Symetra

  www.symetra.com
  www.symetra.com

Symetra Reviews

Updated December 16, 2014
Updated December 16, 2014
125 Reviews
2.8
125 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Symetra President, CEO, and Director Thomas M. (Tom) Marra
Thomas M. (Tom) Marra
76 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great friendly people to work with, reasonable work-life balance and flexibility (in 17 reviews)

  • Some employees are really great people (in 12 reviews)


Cons
  • I am a dedicated employee & hard worker but I'm having to watch my peers fall apart around me from overwork & lack of work/life balance (in 6 reviews)

  • Women in upper management positions are few and far between (if they are in (in 7 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Benefits good, but not much job satisfaction and too much turnover

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

    I worked at Symetra full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The benefits and location are great. Leadership is making changes to try and improve workplace. There are lots of opportunities for business improvement, which could be leveraged for advancement in the right circumstances. The culture of people here is awesome, and most people are very nice and friendly to work with. Recently, the company has bought a lot of new tech which is kinda fun too.

    Cons

    Middle management pushes employees using deadlines, and likes to blame and shame employees for risk-taking. Over-emphasis on unimportant stuff like filling out electronic forms and other such busywork instead of focusing on removing repetition from the daily activities. Lots of serious job dissatisfaction when you have managers managing people into the ground. I've never had any dissatisfaction with my profession before, but this place made me question it a few times. Be prepared for a slog through multiple mechanisms for tracking your hours, in addition to working with lots of systems that in addition to being old, many times the original developer or expert who supported the system no longer works at the company, so that is a warning sign to me.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Remove or educate managers, they aren't enabling growth in employees. Stop focusing on external things to improve the company like volunteering and fitness stuff, you need to focus on making the people on each team happy with the job they are currently doing so they won't leave. Put more emphasis on enabling learning about the technology and assets the company already has so you don't end up with tons of technology doing the same thing on multiple teams. You have a serious brain drain, and it is only going to get worse if you don't improve the job satisfaction on each team, don't think about it in terms of divisions, each team has a TOTALLY different experience with the company because each manager uses the tools at their disposal differently and sometimes inconsistently.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Sweat shop!!

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

    I have been working at Symetra full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    They pay every two weeks... They are located across the street from the bus transit center.... They have a Starbucks next door.

    Cons

    Don't care for their employees, only the stock price. I am a dedicated employee & hard worker but I'm having to watch my peers fall apart around me from overwork & lack of work/life balance. We are penalized if we answer honestly in the Employee Engagement Surveys. No privacy at desks & have to work in itty bitty cubicles. Lousy managers & no way to give performance feedback on your manager.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you want REAL honest answers in the engagement survey, you can't penalize your employees in their performance reviews by tying their raises to the outcome of the survey. You need to listen so you can fix what is wrong (if you care).

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    A poorly organized and run corporation

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - New Business Support in Bellevue, WA
    Current Employee - New Business Support in Bellevue, WA

    I have been working at Symetra full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    The employees are dedicated and hard working.

    Cons

    Management is disorganized and totally reactive. Extremely poor communication company wide. Extremely poor training programs with little support from management. Salaries are extremely uncompetitive, as are benefits.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen much more closely and sincerely to offers for company improvement from the employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    This company is here to make money.

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

    I have been working at Symetra full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Benefits are good. Pay is competitive in my experience.

    Cons

    The leadership values EPS and ROE, not people. CEO takes some pride in the fact that he "doesn't read management books." Long-term planning is just numbers and wishing, not real planning. There isn't a focus on what we do well. It's just "grow and bring in more profitable business." The word customer does not come up very often in management discussions.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Find out why Symetra's existence is good for the planet and embrace it.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great people, lack of business strategy

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

    I worked at Symetra full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great friendly people to work with, reasonable work-life balance and flexibility. Downtown Bellevue location and casual dress code are plusses. Competitive benefits package. Salaries are at the low end of market competitive.

    Cons

    Upper management is very out of touch with business reality, trying to make a small to medium size company into an industry giant. Some huge misfires on product development that cost the company millions of dollars. Antiquated IT infrastructure makes doing your job exceedingly difficult, and lack of commitment to invest in improvements. Many examples of favoritism by senior management, hiring their cronies from East Coast companies who also do not contribute to a unified growth strategy for the company. Culture varies greatly by department, some are managed well, others create a blame based environment which is not conducive to teamwork or productivity. There is lip service given to employee development but during my tenure the employee development group was downsized at a critical growth period in the company's history.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Develop a consistent and reasonably achievable strategy for a company of Symetra's size. Don't waste money on sports-based advertising when most people have no clue what the products being sold could do for them. Bite the bullet and invest heavily in IT infrastructure improvement to improve ability to go after new market segments.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 4 people found this helpful  

    Laughable - Be Aware HR is asking employees for positive reviews

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

    I worked at Symetra full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Notice that the majority of the positive reviews are done in same time frame. Current employees at the company have confirmed that HR is asking (and creating) positive reviews.

    Cons

    The employee centric culture is for public consumption only. High stress, long hours, layoffs and low pay. Current employees are telling me I was lucky to get out when I did. They say its only getting worse.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    This can't continue. Symetra is currently the place not to work.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    Change in management caused many problems.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in Bellevue, WA
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in Bellevue, WA

    I worked at Symetra full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Home office had a great team of customer service reps who worked together before Symetra went public and hired new CEO. Then management decided that customer service was an expense that needed to be drastically cut back. The ensuing fall out there decimated the department. There were many good people here before the change in management. I don't know how many are left, certainly not me.

    Cons

    Hiring a bunch of sales reps to grow the company and making every other department pay for that growth by overworking and underpaying them. We had one year of no raises during the recession, then small raises afterwards, then pay cuts to reduce the "expense" of customer service. Without CSRs explaining things to customers, Symetra would have lost a lot of policies sold by number hunger sales reps.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Think about all of your employees, not just the number driven sales reps who bring in the business any way they can.
    For the manager who said she like to help people advance, look at all of your employees, not just your friends whom you brought on board.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    management bias towards their friends

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Finance Manager in Bellevue, WA
    Former Employee - Finance Manager in Bellevue, WA

    I worked at Symetra full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    good group of hardworking folks at the bottom tier; standard benefits package; good downtown location in Bellevue;

    Cons

    you get promoted super fast if you have the right connections to upper mgmt. For example, in order to promote an inexperienced manager with connection to become a finance director, they forced out a knowledgeable director. There are no more diversity in the management group. They are now 100% white female only. If you are a pretty blonde female, you will do very well in the Finance org. If you are not, you are better off working for another company. Also, the only way that you will get a raise here is when you submit your two-weeks notice - that's when they went into panic mode & try to match what your new company pays you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    promote employees based on qualifications, not based on connections or physical appreances

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    The experience at Symetra provided me with valuable knowledge and skills to successfully advance my IT career.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Database Administrator in Bellevue, NE
    Former Employee - Database Administrator in Bellevue, NE

    I worked at Symetra full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The pros of working at Symetra include but not limited to: Team effort, management support, personal development, and work life balance. I had full support from my manager, including training and the right tools, while supporting Symetra Database systems.

    Cons

    Encourage more team building activities.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue the great effort of valuing each team member's feedback and contribution.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great Benefits, Inconsistent Employee Development

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Contracts and Licensing Coordinator in Bellevue, WA
    Current Employee - Contracts and Licensing Coordinator in Bellevue, WA

    I have been working at Symetra full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    The benefits are great, with 3 options to choose from for medical. You have your choice of a transit pass for $8 taken out of every paycheck, or a parking pass for around $60 a paycheck. Tries to support work/life balance with a 38.75hr work week. Business casual dress code--most people wear jeans.

    Cons

    Training is sub-par and seems to be an after thought with much of the management. Advancement is not consistent with seniority or meritocracy; it is at the whim of the management as to who will progress and who will stay behind.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get rid of the problem employees faster than you have or haven't in the past. It would also be nice if management would take the time to learn exactly what it is that the other employees do so as to provide better support.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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