Benefitfocus "long hours" Reviews | Glassdoor

Benefitfocus Reviews

Updated Jan 17, 2020

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3.3
50%
Recommend to a Friend
59%
Approve of CEO
Benefitfocus President and CEO Ray August
Ray August
81 Ratings
  1. Helpful (13)

    "If you get hired for a client facing role, be sure to read the reviews left by client facing employees."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Benefitfocus full-time

    Pros

    You can bring your dog to work, and I honestly do not think HR is posting fake reviews but I've been gone a while now, so that may have changed.

    Cons

    Sales paints a pretty picture of everything BNFT does because you guessed it, they're in sales and they are salespeople. Front line jobs are a total nightmare and every day you go into work hoping not to accomplish, but to survive. In the interview process they will tell you that you'll work long hours during open enrollment (fall), and while that is very true, the company has taken on so much business that open enrollment is a year round thing so prepare to work 55-60 hours weekly because if you don't, your managers will guilt you into doing it anyway. Oh, and since they are now a public company, they will not hire enough support in Charleston for you to succeed. Instead they sent all of those jobs to India and/or Manila. And to their credit, they want to learn, and are very helpful, most of the time you end having to rework the issue because they do not have enough training in their specific position. Most folks on DI take about a year to really know how to understand and dig into data and work with customers, and they're trying to do it in a month, max.

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    Advice to Management

    Stop celebrating the positive reviews from sales and address the issues that client facing employees leave on here and in their performance reviews. The culture left when BF when public, so stop wasting time with culture sessions. Nobody can afford to be away from their desk for these meetings, let alone take a vacation. Stop pandering to stockholders and pay your employees. Happy employees = happy customers. That is what should matter.

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    Benefitfocus2017-02-23
  2. Helpful (1)

    "Good company adjusting for their growth focused on clients and investing for the future"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Director in Charleston, SC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Extremely customer focused organization and leaders. Great teaming amongst associates who really work to help each other out. There is definitely a "can do" culture. Focus is on investment for future success versus just short team profits. Young employee base who are very eager to take on broader roles and make a difference.

    Cons

    Growth has outpaced some of the operational processes but good efforts and initiatives are underway to improve, but some of the challenges had meant some long hours for more experienced associates. Some strong individual contributors have taken on positions where they are now finding it challenging to drive the changes needed given limited experience and exposure, but in response we are seeing more mid level and higher level leaders be hired from the outside to help bring in additional experiences and help shape things for the future.

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    Advice to Management

    Drive visibility of future plans across the organization to gain buy in and additional trust.

    Benefitfocus2017-02-12
  3. Helpful (24)

    "The people are what make the company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Benefitfocus full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Great building and facilities, including state of the art mother’s rooms, nice work stations, couches and dining areas, plenty of food choices to purchase on site for those busy days and ample parking. Bikes are provided, the company will offer boot camp and yoga now and then and there’s all the regular amenities you find most places- coffee, tea, soda, snacks, etc. The company recently instated a new maternity and paternity leave policy. Maternity leave is now 8 weeks fully paid (you can use PTO after, if you wish) and paternity leave is 2 weeks paid (again, you can use PTO on top of that). This is a great improvement and I am proud that the company has created this policy. We have generous PTO, 3 weeks to start and 4 weeks after your first year. It goes up after 5 years with the company. Health insurance is affordable and great if you are a single person. Some management is supportive and really great. The company is flexible to an extent, I am able to work from home as needed and during the hurricane (and the ice storm a few years ago), everyone worked remotely and BF was very supportive of that. The single best thing about Benefitfocus are the people you work with. I have never worked at any company with so many great people working alongside you every singe day. The people, not the directors and above, but everyday associates, are what make this company.

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    Cons

    Management- I have been through a handful of managers during my time here and will say that your manager will truly make your experience here at BF. There are some great managers, ones who have your back, who support you, and who you will truly enjoy working with. There are also managers who are managers simply because of who they know or due to their seniority and that can break it for your experience here. I believe Alan B. is trying to get management proper training but they aren’t interested in working with him, which is really frustrating for direct reports. Another big issue with management is favoritism. This goes on everywhere, but in all the places I have worked, this place by far exhibits the most blatant display of favoritism I have ever witnessed. Promotions are given based on time with the company and which director you are friends with. If you are a favorite and you resign, you will be given more money to stay. If you are a favorite, you can work remotely and spend your time running errands, working out and playing with your kids. You’ll be given less work. I have worked at 5 other professional companies and have never witnessed such undisguised preferential treatment of employees. Benefits/Salary- The benefits are very expensive if you have a family. We have countless insurance carriers at our disposal that we could negotiate great rates with, yet we don’t. The 401K matching is just okay and there are no bonuses or great merit increases in place to reward you for those (very) long hours you put in. Salaries are all over the board, with people performing the same job making $30k difference. New hires are paid far more than those who have been carrying the company on their backs for years. The compensation director has done a great job of bringing in new hires at fair market value, but doesn’t seem to care about those who have put in their time with the company, as salaries have not been structured by pay grade, as he stated he would do when he came on board. The jobs- if you are client facing, you will hate your job. In all the years of my jobs in client facing roles, I have never worked in such a hostile environment where they are concerned. I get that they are rightfully frustrated at times, the software doesn’t function correctly, files are incorrect or late, things happen, but many of the clients I have are downright volatile and will hold you (as the client facing person) personally responsible for everything that happens. Day in and day out, I get chastised for things that are beyond my control and BF simply is unable to give us the resources to properly handle all of these situations. The CSM role that is supposed to be “relationship management” and “project management” is nothing more than a firefighting verbal punching bag of a role. The Ben Admins are verbally assaulted daily by those frustrated by either their lack of understanding of how to enroll in benefits or because they don’t have proper ability to use the enrollment system. Testing Managers and Project Managers are treated poorly due to promises made by sales that we simply cannot deliver. Which brings me to my next point- global. It is inevitable that we need to outsource SOME jobs, but the level of incompetency we deal with overseas is astounding. It’s not their fault- they have a language barrier, in conjunction with broken and undocumented processes, dysfunctional software and lack of training, to overcome. It’s a lose-lose situation for everyone (stateside employees, global employees and clients.) The software seems to have been designed by middle-career level engineers. It’s a solid product from the design perspective, however, as the years have gone on, we have continuously found holes and have stayed afloat with releases and patches that put bandaids over them. We also release new features continuously, without fixing old issues, which causes a snowball effect of… you guessed it… more issues! We are now so far into this that we need a team of top notch engineers to come in and redesign the entire system. No holes, no shortcuts. It’s likely impossible to get those engineers because we want to pay them “Charleston salaries” so why would they bother? The software is not intuitive to use and those of us who are client facing and in the system daily know of the many manual workarounds that we must perform daily just to keep the business running. And last, but not least, I really dislike how your “dedication” is measured by the amount of hours you put in here. We use a time tracking system (the dreaded replicon, now replaced by the even more dreadful netsuite) and management looks at that weekly to see how many hours you are putting in. It’s sad when you have a week where you put in under 60 hours and you are made to feel that you are underutilized.

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    Advice to Management

    Look at your teams and evaluate who your stars are. Don’t take into account how long they have been with the company or how cute they are. Really take a good, long look at their contributions, how they work with teams across the company and reward them accordingly. Do everything you can to hold onto the culture. It’s slipping away and it’s crucial that you change that- it is what helps keep up morale.

    Benefitfocus2016-12-07
  4. "Application Consultant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Applications Consultant in Daniel Island, SC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Benefitfocus for more than a year

    Pros

    Great work environment, Managers very helpful when needing help

    Cons

    Work to Pay ratio is negative, Long hours

    Benefitfocus2016-12-05
  5. Helpful (9)

    "Long Hours, Large Workload"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Benefitfocus full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Culture is a huge plus to working here. There are lots of "freebies", such as soda, Starbucks coffee, snacks, catered food, etc. Lots of lounge areas with couches and televisions and mini kitchens on every floor. Plus others, such as bringing your dog to work and setting up one's workstation to "feel like home". The people I work with also are awesome. There is a strong comradery within work groups.

    Cons

    Those same "cultural" pluses are there to make one feel better about putting in long hours. The unlimited supply of caffeine and food keeps one within feet of their desks. Letting us bring our dogs in, so that we don't feel the emotional pull of going home. There are even locker rooms and showers. We often joke that they would love to just keep us there 24 hours. The comradery is strong because we all feel the same way. It wasn't always like this, but there has been a definite shifting in added expectations. It is not that we don't want to give it all, we do want this company to be successful. However, when one only has a few hours a week away from work, the overwhelming unbalance between work and home brings morale down. We understand that the business is growing, but management only brings contract workers in for crunch times. Now with more rumors of moving chunks of our operations overseas, causing even more unrest. Almost all that I work with are searching for other jobs with better work/life balance.

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    Advice to Management

    At this point, I feel that there is little to say to management. They are aware of the ripples of dissatisfaction. I do have one piece of advice: Our company handles very sensitive information, moving that business overseas would be a huge mistake.

    Benefitfocus2016-11-02
  6. Helpful (10)

    "No longer cares about employees"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Won't Say Out of Retribution in Charleston, SC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Benefitfocus

    Pros

    Some very bright workers that are great to be around. There are some of the brightest people I know that worked there or are still working there.

    Cons

    The perks are being removed daily. What used to make this company great is no longer a valid argument. Management is terrible and when there is an opportunity for positive change they refuse to take it. Internal advancement is not possible unless you are in the chosen few and like to kiss tail. You work very long hours with no appreciation. I could go on and on, but I will be brief in saying that the pros do not outweigh the cons here. I have been here for several years and saw it go from a great company to a company in which I hate coming into work everyday.

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    Advice to Management

    Listen to the people that constantly try to help you and drive you in the right direction. Quit crushing the people that are actually doing the work for you and praising those that are mediocre at best. The morale here is the worst I have seen in a very long career.

    Benefitfocus2016-11-09
  7. Helpful (38)

    "BNFT Only Cares About Money, Not Associates"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Manager in Charleston, SC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Benefitfocus for more than 3 years

    Pros

    If I were to have reviewed Benefitfocus a few years ago prior to the new COO and President (R.A.) I probably would have given Benefitfocus a 5 star review. Back then we had a very strong and fun culture which has all but vanished since they hired R.A. There are still a few perks to working at Benefitfocus, but a lot less than there once was. Some of the perks include: Associate Coworkers - They are some of the brightest and most talented people to work with. There are many friendships that have been formed among the associates at Benefitfocus. Flexible Hours - You are not on a set clock to be on time; so you don't worry if you are a few minutes late coming in. However be prepared to work long hours. Free Sodas, Coffee, & Snacks - There is a soda machine serving Pepsi products (It should be Coke since we are in the south), free Starbucks brand coffee, free fruit on Mondays and free veggies on Wednesdays. Location - Daniel Island is a very beautiful island to work on; just wish the Island had more options for lunch, but it is a short drive to Mt. Pleasant. PTO (paid time off) - We get a generous amount of time off (20 days for up to 5 years of service, 25 days after 5 years, etc). The longer you are at the company the more time you get off; however it's hard to take all of the time off with the responsibilities you have. Food Trucks and Food Service - Since Daniel Island doesn't have all that many restaurants Benefitfocus has arranged different food trucks and catering to come in at lunch for the employees to have options to buy food on campus; this comes in handy because a lot times you don't have time to leave due to work piling up. Work from Home - If needed you are allowed to work from home a couple of days a week; however this is quickly changing and certain departments have told their teams that they can no longer work from home and have to take a PTO day if their child is sick or some other reason that they need to work from home. CEO - Shawn Jenkins was a great CEO before we went public (BNFT) and he was more involved with the company. Sadly I have to disapprove of him now since he seems to be less involved in what is happening with the company and letting others control the direction that Benefitfocus is heading in. There are a few more pros, but more cons now than pros.

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    Cons

    Where to begin with cons? There are just so many! COO/President - I list him as the number 1 con for Benefitfocus because since he came in the world of Benefitfocus culture has went from being the number one place to work in South Carolina to an almost non-existent culture. Instead of coming into work because it was fun, you now come into work so you'll get a check on the 1st and 15th; and you work as hard as you can in fear of being let go, while you surf job boards for a new job just in case. Layoffs and Outsourcing - In the past month I have seen many good people that were outstanding at their jobs be let go due to restructuring of the company. A lot of these jobs have been moved to associates of Value Labs in India and others have become responsibilities of already overloaded associates in the office. Not to mention the work that comes out of the Value Labs office is pretty much crap and has to be fixed by someone in the office once it is here. Communication - There is a huge lack of communication from the HR, Management, and Executive levels to the associates. Everyone is in fear currently due to the layoffs (restructuring) we have witnessed this past month, but no one from HR or management has sent out an email to let everyone know what is going on and everyone fears that they may be next; causing a slide in moral, trust, and productivity. Reorganizations - Benefitfocus is the king when it comes to reorganizing. There was yearly reorganizations, but this past year there has been at least 3 reorgs in the company. Compensation - Salary at Benefitfocus is a lot lower than the national standard while the cost of living in the Charleston are is well above the national average. It's hard to find a place to rent or buy near the office because the pay doesn't equate to the cost of living. Merit Increases - I have watched merit increases decrease over the years at Benefitfocus and this past year they were super low compared to prior years; with some associates actually not even getting a raise. We have busted our butts this past year and got little to show for it. Rewards for hard work - Forget getting a reward for hard work like the free stock or compensation. You may be told by your manager or director that you are doing a fantastic job, but when it comes rewards they are given out to the same people every time; as there is a lot of favoritism shown to those people. Speaking of stock all developers get 100 shares of restricted stock when they are hired, but the rest of the design & engineering team get nothing. Developers are certainly considered more important than other associates by Benefitfocus. PTO Policy - While we receive a generous amount of PTO each year the con to that is that it does not roll over; use it or lose it. The thing is that it is hard to use all of your PTO since you are so busy working on many different projects. Another negative about this policy is that at the end of the year lots of the staff realize they are going to lose their PTO so they take off leaving everyone shorthanded and creating work for those not on PTO to finish out for the 4th release and patches to follow. ***Update - BF has updated their PTO policy because they know they screwed up; so now PTO runs April 1st - March 31st. Patches - There are so many patches between releases; and they are sometimes about as big as the release itself. We have so many issues with our software that it is hard to work on your release items because you are bogged down working on patch fixes up to the release, causing you to rush through release items; so prepare to patch those issues after the release. Work Life Balance - There really is no such thing as a work life balance at Benefitfocus. Everyone works long hours here and there is rarely any downtime; be prepared to work late nights and weekends, even holidays. When you take PTO you dread coming back due to how much work will be waiting on you. Training - With the company moving toward an Agile methodology there has been little to no training of the associates. It is going to be a complete failure if everyone is not trained. Company Sponsored Events - There is no telling how much money the company wastes on events like "One Place". They worry so much about the budget but waste so much money on events for clients and on advertising, while underpaying their associates. I'll stop right here because there are way too many cons to list, but I would just say to a future prospective associate to think long and hard before committing to work for Benefitfocus.

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    Advice to Management

    Communicate - Let your employees know what is going on with the company. Let us know about the restructuring of the company so we aren't working in fear and looking for another company to go work for. Training - Don't expect the associates to turn water into wine without the proper training. Listen - Listen to your associates and realize how really unhappy the majority of them are here. Reward - Reward based on productivity. If the company is profitable share it with the associates.

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    Benefitfocus2016-07-13
  8. Helpful (2)

    "Data Analyst"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Data Analyst in Charleston, SC
    Recommends

    I worked at Benefitfocus full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Many young professionals; good place to start a career (salary aside). Good benefits and perks like food trucks on campus. Good values and purpose.

    Cons

    Expect to work long hours. Under performing employees get recognition by being friendly with management.

    Advice to Management

    Train employees to excel in their roles and recognize hard work to retain talent; cut loose the people that create problems (regardless of how close they are to management).

    Benefitfocus2016-07-08
  9. Helpful (3)

    "Reorganization Pains"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Benefitfocus

    Pros

    Young, energetic culture; perks including coffee, snacks, fruit; colleagues are knowledgeable

    Cons

    Long hours; Reorganization not organized;

    Benefitfocus2016-06-29
  10. Helpful (8)

    "Operations Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Operations Manager in Daniel Island, SC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great work environment. Casual yet constructive open floor plan. The company does a lot to promote a positive culture.

    Cons

    Training has not kept up with the pace of growth leaving many new hires unprepared for the work. Long hours (50+) are the norm, even outside of Open Enrollment (70+).

    Advice to Management

    Support your front line associates. They are your face to the customer.

    Benefitfocus2016-04-21
Found 48 reviews