Symetra Reviews

Updated August 27, 2014
Updated August 27, 2014
118 Reviews

2.8
118 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Symetra President, CEO, and Director Thomas M. (Tom) Marra
Thomas M. (Tom) Marra
71 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

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  1. 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

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

    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
  2. 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

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

    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
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    One word: Neutral

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

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

    Pros

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

    Cons

    Morale 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.

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

    It's getting depressing here!

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

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

    Pros

    They pay me every two weeks.

    Cons

    Worked 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 ManagementAdvice

    Get 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 5 people found this helpful  

    Nice people but bad management

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

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

    Pros

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

    Cons

    Management 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 ManagementAdvice

    Go and work somewhere else and let me do the job I'm paid to do.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 6 people found this helpful  

    One of the Worst Companies to Work For

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

    I have been working at Symetra full-time

    Pros

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

    Cons

    One 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 ManagementAdvice

    Stop 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."

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good work/life balance

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

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

    Pros

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

    Cons

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

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    A good company with many nice people

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

    I have been working at Symetra full-time for less than a year

    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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Symetra is a good company!

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

    I have been working at Symetra full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    I'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.

    Cons

    There 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 ManagementAdvice

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    Symetra is not a good place to work.

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

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

    Pros

    The location in Bellevue is excellent.

    Cons

    The current CEO destroyed a wonderful company with a great culture. He has no interest in the people who build and sustained the company. Symetra is publicly traded and all the upper management cares about is enriching themselves through boosting the stock price. Compensation and benefits have been boosted by upper management for their own enrichment at the expense of the "little "people". People who have devoted their lives to the company have been dismissed with nothing.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Grow a soul. Take your money and leave. Go back to the East Coast and hire someone willing to invest in the people and economy of the Northwest.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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