Towers Watson

www.towerswatson.com

Towers Watson Reviews

Updated January 28, 2015
Updated January 28, 2015
426 Reviews
3.4
426 Reviews
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Towers Watson CEO John Haley
John Haley
199 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • I like that they focus a lot on employee health and work/ life balance (in 30 reviews)

  • Flexible work environment depending upon the office and the manager (in 29 reviews)


Cons
  • A lot of reviews have quoted an excellent work/life balance but I don't see it (in 52 reviews)

  • No work life balance during peak seasons (in 12 reviews)

More Highlights

118 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 4 people found this helpful  

    Pension Analyst/Administrator - Pension Administration Group (PAG)

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Pension Analyst in Philadelphia, PA
    Current Employee - Pension Analyst in Philadelphia, PA

    I have been working at Towers Watson

    Pros

    Easy to get hired (most locations now focus on new hires who start as temps for 6 months or a year, which is great if you do not have experience, or they only hire those with a lot of experience in a rival company). The company is very flexible - you get 15 days of PTO from your date of hire and as long as you get your work done ahead of time, you can take them as needed. Also, the company recently changed their dress-code policy from business casual to allow you to wear jeans everyday if you wish (still under the business casual umbrella, though - clients do visit the offices and you should look put together). Also, working from home has not been an issue when I've needed to, but the company still likes you to be in the office on a regular basis.

    Cons

    Salary is much lower than the industry standard and negotiation of salary or requests for a raise are generally met with a "Nope". If you are a good, smart, hard-working employee, you generally get taken advantage of in terms of having to do a majority of the workload on teams, however, if you speak up about being overworked it's generally remedied pretty quickly. There is a billable hours requirement (which is standard for a majority of corporations), however, it is unattainable. For the lower level employees you are expected to have 1600 hours of BILLABLE time per fiscal year (ie., time the company can bill to a client for work you've done - if you don't have anything to do, you don't get billable hours). If you do the math on that 1600 hour goal, you need to get 6.7 hours of billable work per day MINIMUM, every single day of the week, WITHOUT taking account for holidays or PTO (or slow-periods within the company where your workload may be at a minimum, to no fault of the employee). In a nutshell, it is not an attainable goal for most people. Additionally, your billable hours goal is worth 70% of your yearly assessment and therefore greatly affects your promotion and salary increase possibilities. There is not a clear path of advancement and you are generally oblivious to what other departments do within the company (and therefore, you are not aware of the opportunities they may present to you). Finally, if you move voluntarily while employed for Towers Watson, do NOT expect a Cost of Living Adjustment to your salary.... even if you ask for it. The response will be "we didn't ask for you to move, you're not worth that to us".

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The CEO has been traveling all around the country for the last year (and will continue to do so in 2015) to introduce himself and "see what the people think" - the reality is that he gets to travel the country on the company's dime (including the travel expenses, meals, hotels, etc.) to pop into an office or two for a couple of hours where the employees aren't going to speak up about anything because nobody knows him on a day-to-day basis. I'm not saying that he is a bad guy in any way (I've never met the man), but this exercise is wasteful and futile. Reallocate those travel funds to pay your employees what they deserve - I guarantee your turn-over rate will decrease.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Benefit Advisor

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

    I worked at Towers Watson

    Pros

    Cleanest call center ever! Many extremely nice, knowledgeable people. The permanent employees as a whole are great folks, usually in a good mood, and genuinely out to help people to the best of their ability. They ran contests giving prizes for most enrollments, etc. There was a possibility of up to a $750 bonus, but factoring in about 10 different (very different) situations affecting your bonus, it was close to impossible to obtain this amount. They provide meals a few times a month usually pizza which is nice. You will obtain your Life & Health insurance license through the company at their expense. This is a fast paced job during open enrollment and time goes by quickly.

    Cons

    Parking is minimal at best. During open enrollment unless you choose a very early shift, you can't park in the main lot, although they did add some to the parking lot in December, not utilizing the space well in my opinion. Nobody working seasonal was paid for any holidays or given any time off for the holidays only 24 hours. When the season ends, they have your supervisor standing at your desk when you get in, tell you assignment over and have you clean out your desk. Not nearly enough training in practical experience to start with, you learn as you go. Rather than keep the the new hires who meet company standards, each year they have a hiring event. The caliber of people in some instances have been below par, generally these are the first that get let go at the end of the season.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get company policies in order and be clear about what those policies are. When asking a question, if you ask 3 different supervisors the same question you get 3 different answers. If someone has a great work ethic and is making One Exchange money, find a place to keep them. Many high caliber, good people with great attitudes and work ethic were let go.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
  3.  

    Good employer, good people

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Actuary in Atlanta, GA
    Former Employee - Actuary in Atlanta, GA

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

    Pros

    Bright, resourceful group of consultants
    Huge portfolio of large clients
    Excellent opportunity to work on a variety of projects

    Cons

    Job security
    Upper management somewhat detached from those they are managing

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Communicate more effectively with employees regarding performance goals

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
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  5. 5 people found this helpful  

    You are a "temp" , and they only hire the unemployed.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Benefit Advisor in Richardson, TX
    Current Employee - Benefit Advisor in Richardson, TX

    I have been working at Towers Watson as a contractor (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    VERY easy to get hired. If you have a Health and Life license and can breathe, you are hired. They hire approximately 1,500 people in August and lay 95% off in December.

    Cons

    I have been with Extend Health, now Towers Watson One Exchange for 3 seasons. It amazes me that Towers Watson professes to be a company that is always striving to improve "employee engagement" and they consult with their clients on how to improve "employee engagement", yet they have a company like ours where they hire thousands of "temps" each year with no intention of offering people full time positions.

    It is EXTREMELY easy to be hired at Extend Health. You merely need to pass the insurance exam, if you have not already, and you need to be unemployed. I say Unemployed, because who in their right mind would leave a permanent position to become a "temp" at One Exchange. So please consider while there are many professionals who are unemployed, there are also people who are unemployed for a reason. So hiring only from the "unemployed" pool puts you at a disadvantage from the get go.

    They spend SO much money on training. It really boggles my mind that it could cost less money to fire and rehire and retrain people every year than it would cost to keep people, invest in them, and develop them into top performers.
    Advice to Management
    Hire your people. Quit SAYING they are valued and SHOW them they are valued.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire your people. Quit SAYING they are valued and SHOW them they are valued.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    It's a good company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Pension Analyst in Philadelphia, PA
    Current Employee - Pension Analyst in Philadelphia, PA

    I have been working at Towers Watson as a contractor (less than a year)

    Pros

    Pay, hours and some employees

    Cons

    Wish it wasn't a temp position

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire more people, especially young college graduates. We may not all have the work experience, but we're tech savy people.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Good place to start your career but lots of politics

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Business Analyst in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Business Analyst in Chicago, IL

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

    Pros

    Lots of responsibility, great place to grow and work with smart people.

    Cons

    Tough work-life balance; work from home policy is allowed in some offices but only to encourage longer working hours

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Support bottom up ideas; more exposure to upper level management

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Too big for its own good

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

    I have been working at Towers Watson full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Flexibility, work with smart people, good PTO allowance, stable

    Cons

    Too much bureaucracy - hard to make changes. Business units are very silo'ed, so it's very difficult to rotate into different roles.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    It's ok

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

    I have been working at Towers Watson

    Pros

    Good people, work with top clients

    Cons

    Limited upward mobility, work is very cyclica, high turnover

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 3 people found this helpful  

    Decent people and culture; Notoriously weak pay and heavy workload

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Actuarial Analyst in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Actuarial Analyst in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Towers Watson full-time

    Pros

    - Most people are competent, knowledgeable, friendly and willing to help junior analysts succeed in the long run
    - Free sports drinks in the vending machine
    - Health and Group Benefits promotes a very collegiate environment and there is substantial amount of unity among junior analysts
    - Work can be stimulating depends on the certain client team
    - The company does focus on professional excellence, with an extensive quality assurance process. The firm also fosters internal knowledge sharing and intellectual capital development to help streamlining service delivery and thus optimizing efficiency

    Cons

    - Competence and work ethics of employees can vary on two extremes
    - Certain senior consultants are incapable of controlling their emotions and terrorize everyone that works on their team. They make absolutely no effort to change their behavior, historically drove away few high competent associates due to deteriorating work relationships
    - Work-life balance is a big problem and there seems to be no fix
    - Compensation and benefits are lackluster, very ironic given the firm specializes in benefits consulting. The company has no revenue generation issues, so it's safe to conclude that the firm focuses on compensating individuals who are generating revenue (aka the senior consultants and above, whom are selling projects). However, leadership does need to realize junior analysts are executing the projects and churning out slides and spreadsheets at last nights.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Pay junior analyst better so that they don't move to competitors, so difficult to replace people with significant experience in this niche industry, especially in the mid-career consultant level
    - Make an effort to understand why work-life balance is a challenge and reward offices with most amount of revenue generated while putting in relatively least amount of hours to promote a competition of managing workload effectively
    - Do not allow incompetent senior people to be people managers. A prerequisite for being a people manager needs to someone who is a "people person" and truly cares about helping junior analysts succeed and be a contributor.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Flexible place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Graphic Design in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Graphic Design in Seattle, WA

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

    Pros

    Smart and driven people that work there.

    Cons

    I never was given an opportunity to pursue growth in my position which required to keep up with technology and education/training. Lack of software training/education is causing poor performance and low quality in their deliverables. Company value and morale started to deteriorate after the company merger.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Look ahead and anticipate the talent of potential employees and spur growth in their field to keep up with technology.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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