Playworks FAQ

All answers shown come directly from Playworks Reviews and are not edited or altered.

18 English questions out of 18

23 May 2019

What is health insurance like at Playworks?

Pros

You get to work in a high-need elementary school setting. Great opportunity to be of service to a city and to see what urban elementary education looks like. Opportunity to forge friendships and professional relationships with teachers and administration in your placement school. Fulfilling to be a part of children's lives, development, and education. The real high point of the job.

Cons

Low pay ($1028/mo, Georgia). Second job, familial assistance, or other subsidy most likely needed to support yourself. No health insurance High potential for stress due to the nature of working with large numbers of high-need children (disrespect, challenging and violent behavior, etc...) Management, while very knowledgeable, come across as being spread too thin. Are focused more on persueing their metrics than getting to know their employees and schools. An understandable issue if supervisors are dealing with similar issues as the coaches. "Low dignity" position. Combination of low pay, pressures and treatment from management, and "outsider" status in school can make for a lonely, difficult journey. I'm sure this varies from person-to-person and placement to placement.

Advice to Management

Reconsider where you are able to effectively expand, and what is appropriate financial treatment for coaches and other employees. When income needs to be supplemented in order to survive, performance will be poor and morale will be low.

No health insurance

23 May 2019

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11 August 2020

Does Playworks give time off to volunteer?

Pros

-Meaningful work - Professional and personal growth - Awesome office staff - Fun and engaging work - Benefits

Cons

- Americorps stipend and hours requirements - No paid time off - School placement - Little to no room for career advancement

- No paid time off

11 August 2020

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29 April 2019

How are senior leaders perceived at Playworks?

Pros

Fun job, great local support from managers, small team means you get experiences in many different roles, meaningful and impactful work.

Cons

Limited resources (it's a non profit), semi high turnover because it's a demanding job

Fun job, great local support from managers, small team means you get experiences in many different roles, meaningful and impactful work.

29 April 2019

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1 July 2020

What are some insights into the strategy or vision at Playworks?

Pros

•Positive, playful workplace culture. Occasional gatherings, trainings, games, and free food •Amazing, talented and mission driven colleagues •Equity team (black, brown and POC team members) provided free virtual consultation and training towards the end of my time at playworks, really bringing issues of racial equity and justice to the fore, and building people's knowledge and understanding across all regions and levels of the organization. It was fantastic, much needed, and made me proud to work there. • Some people have had amazing, long careers working there with seemingly endless advancement opportunity and internal hiring practices

Cons

•A long history of poor management and financial oversight. Running at a deficit for years, overly relying on school funding, which has recently resulted in laying off or furloughing 75% of staff across the country, but has also caused several rounds of layoffs even years before covid. •High turnover •Lack of staff and board diversity. Notably super white at the executive, director level and board levels. No meaningful steps or even conversations being had about diversity as an issue or a specific goal •HR clearly just supports and covers whatever leadership does...so I never felt comfortable talking to them about microaggressions or concerns I had about the organizational culture. With the hundreds of people furloughed and layed off, there was no exit interview, survey, or systematized effort to take people's feedback into account, which just goes to show you how undervalued staff are • Lack of transparency in decisionmaking, and a general practice of making decisions based on leadership's highly subjective, disorganized opinions, rather than a specific, consistent and communicated strategy • Runs like a family company, and cherry picks people to advance based on ability to tolerate chaos and other negative aspects of the culture, having a lack of work life balance, etc. Towards the end before layoffs it became subtly cutthroat. If you sucked up to key leadership and looked busy or important, you were liked/retained. • Not successful with fundraising, in terms of events or individual giving especially. We had to cancel lots of in person events, and had a poorly planned and rushed attempt to host a nationwide virtual event. We over promised and under delivered by ultimately postponing and hosting nothing...It also irritated me how committees were formed, then random groups would kick other people off of the committees, all basically operating again with a random, messy and cherry picking approach that was neither productive nor inclusive. • After the first furlough, hundreds of employees sat around being paid by PPP funding we got. Instead of meaningfully engaging everyone as much as possible, and focusing on providing people opportunities to contribute in different ways, those folks just sat around getting paid by the government but doing nothing, while a small group of staff were working virtually around the clock. No ability to delegate or manage people effectively.

Advice to Management

Honestly, Playworks seems like a lost cause, so you should probably just close up shop. Not all nonprofits can or should exist, and your history demonstrates that you're not able to plan strategically, respond to staff feedback, and do better so as to be a fiscally responsible or racially inclusive/diverse organization. Perhaps you should close operations and create space for other organizations in the sector.

• Lack of transparency in decisionmaking, and a general practice of making decisions based on leadership's highly subjective, disorganized opinions, rather than a specific, consistent and communicated strategy

1 July 2020

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23 May 2018

How are the career development opportunities at Playworks?

Pros

Playworks is fun and rewarding! I loved spending time with my coworkers every day and working together for good.

Cons

As with any nonprofit, career advancement can be tricky. There isn't always a clear path to promotion so you need to take extra steps to keep learning and growing. Playworks is working to improve this.

As with any nonprofit, career advancement can be tricky.

23 May 2018

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18 English questions out of 18