Northwest Administrators Reviews in Seattle, WA | Glassdoor

Northwest Administrators Seattle Reviews

Updated October 23, 2017
59 reviews

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Seattle, WA

2.5
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Chris R. Hughes
41 Ratings

59 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Eastlake neighborhood is nice, good pay and benefits, lots of promotion potential (in 6 reviews)

  • Excellent work-life balance, supportive managers, ability to grow within company (in 6 reviews)

Cons
  • Sometimes they threaten to take it away if somebody wears something against the dress code (in 26 reviews)

  • Lack of transparency by upper management (in 14 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Not an exciting place to work, but most places AREN'T"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Manager in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Northwest Administrators full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Lot of great staff, very nice office space, dedicated workers

    Cons

    Very formal dress code with no flexability

    Advice to Management

    Loosening up a bit on the dress code by enact a business casual Friday. Make sure the entry level jobs aren't glamorized to applicants. They are disappointed once they figure out what the will REALLY be doing.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "If you need the bills PARTLY paid and don't mind a commute"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Data Maintenance Clerk in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Data Maintenance Clerk in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Northwest Administrators full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Pay
    Select Employees within company
    Partial Transportation Costs Covered
    Not many qualifications needed
    Pay raises for the first two years every 6 months
    Union representation

    Cons

    Drab atmosphere
    Outdated computers, facilities, mentalities
    Unhappy employees
    Pay raises top out and new contracts take a while to certify
    Union membership fees, bureaucratic drama

    Advice to Management

    New building and new attitudes.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Claims processor"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Freelancer - Claims Processor in Seattle, WA
    Former Freelancer - Claims Processor in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Northwest Administrators (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great team of people to work with, very helpful and welcoming, Great pay.

    Cons

    Supervisors come and go people quit left and right or are fired, lack of support from management and training is horrible and not stable. They do not value their employees and are not kid friendly. If you are gone for a surgery or out sick they will make you restart your employment all over again which is not fair and take all of your benefits etc away. You can wear head phones which increases productivity, the dress code is ridiculous. You have to learn your job by getting audit errors which is sad.

    Advice to Management

    When people have kids I feel they should be allowed to have their phones out as long as they are not on them. They should support their employees and show that they have some compassion for those who have sick children and or are sick themselves. If you come into an office spreading germs then others are at risk of calling out because of sickness.


  4. Helpful (4)

    "Culture of Mediocrity"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Northwest Administrators full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Stable employment with nearly no chance of being fired.

    Cons

    If the company has a vision, it's a closely guarded secret.
    Drab office environment, few perks.
    Slow to embrace change or technology
    Don't invest in employees
    Negative work environment, depressing place to be
    Company leadership and HR focused on overbearing, prehistoric policies.

    Advice to Management

    Get off cruise control and pay attention to your company.


  5. Helpful (9)

    "Not Worth (the) Anxiety"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Northwest Administrators full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Okay pay, if you're a salaried employee.

    Cons

    Where do I start?

    The pay is okay if you're part of the union. Better if you're salaried. WAY better. Raises for salaried employees are healthy; raises for union employees are microscopic. Hey - how's the inflated cost of living in Seattle treating ya?
    Benefits are okay, if you don't mind them not knowing when your actual effective date will be. Once you receive your paperwork a week before you're supposed to have it done, you see that medical starts after 4 months for you and kids only. If you want to cover your spouse, that's a 10 month wait. Want dental coverage? 10 months. 10 MONTHS.
    The union, together with NWA, has waived employees' rights to the Seattle Paid Sick and Safe Time that was enacted in 2012 for Seattle employees. But salaried employees get it.
    See a pattern here?
    Just like another review said, there is VAST segregation between bargaining unit and salaried employees, though some of their positions aren't much different.
    Hiring practices are sketchy. Whether you're hired for a decent position depends on who interviews you, not on your experience or competence. Once in the door, promotions are slow. And yet, supervisors and managers come waltzing in the door with little to no experience (and it shows).
    The policies are ridiculous. Just read the other reviews. Dress code - no visible tattoos or piercings (as if that determines your ability and professionalism), no hair color, no capris, no boots with pants (but you can wear them with dresses?)... and it's completely inconsistent. Wear ankle boots on the 2nd or 4th floor and you'll be burned at the stake; but the 3rd floor employees walk around with pink Uggs, stretched lobes (which are also against code), green hair, the whole bit. Show up like that on any other floor and you'll be walked out the door.
    Many employees don't have phones on their desks. Great right? Naw. Noise level is still very high, between loud conversations, complaining, creaky 20 year old chairs, squeaky bathroom doors, you name it. Want relief? You're gonna need a doctor's note for that - and even then it's earbuds only, no music. Like another review said, that policy stemmed from something an employee did 20 YEARS AGO.
    Have kids or family that might need to get ahold of you during the day? Tough luck. It doesn't stop at lack of a desk phone - your cell is to remain in a drawer, purse, locker, on top of Mount Everest, in the bottom of the Abyss... all day. Better hope your kids and/or family don't have any emergencies. Or you're not expecting any calls from doctors, schools, ya know, anything that happens in real life during BUSINESS HOURS or anything else while you're here for 8 hours a day. Or 7.5 if you're a lowlife union employee. Dare to take out your phone and you're written up.
    Of course there are ways around all this. Become one of the favorites, because favoritism is like a plague here. You'll be fine.
    Do I dare talk about parking? Yeah... that part wasn't covered in my interview. Your choices are - pay $100+ for parking in "company" parking, more for surrounding lots, or gamble on finding 2 or 4 hour parking in the nearby neighborhoods. Drive your "beater" or "commuter" though because your car WILL be hit.
    OH, and don't forget to clock out when you're having to move your car several times a day. Just like you have to clock out for lunch and BOTH 15 MINUTE BREAKS. Speaking of clocking out! Your supervisor will allow you to take a personal emergency call on your cell, in the breakroom, with advance notice (huh?).... as long as you CLOCK OUT to do it.
    Training is a WHOLE other can of worms. Stock up on Xanax. That's all I'll say.
    OVERALL - toxic environment. People are miserable and it shows. Don't even try to smile at people in the hallway because it's returned with a scowl. The policies, pay, benefits, and all around environment spell "institution". Morale? What's that??? All they care about is lining the pockets of the greedy CEO. Bottom line.

    Advice to Management

    Improve Training. Improve hiring practices. Improve the pay and benefits. Don't treat union employees like they're unworthy of all of the above. Attend some workshops. Get some LEAN training. And GET WITH THE TIMES.


  6. Helpful (4)

    "NWA"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Northwest Administrators full-time

    Pros

    Good pay, affordable healthcare benefits, unionized, diverse staff, good opportunities for growth, discounts on parking for carpoolers, easy access to public transit, jean Fridays, holiday bonuses

    Cons

    Unstructured training for new hires and for anyone learning something new, favoritism, outdated policies remain out of sheer habit, street parking is a gamble, paid parking can be pricey, the vending machines are often in disrepair, not many affordable lunch options nearby, no free wifi for staff, no opportunities to share parking with absent employees

    Advice to Management

    Ensure the training is revamped, as promised. Treat all employees equally and respectfully. Be upfront about parking challenges prior to hire. Allow music (with headphones) in roles not requiring phone use, noise is a major distraction and this ban is based on something a staff member did over 20 years ago. Also, the option to work from home should be seriously considered or you may lose employees with great skills to companies (e.g., United Health Care, Principal Financial, Amazon) that offer it, as it is the wave of the future.


  7. Helpful (3)

    "First "real" job out of college"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Compliance Auditor in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Compliance Auditor in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Northwest Administrators full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    W/L balance with consistent hours
    Some travel to client sites

    Cons

    Dress code
    Outdated policies
    Low pay
    Minimal upward mobility

    Advice to Management

    Fire everyone and start over

  8. Helpful (12)

    "You don't have to go down with the ship!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Northwest Administrators full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Positions that don't require a degree. Decent pay. Benefits. Resume builder. Hard to get fired because of union protection and their failings to document insubordination.

    Cons

    Lack of transparency. Lack of training. No flow. Micromanagement. Segregation between salaried employees and bargaining unit employees. Lack of respect for proven valuable employees. Focus on quantity not quality. Subpar systems. Some higher up's have no pension related experience or managerial experience. Failing communication. Morale is the last thing that concerns this company.

    Advice to Management

    1) More focus should be placed on keeping your employees who have a track record of willingness, ability, and the determination to provide top notch service and products. 2) Morale is important. not just $$. Please understand that a little attention to morale allows your employees to better serve you and your participants. 3) Benefits administration is not a course you can obtain on campus. You may be able to study courses that support the cortical nature of the work, however it is your top priority to provide adequate training and follow up/feed back to ensure your employees and management can preform their duties successfully. 3) When hiring managers/supervisors I believe it would serve you well to ask that they have (at least) a familiarity with benefits administration & proven managerial experience. Ideally, I think you would want individuals who have a solid understanding of the benefit plans you administer, but because you continue to under value your current employees many have determined that the stress producing environment is not worth the pay.

    These are all just to name a few. I am certain your thirst for for money rather than desire to provide a quality service to your trustee's, clients, participants, and employees is going to be your eminent demise. Now I'm not able to project when your sinking ship may rest at the bottom of the benefits administration has been pile, but i do know that you can only get a way with less than mediocre service and expect to keep your accounts for so long. Good luck with maintaining your employees, clients, and participants over the next 5 years. Your past is your past, what are you going to do for your future.


  9. Helpful (6)

    "HORRIBLE company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Call Center Representative in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Call Center Representative in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Nothing good to say about this company.

    Cons

    Unless you like being spoken to like you're a complete idiot every day - do not work for this company! You literally are treated like children from the second you walk thru the door. Their antiquated policies have no flexibility and are absurd at best. Example, no drinks at your desk, unless it's water in a bottle purchased for $10 from the company.

    Advice to Management

    Take a serious look at your policies and management staff, completely incompetent.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Good Company To Work For"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Accountant in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Accountant in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Northwest Administrators full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Excellent work-life balance, supportive managers, ability to grow within company. Many people have been there for their entire careers, which speaks volumes for the company's ability to retain good people. Overall, this is the best company I've ever worked for, and I've been in the workforce for over 30 years. You don't have to sit through pointless meetings or endure team-building. You come to work and do your job. You get recognition for a job well done.

    Cons

    The office is located on Eastlake, which makes the commute a challenge. Some of the people who have worked there a long time are a little resistant to change.

    Advice to Management

    A little more flexibility to the flex-plan benefit would help ease the commute burden.


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