Symetra

  www.symetra.com
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Symetra Reviews

Updated Jul 3, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

2.4 103 reviews

39% Approve of the CEO

Symetra President, CEO, and Director Thomas M. (Tom) Marra

Thomas M. (Tom) Marra

(59 ratings)

26% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work-Life Balance reasonable in terms of number of hours worked ((in 14 reviews)

  • Great people - including leadership team(in 12 reviews)


Cons
  • encourages a work/life balance but then punishes you for trying to have one(in 6 reviews)

  • Women in upper management positions are few and far between (if they are in(in 6 reviews)

103 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
in
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    Very happy to be here

    Manager (Current Employee) Bellevue, WA

    ProsI have worked for several local companies and my overall experience at Symetra has been the best. While the company is not perfect, it has many things going for it including great people, excellent work/life balance, better than average benefits, a nice central location and a real passion for supporting the community through programs such as the Symetra Week of Service and Heroes in the Classroom. I am also fortunate to be working for an excellent boss and senior leadership team that I am confident in; and with a dedicated and talented team of coworkers.

    Symetra, which sort of characterizes itself as being a scrappy underdog, is making a strong effort to increase its market presence and recently launched a national advertising campaign, which is very exciting. It is also making good traction in its desire to compete toe-to-toe with the market giants in our industry, such as Prudential and MetLife. Having previously worked for good companies that were either shrinking or "treading water", I also can't over emphasize how great it is to be working at one that is on the rise. While I realize not every employee would agree with me, I for one am very happy to be here.

    ConsSymetra is not a tech company nor does it pretend to be one, so if you want cutting edge technology, above market pay, lavish employee benefits/perks and 60 hour workweeks, this would not be your employer of choice. It would also not be a good fit for people who are uncomfortable with change.

    Advice to Senior ManagementWhile I agree with Symetra's guiding principles of VTS (Value, Transparency and Sustainability) and feel that we are doing a good job of demonstrating this concept on the customer side, we should also be consistently applying these principles internally. As a broad management team and starting with our executives, I think we can do a much better job of being transparent with our employees. I think intentions are good and have started to see things shift in a positive direction. Lets make sure to continue to build on this.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    6 people found this helpful  

    Sad State of Affairs

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsCan't think of any at this time. It used to be the people, but so many of the good ones have left!

    ConsIt's sad when senior management has to ask people to write positive reviews for the company. That only shows how desperate the company is and that lack of integrity the company has. Senior management is responsible to help with morale and so they should listen to the folks who have left the company, if they even took the time to speak and listen to them. Some folks have left for the normal reasons (retirement, etc.); others have made up reasons (i.e. retiring when they are really not or supposedly a better offer). The most worrisome, some folks have been asked to leave that were some of the brightest the company had because the company either wants to continue to stay out of touch or just didn't want to deal with what is staring at them.

    Also, you really can't trust HR -- they are loyal to the company, period.

    Advice to Senior ManagementLive up to your stated values -- value the folks that are truly invested in the company and not willing to play politics just to keep their job -- it's a tougher stance, but in the long run, one that will serve the company well. Don't pretend to care about the employee when you really don't.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    One word: Neutral

    IT Analyst (Current Employee) Bellevue, WA

    ProsWork life balance. Flexible hours. Somewhat interesting work. Very "polite" company to work for and good people to work with.

    ConsMorale is low in many departments. Higher ups don't seem to have it all together and send very mixed messages. Not a lot of trust.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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

    5 people found this helpful  

    It's getting depressing here!

    Software Developer (Current Employee) Bellevue, WA

    ProsThey pay me every two weeks.

    ConsWorked here quite a long time and the hallway whispering is driving me crazy. Perks are slowly being eroded. Good people are leaving or "disappearing" on a regular basis. IT infrastructure is old and even newer systems are useless. Me and many others have a strong suspicion that the employee survey is not as anonymous as they make it out to be.

    Advice to Senior ManagementGet rid of some of these middle managers or at least hire some that aren't so mistrusting of their employees that they try to do their jobs for them.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    5 people found this helpful  

    Nice people but bad management

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsGreat location and some great people who are fully vested in providing excellent service to their customers.

    ConsManagement and HR don't really have a clue how to get the best from their personnel and so resort to reading books about "trust" in order to try and gain some! Managers have so little actual work to do that they either spend their time getting in their employees way or in meetings dreaming up methods of getting in their employees way. Let people do their job! Favoritism is rife and difficult to overcome for newcomers into the business. As a consequence people are leaving and seeing this even seasoned employees are starting to walk.

    Advice to Senior ManagementGo and work somewhere else and let me do the job I'm paid to do.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Good work/life balance

    Systems Analyst (Current Employee) Bellevue, WA

    ProsReasonable work hours. Great for maintaining a family life.
    Good place to learn and being able to contribute.

    ConsBig old company with long history from Safeco time.
    It is political.

    Advice to Senior ManagementManagement needs to be more transparent. They are trying to achieve that. But it's not happening yet.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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

    1 person found this helpful  

    Symetra is a good company!

    Manager (Current Employee) Bellevue, WA

    ProsI've been with the company for less than a year, but wanted to share my thoughts. There are many good things about this company, and more to come. Are there growing pains? Yes. Is it perfect? No. Having said that, you get what you give. If you are a hard worker and contribute, you'll be rewarded, which will lead to satisfaction. If not, well, you may gripe about things, which will lead to dissatisfaction. Pros include:

    - Excellent location
    - A lot of really great people who care about their jobs and the service they provide to our clients
    - Good work environment, although it can be hectic at times. We're busy...it's good!
    - Lots of potential to progress within the company
    - Management is striving to empower people to come up with ideas, to provide suggestions on improving processes, to have a voice (I've noticed that some people thrive when given this opportunity, while others don't speak up). If you don't speak up, you shouldn't gripe.

    ConsThere are a few cons:

    - We seem to run in a reactive mode - there needs to be a paradigm shift to proactiveness, especially with work volumes
    - Some teams seem to work in silos - if there was a more inclusive approach in managing work volumes, I believe the volume of work could be parsed out as needed

    Advice to Senior Management- Listen to the folks in the trenches...they have a lot to offer
    - Make yourself more visible

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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

    1 person found this helpful  

    A good company with many nice people

    Senior Administrative (Current Employee) Bellevue, WA

    Pros-Good compensation and benefits
    -Flexible work hours and great location
    -Supportive supervisors (luckily I have them)
    -Super friend people (most of them are)

    Cons-A lot of teams seem to be disorganized
    -Too many meetings for managerial level

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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

    1 person found this helpful  

    I like Symetra!

    Analyst (Current Employee) Bellevue, WA

    ProsInteresting, challenging work-ability to advance in career-company supports education & training - great coworkers-salary is in line with experience & position-can work flexible hours & can work from home-good benefits--growing company with opportunities for those that are interested-I've worked at a lot of places all over the country, for lots of different kinds of people & Symetra is one of the best--complainers should try working at a really bad company, then compare.

    ConsSome managers need new personalities & micromanage too much--but, I happen to love my manager, the director of my unit & the VP of my department.

    Advice to Senior ManagementI think they do a pretty good job of keeping employees informed about the company and I think they are really invested in moving the company forward and growing

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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

    6 people found this helpful  

    One of the Worst Companies to Work For

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsGenerally good work-life balance, some nice people, great downtown Bellevue location

    ConsOne of the most political environments. One Senior manager tried to manage the employee engagement survey by having a lot of "manipulated" activities so employees would rank the company higher, especially his survey.

    Advice to Senior ManagementStop losing so many valued employees by actually listening to what they are saying when they leave. Stop pretending to "care" by reading books of trust -- trust is earned, not achieved by reading a book. Stop allowing VPs to manage up and not really listen to the employees who are leaving. And stop telling folks to try "new" ideas if you really don't want to allow them to push for change but would rather continue to work "politically."

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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