Microsoft Reviews in Reading, England

Updated September 2, 2014
Updated September 2, 2014
8,061 Reviews
3.8
8,061 Reviews
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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Satya Nadella
893 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Really good work-life balance compared to other tech companies of the same caliber (in 688 reviews)

  • Tons of super smart people working for the right reasons - to make a difference (in 893 reviews)


Cons
  • And there are times when the workload may impede on your work-life balance (in 476 reviews)

  • The previous stack rank review system encourage a behavior that was very much individualist (in 369 reviews)

More Highlights

41 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Great place to make a difference

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Consulting Staff  in  Reading, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Consulting Staff in Reading, England (UK)

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Some of the brightest people in the industry work here - creating amazing results for customers
    Ability to really make a difference

    Cons

    The travel and expense systems are truly terrible - makes travelling on business tedious
    Recent local decisions on a range of benefits show short termism and penny pinching
    Performance system getting better but employees have very little (no) input into their end of year outcomes
    Hitting arbitrary scorecards far too important. Needs to focus on doing the right thing for the customer
    Progression based solely on internal brand - you need to trumpet every little positive up and across the org chart to get ahead

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Remove the roadblocks to productivity - travel and expense tools that make travelling hard, scorecards that are self-serving and not reflective of doing a good job, and speed up performance management process change

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    lack of support, little or no relevant training and badly structured programmes

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Graduate Scheme Sales  in  Reading, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Graduate Scheme Sales in Reading, England (UK)

    I worked at Microsoft full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    -Free coffee
    -Fancy offices
    -off-site visits
    -work is so convoluted its easy to not do anything

    Cons

    The biggest problem with employees of Micfrosoft is that it is filled with people who admire Bill Gates and want their name branded with the company rather than doing something valuable. There is a lot of middle management which blocks people from progressing and the worst thing is the overt competitiveness to step on each other to rise to the next level. There is a lack of opportunities and the skills developed in the business roles you could teach a donkey. It is not real selling.

    I would advise those who are ambitious, intelligent and go-getters not to work for this company. For the graduates, there is not any well structured training (they lure you in with a trip to America) and there are consistent brick walls. The culture is strong and they make you believe it is the greatest place ever but it is not. in reality, the company is a shambles and is only successful off the back of the legacy Bill Gates helped to build at the prime of the company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Progress your new interns and graduates rather than ignoring and stifling them. Put in place a proper leadership trainign scheme. HIRE MORE GOOD CANDIDATES AND STOP BEING DRIVEN BY QUOTAS.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Started well but then seemed to follow a path trodden by other colleagues

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Marketing Director  in  Reading, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Marketing Director in Reading, England (UK)

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

    Pros

    The brand, a lot of the people, good overall pay and benefits package

    Cons

    Annual rating process, career progression, constant changes to management, fear culture

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Look at the way senior managers motivate their teams

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Excellent potential - slow execution

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Partner Account Manager  in  Reading, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Partner Account Manager in Reading, England (UK)

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    -great benefits and perks
    -fantastic breadth of products and genuine valuable impact to society

    Cons

    -extremely political
    -poor competitive compensation
    -though breadth of products is large, any job potential requires experience in that workload in prior years. by default then, at an individual level, there is zero point to working in this company for that point, which is unfortunate

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    A great company, which has lost its way

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Marketing Manager  in  Reading, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Marketing Manager in Reading, England (UK)

    I worked at Microsoft full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Excellent people - really bright, dynamic and fun

    Cons

    Microsoft is a BIG company and a certain amount of bureaucracy inevitably comes with that.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hopefully the new CEO will change things for the better, but I'm not holding my breath

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Smart People, Great Vision, but poor execution

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Program Manager II  in  Reading, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Program Manager II in Reading, England (UK)

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great benefits, lots of products, locations and teams to choose from, great culture and good work-life balance

    Cons

    Bad execution of products, thinking out-of the box, ability to adapt to change.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Give a chance to people who want to make a change. Driving strategy from top down doesn't provide great results always.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  8.  

    Can be a slow moving company with emphasis on building your individual brand internally, so need to network.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Manager  in  Reading, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Sales Manager in Reading, England (UK)

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Some great work being done on Enterprise social, really fast moving area to work in with some solid thought leadership.

    Cons

    Promotions are hard to get, easier to move up the org is you leave and come back at a higher level.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Need to move into 21st century and look after your people as opposed to making people redundant year after year.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    A great chance to work with smart people, doing great things...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Supportability Program Manager  in  Reading, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Supportability Program Manager in Reading, England (UK)

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Good Salary, Comfortable Working Environment, Freedom to be successful, good benefits, good projects to be involved with and change the world. Interesting network of colleagues.

    Cons

    Tough to achieve a perfect work life balance,massive organisation so often difficult to navigate the organisation - still some siloed working which holds some of the major projects back.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Great people; poor management; appalling review process

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Project Manager  in  Reading, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Senior Project Manager in Reading, England (UK)

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

    Pros

    There is a tremendous buzz at Microsoft; all of the people are smart and driven to succeed. If Microsoft aren't first in pretty much anything the question is always "what do we need to do to be number 1?".

    This behaviour is endemic and really underpins the culture of the entire organisation.

    I worked in the consulting organisation (MCS) and experienced a real variety of projects across a number of customer organisations. Delivering projects when you knew that your team were real experts and that they had the backup of the product development team was incredibly reassuring and this allowed MCS to bid for projects that other technology delivery organisations would shy away from.

    Getting in to MCS is not easy; the bar is very high and the interview process lengthy. Expect a telephone interview which, if successful, would be followed by an all day interview which would consist of 3 interviews (peer/competency, hiring manager and HR) plus a role play/programming exercise.

    Microsoft has a great benefits package including free broadband and mobile 'phone. One the things that I particularly liked was the free bowl of fruit in the kitchen every day.

    Cons

    The challenge with working at Microsoft is the challenge with being visible ALL OF THE TIME. Unless your manager and their immediate peers are intimately aware of your achievements then you will be punished during the review process. The drawbacks of this process are well documented within glassdoor but any system that holds the employee review meeting AFTER the grade has been decided is, in my view, seriously flawed.

    If you are unlucky enough to be on a long-term project that can seriously impact you; and if that project is on customer site then you can really be in trouble. Also, if you are not valued by your manager then you can get you in trouble as well!!!!

    There is also a blame culture emerging in MCS which, if isn't eradicated, will make it not a nice place to work.

    With regard to salary, MCS is OK; you don't work there for the money; you work there to get an exposure to the culture and the experience. Microsoft make it very easy for you to work from anywhere at any time and there is a growing expectation that that is exactly what you do. Some managers send email out of hours and then complain when you haven't responded in what they consider a timely manner.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Change the review system such that it is based on what the staff deliver and not on management's perception of what they have done.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    Varied roles, a good working environment, and great place for those with a passion for technology.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Manager  in  Reading, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Manager in Reading, England (UK)

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    The people are talented, energetic and hard working. The facilities and benefits are good. There are a wide range of roles available, for some roles career progression means moving to Redmond.

    Cons

    Over the last few years, the scorecard mentality has driven some negative behaviour. The current review system discourages collaboration, and the consequences of being at the low end of the scale are difficult as there is an attrition metric to hit. This also discourages people from taking a risk and trying new roles.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The review system needs fixing. The company's assets are it's people, and the current system is damaging.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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