GSM London Reviews | Glassdoor.co.uk

GSM London Reviews

Updated 10 August 2018
57 reviews

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57 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Great place to work and develop career" (in 3 reviews)

  • "Some good support & staff and lecturers" (in 3 reviews)

Cons
  • "Some of the Senior Management really need to stop bullying their staff" (in 10 reviews)

  • "To the user, I say: If this helps alleviate the nausea that comes with realising you work or study at GSM London, you have my sympathy" (in 8 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (14)

    "Do not bother wasting your time or energy at GSM"

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

    I have been working at GSM London full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    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.

    Cons

    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.


  2. Helpful (7)

    "my staff and student experience, a journey from hell!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Student Advisor in Greenwich, England
    Former Employee - Student Advisor in Greenwich, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at GSM London full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    --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)

    Cons

    --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.

    GSM London Response

    3 Dec 2015 – Internal Communications Manager

    We encourage and welcome feedback from our employees. Our strapline is Learning to Succeed, and all reviews feed into our continued progress and improvement as an employer. That said, it is always... More

  3. Helpful (11)

    "GSM London; Stay away Staff & Students"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Manager in Greenwich, England
    Former Employee - Senior Manager in Greenwich, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at GSM London full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    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.

    Cons

    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.


  4. Helpful (9)

    "Miserable, health hazard (mentally and physically) and politically toxic."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - IT Operations in London, England
    Former Employee - IT Operations in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    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.

    Cons

    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.


  5. Helpful (11)

    "Some good outcomes for students but lacks quality"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    - 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.

    Cons

    - 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.


  6. Helpful (12)

    "Stay away"

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

    Pros

    They pay well; then again, they have to, to attract anyone half decent.

    Cons

    Management and leadership
    Very inflexible
    Lots of egos, noise but very little improvement
    More resignations than I have ever witnessed elsewhere; most people choose to leave immediately! More people resign within their probation than you can imagine
    Benefits? LOL....1% pension, travel reimbursement between campuses, childcare vouchers and eye care vouchers
    The policies seem to be interpreted to suit the individual/situation/mood
    Fast becoming a brain-drained organisations; those who have any self-respect, need for work-life balance or not wanting to commit career suicide soon see the light and bow out.
    Crazy hours; their 'core hours' are 08:30 to 20:00, but you are expected to work 40 hours between 09:00 and 18:00
    More changes than a sick baby
    Lack of respect
    Staff security is non-existent - don't mention fights!
    No communication, team spirit; walk through a random office and the majority have their headphones on, listening to music
    Management seems to focus on perfecting how they can make their employees' lives hell, get rid of people, extort etc.

    Advice to Management

    Where do I begin?


  7. Helpful (6)

    "Challenging during a period of growth and change but with opportunities to contribute to shaping/developing outcomes"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at GSM London full-time

    Pros

    Opportunity to be involved in the development initiatives of an organisation that not everyone has a chance to experience in their careers if they only work for established institutions that resist change and innovation often at all costs. Although increased bureaucracy comes with growth, there are still opportunities in a smaller organisation to be closer to and more involved in the decision-making processes than in a larger similar sector organisation. This means that greater personal professional development and achievement is possible more quickly for those that are comfortable working in a changing environment and up for new challenges.

    Cons

    Rapid growth and a high level of staff turnover have led in recent years to an inconsistency of approach to strategic decision making and resultant poor communications between senior level management and wider staff body. This makes it difficult to plan ahead or to be confident about the ability of staff to deliver business as usual without the fear of sudden business process changes being rolled out without consultation. With tight delivery timeframes, often in response to changes, it can be difficult to have confidence that ongoing good performance will be recognised by management and feel a sense of achievement from reaching goals when there is often a moving target.

    Advice to Management

    Prioritise developing a fit-for purpose communications strategy and associated functions across staff at all levels of the organisation. Much dissatisfaction due to lack of information or misunderstanding about senior management priorities and decision making could be avoided with greater transparency and basic communication about change. It would help to retain committed, high calibre staff who may otherwise leave with negative views unnecessarily, since there are good oportunities and successes to be gained by those who stay long enough.

  8. Helpful (13)

    "Fraudulent and Unethical"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at GSM London full-time

    Pros

    Apparently all the fake reviews

    Cons

    Poor leadership, management is unreasonable in expectations placed upon their employees, employees are unappreciated, students are not happy and receive poor education while executives get rich off tax payers money, this school is a scam and a awful place to work.

    Advice to Management

    Keep listening to all your fake reviews, your company is 1/5 stars, very poor management skills - unhappy employees


  9. Helpful (10)

    "A place built on lies and only making money"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Management in Greenford, England
    Former Employee - Management in Greenford, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at GSM London full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Perfect place for brown nosers. It can be a fantastic place of education once it was before. they want to grow. ( but with an attitude of "yesterday" very quickly)

    Cons

    This college has become a place of get out of here quick for students and working staff alike. Most of the picture portraited by marketing department is manufactured by top management. They lie all way just to make money and bring anyone with holding a Student Loan. Just to give a small tiny example; back in 2013 they introduced new programmes called "Events Management" but this course was not designated by SLC yet, an internal email memo circulated by head management to all finance department staff members to what to say and answer any student whom wanted to study this programme. Students were told to lie SLC that they were studying someother programme after that school will validate their SLC to withdraw their fee funds and release their maintenance money.
    Just a tiny example what this college will do for money from taxpayers.
    This college is for profit only and nothing else.
    If you are working down the chain, you will have no value.. They will lie to your face blatantly that they care for you.
    Place is full of high paid contractors and problem fixers.
    GSM London do not trust their own staff and no formal training given. You are expected to know it all otherwise exit door is pointed that is unless if you are close to someone from upper management and talking their voice.
    Students are cheated out from their studies, Different levels of treatment to different types of student. For example; students from certain parts of the world (i.e Middleeast) are treated differently from others. They even manufacture attendance records for UKBA. They even print double Student ID cards to for them so that someother person will come and swipe instead. They (school) assign external people to do these students assignments and sit their exams. Management will go blind eye on all these just because they paid their fees in full.

    These are only small examples that are only scratching the surface.
    HR department of GSM London is the biggest joke in entire UK. HR is there to defend the top management and directors. Nothing is confidential, they will tell anything and everthing about you even if you told them not to, they will even talk about as it was a funny joke and story.
    You will not get promoted unless you are a brown noser. They will award your manager big bonuses but not to you.

    Advice to Management

    There are so many people left you and you are insisting that it is a good thing. Stop and look around whats going on. Train your managers and directors to be. They earn the highest salaries in London and yet do nothing but talk in meetings about facts & figures and yet not even capable of checking the validity of it by themselves. Employ peoples' person; not the one of those only says what you want to hear.


  10. Helpful (15)

    "Not a good company, neither a good place to work."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at GSM London full-time

    Pros

    You get paid, like any other job.

    Cons

    Very poorly run company. Management, doesn't know the first thing about running a business. (The irony)

    Employee motivation is unheard of: It feels like the company is working against you not with you.

    The organization is extremely cheap: Building looks like it’s on the verge of collapsing

    Out of date technology

    No security

    No opportunities for students, I don’t necessarily agree with the review that states students go on to start promising careers. They are offered false hope.

    They don't value students/education; they just see numbers and pound signs. Penny pinching company!

    Advice to Management

    Your employees are dissatisfied, and so are customers……….. I mean students.


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