Underwriters Laboratories

  www.ul.com
  www.ul.com

Underwriters Laboratories Reviews

Updated October 20, 2014
Updated October 20, 2014
168 Reviews
3.1
168 Reviews
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Approve of CEO
Underwriters Laboratories President and CEO Keith E. Williams
Keith E. Williams
105 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Additionally this company allows for a great work life balance (in 32 reviews)

  • The staff at UL are dedicated to the company mission of public safety and are great to work with (in 12 reviews)


Cons
  • Senior management seems to not understand the core process (although this is getting better now) (in 10 reviews)

  • Not a lot of career advancement opportunities (in 9 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Listen to ideas, building for the future on the software development side

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

    I have been working at Underwriters Laboratories full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Managers are open to ideas to make coding and the process better. There isn't much territorialism.

    Care about employees. Provide a lot of learning opportunities, especially through UL University.

    Cons

    None, really. Maybe a bit corporate in some of the structure, but the office is comfortable and new.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Good working balance

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Tax Intern in Northbrook, IL
    Current Employee - Tax Intern in Northbrook, IL

    I have been working at Underwriters Laboratories as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    Colleagues are very friendly. All team members always go out for lunch. Even VP of the department is willing to have lunch with other employees.

    Cons

    Lots of work. Work overtime. We need more staff on our department. But our department is growing. Hope everything would be better and better.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management need to be more well-organized. Even there is regular meeting and tracking process. But it would be more effective to log in working hours on each project.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Project Manager

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

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

    Pros

    Good work environment. Very good co-workers

    Cons

    Leadership values $ over people.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take care of your people and the $ will take care of itself

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Older company trying to find its way in its reincarnation as a for-profit entity.

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

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

    Pros

    Collegial environment, good mission and values. Stable with good work/life balance.

    Cons

    Still a not for profit mentality. Big and slow to change. Comp and benefits are not on par with other for-profit companies of the same size.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Need a shake up in the leadership to make the company change more quickly. Look to hire excellent talent, and be prepared to pay for it.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    slow working pace, encourages to balance between life and work.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Strategy Analyst Intern in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Strategy Analyst Intern in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Underwriters Laboratories as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    not stressful, do not need to work extra hours

    Cons

    not so many young people working there.

  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great colleagues, too much politics, flawed management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Associate Project Engineer in Northbrook, IL
    Former Employee - Associate Project Engineer in Northbrook, IL

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

    Pros

    My peers were fantastic. All of the joys and frustrations were shared mutually, and we made sure never to hang anyone out to dry. Even if management didn't show a lot of respect to their subordinates, we subordinates would show that respect to each other. The noble ones --- and there were several --- were the hardest to leave because they were the ones who kept the optimism going when the morale dropped. They were the ones who stayed and kept doing their job, or they left and found positions deserving of their dedication and abilities.

    The fitness center in the basement, and the extracurricular activities ran by the employees were a lot of fun and helped with managing the work-life balance. Those helped foster the deep relationships beyond a simple working one. The fitness center especially was worth it --- a $10/month perk that had classes and quality equipment.

    Medical, dental, and vision benefits were excellent, and

    Cons

    A month after I started, they re-structured the management hierarchy, and a year after that, they made the move to a for-profit structure. These changes clouded the actual mission of the company, and it lowered morale everywhere. Political games were played during the management re-structure, preventing several people deserving of promotions and creating an untrusting environment that remained for the duration of my employment. This extended into the technical hierarchy, making it difficult to become technical reviewers and leaders unless you played the games. I knew of several colleagues that left because of it.

    The other major drawback of the management re-structure was the movement of managers into departments of which they had no knowledge and/or about which they didn't care to learn. The departments which which I interfaced were run in the same manner with very little flexibility for the nature of the department's business. Some groups had a harder time getting projects through, but the whip was always cracked onto other groups less deserving.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop playing games with your employees. There were/are several engineers with significant potential that were/are thumbed down and lost/are losing their motivation. They are the knowledge base, the technical expertise, and if you want to keep them in your company and not leaving for your customers or your competitors, treat them with the same respect you want from them.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    none

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Laboratory Intern in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Laboratory Intern in Chicago, IL

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

    Pros

    opportunity, good culture, personal growth

    Cons

    low pay, no benefits, slow work flow

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    n/a

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    lab tech experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Lab Technician III in Northbrook, IL
    Current Employee - Lab Technician III in Northbrook, IL

    I have been working at Underwriters Laboratories full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Great company to work for and lots of room for growth

    Cons

    The hiring process is very long

  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    LAYOFFS, LAYOFFS and more LAYOFFS

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

    I worked at Underwriters Laboratories full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Good Full-time benefits and the people are nice and easy-going, very laid-back.

    Cons

    We were one of the many companies UL bought a couple of years ago, not made any money since acquired. Upper management doesn't have a clue as to how to run the company. Too many chiefs not enough Indians. The sad part is many great employees quit, or get laid off. All that's left is the slackers and brown-noses.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Quit running off employees, and laying off good ones. Want to save money? Get rid of some of the six figure slackers that hide and do nothing.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    UL has changed

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

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

    Pros

    The staff at UL are dedicated to the company mission of public safety and are great to work with. There are opportunities to move around between the various business units. Decent benefits.

    Cons

    UL recently changed from a not for profit entity to a for profit. Since then, there has been a change in management philosophy from "do it right" to "make the numbers or else", Poor communication from management, stressful environment, no strategy/vision for integrating the large number of recent acquisitions.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Carefully plan how a newly purchased businesses will be integrated into the UL structure. Better/more extensive validation before new processes and IT systems are rolled out. Think strategically, rather than knee jerk reactions.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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