goal is.. (What happens when TDAP fails?! we all know it will...)
4. Complete favouritism, if a senior manager likes you and you gossip with them they look after you
5. Icing on the cake is they hire in managers on an interim basis who leave after 4 months or just bully employees.
6. HR are useless and never help you - inexperienced and LAZY.
7. No employee incentive programs.
8. HR gossip about personal issues
8. Average life of a good employee is max 3-4 month. (or they sack you)
9. They recently restructured a similar department to mine – ended up losing a good manager (who always had peoples backs and had managed to stay with the company a few years somehow) to redundancy and forcing the remaining staff to jump through hoops, yet 3 months later NOTHING has changed – (how is the restructure working for you now senior management? The service looks soooo much better (!)
10.Pay is low, Hours are long and they encourage your co workers to spy on you – promoting a snitch culture.
11. Yearly bonus was removed yet everyone knows certain favourites got a bonus.
12. they forced managers to score their teams low in the mid year ratings so that they wouldn’t qualify for a pay rise.
I could go on but why bother. This place is hell. If you are looking for work GO ELSEWHERE.
Advice to Management
i cant advise you - you have made your beds. when TDAP fails, you will move on to the next pipe dream. Hurry up and close down so that the staff can move on to somewhere that will support and appreciate them.
I worked at GSM London full-time (More than a year)
The people - some really bright people across the company and teams are usually trying to make the student experience better
Library - New library at Greenwich meets the students needs
There's a lot....
Salary and benefits - benefits are non existent and salary is below what other businesses in the same industry are paying.
Development and progression - Again pretty non existent unless your friends with people above. Rarely do vacancies go to people within the business and rarely are staff given the guidance or training needed to progress.
Staff turnover - After the above two it's probably not a surprise that turnover is appalling. The majority stay for 1-2 years. It's good if you want a particular job title on your cv but don't come here looking for a career because you won't find one.
Management - Description not necessary - read the other reviews
In Decline - The business is in decline. Less students, more problems with immigration etc. If you're already in a job and looking for a new one surely you want to work somewhere that's expanding not just replacing people on the titanic.
Advice to Management
Keep your loyal staff. Turnover shows that you should value the ones that haven't left the mess you made. Also once TDAP fails cut some of the overpaid contractors and managers that aren't contributing to the overall 'experience'. Also add some benefits to the package. 5 days extra holiday doesn't cut it when you work 9-6 5 days a week.
I worked at GSM London full-time
People. The people here make this place and most really work hard to try and make things better for the students. Training given within the team was also very good, however varies with each department.
The place is a circus when looking at how senior management runs the place. Brown-nosing is rife as it appears to be the only way to progress so prepare to be stabbed in the back. Even potentially by your own manager if that makes him/her look better. Never seen "office politics" on this level before. Pay is awful, promise of bonuses which never materialised and the locations between the two campuses are very far apart if you are expected to travel between the two. The place is set up to bleed money from students so if you have some morality you will find it difficult to stomach this place.
Advice to Management
These are people's lives you are messing with. Give students the attention they deserve and stop trying to put staff down at any given opportunity.
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I worked at GSM London (More than 3 years)
I started working in GSM in 2012. I had a pleasant experience. This was my first higher education sector job and I really enjoyed the learning and building my knowledge about higher education and also international students.
People are very friendly and very approachable. very diverse bunch of colleagues and students. You will learn about different cultures and will meet great people with different experiences.
I had many opportunities to participate in sector training sessions and seminars. Many teams are motivated and wanted to learn different skills and willing to change for the better opportunities. I was very fortunate to work with brilliant managers and learn different skills. I have to say I did enjoy my time in GSM. Overall If I had a better opportunity and recognition I would stay in this company.
Not much opportunity to progress in your career. Benefits are not that great since compared to sector. Not many people wanted to make a real difference in student life journey.
Advice to Management
Not much opportunity to progress in your career. Benefits are not that great since compared to sector. Not many people wanted to make a real difference in student life journey. Compare the sector bench marking for pays and other benefits.Identify great individuals who has lots of skills.
The area - Greenwich
Wouldn't recommend it either as an employee or as a student...
I have been working at GSM London full-time (More than 3 years)
The staff for the most part. Most teams get along and everyone is pretty sociable. This can lead to a laid back atmosphere in most teams which is quite good more often then not.
Ermmm pretty much everything at this point to be honest.
I've seen other reviews that say GSM is fast paced or not for the faint hearted.
I prefer the term unorganised, nothing in this place is truly planned for other than not paying staff correctly or making excuses in not being able to pay bonuses.
Everything in GSM is "improving in phases" according to senior management.
This is a company that at one point had one person as a HR department -_-. Following that a new head was put into place with an actual team and all they could do was apologise every time an issue was brought up to them rather than actually resolve them.
Minutes were conveniently lost or misplaced so meetings never had factual back up’s. Now through to the latest incarnation of HR, you have a team that literally ignore claims and requests.
I can appreciate that a HR department is there to protect the company as well as see employees are treated fairly (conflict of interest???) but surely there should be procedures or at the very least guidelines in places. It seems you can only get things resolved by putting serious pressure on every person involved, testimonies are not taken and rather than actually dealing with issues at hand you're constantly giving the run around.
The same goes for the majority of managers "I'm looking into it give me some time" for weeks/months on end. Nobody below senior management is actually respected or valued apart from the very few that are favourites of management. I quote "You're all replaceable" is something I've heard many times over the years. There's trying to motivate your team in different ways then completely demoralising them.
This place will literally will suck the energy and productivity out of you if you allow it too. You can work yourself to the bone, do everything asked and beyond but it’s never enough. You'll never do enough to get any more than a 2% rise if anything at all because the company don't want to pay anymore. Bear in mind the large majority in the company are underpaid and in some places criminally so in my opinion.
Staff salaries were benchmarked by Hayes and apparently compared against roles everywhere else but nobody has ever seen the result of this and certainly haven't had any rises.
You will get screwed out of commission/bonuses constantly and having written agreements reneged on. But that's only if you're fortunate enough to get an actual contract at some point in your employment.
If you change roles within the company don't expect any type of formal change, at best you will be given an amendment letter and if you request your contract you will be met with a wall of silence. I've actually been asked for a copy of my contract when I haven't had one for TWO years.
You only get 5 sick days in a calendar year which to me is unheard of in most businesses. What happens if you happen to even have a bad cold a few times in a year god forbid anything more serious. Non-existent benefits 1% pension contribution that wasn't voluntary and when trying to opt out being told it wasn't possible.
Not to mention if you're in a student facing role you will definitely get screamed at a few times. Some of these are definitely people with mental issues. But a large proportion of them are people that have been pushed to the absolute edge by GSM. Some of the stories I've heard from students have been horrific at times. Students have lost their homes because they've been told when to expect student finance and not received for another 3 months. Fair enough you shouldn't bank your life on student finance but its still terrible advice
Once people are in "the system" everything goes downhill, any online promotion gets tons of hateful comments by bitter current or ex-students.
Last couple of points here (I could go allllll day long)
No bonuses were paid this year as the company didn't meet targets which could be a bit more understandable if we didn't withdraw tons of students in the first 2 weeks as we don't have satisfactory attendance tracking systems. Student's ID cards don't work or their timetables are wrong so they have no registered attendance and get withdrawn.
No bonuses were justified by saying "at least we didn't have to make redundancies" which they did 3 years ago with "last in, first out" policy dropping about 20 people across both campuses.
Advice to Management
Try actually being honest with your staff and realising we're probably not as stupid as you think. If you're actually straight up about the issues that we're facing then you would actually get some respect from staff.
Actually look at improving staff morale and act like you care rather than quoting statistics "3 quarters of our staff are happy working at GSM " we have anything up to 400/500 members of staff If you count everybody in professional services and non-academic roles I highly doubt anyone would say they are happy. The only reason you don't have a full scale revolt on your hands is most people are beyond caring now or just too drained to even put up a fight.
Start respecting your staff and it will go a long way.
I worked at GSM London full-time (More than a year)
--easy degree & Job – I started studying here in Sept 2011 and working in Sept 2013. I left College with one E for my AS- Level in business and this was the only place in the UK which would offer me a place on there business degree, I'm very weak at exams and stuff, i can barely spell sometimes!! and I failed all the entry requirements but was still accepted onto the two year accelerated programme; Business Management (with Travel and tourism) at GSM London
--I struggled in my GCSE’s & AS Level scrapping through, but GSM give me a 2.2 degree and then a low paid job in student services. i don't remember doing any work during my course or work. (lets just say i got a lot of help)
--You get away with doing little or no work I used to arrive in the morning (late), then surf the internet for most of the day looking for jobs (obviously i never got any), I’d try and sneak in a cigarette break every hour and sneak out early all the time. I also spent a good hour or so hiding in the toilets (even thou it smelled, i got used to it) just to pass the time.
--The fried Chicken shop across the road is the best fried chicken I have ever had!! I could eat it every day even thou its really dirty inside but the foods is brummy!
-- Free leftover food - when they have external meetings, this was my fav day of the week, i love anything free, even thou it was always old and stale (i still ate it and even took it home sometimes)
--They treat staffs badly, I was called a scab by a senior manager during my appraisal and on many other occasions, I was also asked to dress appropriately more than one time, I found this offensive, I was clearly hated by everyone there, students and staff. One times a senior manager commented on my face and in the end i just walked out and leave the company. Maybe if you had provided uniforms like (macs) I wouldn't have had to wear the same clothes everyday!!
--no training; Training was the first thing I needed but denied, I only worked in fast foods and did not have any experience. I was thrown in the deep end without training or instructions, I also felt that I should have been leading my team but my manager thought I was weak, incompetent and untrustworthy so i never got promoted
-- buildings are very old and dirty, nearly as bad as my own place! It’s also very dark and smells all the time,
Advice to Management
--student services needs better training, better money, we take much abuses from the students and staffs - I'd been threatened atleast 20 times in the 2 years. need better security in the buildings.
--clean and paint all the buildings they look and smell horrid,
--thanks for my degree & job, unfortunately I'm no better off as GSM London has a bad reputation and I haven’t learned anything in the last 4 years, I am glad to be out of this hole, I'd rather be an incompetent, unemployable scab, than work for GSM London and my degree is worthless.
--my advice to staffs and students; go and study or work somewhere else, look at me, I have no life, no job, no money and no future.
I worked at GSM London full-time (More than 5 years)
Some good support & staff and lecturers. Most of the decent staff have either left or in the process of leaving. It’s been a downhill spiral since the new leader arrived who has very little respect for anyone below them.
Senior managers and directors are paid a very high salary, if you can get a senior role, you will be super rich, they also give you shares in the company if the person who sits at the top likes you.
There are no other benefits, they offer 1% pension and reimburse travel between the 3 ghastly campuses
You are guaranteed to see fights/regular conflict between students and staff, students & students and amongst staff members, this can be amusing, it could easily be Greenwich Zoo Not College! I am certain that the College would make lots of extra cash if they started selling day tickets for day entry, there’s lots of fascinating things to see, mainly dirt and grime.
GSM London has always had a chequered past, in the early days students could pay for higher grades and degree certificates, now the focus is on the student loans company and how much money they can siphon out from it. Money really talks in this organisation it is the whole driving force of this so called education provider.
The new leader is abhorrent, specialising in pubs & bowling alleys, this individual is a discredit to the entire organisation, and they have no respect for less senior members with zero experience of working within any sector of education.
You have to work a compulsory 40 hour week regardless of salary or position, this is minimum, generally you will be expected to work 40 – 50 hours per week on a standard contract & salary. This is mainly due to the company disorganisation.
HR exist only to look out for the person who sits and the top, they are unable to do anything without there say so. Anything you share with HR goes straight to this person so there is no employee confidentiality.
False student attendance monitoring, none of the IT systems work and the data is made up by the finance team for statutory reporting purposes
Campuses are very unclean and smell fowl the locations are also very poor, I would never study here as a student.
Advice to Management
Recruit an empathetic, respectful, considerate, understanding and sympathetic leader who can inspire & lead the college to University status, the current executive is only interested in giving out insults, back biting and is very power hungry which is probably okay in the nightclubs/entertainment industry but it does not work in Education. A bully can never be a leader or inspire anyone.
I would suggest to open a student union bar on campus? The students and staff would have somewhere to get away from it all, this shouldn’t be too difficult particularly as the new leader specialises in the in this field finally, some expertise put to use!
Start giving staff some benefits/flex and treat them with respect and transparency
Raise entry requirements for students and attract some quality candidates, stop pretending that you are widening participation, let’s be real, you are cheating students and pilfering public money from the SLC.
Working at GSM has made me an optimistic. ANYWHERE is a better place of employment.
Some hidden gem employees.
Greenwich is a great location. In summer especially.
The foundation (HR team) here is rotten (no ethics and regard for employment law) and the structure (senior management team) was and is built having cut corners (avoiding appropriate recruitment and hiring unskilled interim directors permanently via a ‘it’s who you know’ process) along the way and thus the inhabitants (employees) will soon experience a collapse of the company. Sovereign the Holding Company cannot save this investment.
Skilled and knowledgeable staff have either disappeared (forced or enlightened and left) or remain in positions where they are being stripped of power demotion by demotion.
JOIN A UNION! That’s the best advice you will be given.
I think the only department worth working for is Careers. They have someone in charge looking out for the teams welfare.
Sales have a great commission rate. Especially in an environment where your target audience is… everyone. But you will be exposed and watched in ways you can’t imagine.
Student Experience… don’t throw yourself in to that black hole. If you manage to leave… it will be with scars.
If your looking at Director positions… take it. Be demanding and ask for a 6 figure salary. Believe me, the more arrogant and self-centred you are the higher your value in their eyes. They have a Fat Cats situation, where the top is smug and the bottom sits beaten with ‘WIP’s (no that’s not a spelling mistake – it’s an acronym and well placed too if you know what it stands for)
If you don’t have a degree or masters or PhD apply to be a faculty member. Your co-workers will be a mixed sample of the good the bad and the uneducated. Good luck.
All Staff Briefings will be a complex puzzles. Read between the lines. Ask questions if you don’t want them answered.
Money is a complex matter. They spend where they could save and they scrimp where they should invest for long term stability. There is no Financial sense and EVERYTHING breaks down.
Advice to Management
Read these reviews, and become a humanitarian? That's a start to a better workplace.
- Widens access to higher education. Despite a large number of disengaged students, those who have the right attitude acquired knowledge and skills, completed their degree and started a promising career.
- In general, teaching staff are knowledgeable and committed to the student experience.
- Support and professional staff are motivated.
- Investment in infrastructure necessary. IT systems and support are not fit for purpose.
- Buildings look tired and cannot cope with the number of staff and students.
- Safety of staff is an issue, in particular for student advisors. The institution fails to adequately deal with abusive and violent students.
- Administrative infrastructure is inadequate and inefficient.
- GSM fails to attract and retain talented staff. Some staff lack professionalism and require training and guidance.
- No clear progression procedures. A large proportion of promotions are nepotistic.
- There is a large rift between the sugar coated picture propagated by the executive team and the hard reality on the ground.
- Lack of long-term planning. Decisions are implemented top-down and ad-hoc. Often goals are not achievable within the unrealistic time frames.
- Decision making is not transparent.
- Set objectives are rarely met and constantly replaced by new goals.
- Decisions primarily based on hunches and not on evidence.
- For-profit model problematic
Advice to Management
Focus on the most pressing, basic issues such as staff safety, IT, infrastructure and student quality (exclusion of abusive, violent and cheating students). Concentrate on one issue at a time. Stop talking about improvement, start acting. Shift away from short-term unrealistic targets and raise the quality in the long run.
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