One Year Later Your Efforts To Improve Workplace Satisfaction Continue To Bear Fruit

That last time we examined the value of improving workplace satisfaction within the orchestra field via grassroots efforts, we saw some improvement. A little more than a year later, it is time to see where things are related to your efforts on increasing the quantity and frequency of reviews from arts administrators and staffers about their respective institutions at

The last time we checked in, there were 32 orchestras with at least one review within the last 12 months and there are now 34. Additionally, four groups have more than double the number of reviews. This a tremendous jump from last time and although the overall numbers of reviews per group seem to be in the beginning stages, this large of a jump is terrific progress.

Note: all ratings use a 0.0 – 5.0 scale.

  1. Alabama Symphony Orchestra: 1 review; 3.0 (no record from last overview)
  2. Atlanta Symphony Orchestra: 3 reviews; 2.4, no change from last overview
  3. Baltimore Symphony Orchestra: 7 reviews; was 4.2, now 3.7
  4. Boston Symphony Orchestra: 26 reviews; 3.7 no change from last overview
  5. Charlotte Symphony Orchestra: 1 review; 5.0 (no record from last overview)
  6. Chicago Symphony Orchestra: 19 reviews; 3.7, no change from last overview
  7. Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra: 6 reviews; was 4.6, now 4.2
  8. Cleveland Orchestra: 8 reviews, was 3.4, now 3.6
  9. Colorado Symphony Orchestra: 6 reviews; was 3.3, now 3.0
  10. Dallas Symphony Orchestra: 13 reviews; was 2.6, now 3.4
  11. Detroit Symphony Orchestra:10 reviews; was 2.9 now 3.2
  12. Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra: 8 reviews; was 2.0, now 2.5
  13. Grand Rapids Symphony: 5 reviews; 3.3, no change from last overview
  14. Houston Symphony Orchestra: 5 reviews; 4.0, no change from last overview
  15. Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra: 9 reviews; 4.4, no change from last overview
  16. Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra: 3 reviews; 3.7, no change from last overview
  17. Lansing Symphony Orchestra: 2 reviews; 3.6 no change from last overview
  18. Los Angeles Philharmonic: 34 reviews (more than x2 increase!); was 3.3, now 4.2
  19. Lubbock Symphony Orchestra: 4 reviews; 4.2 (no record from last overview)
  20. Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra: 2 reviews: 2.0, no change from last overview
  21. Minnesota Orchestra: 7 reviews; was 4.7, now 4.6
  22. Nashville Symphony Orchestra: 13 reviews (more than x2 increase!); was 3.0, now 3.8
  23. New York Philharmonic: 10 reviews; was 3.9, now 4.2
  24. Pacific Symphony Orchestra: 7 reviews (more than x2 increase!); was 3.9, now 2.6
  25. Philadelphia Orchestra: 11 reviews; 3.2 no change from last overview
  26. Phoenix Symphony Orchestra: 4 reviews; was 4.0, now 3.7
  27. Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra: 3 reviews: was 4.0, now 3.6
  28. Quad City Symphony Orchestra: 1 review: 5.0 no change from last overview
  29. San Diego Symphony Orchestra: 4 reviews; 2.7 no change from last overview
  30. San Francisco Symphony Orchestra27 reviews (more than x2 increase!); was 3.1 now 2.0
  31. Seattle Symphony Orchestra: 7 reviews; 3.7 no change from last overview
  32. Louis Symphony: 5 reviews; 4.8 no change from last overview
  33. Toledo Symphony Orchestra: 6 reviews; 3.1 no change from last overview
  34. Virginia Symphony Orchestra: 3 reviews; 3.2 no change from last overview

Looking Ahead

Clearly, your efforts continue to bear Adaptistration People 023fruit; as such, it is more important than ever to continue in this direction in order to begin implementing positive change by making sure more orchestra managers are aware that something like exists and can be used by both current and former employees.

To that end, be sure you reach out and encourage your colleagues to leave reviews for their respective employers; it will only help accelerate progress.

Why This Matters

Regular readers know that the topic of Workplace Satisfaction is one of the more popular here at Adaptistration and even though it continues to remain firmly swept under the rug for the field as a whole, that doesn’t mean you can’t do something about it.

To that end, serves as a useful benchmark for gauging current and previous employee satisfaction and after a bit of research, it turns out there are enough orchestra employers listed in their database to produce a worthwhile overview.

Granted, there are certainly critics of services like, which allow members to post review content anonymously, but some Google sleuthing turns up more favorable reviews than not.

Come Back Friday For Opera Organizations

Between the second and third installments, the orchestra-only list added so many new groups, it made sense to split the opera organizations into a separate article.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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