Towers Perrin

  www.towersperrin.com
  www.towersperrin.com

Towers Perrin Reviews

71 Reviews
3.6
71 Reviews
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Towers Perrin CEO John Haley
John Haley
5 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • It was a great place, with cool work, and generally great people (in 7 reviews)

  • Fair work-life balance maintained (in 4 reviews)


Cons
  • Work/life balance issues, lack of opportunities to approach work creatively (in 10 reviews)

  • Long hours and high expectations (in 7 reviews)

More Highlights

14 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Consultant (past employee)

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

    I worked at Towers Perrin

    Pros

    Large global firm with many opportunities to work with varied teams. Many challenges and learning opportunities. Built many strong client relationships that have continued on to friendships after my years at TP (now Towers Watson). I met some really nice people there.

    Cons

    Very competitive work environment. Also, if you are a consultant, the only option to move up is to sell, sell, sell...

    They have a 360 review process, but I experienced a Principal who actually said one thing to me and turned around to my manager as an official 360 review comment, and said the opposite (which was inaccurate, yet my boss at the time took that higher-level person's point at truth). Several consultants in my practice were okay with throwing anyone under the bus to protect themselves - low ethics). My direct manager was in another practice and in another state, so this person didn't understand what I did, yet had control over my rating and raises.

    Local HR was useless, as I had to go to them with the bizarre things I was dealing with internally, yet nothing was done. Very sad, disheartening experience for me overall with this firm. I felt I was treated very unfairly and was simply a number - the executive leaders really could have cared less about you as a person when it really came down to it. But I am stronger now because of it, so I cannot complain too much.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't take someone's comments as true no matter what. Always be open to your employee's truth about the other side of the story. My manager at TP seemed to just go with what someone said as the truth, due to their title, rather than seeing that their employee has another side and that maybe, that higher level person was unethical.

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

    At least it's a job

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Consultant in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Consultant in New York, NY

    I have been working at Towers Perrin

    Pros

    The people can be excellent

    Cons

    Upper management seems totally checked out at all times and it trickles down to every level of work. The merger has been especially poorly handled.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop just collecting a paycheck and engage in your job.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Intelligent employees, lack of work/life balance

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Associate in Washington, DC

    I have been working at Towers Perrin

    Pros

    Extremely motivated and intelligent employees

    Cons

    Lack of work/life balance, often long, inflexible hours

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If Towers Perrin has a desire to reduce turnover, especially at lower professional levels, consider work/life balance and other benefits that would help them compete with other companies in today's market

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Feel more like a salesperson than a consultant

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant

    I have been working at Towers Perrin

    Pros

    There are some really smart qualified consultants working here. If you're lucky you can surround yourself with people you trust.

    Cons

    For the last year, I feel like I just push "products" on our clients rather than provide them with quality consulting. I understand Towers is in the business to make money, but ever since the upcoming merger with Wyatt was announced in the summer, it seems to be the only driving force.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    FInd a way to make people want to work together as a team. The current sales goals and billable hour quota just encourages backstabbing.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    Interesting work, terrible lifestyle

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Associate in Arlington, VA
    Former Employee - Associate in Arlington, VA

    I worked at Towers Perrin

    Pros

    I was an Executive Compensation & Rewards Consultant, so my experience relates to that.
    PROS:
    - Work can be interesting at first
    - Some of the people you meet can be very nice
    - Pressure and time constraints force you to develop some great work skills
    - Exposure to clients or client interaction early on is great for people who have not experienced that
    - Some interesting training events
    - Decent healthcare
    - Pay was also decent

    Cons

    - Ridiculous work/life balance. You will be told upfront that it is not a "9 to 5 job", but there is little talk given to how ferocious the work can be. During winter, I entered work when it was dark, left when it was dark. 12 hour days are not uncommon, and neither are weekends. Expect to work a ton of hours if you plan on getting ahead.
    - Work becomes highly repetitive and frustrating as the months go by. Be prepared to do the same thing day after day, with increasing workloads and decreasing timeframes.
    - Billable hour model is a joke. A lot of your hours will be taken away if the client is new and the project was underbid and if managers have billable goals to meet. This impacts you negatively during your performance review.
    - Managers are more than ready to throw you under the bus if you mess up, and promotions seem heavily based on what they have to say about you. Treatment becomes wackier and wackier the more senior a person is; be expected to deal with certain personalities.
    - The client comes first, regardless of their ridiculous and often changing demands. This results in often wasted labor and labor well beyond the scope of work. Additionally, Towers Perrin never pushes back, so be expected to do the impossible on a normal basis.
    - Associates are pretty much tossed into the wild and told to sink or swim; if you are having problems, you are expected to fix them, regardless of what the client is asking.
    - Pay was decent, but not fluid enough. Promotions come late and almost as appeasements to lure you to stay in.
    - Initial bonus scheme was a joke: associates could make more money being paid time-and-a-half then receiving an end of the year bonus.
    - Vacations have to be scheduled way in advance, and be prepared to cancel them late notice or take some phone calls.
    - Inter-office politics requires you to either fit the Towers Perrin mold or fail to progress.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Actually focus on work/life balance instead of just paying lip service.
    Be dedicated, not enslaved to your job.
    Push for reasonable timeframes so Associates are happier and more driven to do your work.
    Be upfront about lifestyle.
    Raise pay to be commensurate with the amount of work.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    It's ok, but work life balance is hard with TW

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Actuarial Associate
    Current Employee - Actuarial Associate

    I have been working at Towers Perrin

    Pros

    Pay Competitive, benefits are ok.
    Solid consulting experience.
    BIg company and lots of travel and learning experience.
    Towers Watson !

    Cons

    Upcoming streamlining due to merger.
    poor work/life balance
    obsolete computer system.
    Pay freeze for a whole 1.5-2 years.
    Towers Watson !

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The senior management needs to be more transparent. The associates has no idea what is going on with the management and they don't seem to convey their message or care enough for their associates

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Towers Perrin has good people, but needs to free them to become more entrepreneurial.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant in New York, NY

    I have been working at Towers Perrin

    Pros

    Towers Perrin gives people clear line of sight between their individual goals and those of the organization. Towers Perrin does a good job of recruiting and hiring talented people. Towers Perrin also has some good intellectual capital.

    Cons

    Towers Perrin's senior management operate in a very parochial style. They don't give transparent information to even their senior consultants and they make major decisions without properly checking with the people that these decisions will most affect.

    Towers Perrin places great emphasis on compliance and timekeeping, and its consultants end up spending far more time than necessary on administrative tasks that keep them from their clients. People working here spend time feeding the system much more than the system supports them in their work.

    The reason for the emphasis on administrative tasks is because the top management feels that it "needs" to roll up financial information on a weekly basis because it doesn't trust its people to run their offices at the ground level as entrepreneurs would. Instead, all the information is funnelled to the top, where all major decisions trickle down in a highly filtered manner.

    Because justifications for major decisions appear so watered down, the firm feels to employees as if it has no strategy or underlying decision principles, which in turn causes major alignment issues.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Cut out the administrative load and free your people to focus on the market and their clients' needs. State a true strategy based on the firm's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, not just a pithy statement about what we do. Focus people's actions on broad strategic goals, then get out of peoples' way and let them accomplish their goals. Develop an organization that facilitates people getting their work done rather than burdening your people to feed top management's needs. If the organization let people operate more as entrepreneurs and less as minions, then you would free a lot of productive energy for people to succeed.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    Good for traditional HR lines of business and those joining from college/MBA or other consulting firms.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant in New York, NY

    I have been working at Towers Perrin

    Pros

    Well-known, reputable firm within its field. Well-established practice in traditional HR fields - executive compensation, health and welfare, retirement. Great support for mid-level consultants to balance work and life - especially at the age when people start to get married and have kids.

    Cons

    The firm is great for people hired from traditional routes - college, MBA - as well as lateral transfers from other consulting firms. Lateral hires from non-consulting backgrounds will have tough time navigating the bureacracies and the established networks - especially in this economy. Its non-traditional line of business faces difficulties during economic downturns as they are luxuries of clients' HR departments.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Staffing on assignments needs to be improved so that associates and consultants are better balanced.

    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Who you work with makes the biggest difference. Good boss = great job. Bad boss = hell job.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Consultant
    Former Employee - Consultant

    I worked at Towers Perrin

    Pros

    Working with bright and competent people who break new ground in their field.

    Cons

    Sweatshop of the industry. More work and more hours than the competition for same or less pay.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Need more realistic guidelines for handling and assigning work. And also for deciding who is capable of being a unit leader or leading and managing groups. I had a fabulous boss who retired. My new boss was neurotic and hypocritical and singlehandedly decimated our unit. Others in our unit were hired at a higher rate of pay than I started with, and consequently received higher wages for years while I was playing catch-up, for doing the same work.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    No Projects to Work on

    Former Employee - Application Developer in Makati City (Philippines)
    Former Employee - Application Developer in Makati City (Philippines)

    I worked at Towers Perrin full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Above average pay, mid-year and performance bonuses

    Cons

    Uptight management with malicious intentions towards subordinates, creating illusions of non-existing pressure

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