Symetra Reviews | Glassdoor

Symetra Reviews

Updated June 9, 2018
232 reviews

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3.2
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Margaret Meister
8 Ratings

232 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • "Also, work/life balance does take a toll during busy season, but that is to be expected in accounting/finance" (in 11 reviews)

  • "Upper management can be scattered and varies from team to team" (in 15 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Systems Analyst"

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

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

    Pros

    Competitive pay and vacation time. As a first year i will accrue 3 weeks off and then have additional flex days. I love my coworkers and we are a family—they encourage me to be better each workday. Symetra also pays for tuition so you can go back to school. We have a female CEO and Symetra is very encouraging of women to take on management roles and roles within technology. Great location and the building is very pretty.

    Cons

    Every work place has people that are difficult to work with, but overall, i have no complaints. I do wish Symetra paid for parking or bus passes, but i understand that is very costly for a business.


  2. "Average"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Symetra full-time

    Pros

    Some of the best people to work with day in and day out. Also, flexible hours to fight traffic.

    Cons

    Upper management can be scattered and varies from team to team.

  3. "Benefits"

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

    I have been working at Symetra full-time

    Pros

    Good management from operations. Always willing to help employees.

    Cons

    Some departments take a long for advancement.


  4. "It's an okay company"

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

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

    Pros

    Benefits are pretty good. You will work in a nice building.

    Cons

    There isn't any growth opportunity unless you are the manager's favorite. I've seen some people who work really hard and have done lots of projects, but still hasn't been promoted. Think twice before you apply here.


  5. "Uninspired"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bellevue, WA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bellevue, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Symetra full-time

    Pros

    Competitive salary and time off. Recently added flex days which can be used for sick leave of time off.

    Able to work from home as needed for doctor appointments and snow days.

    Most of the employees are genuinely nice and easy to work with.

    Convenient location in Bellevue. Close to transit center.

    Company is growing and has ambitions to become a 'national player.'

    Cons

    Limited ability to move around the organization. Managers are failing to develop and promote talent.

    Some senior managers lead by instilling fear and intimidation.

    Symetra is not investing in keeping systems current. Old systems are difficult to use and inefficient.

    Workloads are heavy, especially during peak season.

    Advice to Management

    Loosen up the purse strings and invest in systems and employees.


  6. "Great people, but the industry isn't the most exciting."

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

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

    Pros

    Friendly work environment. Highly driven and hard working employees are recognized and rewarded.

    Cons

    Industry, by nature, isn't the most exciting and can be quite complex. Also, work/life balance does take a toll during busy season, but that is to be expected in accounting/finance.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to recognize excellence and reward those who go above and beyond the call of duty.


  7. Helpful (3)

    "What Happened To This Place?"

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

    I worked at Symetra full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    I met some nice people along the way.

    Cons

    I used to enjoy working for Symetra but over the last few years there have been so many changes that have severely ruined the vibe. They keep hiring or promoting people (including managers, directors, upper management) that do not have the right experience and lack of the right education. This, I found has led to a lot of corner cutting and bad decision making. Some of these bad decisions were just plain unethical. I want no part of it!

    Advice to Management

    Sumitomo should run far, far away!

  8. Helpful (3)

    "Nice coworkers but dishonest, clueless, cliquey management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate Customer Service Representative in Bellevue, WA
    Former Employee - Associate Customer Service Representative in Bellevue, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Coworkers are great in the call center: nice, helpful, have each other’s backs

    Easy to coast with super low effort, if you’re into that sort of thing

    Managers will listen to/help with any problems you’re having, as long as those problems are simple and easy to solve

    Lots of internal job openings you can apply for after working in the call center for 1 year

    Depending on where you’re at, you have some space to work hard and contribute, which you can leverage into a better job somewhere else. Good first or second job to have because you can put the long list of responsibilities on your plate onto a resume.

    Pretty good benefits and pay for a call center

    Values (we win as a team, etc) Transparency, and Sustainability are great in theory

    Lots of women in leadership, although many form insular cliques and promote unqualified people to do work they have no expertise in

    Cons

    Managers are routinely dishonest and/or disingenuous (claiming they don’t share conversations with others when they do, purposely obscuring what they mean and dropping cryptic hints, keeping secrets in an obvious way, saying something is OK and then randomly changing their minds, saying they will follow up on something and never doing so). Usually managers have no time to talk basic issues, let alone your professional development, because they’re saddled with handling a huge range of issues on top of managing 15+ people without any of the tools they need to do so properly (think outlook and excel, and that’s it). Anything not getting visibility from upper management (e.g. new product launches) is unimportant and ignored. Most people in charge of you have no idea what you actually do on a daily basis. Because of this, when there are issues, their strategy is to let things sort themselves out on their own, which means the fallout lands on you.

    There is blatant favoritism and senior reps can do whatever they want and get away with it. Senior people will try to railroad and bully you into doing what they want even if it’s bad for customers. If you say anything about it managers will insist it’s just their “communication style.” You will talk to 85 year old confused great grandmothers and not be able to help them because a senior person decided the issue is the customer’s fault and not worth our precious time. These same people change their mind on a dime so they can feel like they’re making important decisions and are relevant. Today it’s “YOU have to call the customer and tell them this now!” and the next day it’s “THEY are responsible for this, let’s do nothing.” They argue with each other constantly and can’t agree on basic procedures. All procedures are word of mouth, no one follows the written ones because they’re hopelessly incomplete, but expect to be blamed for it if it’s perceived you didn’t follow these imaginary procedures. Tribal knowledge is rampant.

    If you are in the call center, expect subpar resources. You will be given huge responsibility with little training, and simultaneously treated like you’re too unreliable to do work rather than scroll Facebook. You will get calls from customers on subjects that were never mentioned to you once in training. There is no accountability because almost everything is assigned and tracked through email and manual excel spreadsheets. QA numbers are meaningless; I’m not exaggerating, most of your call quality score comes from saying the opening and (ridiculous) closing script. Processing goals are either too easy or absurdly hard to reach. Managers make decisions about your performance based on these unrepresentative numbers and their own faulty intuition. There is no actual analysis involved. If you do hard and thorough work for customers, managers won’t notice or care.

    If you’re a competent person who wants to do great work and solve problems, this is probably not the place for you. “We win as a team” only applies if you go along quietly with dysfunction. “Dedicated to excellence” only applies if it doesn’t threaten any favored employees’ ability to inhibit progress as they please. If you’re prepared for the willful ignorance, absurdity, and favoritism you’ll find here, then you can probably get by for a year, build your resume, and find a place where work ethic and skill is appreciated.

    Advice to Management

    Look outside the company and get an idea of what competence looks like in the real world. Trust your employees to do good work or don’t hire them in the first place. Retrain or fire the 10+ year vets who think Symetra is a glorified life support system for their fragile egos.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Teenaged Company that acts like a Start Up"

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

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

    Pros

    Casual dress environment, ability to work from home if there were snow days or family sick days.

    Cons

    Sales Division is run by folks who have never wholesaled to the field. It is run by actuaries who are more concerned about metrics (how many dials, conversations, emails sent) than actual sales numbers. They are trying to break into the wirehouse space with bank wholesalers and are unwilling to give their sales folks the support that is needed. Management is shifty in that they will tell you one thing but then talk about you behind your back or lie to your face. When you confront them about it they would rather avoid you than have a conversation or explain themselves.

    Advice to Management

    Get out there and travel with your sales team. Listen to the struggles they are having in their day to day job (this goes for internal and external sales folks). Understand that the quality of a sale is 10x better than the amount of phone calls/voicemails you make/leave.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Best place I've worked so far"

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

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

    Pros

    Very low key
    Very work/life balance conscious
    Good salary and benefits

    Cons

    Not a ton of a good food options nearby


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