142 Employee Reviews (View Most Recent)

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4 people found this helpful  

Good place to work if you don't mind lower pay

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Research Analyst  in  Rockville, MD
Current Employee - Research Analyst in Rockville, MD

I have been working at Westat full-time for more than 5 years

Pros

-The work can be challenging and fun. Opportunity for developing skills if you take initiative and are a leader.
-Everyone has a private, decent-sized office. There's a really cheap cafeteria and a gym. Nice, clean facilities. In-house graphics and printing department.
-Casual atmosphere - attire ranges from jeans to suits everyday. You can pretty much dress according to your mood.
-Benefits are decent. Generous leave time for sick leave/vacation, but no maternity leave.
-Flexible schedule for some projects, along with working remotely from home.
-I've never been micro-managed, and management is very receptive/appreciative of new ideas.
-Senior staff members on my project have been excellent mentors, and they are kind and encouraging. Good at providing positive feedback. I have a lot of respect for them.

Cons

-Salary is below industry standard, and can be extremely discouraging. I'm not compensated fairly for the additional responsibilities that I've taken on over the years.
-Some staff abuse the casual atmosphere and contribute little to project goals. It's particularly annoying when you know they're paid more to do less. When you complain and expect management to intervene, nothing changes.
-When new staff are hired they are often ignored and not given assignments/training for extended periods of time. This was my experience years ago and other new hires have shared this opinion.
-Some managers are disorganized and do not establish feasible due dates or guidelines for projects. Not the best at communicating effectively, either. Limited communication regarding project assignments and roles, and it is unclear how much the company supports internal staff career advancement.
-Westat puts their employees' safety at risk by staying open during hurricanes and blizzards.
-The free coffee tastes like potting soil.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Embrace technology. Communicate more with your staff and set expectations. Promote people from within instead of hiring outside of the company. Fire incompetent staff members, and give their pay to the employees who have been picking up the slack.

Recommends
Positive Outlook
No opinion of CEO

Other Reviews for Westat

  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    Stable company but communication and management could be better

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

    I worked at Westat full-time

    Pros

    Staff are experts in their fields and the work environment is generally supportive (not overly hierarchical). The benefits are good, especially for retirement, and the company invests in the well-being of the workforce (stock ownership, new gym/cafeteria, health benefits). There is flexibility in working hours. If a (mid-to-senior) staff member moves out of town but desires to continue working for Westat remotely, they often are accommodating.

    Cons

    There can be limited communication regarding project assignment and roles, and it is unclear how much the company supports internal staff career advancement. Some supervisors are better managers than others. The location is far from the metro. Workload can fluctuate a lot. Vacation/holiday benefits are stingy, and there seems to be general dissatisfaction with salary levels.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    Very little loyalty to long time employees, poster child for what can you do for me today leadership

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Operations Manager  in  Rockville, MD
    Former Employee - Senior Operations Manager in Rockville, MD

    I worked at Westat full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Depending upon the project needs, somewhat flexible in schedule requirements. Reasonable benefits plan.

    Cons

    Extremely clique orientated, work groups often staffed by "who you know" versus who is qualified. Absolutely no loyality to long time salaried employees. If your project goes down they rarely will cover you until something else comes along. Very prone to hiring inexperienced young staff with degrees at lower salaries and releasing senior staff who reached their salary level through hard work and proficiency. Low in pay rates to industry scale.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Wake up and become what Westat used to be, an employee owned business with the best interests of the employees constantly in mind. Westat has a lot to offer, but the company personality has changed radically over the last ten years.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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