Watson Wyatt

  www.watsonwyatt.com
  www.watsonwyatt.com

Watson Wyatt Reviews

54 Reviews
3.6
54 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Watson Wyatt Chairman, President, and CEO John J. Haley
John J. Haley
39 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Good work/life balance (averaged 40-45 hrs a week as a "band 1" analyst) (in 5 reviews)

  • Great opportunities for advancement (in 4 reviews)


Cons
  • long hours, ambiguity with leadership (in 3 reviews)

  • A single medical plan option: high-deductible health plan with HSA, and WW's contribution is paltry (in 3 reviews)

More Highlights

10 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Analyst

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

    I have been working at Watson Wyatt full-time

    Pros

    Great career opportunity if you want to be an actuary

    Cons

    Bad management. They are very subjective

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take care of your work force

  2.  

    High Turnover

    Former Employee - Actuarial Analyst in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Actuarial Analyst in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Watson Wyatt full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Resume piece, money, access to senior management. The practice leader and principal in the SF office were both very accessible and open to input.

    Cons

    The middle management was fragmented and in many cases just over-worked and not trained on management techniques. I got the sense as a new analyst that the least happy people in the company were consultants and managers.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop blaming clients, subordinates, and circumstance when things go wrong. It creates a culture of blame that permeates the office.

    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Nice place to work -- when you are billable.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Washington, DC

    I worked at Watson Wyatt

    Pros

    When there is plenty of work and you are billable -- it is a great place. Fun people.

    Cons

    Not much emphasis on practice development or nonbillable activities needed to build tools to better serve the client and make the practice more efficient. .You must be a billing machine. That is all that matters. Work like a scared animal.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Grow you technical capabilities. Take on the best of TP, but not it's culture.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    A great place to work, but company must become more global

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

    I have been working at Watson Wyatt

    Pros

    Good quality people throughout the organization. Clear and focused business strategy, with distinct service lines that have remainded fixed over recent years, at a time when competitors have chopped and changed their approaches on a regular basis. Opportunities for global mobility are good, although better in some practices than others. Research base is strong across all business lines.

    Cons

    Could be more joined up globally, especially within investment consulting. It is a very conservative organization, where management often prioritizes stability of service over innovation. The company is managed on a global matrix strucure, with the matrix divided by geography and business line. The geographical aspects to the matrix are a clear weakness, since it makes managers focus on their distinct geogrpahical areas rather than working to benefit the company as a whole.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    View the company globally and abandon the focus on individual geographies

    No opinion of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    More downside than upside.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Consulting Actuary in Wellesley, MA
    Current Employee - Consulting Actuary in Wellesley, MA

    I have been working at Watson Wyatt

    Pros

    Coworkers are the best - very smart, creative, nice, helpful, supportive. My office is conveniently located. Work-life balance can be pretty good if you take advantage of increased flexibility. We have a lot of part timers (anything 60% or over is considered full time and benefit-eligible). A lot of people now work from home at least some of the time.

    Cons

    To get ahead you have to work long hours. Focus is on billable hours. My office/practice is very understaffed leading to stress and low morale. Employee benefits have been cut over the years including pension, 401(k) match, and especially the health plan (now a high deductible plan called LivingWell which employees call "LivingHell").

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    We can't attract and retain good people. Either increase pay and bonuses, or improve the benefits you've slashed, or morale will continue to decline.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    It's a job, not a career.

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

    I have been working at Watson Wyatt

    Pros

    Variety of client projects - I've seen big and small clients, how clients perceive the issues we consult on, I've learned the business side of client and what's important to them; opportunities to work with people in other offices, some opportunity to travel; the opportunity to work with other practices has expanded my knowledge and ability to consult to client; the only problem is that these aren't handed out equitably. There is also lack of consistency in performance evaluations. And leadership is always focused on "the message" when they can make more effort to draw a line of sight with actual accomplishments.

    Cons

    Poor quality of leadership; IPO gave "old guard" huge cashout at younger employees expense (less future wealth opportunities); junior college hires being promotoed too fast to accomodate immediate and constant reward recognition of younger generation; you are responsible for everything yourself - leadership abdicates any responsibility for you - if you don't raise your hand to ask for opportunities, then you won't get any and then they blame you for not taking on more and contributing more; there isn't enough discussion of what's going on so that people know what projects need staffing so they can volunteer for projects that interest them.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Need better leadership training, not management consulting double speak. Need more honesty, not smoke and mirrors. Need more equity - the CEO got multiples of bonus target when the rest of the employees were in an 80% funded bonus pool. They've done nothing but cut benefits since the IPO, but tell us we're at the median of benefits provided - if they were honest they would tell us we are probably at 60% of where we were pre-IPO which is the employment deal many of us accepted who came on board back then.

    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    Great firm, BUT...

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

    I worked at Watson Wyatt

    Pros

    Strong global footprint, technical experts, resources available in a large firm (e.g. travel site, blackberry, laptop, etc.), name recognition, competitive pay, generally friendly people (though serious).

    Cons

    Bureaucracy, death by meetings, resistance to change, highly variable effectiveness/support depending on the office, no true onboarding process in place.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Create clear strategies for growth and hold everyone accountable, identify and nurture high potentials/top performers and reveal a career path with specific objectives, then provide the training and support to attain them.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Manager of benefit team

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Taipei (Taiwan)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Taipei (Taiwan)

    I worked at Watson Wyatt full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    - good learning environment
    - good co reputation
    - good methodology
    - good & professional bosses & leaders

    Cons

    Long working hours - work life balance

    Recommends
  10.  

    neutral

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

    I have been working at Watson Wyatt

    Pros

    organized, consistent feedback. intelligent staff. externally competitive

    Cons

    morale, employee attitudes, lack of social skills

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    cross-functional promotions encouraged

    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    nice people, no focus

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Investments Analyst in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Investments Analyst in London, England (UK)

    I have been working at Watson Wyatt

    Pros

    nice people, nice culture, generous study package, good benifits, generally interesting work, relatively less stressful, Reigate and Westminster offices (a pro or con depending on your view)

    Cons

    The company has really lost direction,
    they've been a bit greedy and tried to take over some of asset managers roles, this has led to clients no longer viewing them as impartial, which was their main selling point.
    they have grown very fast, with no planed growth in infrastructure, so for instance knowledge management is awful
    increasing specialisation has lead to real tensions between different groups which don't understand each other
    Collectively these have undermined the collegiate culture of the firm
    I've heard mixed things about the merger
    Most good people leave as soon as they are trained

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    work out what you are trying to do and then do it efficiently

    Recommends
    Disapproves of CEO

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