Symetra

  www.symetra.com
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Symetra Reviews

Updated August 15, 2014
Updated August 15, 2014
116 Reviews

2.8
116 Reviews
Rating Trends

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

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)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Overworked employees and inexperience managers

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

    Pros

    Nice location, dedicated people, benefits, flexible hours

    Cons

    salary, parking cost, inexperience managers, and lack of team work in departments. Employees leave and they don't fill the position.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    hire some real workers not dictators.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Poor senior management and low morale

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

    Pros

    Compensation is competitive and benefits are excellent.

    Cons

    No leadership or direction, poor communication, sales execs expect workers to work long hours with no recognition. Senior managers ignore complaints of sexual harassment and hostile work environment. Teamwork is discouraged, while silos are encouraged, due to the competitive nature of the stacked ranking review process.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to your employees and follow through on ideas for making it a tolerable place to work.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great people with trust issues

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

    Pros

    Working with people who are smart, resourceful and just plain nice. Good work / life balance.

    Cons

    Management goals and actions did not always align, and little communication of why the change in direction. Worker bees didn't trust their management in multiple areas of the company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Communicate and be as honest as you can. Stick to the rules of engagement you set out that you want everyone to follow.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Tax intern

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Flexible working hours. Extension of intern contract

    Cons

    Limited training for intern staff

  6. 6 people found this helpful  

    Walk Away if you can

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

    Pros

    Of course there are many great people, many that will undoubtedly leave when the local job market truly improves

    Cons

    50% of UM's are ineffective

    75% of Managers/Directors are useless ( one of the best was let go, it's insane!)

    V.P.'s - at least one is so in over her head, spinning and spinning the same issues, making one poor decision after another, easily impressed by bright shiney objects with no idea who is really doing the work and who cares about more then their own career advancement.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Look at who you have in management and evaluate their worth to the organization beyond the totally biased, ineffective, joke known as annual review calibrations.

    Know who is being let go. Some strong employees have been let go while others somehow are rewarded with promotions???

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 3 people found this helpful  

    Personally, I am very happy at Symetra but I do understand why others may not be.

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Bellevue, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bellevue, WA

    Pros

    Energy, attitude, and collaboration drive me to be passionate about my work and I am encouraged and empowered by my manager to contribute at the level I want. I think the work/life balance exists and the people I work with on a daily basis are talented, hardworking and dedicated. They make my job as a manager easier and I don't feel stifled in finding new ways to reward them and create a more positive working environment (read: offsites and other team building activities).

    Cons

    As part of a high performing team, we are lean and sometimes I feel like I have to fight a little too hard to reward my people and obtain additional resources. The performance review system needs a complete overhaul but I think this is finally getting some much needed attention. In the meantime, I plan to make liberal use of Symetra's generous spot bonus program to recognize my stars--of which there are many.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take a real position to improve morale; no more employee surveys. Just walk around and talk to people. Learn more names, shake more hands, pat more backs and get to know the people who act like owners, but aren't. You have a huge talent pool within Symetra. Find these people and personally listen to what they have to say. They, like me, are vested in this company and know that it has the makings to be a great place to work.

  8. 6 people found this helpful  

    Sad State of Affairs

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

    Pros

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

    Cons

    It'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 ManagementAdvice

    Live 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    Symetra is in the dark ages. Upper level management has no saavy and is clueless about how to market in our digital age.

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

    Pros

    Good work/life balance. Very little over-time. Great benefits (6% matching 401K). The company really emphasizes employee volunteerism.

    Cons

    Horrible morale. 50% of the people in my department hated their jobs due to poor management. Managers have no backbone and aren't willing to stick up for their employees.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There are a lot of smart, talented people with great ideas working in positions beneath you. Listen to them!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Company lacking an identity.

    • 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

    Pros

    Flexible work arrangements and nice people

    Cons

    Pay, Senior Management, Lack of long term potential

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Figure out what the long term strategy should be and focus on the things you do well.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 4 people found this helpful  

    Very happy to be here

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

    Pros

    I 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.

    Cons

    Symetra 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 ManagementAdvice

    While 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.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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