Empyrean Benefit Solutions

www.goempyrean.com
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Empyrean Benefit Solutions Reviews

Updated February 27, 2015
Updated February 27, 2015
53 Reviews
2.4
53 Reviews
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Empyrean Benefit Solutions CEO Richard Wolfe
Richard Wolfe
34 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • They allow for casual dress, jeans, shorts and t-shirts can be worn most days (in 5 reviews)

  • Casual dress code is appreciated by most employees (in 5 reviews)


Cons
  • Work-life balance, more flexibility to work from home from a call center perspective (in 5 reviews)

  • High turnover with lack of technical resources often leaves you alone to learn processes (in 5 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Excellent company with exceptional culture.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Client Services Manager in Houston, TX
    Current Employee - Client Services Manager in Houston, TX

    I have been working at Empyrean Benefit Solutions full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Empyrean has an excellent product. This is a key factor that is the basis for everything else. A great product means happy clients, happy clients mean more growth for the company, more growth for the company means more opportunity. There is also significant investment in new technology to stay at the forefront of the Ben Admin industry.

    The culture at Empyrean is excellent. Employees at all levels take pride in what they're working on. There is an entrepreneurial feel that everyone is here to work together for the good of the client and their employees. They work hard but you see occasional breaks where people chat, play basketball, ping pong, etc. I've been here a little more than a month and I can't remember how many people have offered help, advice, or just taken an interest in who I am and what I'm working on. All of this is not by accident, the leadership models these traits and they are encouraged throughout the organization.

    -Transparency in leadership
    -Company wide events
    -Department specific celebrations
    -Full kitchen on each floor
    -Competitive compensation
    -Lots of opportunity

    Cons

    Many of the cons in this company are more industry specific. No matter where you work there will be parts of the job, company, or the industry that you may not like. The goal is to find a company that provide the support and resources needed to succeed. That being said, if you are looking at a career in the professional services industry be prepared for:

    Seasonal Demands-Open enrollment is very busy and will require more time. This is balanced the rest of the year.
    Client Demands-You work for Empyrean and Empyrean works for their clients. Your client may need more help.
    Complexity-This is a very complicated industry and it's always changing. Expect to be constantly learning.
    No onsite gym for Empyrean employees. There is a discounted gym membership offered near the office.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    As Empyrean continues to grow it's technology and expand market reach continue to lead in a way that preserves and enhances the culture.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Empyrean is one of the best companies that I ever worked

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

    I have been working at Empyrean Benefit Solutions full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Empyrean benefit solutions is one of the best companies that I ever worked. I like the vision and the leadership style of the top management team. The leadership team listens to their people and value people's opinions with the open door policy. The pay is competitive and hard work is rewarded here. Most people are very nice, friendly and supportive.

    Since I joined the company three years ago, I have seen tremendous growth and improvement within the company. We are not perfect, but we are getting there.

    Cons

    The only drawback is the medical premium is very high.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You guys did such a great job! Keep the good work and lead us to the next great milestone!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    Know what you are getting into

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

    I have been working at Empyrean Benefit Solutions full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    There is a lot of opportunity to gain work experience quickly for someone without much on their resume. You will come in day one and be able to learn more than just one aspect of the business.

    A nice amount of PTO. With proper planning you can actually take in larger chunks and travel overseas.

    A younger workforce that connects outside of work.

    Very nice looking office.

    Extremely flexible hours for anyone who needs work around child care or other life circumstances.

    Cons

    Company has been unable to keep any of the real talent. They retain the people who are happy just to smile and do the minimum. This affect has now compounded itself over the past 4 to 5 years. People that once looked average next to their peers are promoted to Senior / Manager and expected to train those below them.

    Whoever talks the loudest will be heard. The overwhelming view of how good or bad you are at this company will not be tied to any empirical evidence, but to how much someone talks about you. For a company of this size there is really no excuse for this. It would take a manager very little time to dig into the day to day of each employee. This has less impact on those people who truly know things, but has a huge impact on those without any knowledge. If you lack knowledge just make sure to buddy up with someone in management and enjoy the promotion.

    Responsibility is almost always vague. This results in nothing happening for months and a mad rush at the end. This sacrifices quality and will result in extra hours of work in a shorted period of time.

    Things just don't work. The system itself is powerful and highly customizable, but it takes a knowledgeable resource to achieve this. As stated in the first point there are very few of those around today. This means that the people configuring this highly flexible and powerful system do not have any idea of the impact they are making.

    Middle and Upper Management are absent in the problems of those under them. There is a very open door policy at Empyrean, but that is empty if action is not taken. Your manager will nod and listen to every concern you ever have; just nothing will ever change about it. Feedback is taken and discounted.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You will continue to have employee engage problems if smart people have to work under mediocre to bad managers. Get back into the day to day of the company and grow people. The company has a lot of pros and could be good, but the people I interviewed with and joined this company for are not the ones I work with day to day. My last employer had similar problems, but they were a much larger companies. Give yourselves a chance to grow this company before succumbing to these pitfalls. If you spent a week on the floor it would be painfully obvious how few people in your building actually produce any output.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 7 people found this helpful  

    Software developers - A Short stop on your road to a meaningful professional experience.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Contractor - Senior Software Developer in Houston, TX
    Former Contractor - Senior Software Developer in Houston, TX

    I worked at Empyrean Benefit Solutions as a contractor (less than a year)

    Pros

    The software development culture is very easygoing. There is low stress on deliverables which enables an emphasis on high quality. The developer staff is generally really knowledgable and professional and the office culture is something that can be enjoyed.

    Cons

    The product, I was producing, was designed badly from it's inception. The product itself, is not a quality conceptualization. The way end users interact, with the software product which I helped develop, is a clunky and counter-intuitive experience. Empyrean sells this application as a service, and they do a great job of selling it, but the product could be a lot better, and if it was, the experience of developing that product, would be much more enjoyable.

    The application was developed with old generation code and design patterns, and even though the staff is creating a newer, updated version of that product, the presentation is changing, but the back end is still using the old, clunky, generations old code, which is sad because it makes development more complicated, and harder to maintain and extend.

    The dev staff here, are very sweet people, and the management makes an attempt to get the brightest and most talented employees, but they don't really know how to attract and retain talent. Their strategy at attracting talented people is: have a ping-pong table, free sodas, and pray their contracting agencies find someone. I believe the management thinks this is a good strategy, but most people will realize it is not. It is a "nice" place to work, but not somewhere where a talented person will stake their career. You will find, mostly people who are complacent in being in a "nice" place; or who do not really know that there are better opportunities out there. This is not an atmosphere conducive to garnering top talent. Top tier talent wants, more than anything, to work with other top tier talent, and so the situation here can only lead to mediocrity.

    The wider software development staff, including project managers and BA's, does not seem to have any coherent structure or procedures. There is an attempt to have Scrum/Agile production, but it's so loose that it's hardly recognizable. The structure needs to be more defined and well-thought-out before developers feel secure in what they're supposed to be doing. There also needs to be a more formal software testing infrastructure and managers need to budget in time to write unit tests for new features.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Remove senior software leadership and replace with people who value modern software architecture patterns. Don't be satisfied with code and versions of frameworks from 10 years ago as a viable software solution. it's 2015 not 2005, your products need to be future proof for the sake of maintaining your code for the next 10 years.

    Learn how to REALLY attract and keep top talent, which begins in actually identifying how talented people are. Put some real effort into this, because your people resource is much more valuable than any monetary resource.

    Implement a real software development process instead of your current one, which is a shell of what actual software development should be, for products of the scale that you're actually producing. Put people in place, who know what such an organization looks like, rather than your current leadership who have had their heads down and brought your company to it's current situation. Don't be satisfied with your current vision of success, because you're not seeing how much more potential there is.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    Run....Now!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Client Services Representative in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Client Services Representative in Houston, TX

    I worked at Empyrean Benefit Solutions full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Lots of PTO, Free Sodas, coworkers are friendly, free parking and good cafeteria, great eateries nearby

    Cons

    Layoffs right after returning from a major holiday is a major con. Give people notice especially around the holidays. People have families to provide for and need time to find other employment.

    If you are planning to sell or merge, let your employees know so there aren't unnecessary rumors floating around and creating unnecessary worry. It would be a shame to sell and have so many people's lives affected with so little notice.

    Don't wait until someone puts in their notice to retain that employee with more money. Keep quality people who want to work, opposed to people who are solely there to collect a paycheck. You need good people at Empyrean and so many go to your competition because you simply cannot nor fight to retain them.

    There needs to be monthly meetings with teams and managers about the current news of Empyrean. Employees speculate on fear of losing their job when it can all be squashed with meetings. Your employees are what many call "family" start treating them as such.

    If you plan on being at Empyrean long term...think about it seriously! You could be signing your life away to a company that may not be the same in upcoming months.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be honest with your employees and ease their worries. Listen to the ones who want to do more and learn more. Pay to retain them and give additional training.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 6 people found this helpful  

    worst company I ever worked for...

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

    I have been working at Empyrean Benefit Solutions full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    smart coworkers, free soda, popcorn, many free lunches and flexile with running errands....

    Cons

    Very poor overall compensation, health insurance is laughable considering this is a benefits company, low hiring standards with sloppy/obese workforce, ridiculous demands from clients, excessive micromanagement, and an expectation to work unpaid overtime 5 months out of the year. This company essentially takes the entry level people that have subpar gpa's, are obese, obnoxious, weird, or all of the above and pays them well below market value because they can. A money-ball approach to attracting talent to maximize profits for the few at the top. The csms job is to run their teams like a cotton plantation and bend over backwards for the client while deflecting all pressure to the BA's to meet the ridiculous demands. The csms care more about the client than about the well being of their staff. They will throw their BA's under the bus on the phone with the client, they will lie to their clients, and when things go well, they will reap the credit.... working here was hell on earth... I was happy I got a much better opportunity a week before Open Enrollment

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    increase your hiring standards, pay above market because of the expected overtime, provide real benefits, and give your BA's more freedom to work

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 5 people found this helpful  

    You've heard of jobs that crush your soul and sap your will to live...yea this is one of those places. RUN LIKE HELL!!!

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

    I worked at Empyrean Benefit Solutions full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    I worked at the company as a business analyst for 2 years and 5 months. Easy interview process, flexible PTO, free drinks. If you are a fresh college graduate with no signficant work experience under your belt...it's a good place to get the experience but not a good place to build a career.

    Cons

    The easy interview process also means just about anyone including and especially people not "smarter than the average bear" get hired. Some of these people will be responsible for your training (good luck with that) and you will have to work with/under some of them since they might be a Director, CSM, OM, PM or Senior BA.

    The job is extremely demanding, if you are fortunate, you will end up on a team with a nice manager and a horrible client. If you aren't, you will end up on a team with a horrible manager (someone lazy or someone who might sabotage your advancement or undercut you to make you look incompetent or someone who disregards your input or someone who agrees to clients demands without consulting you to know if the system can handle the requirement or all of the above or someone lacking in common courtesy/etiquette and much more) and a horrible client. So forget being able to easily use your flexible PTO...heck you might have to come in on your day off or work while you are on your ski trip or Hawaii vacation.

    Beware of the marketing team, implementation mangers and consultants. A lot don't understand the system and usually tend to oversell the capabilities of the platforms, promising things that are beyond the powers of the systems. In the end you bear the brunt of the fallout during implementation or go live when the client discovers they were sold smoke and mirrors.

    The office politics and favoritism is of the charts, people with less skill,achievements at the company or systems knowledge climb up the career ladder faster than the actual hardworking people because of who they have buddied up to in management or who they are related to in management (yea the nepotism is FREAKING RIDICULOUS) or if they have buddied up to a co-worker related to someone in management.

    Don't buy into the company's no sacred cows policy...it's FULL BLOWN MALARKEY. At the end of the day, all management cares about is making as much money as they can...at your expense. They don't give a crap about you.

    If you are an international student i.e on OPT....skip this company, you can't trust their promise of a H1B visa. If they tell you they applied for one for ,you but it was denied...IT'S A LIE, they never filed one for you in the first place. That's your 1 year of OPT and the additional one time 17 months extension grace period (STEM Majors)wasted. I am speaking from personal experience.

    Enough said.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None...you know your company culture is rotten but then again you don't care about fixing it.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 4 people found this helpful  

    Sweat Shop....No thanks!

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

    I worked at Empyrean Benefit Solutions

    Pros

    Co Workers were very nice.
    Nice lunch areas.
    Snack choices were great!

    Cons

    Training, Management, Sr. Management, Work load ,Work/Life Balance

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The role of the business analyst is stressful enough with having to deal with the client, but to not have support or backup from your immediate supervisor is disheartening. Late nights are frequent, appreciation is non existent. Managers make their poor planning the analyst emergency. Listen to the analyst more!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 4 people found this helpful  

    Cut Throat

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

    I worked at Empyrean Benefit Solutions

    Pros

    The teams you work with. Not the management, but the people that you are down in the trenches with are the best.

    Cons

    Over work their employees. They don't empathize with the employees and nepotism is blatantly obvious. They don't train their management team on how to manage their employees. They employ managers whom have no people skills. They have no ethics or morals. And don't manage people equally. They have a blackout period where no one is allowed off, but if you are one of the chosen few you are allowed to take off.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    All of upper management need to be replaced.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 5 people found this helpful  

    Very stress-filled and low morale environment in certain departments/groups.

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

    I have been working at Empyrean Benefit Solutions

    Pros

    Good start up job and pay is comparable or greater than competitors in the same line of business

    Cons

    Extremely stress-filled environments that result form different factors. One of those factors being sales-teams making promises to potential clients just to get them to sign on YET not having all of the technology available to deliver on some of those promises. The result of this is a very stressful environment for the client services/call center teams that are on the front-line trying to deliver on those promises. When the clients are frustrated because someone makes a mistake or gives out incorrect information, the employee at times is blamed and performance managed (used as a scape goat) yet the resources that were referenced for that answer were at times inaccurate/outdated and the management team is aware of this. I have personally been in sales-meetings where we are told what to say and what not to say. I know that this is standard in any business BUT when we are being told to lie. These are not small lies but major lies in terms of how we do certain processes or our overall layout. This is very very demoralizing especially when our employee handbook talks about being ethical etc... I have very high regard and respect for the majority of the executive team at Empyrean such as its CEO and the Chairman of the Board however there are certain members in the management team (director-level) that really make silly decisions such as telling employees that they are not allowed to go above them in terms of talking to the CEO for assistance because their issue was not being heard at the current level yet these executives have clearly stated in their townhall meetings that they have an open door policy. Another example is certain directors trying to prevent employees in their departments from bringing certain topics to light on the townhall meeetings. The townhall meetings are for the purpose of sharing ideas and thoughts in a professional manner yet the director is not wanting to bring certain topics to light. I do not understand the reasoning behind this other than he/she may be afraid that it may make him/her look bad.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Try not to focus on just the cost of the operations as this method will leave you lost in terms of your employer dissatisfaction and high turn-over.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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