Towers Watson Reviews

Updated August 1, 2015
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501 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (3)

    Make sure you have a people manager who takes development seriously.

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

    I worked at Towers Watson full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Exposure to various clients and industries. Flexible work environment depending upon the office and the manager.

    Cons

    You'll do the same work over and over again. If you get stuck with a people manager who doesn't care about development you can get dead ended. Some offices afford you more flexibility than others. Average benefits. I highly recommend not starting your career at Towers. Other firms do a much better job of developing their people. Go to Hay, Pay Governance or Pear Meyer if you are starting your career in this field. You'll be treated much better as an analyst or project manager.

    Advice to Management

    Do a better job of picking people managers. Look at what offices have high turnover/haven't promoted people and ask yourself what has been the constant.


  2. Helpful (3)

    Not great for growth opportunities

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Consultant in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Consultant in New York, NY

    I have been working at Towers Watson full-time (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Good Benefits and work life balance

    Cons

    Not a lot of growth opportunities


  3. Helpful (5)

    Odd Culture, political shark tank, no training- but you must do it our way...

    Current Employee - Senior Consultant
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant

    I have been working at Towers Watson full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    People are very bright and once they have kicked back a few drinks they loosen up and personalities actually begin to develop!

    Cons

    Leadership? Leadership is too busy to pay any attention to what the individual managers are up to. Then, when things are escalated, and probably too late- they become involved. The managers need training, the staff needs training. When leadership is engaged- they are great- it just does not happen all the time. Too bad. It would create a better environment and change the culture.

    Advice to Management

    Increase training- get rid of poor managers. Pay attention to what is happening.


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  5. Helpful (11)

    If you're young, smart, and motivated look elsewhere

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

    I have been working at Towers Watson full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    - great people. For the most part the consultants you work with are some of the smartest people in the industry. People generally take pride in the work they do and are genuinely interested in their work product, for the most part Most young people here are typically outgoing (defying stereotypes of the actuary) and enjoy having a good time - Job Security More of a negative, actually, but due to understaffing, you can stay here as long as you would like (even if you continually show a lack of competency or display a lack of interest or concern in the work you do)

    Cons

    where to begin? There are a lot of internal issues here that have been neglected by management for a long time, which has only made things worse, although, the issues are now being addressed but with lack of urgency, transparency and regard. - No incentive for young employees to perform well, and no way to retain the young employees that do perform well (and meet expectations) With high billable goals that are typically viewed as unattainable (I barely hit mine working 10-hour days on average, with plenty of 15 hour days during busy season, taking 3-4 days off all year while working plenty of weekends, and exceeded the billable goal by only 100 hours) you better be able to reward the employees that are able meet the goals. However, despite a clear work load disparity at the analyst level, there is no clear disparity and distinction in analyst's bonuses and salary increases. For example: Analyst A: who worked 2000 hours and produced high quality work product will receive X% + 3% of base salary and Y% + 2% in annual salary increase at fiscal year end Analyst B: who worked 1600 hours and produced so-so work product will receive X% of base salary and Y% in annual salary increase at fiscal year end Ultimately, hours worked over the billable goal at the analyst position typically equates to a minimum wage hourly rate or less, so there is no fiscal incentive to outperform goals, however there is every expectation that you will work late and that you're just as vested in the work product as the consultant delivering the work to client Really the only tangible reward for good work is more work. - Top Heavy This probably is strongly related to the analyst bonus issue (as well as unrealistic growth expectations of senior management); with so many tenured associates at the consultant and senior consultant level (who take home much more at year-end in bonuses then junior associates) there is no money in the bonus pool to go to junior associates, as well as bottlenecking top-performing junior associates from transitioning into a consultant role Also, none of the consultants and senior consultants who are either incompetent or 'nightmares' to deal with are handled appropriately (fired). Instead they are allowed to 'hang around' as long as they would like and continue to drive down office morale. It's assumed that the 'problem' consultants will just get the idea and eventually move on based off of low bonuses on an annual basis (this assumes some disparity in the bonuses at the consultant level), however all these 'problem's are vested in rich legacy pension plans and are an older population, so, if they have any financial sense (they all do), they all are perfectly incentivised to stick around until retirement while their rich pensions continue to accrue. - Lack of Transparency If anything is being done to address the 'above-average' turnover it is not being communicated to the office or specific practice.This of course is assuming that high turnover is being addressed, since in the last year and a half over 20 analysts have quit in my particular practice (with more than half being knowledgeable, tenured senior analysts). Although, senior management is quick to rationalize high turnover as 'coming with the territory' of being in the financial service industry. its worth nothing that there are, roughly every two years, employee engagement surveys so that management can better address issues within your practice, office and company-wide. However, in my practice, the results of the engagement survey have yet to be acknowledged or discussed in a practice-wide meeting (what you would think would happen after engagement survey results have been released, but here we are more than 4 months later...). Bonus structures are not discussed with younger employees so there is no understanding of how bonuses are awarded and under what circumstances they are awarded Promotions and, more importantly, employee development are not discussed with junior associates unless they reach out to their manager to try to understand how they can be promoted. - Lack of communication this may come with the territory of working with actuaries, but, generally, everything is done on unspoken expectations i.e. a consultant will give a tenured analyst some admin type work (filing or making edits to some documents) and tell them to do it, but will expect the analyst to pass off the work to a more junior analyst or administrative assistant, but nothing will be said of that nature. It is worth noting that occasionally you'll have a consultant who actually expects the tenured analyst to do the admin type work and will get upset if you pass that work off (even if your busy and the admin type work is urgent) - No work-life balance IF you're motivated to get promoted or exceed goals(although no guarantee that you will be able to get promoted through hard work and dedication) - High turnover and understaffing No end in sight to this issue (as previously alluded to) - Complete disconnect between senior management and junior associates senior management doesn't understand that you need competent young associates to be able to retain key clients and grow client relations. Inconsistent work product, missed deadlines, and client dissatisfaction is what will continue and grow more apparent as turnover escalates. Senior management does know they will need less competent young associates in the future as they attempt to become a leaner more cost efficient company. less analysts, more outsourced work, more admins, is all part of the game plan, but who's going to replace the consultants to ensure client relationships are maintained? Oh, well the retirement practice is going to evaporate in 5 years anyways so what the difference. At least that is what is assumed by senior management, although they'll tell junior associates that pensions are making a comeback and the company can continue to grow at faster pace than currently, even though their largest revenue generator is in a declining field with spikes in revenue over the next few years only coming from plan termination projects (that will generate a lot of revenue now, but in 2 years there will be no revenue) - Benefits are below average in comparison to industry - pay is below average in comparison to industry and bonuses are non-existent (as previously mentioned) Also, actuarial exam bonuses are roughly half of what Aon and Mercer offer

    Advice to Management

    -Develop realistic growth expectations. You know the company cant grow faster than currently and you know this underfunded the bonus pool in the process. if your benchmark for bonuses is your best year ever and you know you can't continually outperform that benchmark your employee's hard work will continually go unappreciated - Your employees define your future success You're in the financial services sector so start coming to terms with how important the people you employ are and do everything you can to retain your top performers. - Listen to your employees Please, stop ignoring what your employees are saying because you're in the financial services sector and high-turnover is expected. Employees don't like hearing that their biggest concerns are being completed ignored because 'this is what you signed up for", no they decided to work here because they assumed Towers was a global leader in HR solutions..


  6. Helpful (4)

    Clueless Management

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

    I have been working at Towers Watson full-time (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    A salary and benefits centrally located

    Cons

    Low morale, politics galore, benefits aren't as good as they previously were, low compensation and no flexibility in work hours, no room for advancement

    Advice to Management

    Consider mentoring lower level staff


  7. Helpful (4)

    Toxic environment (International)

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - International Consultant in New York, NY
    Current Employee - International Consultant in New York, NY

    I have been working at Towers Watson full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Other groups seem stable and invest in their employees.

    Cons

    Clients are poorly staffed. No work-life balance. Rewards are abysmal given the workload and effort. Leadership does not operate with integrity and takes no responsibility for their actions. Not smart.Turnover is extremely high.

    Advice to Management

    Appoint someone else to manage the group who has people skills and is impartial. Use outside people to run the daily operations including work flow and career management of associates.


  8. Very stressful and under appreciated

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

    I worked at Towers Watson full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Have flexibility to work from home. People who enjoy working in a remote environment will like it because you will never a have a team. Entire work/meetings is done through phone.

    Cons

    No work life balance during peak seasons. They don't treat you as humans during peak hours as client comes first no matter what. Leadership has unreasonable expectations. They don't understand the system but demand you to work. Heavily process oriented company so there is absolutely no scope to define anything. You have to follow the process even when it is inefficient

    Advice to Management

    Be reasonable to your employees and listen to their voice. Try being flexible when needed.


  9. Helpful (3)

    Unfortunately the company location in Pittsburgh, hiring process unorganized, not professional. Lack of training skills.

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

    I worked at Towers Watson full-time (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Companys potential-skys the limit. The pay good for the position.

    Cons

    Training lacked the essential direction for the job functions. Anyone can read from slides, takes trainer interaction with new hires along with system practice. Either you got the skill set for CSR or not. Training should be more on systems toggling again with practice, worksheets or at least the opportunity to take proper notes. Not enough valuable time learning the clients needs. And most importantly, ,,, a company should not let one person with only ONE year of customer service experience EVER make most important decisions, ,, especially with the maturity level of a high school student. Presentation of your company is set in the attitude of your leaders regardless if they are lowest level management meaning a team lead.

    Advice to Management

    My advice for management is not needed for this company.


  10. Helpful (5)

    Horrible Place

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

    I worked at Towers Watson

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Nice people, ok location, forced to write at least five words

    Cons

    Passive aggressive leadership, Terrible product


  11. Helpful (4)

    One Exchange - Insurance

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Insurance BA in West Jordan, UT
    Former Employee - Insurance BA in West Jordan, UT

    I worked at Towers Watson

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    -Good job for students to have when not in school (seasonal BA position)

    Cons

    -This company is extremely unethical when it comes to helping retirees with their insurance. Mistakes made by ill-trained employees make retirees lose coverage -Trainings aren't long enough, and because of the seasonal nature of the positions -Very sexist. Vast majority of people promoted to management are men -Raises are non-existent. People can go years working as supervisors and never get a raise -There is a "not my problem" that supervisors have when helping the people on their team. Supervisors will ignore their employees request for help.

    Advice to Management

    -Look at your diversity numbers when it comes to management. -Talk to people on the BA floor, and learn what problems they're dealing with and how to help them. -Frankly, look at doing a complete overhaul before Medicare or the AG comes knocking on your door.



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