Macmillan Cancer Support Reviews

Updated 4 Jun 2020

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2.5
32%
Recommend to a Friend
41%
Approve of CEO
Macmillan Cancer Support CEO Lynda Thomas
Lynda Thomas
135 Ratings
Pros
Cons
  • "structures in work as with any large charity(in 32 reviews)

  • "Poorly thought out decisions are being made by senior management(in 25 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. "Amazing Caring Charity"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Volunteering Development Adviser in Brighton, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Macmillan Cancer Support full-time

    Pros

    Good working arrangements and excellent well being support

    Cons

    At the moment a fixed term contract but would benefit from a secure full time contract if possible

    Macmillan Cancer Support2020-04-28
  2. Helpful (2)

    "Disappointing and underwhelming."

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

    I worked at Macmillan Cancer Support full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The Thames River location. Transport links.

    Cons

    Riddled with wannabe Dominic Cummings types (except he is clever).

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    Macmillan Cancer Support2020-06-01
  3. Helpful (9)

    "Will be lucky to survive CV19"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Head 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Macmillan Cancer Support full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Well known charity and brand. Resources available - policy/evidence/impact/strategy/performance/planning/direct service/digital/IT/comms(internal-external)/public affaires/marketing/community fundraising/corporate FR/high value/legacy/mass/professional learning and development/ specialist advisors/ GPAdvisors/legal/tax/accounts/expenditure/service operations/events/ money at work/ quality /integrated performance measures/programme management office/media/volunteering-central control and geographical/ engagement national and local teams/ geographic teams in UKPartnerships/ innovations and commercial team/ brand/ Horizon Centre/ learn zone/ be.macmillan/ on line help/ call centre help line/ cancer environments and capital builds and design architecture/ our voice staff support/ eHNA team and I’m sure I’ve missed a few resources which people deliver at Macmillan. The business model of being 98% public funded means autonomy of delivery and lobbying of political institutes. The amount of money raised and given to Cancer Service Operation is substantial meaning geographical service deli can be effective in meeting needs of People Living with Cancer, NHS change programme and future planning for improvement. The wealth of knowledge and experience in the organisation and geographies is impressive People affected by cancer really are helped - the services that geographical teams have established are excellent and the partnership the teams enjoy with the NHS amongst others is well established and a huge pro! In lock down the organisation made sure everyone was working from home and established regular EST catch ups to help with difficult impact that CV 19 had hit Macmillan with - a FR portfolio based on face to face and mass events and a business model requiring public funds.

    Cons

    The size of the organisation means that there are so many good meaning people working very hard at duplicate non integrated work programmes. Getting a decision from the Executive Team is almost impossible and that has become a costly joke in the organisation. Waiting for a decision impacts on relationships in the geographies and has a knock on effect in losing credibility in the real world. Managers and heads are impotent when it comes to making decisions too as everything has to go directors and depending on which director gets on with who generally decisions are eventually made without rationale and at times difficult to understand. The IPMP work is so convoluted and difficult it takes away any true partnership working and there is no accountability at head level because so many people have to sign it off - usually they have little understanding of the business. Fundraising is so far away from CSO that it’s like 2 organisations - this weakness clearly exposed during lockdown. Relationship working takes trust and time yet Macmillan directors have to have this continually pointed out to them. There is little understanding about the difference between Norther Ireland and England with focus always on England rather than the nations. The advancement in Wales is not celebrated and the work achieved with the Scottish government- because it was done locally and not through the centre - has never been celebrated. The People directorate and HR in particular is over staffed with inexperienced people. Grievances are common and the policy leaves both the management and Macmillan exposed. HR is not fit for purpose. There is no induction process; L&D internally is hit and miss. As a manager I have no idea who has missed/attended whatever actually is running for L&D and I don’t have analysis of how my staff are working or looking at career progression across the organisation, further impeding any joint working and understanding of the business. The business model - whilst offering organisational autonomy is one of the biggest risks - as shown during Cv19. The lack of understanding of the business or using the skills of their staff make EST vulnerable. The Trustees appear limited in what they do bourne out by thinking a COO and Strategy team can right a sinking ship, when they have no idea what actually happens with PLWC and the NHS. Leading charity and FR strategy is fine but the context and business knowledge is needed for context and credibility. The organisation does not follow business tenets and is so large that I’m not sure the voice of cancer is really heard. If it was - why weren’t CSO colleagues asked to input into the new Mac strategy. Why are strategists delivering operational directives that are so alien we may as well just started a new charity! Because we’ve lost relationship and credibility in the last 2 years it’s really hard now during CV19 to affect the changes we should be doing and achieving across Macmillan. Huge restricted funds are sitting there or being given back - no engagement between Exec and Directors level to make the most out of these. Staff morale is low because HR is not functioning at EST level and the inexperienced are offering advice and interpretations to policy. HR do not have the well being of staff at hand- basics of HR are lacking Challenging director level is moot.

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    Macmillan Cancer Support2020-05-03
  4. Helpful (9)

    "Deliver first, ask questions later, questions never answered"

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

    I have been working at Macmillan Cancer Support full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Macmillan support such great causes and help those in real need. To see the impact from what we do is humbling. More needs to be done to highlight the great work we do. There is a lot of helpful people within the organisation.

    Cons

    Delivery is the only aim of focus, career paths and training are seen as nice to haves, only once you've delivered. But the constant stream of delivery and poor planning means there's never time to do anything other than deliver under pressure. You're expected to hit the ground running and deliver from the very first week. New starters are thrown right in, and colleagues barely have any time to help out as onboarding is never planned in such a way to help introduce employees gradually to understand the systems. It's more on the job training from day 1. This is where onboarding and training is needed, but managers don't have time to manage teams in such a way, as they already have project work and have to focus on delivering that. The only time that is set aside for training is the mandatory training every employee has to complete, but this training has nothing to do with their role, such as how to deliver a presentation. When people make mistakes, it's usually down to not knowing the process or what they are actually responsible for, but this is never outlined from the start, but because you're a professional, you're expected to know everything form the off. A lot of money is spent on failed projects, expensive contractors and needless third parties because of poor management. Contractors are brought in to support projects year or year, but managed correctly, full time members of staff could be used to save on costs. Contractors are usually supplied with the latest tech, but full time employees are left with whatever is hanging around in the office. We are constantly reminded how we are a charity and how we can't afford pay rises, which would be fair if we didn't see so much money wasted in other areas. Roles are created for specific people on a high wage, and day rate contractors are employed on a short term basis, but extended for several months, even though they do they same work as full time employees. No matter if you deliver big or small, overachieve or underachieve, you'll be recognised the same, which is hardly motivational. Staff surveys are ignored, and for any low scores, managers will directly ask members why they personally gave negative scores, but take no action, instead deflect issues back to staff to come up with ways to fix the problems. Delivery is king, and your personal wellbeing comes second. Despite being encouraged to improve your wellbeing, it's impossible to manage when deadlines are set even when you are the one who says how long things will take, your professional opinion and experience doesn't matter. There are a lot of handy articles on the internal comms, but we never have time to take a break and actually follow any guidelines which are encouraged. Other departments look like a lot of fun to work in, but not in tech. The pressure to deliver will always trump your career and wellbeing in this directorate.

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    Macmillan Cancer Support2020-04-07
  5. Helpful (10)

    "Does not listen to staff at all - when issues are raised they are ignored"

    1.0
    • 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 Macmillan Cancer Support full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    34.5 hour working week - nothing else (although can't always work that in my role so taking TOIL)

    Cons

    Management who are not qualified in healthcare at all making decisions about cancer patients based on IT solutions when the majority of cancer patients are in the older age bracket, many of whom don't have IT. Macmillan has based IT solutions on it's younger staff's capabilities and not it's patients. When I have raised issues I repeatedly have to go higher and higher and higher up the food chain to even begin to get someone to listen, let alone do something about my concerns. There is only lip service to a "speaking up" project. A pointless waste of my time. You will get any job in this organisation if you hold a Prince 2 project management qualification and your face fits, regardless of any clinical cancer knowledge, skills, experience - not much good to anyone as far as I can see. Many years ago it was a lovely place to work and has dropped into the abyss in the last few years. Do your mental health a favour and never get a job here. I doubt the amazing reputation that Macmillan has built up over the years will last much longer.

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    Macmillan Cancer Support2020-04-23
  6. "Macmillan is an amazing cause, with supportive and enthusiastic colleagues"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Communications in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Macmillan Cancer Support full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Supportive and enthusiastic colleagues Inspiring cause Flexible working Good work/life balance

    Cons

    Decisions can be slow & impact on pace of work Complicated org structure to get your head around

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    Macmillan Cancer Support2020-03-11
  7. Helpful (15)

    "Worst company I've ever worked for"

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

    I worked at Macmillan Cancer Support full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Flexible working arrangements (depending on department) Office was easly commutable for me

    Cons

    Working at Macmillan has been hands down the worst 2 years of my life. I guess I justified staying there as long as I did because I liked to imagine that we are there to help people, and the cause behind the charity is one worth staying for. Oh dear, how I wish I'd left as soon as I realised what a miserable and horrible place this is to work for. Senior management does not care whatsoever about their staff's wellbeing- there is no team morale, no support. When I started I was promised a development route as I was keen to progress and develop in my area, but my requests of this being honoured has been shut down repeteadly over the 2 years, saying "do not need training". I had no development plan with my line manager, despite of me asking for this. The bullying is so apparent and common that it has basically became the normal behaviour. Talking to my collegaues and reading the reviews here seems to suggest the same thing across the whole organisation. I was eventually bullied so much that I had to go to therapy. My confidence was completely destroyed and I struggled to find the energy to look for another job as I felt that I was worthless- all thanks to my managers. The London office is horrible and dirty, no meeting rooms available, the IT desperately needs updating. There is no decision making process in place, nothing gets done on time and people don't take responsibility for their actions, but pass it down. (hence the reason why there's no decisions being made) Macmillan basically has way too much money and don't know what to do with it because they don't care about their employees, therefore everyone is leaving as soon as they can. (Example: within a year, 13 people left out of around 40) Honestly, this company is a disgrace and I'm ashamed that I was part of helping them waste money for 2 years. If you care about your professional development and your mental health, avoid this company.

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    Macmillan Cancer Support2020-04-02

    Macmillan Cancer Support Response

    May 27, 2020Employee Engagement Manager

    Thank you for taking the time to leave a review. I’m really sorry to hear that you didn’t have a positive experience of working here and I’m particularly concerned by your comments about bullying. We do not tolerate any form of bullying at Macmillan and we have mandatory training to ensure everyone working here is clear on the behaviours that are not appropriate, and what someone can do if they come across them. This includes speaking to one of the representatives from our employee forum, Our Voice, who have had specific training in this area. Although we encourage employees to prioritise their own development and we have a range of courses and resources to support them with this, line managers should be taking an active role by having regular conversations with their team members and discussing development plans as part of this. With regards to mental health and wellbeing, we place a strong emphasis on employee wellbeing – especially in these unprecedented times – and we’ve developed a wide range of wellbeing resources for employees to take advantage of. These include an workshops and courses, an Employee Assistance Programme, Mental Health First Aiders and Wellbeing Champions, as well as a Safeguarding team that’s available around the clock. In our latest employee survey, we asked employees whether they felt they were being supported during the Coronavirus pandemic and it is reassuring to see that 88% voted positively. It would be helpful to talk with you about your experience of working here, if you could email us at glassdoor@macmillan.org.uk, as I’d hope the experience you describe does not reflect the experience of the majority of our employees and your feedback will help us to ensure that’s the case moving forwards.

  8. Helpful (13)

    "Organisation has lost its way"

    2.0
    • 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 Macmillan Cancer Support full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Has the potential to be a supportive employer Some flexible working Good benefits Talented non manager colleagues Great cause

    Cons

    Over the past couple of years the organisation has gone really downhill. A lot of talented and experienced individuals have left the organisation owing to constant restructures and poor talent management. It has also led to low morale and poor productivity across the organisation. Little action has been taken on consistently poor staff survey results and organisation has done little to understand or address the issues impacting staff. Restructures have been poorly implemented and handled with little understanding of the roles and functions across the organisation which will likely lead to further negative changes for staff. It has also eroded trust between senior management and employees. There is also poor talent mangement of existing staff and little value is placed on internal knowledge and expertise which adds to the overall lack of direction at a strategic level. This is also not helped by senior leadership being out of touch with the rest of the organisation. Decisions are often made, then changed and then reversed adding to the lack of direction and duplication across the organisation.

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    Macmillan Cancer Support2020-03-04
  9. "Great place to work"

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

    I worked at Macmillan Cancer Support full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    People are positive and great to work with.

    Cons

    Change can happen either too fast or too slow with little communication in between.

    Continue reading
    Macmillan Cancer Support2020-02-25
  10. Helpful (7)

    "No prospect for IT/Digital professionals"

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

    I worked at Macmillan Cancer Support full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    - Great co-workers. I made friends for life - Less pressure compare to startups, agencies and large corporations - Amazing cause

    Cons

    Based on my first couple of years, I would give them 5/5 without hesitation, but unfortunately things have changed dramatically since. In the past 4 years, the Technology department, particularly in the Digital team have lost 80% of their work force and haven't bothered to replace any of them. The amount of knowledge and personalities lost have been staggering. However, the directors and senior management kept insisting that millions of £ will be invested in the department. The mother of all lies that was! If you are an IT professional who is eager to learn new skills or wanting to progress in your career, then avoid this place like the coronavirus. Things were looking bleak when I left, but now things are desperate from what I gather from my former colleagues. The majority of senior staff have been DEMOTED, some have been made REDUNDANT and the worst of all, existing staff have been asked to submit an essay-type self-assessment document to HR in order to justify their worth for Macmillan, which must be very humiliating. Therefore, based on the current state of affairs, I will give them 1/5. However, Macmillan still is one of the biggest and most loved charities in the UK (and rightly so) and it has a potential to be great again, but that will never happen unless some smart people take over from the current, clueless leadership and management team.

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    Macmillan Cancer Support2020-03-25

    Macmillan Cancer Support Response

    May 27, 2020Employee Engagement Manager

    Hi there Thank you for leaving a review – and I’m sorry to hear that your time working here didn’t end on a positive note. As part of our strategy, we have been looking at the role that technology needs to play in helping us to provide the best possible support for people living with cancer – this has meant some changes to the Technology department, to ensure it can work as efficiently and effectively as possible, but there hasn’t been anything like an 80% reduction in the workforce and it shouldn’t have felt like this. We’d be keen to hear more about your experience, if you’re happy to continue the conversation by emailing us at glassdoor@macmillan.org.uk. In terms of development, we recognise how important this is and we’ve done a lot of work in the last year to help ensure that everyone working here is empowered and suitably equipped to prioritise their personal growth and learn throughout their time at Macmillan. We have a range of workshops and courses that anyone can register to take part in, and the digital team also has access to a bespoke online digital skills platform. As part of our digital transformation, we are upskilling and training the team on new platforms and systems to create opportunities and further prioritise career development, and we’ve also brought in expert resources to upskill the internal teams by working alongside each other. We also encourage and facilitate action learning sets and knowledge sharing groups so that everyone has the opportunity to learn and problem solve on the job. Although some of this work is currently on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve prioritised employee wellbeing and there are still a range of digital courses and resources available around mental health, resilience and remote working, to ensure all of our employees have the support they need to look after themselves in these challenging times.

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