Microsoft

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Microsoft Reviews

Updated March 4, 2015
Updated March 4, 2015
2,318 Reviews
3.0
2,318 Reviews
Rating Trends

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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Satya Nadella
2,318 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Really good work-life balance compared to other tech companies of the same caliber (in 859 reviews)

  • You will get the opportunity to work with smart people solving real world problems (in 991 reviews)


Cons
  • Work life balance is not good in some places but it really depends on your role (in 552 reviews)

  • Performance review system basically encourage competition inside the team (in 400 reviews)

More Highlights

2,318 Employee Reviews Back to all Reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Very group dependent, but still not what it used to be...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Principal Operations Manager in Redmond, WA
    Current Employee - Principal Operations Manager in Redmond, WA

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Most of the groups have a high degree of flexibility around work, allowing you to manage your life and work. The pay is pretty good, as well as the benefits still aren't bad.

    Cons

    There are some groups that still are very old-school and frown on working anywhere other than the office for 12 hours a day. Some groups are simply so over worked that even with the flexibility it's difficult to find balance. The benefits are not what they used to be.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    When comparing compensation and benefits the benchmark should be other large tech companies and not fortune 500 companies. Saying you're still better than X Fortune 500 company doesn't hold a candle to Microsoft's main competitors. It's also insulting to cut employee benefits because of the "extreme cost increases and exposure" and then two weeks later announce record profits and cash holdings.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Strange Brew

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Product Marketing Manager in Bellevue, WA
    Former Employee - Senior Product Marketing Manager in Bellevue, WA

    I worked at Microsoft full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Vast amount of interesting career paths and opportunities, generally bright and motivated people

    Cons

    The old culture is still extant- Microsoft is kind of a career Galapagos, in that you're really only adapted to the MS culture if you stay. The job experience there is not entirely well regarded by other innovative tech companies.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Need to eliminate the institutional career bureaucratic motive that is focused on the next performance review instead of aligning around strategic objectives and delivery of results.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Microsoft Review

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Human Resources in Redmond, WA
    Current Employee - Human Resources in Redmond, WA

    I have been working at Microsoft

    Pros

    A great place to work, the people are amazing and definitely smart. The ability to move across the company exist and the experience to grow both your personal resume and the businesses in which you work can be opportune.

    Cons

    Unfortunately all the above is true but very few people understand how to navigate the system in order to be truly successful. This is especially true in the non producing roles (outside of sales and engineering) were development is based on "owning your own career". What this translates into is an organization that doesn't fully know how to develop it's people and/or how to maximize their full potential. In a competitive market such as we have today, excellent people will continue to be leave and/or be wooed away by competitors.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Overall Management is heading in the right direction and I would suggest ways to make the shift happen more quickly. A few thoughts: Consider how to fully eliminate the stack ranking and impact models of assessing performance. Also consider how to engage the mass population of employees to get them focused and energized about the wonderful products and service Microsoft has to offer. There's lots of grumblings and discontentment, mainly swirling around lack of clarity from the individual (both IC's and managers) on how they roles impact the big picture.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
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  5.  

    Not bad if you're in the right group.

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

    I have been working at Microsoft

    Pros

    Seattle is a great place to live, work, and play
    Good energy around the company with Satya as the new CEO
    Some new products are sparking interest - Band, Surface, Azure
    Good work life balance and benefits

    Cons

    Lots of layers / orchestration/ politics
    Sometimes different product groups are not aligned and actually compete with each other
    The behavior /attitude changes at the top haven't always trickled down to the rank and file.
    Not a great brand reputation with consumers
    Spotty management - there's really good and really bad managers

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Drive for more integration across teams and products
    Invest in training for managers, leaders, and individual contributors
    Be more bold and 'risky' with marketing and tactics

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  6.  

    Sales Desk Associate

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Contractor - Sales Desk Associate in Bellevue, WA
    Current Contractor - Sales Desk Associate in Bellevue, WA

    I have been working at Microsoft as a contractor (more than a year)

    Pros

    -Great opportunity to learn about the Microsoft product suite
    -Amazing connections with peers: everyone that works here as an SDA or Sr. SDA is incredibly kind and welcoming. People often get together outside of work and no one is socially awkward
    -Great "Microsoft" perks: ability to basically request any day off, free tea/coffee/drinks, great in-house cafeteria, free parking, relaxed dress code
    -Overtime rate is 1.5x and is given on an adequate basis (but you have to ask for it + be approved for it)

    Cons

    -Training has changed a lot and is not as effective as it used to be, causing a lot of confusion
    -Management likes to complicate processes and change a lot of work systems and then set ridiculously high expectations for how many documents should be done (emphasizing quantity vs quality)
    -Contractors (Volt) have NO idea how to handle the new contract changes to this department and changes are not communicated to workers. Contract changes began in July 2014 and changed the entire structure here. For close to 4 months leadership kept saying they had no knowledge of what these changes would mean and didn't tell us anything.

     Here is an Example: You sign a 12 month contract to work here and have to compete with your fellow hiring group members to get a 6 month extension to your contract. After that extension you have to take 6 months off and management almost expects you to come back. You are not told if you get your extension until 3-4 weeks prior to the end of your contract (or less).

    -This department may move to a "Managed" contract but management is not forthright with telling you about these changes and they are essentially building the airplane as it is flying with this. No one understands the requirements necessary to move to this service and it is very complicated.
    -There is no long term growth in this department unless the managed contract is approved. All senior members on the team got "in" before the contract changes in July 2014 were made.
    -The entire department is attempting to "work around" the Microsoft contract-worker changes and I get an uneasy feeling about how they're trying to make this work in their favor (taking advantage of cheaper workers instead of FTEs)

    Other "contractor" cons:
    -No paid sick days or vacation days
    -Volt's benefits aren't the best
    -Reduced pay under contractor
    -Communication about contract changes is severely lacking

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    HIRE MORE PEOPLE! The morale has been dropping since the contract changes came into place and there has been a mass exodus of people leaving in recent months. Be more open to talking about the managed contract process with the team and stop hiding information from us. Stop setting such ridiculously high expectations on your team when people are leaving steadily every month. There's no way to accomplish what you want.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Wonderful place to work.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Program Manager in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Program Manager in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Microsoft

    Pros

    I loved being around smart people every day. A wonderful environment for learning and trying to achieve goals.

    Cons

    Didn't like being time constrained on certain projects, but all in all there aren't very many con's.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You have a good system. Keep doing what you are doing and then everyone should be fine.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    A sometimes intellectually challenging but always toxic work environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Director/General Manager in Redmond, WA
    Former Employee - Senior Director/General Manager in Redmond, WA

    I worked at Microsoft full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    *Some* smart people to work with, but you have to look long and hard to find them.
    Challenging problems to work on, but finding them is getting harder and harder.
    Relative autonomy if you do good work (but don't dream of working from home regularly).
    Good pay and reasonable benefits, *if* you've been there long enough.

    Cons

    Incompetent leadership (even post Ballmer), with many leaders promoted from an internal "old boys network." Hard for everyone else to advance beyond a certain level.
    Zero leadership accountability (but great skill at buck-passing).
    No coherent or executable vision (eg, compare Microsoft's grand aspirations for the future of its mobile business with the reality of the marketplace).
    Size makes it hard for good new ideas to break through bureaucracy, processes and divisional "not invented here" syndromes.
    Widespread discrimination against female employees in mid level positions (and a bulletproof glass ceiling except for a few token appointments).
    One of the worst healthcare plans in the tech industry (used to be by far the best), and relatively poor work/life balance. HR department, once one of Microsoft's secret weapons, now very weak.
    Cares little about retaining the best and brightest (many of whom have left the company).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Microsoft is only as good as its people. Start treating them with respect, promote on merit not politics or nepotism, and make an effort to retain great employees. Exit businesses that are money pits. Reinstate the old healthcare plan. Who knows, some of the amazing employees who quit may consider returning.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    Good people bad management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer II in Redmond, WA
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer II in Redmond, WA

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Talented engineers are all around. Sadly slowed down by legacy tools, lame higher levels of management, frugal admins for computer hardware

    Cons

    Incompetent people higher up in the management chain don't get weeded out quick enough

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    We should get better internal tools and more powerful computers

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Great Company

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

    I have been working at Microsoft

    Pros

    Great company with lots of opportunities for new roles.

    Cons

    Great company at the moment and no negative comments.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  11.  

    some teams are moving too slow

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Development Engineer (SDE) II in Redmond, WA
    Former Employee - Software Development Engineer (SDE) II in Redmond, WA

    I worked at Microsoft

    Pros

    work & life balance, enough time to ramp up

    Cons

    does not feel the ownership of the product

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    break the company into several small companies

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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