Underwriters Laboratories

  www.ul.com
  www.ul.com
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Underwriters Laboratories Reviews

Updated September 28, 2014
Updated September 28, 2014
163 Reviews
3.0
163 Reviews
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Underwriters Laboratories President and CEO Keith E. Williams
Keith E. Williams
103 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Additionally this company allows for a great work life balance (in 30 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.  

    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 for less than a 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
  2.  

    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 for less than a 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
  3.  

    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 for more than a year

    Pros

    Great company to work for and lots of room for growth

    Cons

    The hiring process is very long

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  5.  

    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 for more than a 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
  6.  

    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 for 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
  7.  

    good and challenging job

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

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

    Pros

    - good people
    - company policies

    Cons

    - laggard in technology
    - benefits aren't as good

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - more training
    - more perks

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Good history, roots, market recognition. Disconnect between vision at top and direct line 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 Underwriters Laboratories full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    The work can be rewarding depending upon which business unit you work for. Projects can be interesting and customers good to work with.

    Cons

    Company has potential to be a long term leader in industry, unfortunately it has lost it's way with minimal recognition of the value of leadership and strategy within certain business units, instead managing almost solely to short term (financial) objectives, which is a good way to shrink you market share, drive away talent, and ensure you are not relevant in your industry long term. Perception by front line staff is company has lost it's drive or passion for the stated or historical mission, which is unfortunate as this has been the sole of the company and driver for it's success for multi-generations. Company is struggling as it transition to a for profit company, leadership not experienced in the for profit market, as a result the pendulum has perhaps swung too far to one side too fast.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    While there is a need for transitioning of the company, it may be good to back off the accelerator pedal on the for profit side temporarily, level off, assess the dynamics and objective, rebalance leadership verses management, make sure there is a strategy in place for each business unit then begin to apply the accelerator pedal strategically not as broad brush stroke across all.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    project engineer

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Project Engineer  in  Fremont, CA
    Current Employee - Project Engineer in Fremont, CA

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

    Pros

    a lot of things to learn, friendly relationship, good visibility

    Cons

    pay is low, overall average benifit

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  10.  

    GREAT COMPANY TO WORK FOR BUT NO PLACE FOR GROWTH

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

    I worked at Underwriters Laboratories full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    As I started working for UL I really enjoyed learning a lot of new things which really benefited me to get a much better job. I really liked working with my Manager here at UL. She was the most amazing person I have ever met. Relaxing environment as long you keep doing your job. Office culture: Relaxed dress code, Fridays were jeans day which was really cool and every pay period there was bagels, donuts and the other Fridays were popcorn. Sometimes there will be cake and food. Good benefits and 401K plan.

    Cons

    It was only a Temp position and there was no assurance on when a full time offer would have been given.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Upper Management needs to be more strict and know what they are doing. Every employees works differently so ratings should be given by performance not by daily hours of work. Saw people chit chatting all day and still gets raised and gets bonuses. No that is not fair. People those working really hard are getting the same raise and same bonuses which is really not fair. Some Managers needs to go because they don't know what they are doing and upper management really needs lots and lots of training.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Men favored over women.

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

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

    Pros

    Benefits are okay. Every year they seem to get more expensive and the deductibles higher and higher. They have short term disability, but not long term disability available.

    Cons

    Management is so-so. There seems to be no communication between the various levels of management. If you get a good manager to work for it is pure luck.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It seems as though management only cares about the engineers. They put them on a different level than all of the other employees. The average person is undercompensated in general.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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