Weight Watchers Reviews

Updated August 27, 2015
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James R. Chambers
14 Ratings

Pros
  • Wonderful helping people meet their goals (in 36 reviews)

  • Helping yourself by helping others (in 25 reviews)

Cons
  • In our franchise staff is often working for less than minimum wage (in 43 reviews)

  • Constant upper management changes which have led to unclear business initiatives for the Field Staff to implement (in 16 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

76 Employee Reviews

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  1. Meeting Leader

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Weight Watchers Meeting Leader in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Weight Watchers Meeting Leader in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Weight Watchers full-time

    Pros

    Discounts on products Not much else to add to pros Company needs to treat staff better

    Cons

    Too much emphasis on hitting numbers Upper management plays favorites Having staff travel to areas that are undafe

    Advice to Management

    Better training Better work/life balance Reward loyalty Don't play favorites


  2. Helpful (4)

    Industry Dinosaur on the Path to Extinction

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Director in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Director in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Weight Watchers full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    A laudable mission and a genuine desire to do good that's reflected in its employees and staff. Senior staff is, for the most part, accessible and approachable

    Cons

    The company is thoroughly and firmly stuck in its past, from its antiquated business model to its supporting technology systems and overall culture. The lack of a credible strategy to modernize and to service the millennial market is simply astounding. It's been the same story for years as attempts to drain the well of 48-year old female loyalists have become increasingly desperate. Desperation is also behind their recent efforts to keep senior staff. The results speak for themselves as what little talent is left continues to flee despite bumps in titles and salary. The dominant conversation amongst the troops is no longer about if, but rather when and how, the company will fold. Problems of this magnitude are rooted with the Board, which doesn't understand that the company must now become a tech business, or what that actually entails. Executive management is timid, ineffective, and ultimately unqualified. They may be appropriate for other companies (Jim has a consumer packaged goods pedigree and would likely be effective if he were to return to his roots), however they're not equipped to run Weight Watchers.

    Advice to Management

    I know you'd like them to, but the good old days with exorbitant margins are not returning. I'd say to be bold, listen to the market (the new target market, that is), and take the business in the right direction. However, instead I'd ask that you please realize that you're not equipped to renovate the business model. You simply lack the experience and vision. Sell the company. No, really. This company is the victim of a majority shareholder (51% ownership) that exerts misguided control over the company. The new owners should break up the company, isolate the debt, and renovate the business model. Only then will the true turnaround begin.


  3. Helpful (5)

    Sad, very very sad.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Receptionist in Newark, NJ
    Former Employee - Receptionist in Newark, NJ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Flexible hours, member interaction, when you work with a great team it can be a lot of fun.

    Cons

    Honestly, it saddens me how low this company has come. When I was first recruited and hired I was ecstatic. I was hired about 3 years ago after the height of their Jennifer Hudson campaign. However, their business has drastically suffered and corporate had been scrambling (trying everything and anything) to get it back. Policies change very very frequently. From prices to incentives to food plan, their is nothing left to rely on. This inconsistency confuses the members just as much as staff. No one can keep up. Receptionists look ill prepared and in-knowledgeable towards the company they work for. This is a corporate failure. They cannot get on board with 2015 technology without changing their past technology that never really worked in the first place. The support service is horrendous, their travel meetings/at work are a joke, but the staffing requirements - THE STAFFING REQUIREMENTS blow my mind!!! Receptionists are completely at the disposal of the weather, the leader, and the attendance of members. It's this competition that pins meetings against each other; fighting to be the best and having the largest attendance. According to WW, the success of your meeting is judged by numbers; not weight loss. Again, nothing is consistent. One week the leader may think that "37" members qualifies for 2 receptionists. However, the next week that can (and will) change. There is zero consistency. No one really cares how the members feel. In fact that's the biggest problem. I have seen leaders who want their members to fail - so they can "build them up and be there hero." It's vain, selfish, and disgusting. Weight Watchers are you a nutrition center? Are you a therapy room? Are you a tech based app center? PICK ONE and for goodness sake do it right. Right now they are failing at all three because no one is actually hired and certified to do either. We have leaders acting like psychologists with absolutely no credentials to do so. We have a program that changes yearly without any scientific based nutritionists to facilitate it to members who really need questions asked. People need mental and physical wellness. They are no longer finding it here. The company is business driven masked by a wellness mentality. They want members to think they are their savior. However, they are just using them as a number to make money. Corporate is pulling at straws trying to save the company. But again, they've become inconsistent with their attempts to do that. WW cannot succeed if they continue to stride away from the empathetic foundations that made it successful in the first place. They lost the heart and soul that used to make it great - pure people service. This should not be about product sales and fitbits and fancy gadgets. This needs to be about people helping people with sincere admiration. Members are catching on that WW is no longer working. They feel like they can't trust them. Everything is changing so quickly and neither the staff nor members can keep up. They are catching on to the failure. Therefore, they feel like a failure. Many times a week I hear "I get nothing from this meeting." If the company wants to thrive and be on top again they need to go back to what worked in the first place. They need to respect their members as people, not as a dollar sign. Honestly, if there's no people there will be no dollar signs.

    Advice to Management

    Hire psychologists and hire nutritionists. Shape the company to help people help themselves.


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  5. Helpful (2)

    Weight Watchers

    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Weight Watchers Meeting Leader & Receptionist
    Current Employee - Weight Watchers Meeting Leader & Receptionist
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Weight Watchers full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    The ability to help others is very rewarding. Great co-workers. Flexibility.

    Cons

    Service vision not extended to employees. Technology is poor.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to field staff.


  6. Helpful (5)

    Sad that the company is doing so poorly.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Weight Watchers Meeting Leader
    Current Employee - Weight Watchers Meeting Leader
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Weight Watchers part-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The same thing we all say: Helping members in a personal way to not only lose weight, but with their psychological difficulties in achieving their goals.

    Cons

    Underpaid and undervalued by the higher ups who have no idea how hard we work. The morale of most employees, except for the TM's favorites is very poor. We have to use our own equipment such as computers, smart phones to do our job without being supplied or compensated for the expense. If you do At-Work meetings, leaders have to keep everything in their home and cars with no compensation at all. It's just expected. Too bad for us if we don't like it. Also certain TM's treat us privately, disrespectfully. But when group emails are sent and copied to their DM's they sound so caring and proper. Also underhanded, behind-your-back, stabbing, cruelly done decisions to remove you from a meeting when they come to observe you. You're blindsided by the way they do it. There is also much discrimination to older leaders especially. With all of their shifting and changing staff leaders, the outcome of the company's success isn't any better. If we're doing professional work, pay us more than the minimum they can get away with. One could work in a movie theater selling or taking tickets and be paid more money.

    Advice to Management

    Respect us more and compensate the leaders and receptionists better for the multiple skills they bring to a meeting! So much is expected of us which is fine, but we are poorly paid for the skills including psychology skills required to do the best job. Allow us enough staff so that members don't have to wait so long in lines doing many tasks at the same time.


  7. Helpful (5)

    The company is downsizing and volatile at this time

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Central Management in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Central Management in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Weight Watchers full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Purpose driven work People want to do the right thing

    Cons

    Lack of direction and extremely poor execution

    Advice to Management

    Don't just listen to what your inner circle of management is spinning to you


  8. Helpful (4)

    Chaos!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    --Positive mission statement. The company truly wants and believes it can help make America healthier and impact the obesity crisis by helping ppl lose weight. It is a public company and the value of the stock is critically important, but it's nice to believe you're working for a purpose. --Some employees are incredibly talented and dedicated. Very hard-working crew.

    Cons

    --The company is trying to transform and in the past year has experienced more failures than successes in its attempts to do so. There is a lack of clear direction and management alters strategy seemingly weekly, resulting in inefficiency and chaos. The desire and ability to quickly alter course is to be applauded, but there seems no clarity and precision of purpose. --Flat structure. Very little transparency. Sub-par benefits.

    Advice to Management

    Choose (the right) strategy and stay the course.


  9. Helpful (11)

    You may want to abstain

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Middle Management in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Middle Management in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Weight Watchers full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Cool building in the Flatiron District..not much else

    Cons

    If you do not feel like reading my entire post the punch line is "RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN. KEEP RUNNING AND DON'T LOOK BACK" Now that I got that out of my system. I have been with Weight Watches shy of 1 year. My hiring manager and the management in general here tell a nice story of transformation and innovation. Unfortunately it is only a fairey tale. In fact my manager left Weight Watchers a few months ago. He was no longer able to keep up front that all was good, great, on track and keep feeding all misinformation the executive team required managers to to tell their teams to keep them (wink wink) "motivated". The teams barely were able to get a new site refresh, new sign-up and new products out the door before the end of December. For those of you not familiar with the "dieting" business, the first quarter of the year is when Weight Watchers acquire and/or renew new members; so if you don't get it right January 1, say goodbye to your numbers for the year. Weight Watchers was already struggling from a poor management team from a few years ago. Everyone rode high on the hog when Jennifer Hudson (not calling JH a hog, it is a figure of speech) was the spokesperson. Her promotion of the company was more successful than anyone at Weight Watchers even projected she would be; it's been all down hill since then. But you can read the history of how Weight Watchers has been falling behind on the web, I won't bore you with public information. My point is this, the new management has not been doing anything more stellar then the old reich. It has been a swinging door with people leaving the company fast and furious; and I am talking senior people. Most recently the Chief Product Officer said adios..OUCH!!! Another odd practice is the involvement of senior executives in copy editing communications to members and being involved in design reviews. A high level overview and storyboarding a campaign to the senior execs is one thing but how does the President of North America find the time to wordsmith email messages and make recommendations on basic iconography buried in communications. Come on aren't there more strategic things you should be doing like growing the business or something presidential? Isn't that why you hired your direct reports to hire their direct reports to manage the day to day stuff? Am I missing something or am I the only one who sees a lack of focus from our senior management? So as people leave new ones come in. Unfortunately there is a trend bringing people all from the same company. ALERT...ALERT... So if you happen to be an ex or current employee from The College Board (TCB), you don't even need to interview. Show up at HR on the 6th floor, show them your proof of employment from TCB and Voilà (Weigh Watchers LIKES to pretend it is an international company so thought I would use one of those FRENCHY terms) HR will promptly issue you a full time employee badge and a Senior Management title...SWEET HUH? OK i'm sure they are all qualified but the disturbing fact is they are placing the TCB hires as leads on teams that should be policing each other. OK kids can you spell COLLUSION...do you know what that means? I DO.. I DO.. OK Mary answer the question. It means a mass influx of more TCB people, cronyism out the WAZOO and more hard times for employees at Weight Watcher who aren't in the clique and finally that exit door will just be taken off the hinges so we all can "RUN AS FAST AS WE CAN AND KEEP RUNNING AND DON'T LOOK BACK" Weight Watchers is like that chocolate eclair; you tell yourself, oh one eclair won't hurt my diet except you will be paying for that mistake for months or years depending on your will power to make a change and take that Weight "Watchers" off. Quit while you are ahead or don't even consider starting.

    Advice to Management

    PUNT


  10. Helpful (2)

    Is This How A Successful Franchise Is Run?

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Nashville, TN
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Nashville, TN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Weight Watchers part-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Some great dedicated leaders and receptionists. A few exceptional district managers who keep us informed and encourage us in our work with members.

    Cons

    Low, low pay;records not computerized so lots of unnecessary paperwork. Main location building is old and in disrepair, so work environment conditions are not good. Travel pay is very low and not up to federal guidelines. Travel to at work meetings, carrying all of the equipment and materials needed is awkward and we are not compensated for the extra work involved in that.

    Advice to Management

    You say you value your employees, but I for one, do not feel valued by you for all of the above reasons.


  11. Helpful (6)

    No future...for them or you

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Weight Watchers full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    In the city. Helping people feels good.

    Cons

    Poor leadership. Nobody can see themselves there for long. New senior management making poor hiring and org structure decisions. If business doesn't turn around the rank and file will continue to be the ones to suffer and blamed but senior management still gets paid. Jump before you are tossed



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