Watson Wyatt

  www.watsonwyatt.com
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Watson Wyatt Reviews

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All Employees Current Employees Only

3.6 54 reviews

85% Approve of the CEO

Watson Wyatt Chairman, President, and CEO John J. Haley

John J. Haley

(39 ratings)

80% of employees recommend this company to a friend

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)

10 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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in
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

     

    Analyst

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsGreat career opportunity if you want to be an actuary

    ConsBad management. They are very subjective

    Advice to Senior ManagementTake care of your work force

    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    High Turnover

    Actuarial Analyst (Former Employee) San Francisco, CA

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

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

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Nice place to work -- when you are billable.

    Project Manager (Former Employee) Washington, DC

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

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

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

  1. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

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

    Consultant (Current Employee) Chicago, IL

    ProsGood 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.

    ConsCould 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 Senior ManagementView the company globally and abandon the focus on individual geographies

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
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    • Disapproves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    More downside than upside.

    Consulting Actuary (Current Employee) Wellesley, MA

    ProsCoworkers 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.

    ConsTo 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 Senior ManagementWe 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.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
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    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    It's a job, not a career.

    Senior Consultant (Current Employee) Chicago, IL

    ProsVariety 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.

    ConsPoor 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 Senior ManagementNeed 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.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
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    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Great firm, BUT...

    Consultant (Former Employee) Cleveland, OH

    ProsStrong 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).

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

    Advice to Senior ManagementCreate 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.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
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    Manager of benefit team

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Taipei (Taiwan)

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

    ConsLong working hours - work life balance

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    neutral

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    Prosorganized, consistent feedback. intelligent staff. externally competitive

    Consmorale, employee attitudes, lack of social skills

    Advice to Senior Managementcross-functional promotions encouraged

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    nice people, no focus

    Investments Analyst (Current Employee) London, England (UK)

    Prosnice 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)

    ConsThe 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 Senior Managementwork out what you are trying to do and then do it efficiently

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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