Symetra Reviews | Glassdoor

Symetra Reviews

Updated July 17, 2017
49 reviews

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2.0
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Symetra President, CEO, and Director Thomas M. (Tom) Marra
Thomas M. (Tom) Marra
26 Ratings

49 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Really good work-life balance in most parts of the company (in 28 reviews)

  • The company offers good Benefits (in 14 reviews)

Cons
  • There is a poor Work-life balance, lack of priority (in 10 reviews)

  • Upper management out of touch with the realities of front line employees (in 10 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Sales operations"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Symetra (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    good starting point for experience

    Cons

    Executive management bureaucracy is crippling to any forward momentum and overall morale of the organization.

    Advice to Management

    You are getting in the way of the company's success.


  2. Helpful (5)

    "The building looks shiny."

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

    I have been working at Symetra full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    There were good places to eat around bellevue. Good 401k match. Dollar for dollar up to 6%. No silly 50% of 6% crap. Fully vested from the start.

    Cons

    Expectations are not communicated. Annual Performance metrics seem to disregard all good feedback during the year and be very subjective unsupported by any examples.

    Advice to Management

    Hire more external consultants.

  3. Helpful (13)

    "Shame on you, Symetra...."

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

    I have been working at Symetra full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Incredible employees....often way over worked.

    Cons

    Upper management out of touch with the realities of front line employees.

    Advice to Management

    For giving your hard working employees less than a 100% bonus while upper management makes millions off of the sale to Sumitomo. This is on the heels of stellar sales above plan and 5 years of above full payout in much more difficult environments. Pretty sure you could have negotiated that in...like you did yours.


  4. Helpful (5)

    "Symetra - Hit and Miss"

    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
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Symetra full-time

    Pros

    Employees were good people and good intentions. Safeco culture and history and strength were a great basis. Upper management changes blew up a functioning company. Not sure what the Japanese are going to do with it but it will be interesting to watch whether they dismantle Bellevue for a move to the East Coast or absorb the clients along with another good buy.

    Cons

    Went Public and lost focus. Brought in big wigs from big Insurance Companies to "fix it". Lost and laid off a lot of good employees. Then cleaned house again and cleaned out the big wigs. Seem to be trying to find focus again and seem to have been perfect for acquisition. Product mix seems to be a struggle as well. Life Division seems to be the continued albatross for the company.

    Advice to Management

    Find a focus and stay sincere. While you'd love to be a big fish and make everyone loads of money... perhaps that isn't what this company is meant to do.


  5. Helpful (6)

    "Symetra"

    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
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Symetra full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Company is growing rapidly. Lots of opportunity to make an impact and make a difference. Fairly flat organizational structure with access to leadership.

    Cons

    Bullying mentality mistaken for tough love/ leadership style. Collaboration and relationship building are not valued. More of a a command and control style.

    Advice to Management

    Focus as much on the how as on the what of results. You have some amazing talent at your disposal that needs to be appreciated.


  6. Helpful (8)

    "Beware of Shady Management"

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

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

    Pros

    The people are one of the best assets of this company (primarily non-management). Great community involvement. 401k matching is decent. Some divisions/teams are great to work for.

    Cons

    Too many middle managers. Upper level management (SLT) is unaware of how their managers may be treating employees. If you get on the wrong team with the wrong management, watch your back. They will target you for things totally unrelated to your job performance. Managers without any experience, and who should not be managers at all due to their poor treatment of employees, are kept in management positions simply because they are friends with their manager (therefore protected). Watch managements actions vs. what they say.

    Advice to Management

    ELT - Talk to the employees who work for your management team. Pay attention to what's taking place vs. what your being told. The daily lives of the employees (doing all the hard work to implement things to make the company money), may be experiencing very negative things in your organization that you are unaware of. HR doesn't seem to take employees talking to them about these situations very seriously as no changes or improvements are made. HR - start listening to the employees! If you are seeing a trend on a team, pay attention.


  7. Helpful (8)

    "Stable job, low range compensation, great co-workers, management not great"

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

    I have been working at Symetra full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Mr. Marra wants to grow symetra to a national player status. Easier said than done. Pros are job stability and location. Some of the senior managers are very intelligent people that I approve of. I meet many nice people at the company and symetra has helped me overall. They also do offer quite.a bit.of training but it is only available if the work load is slow.

    Cons

    Good talent will leave because everyone is not treated like good talent. They advertise a great work life balance but PTO requests are not approved, overtime is pretty normal in my.department and many employees experience burnout. People that are intelligent and talented begin to leave because there are much better opportunities for them. The pay is insulting for the type of work I am doing and comparable roles make at least 20percent more. The low pay makes the morale in the department low and sad. Of course people will play favorites and all that, many managers made incompetent decisions or just plain didn't care about the employees on their teams. I do not want to speak for the whole company because every department is different and I respect that. This is a completely honest review from my personal experience. I will say I am much better off now than when I began at symetra and these are some things that dissapoint me about the role.

    Advice to Management

    Treat good, smart employees like good, smart employees, give people days off, respect your employees

  8. Helpful (3)

    "Can be good or terrible experience, and nowhere in between"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - New Business Representative in Bellevue, WA
    Former Employee - New Business Representative in Bellevue, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Greta atmosphere outside of the daily grind. Company is committed to community service. Great medical benefits.

    Cons

    No training program; expects employees to learn on the fly while tying their bonus directly to output/accuracy. Departments don't work well together and blame other departments for overseights/screw ups. Upper management quick to hire friends as mid-level management without proper qualifications or knowledge of employee's jobs/duties. Seems like company is planning headquarter move to Iowa from their WA location

    Advice to Management

    Develop a training program for all employees. Promote from within department to mid-level rather than hire friends


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Customer Service Rep - Don't do it"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Customer Service Representative in Bellevue, WA
    Current Employee - Customer Service Representative in Bellevue, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    The benefits aren't bad, and you can get decent medical coverage for a reasonable amount of our of pocket expenses, but you have to be willing to share your health status in some detail with the health insurance company.

    Cons

    The training program they promise doesn't exist. I'd say it is the worst on the job training I've ever experienced. With that said, once they think you are 'ready' or at least good enough, you are going to get scored as if you've been trained. The scoring system is a interesting(?), and you are scored by the same team that 'trained' you.

    Advice to Management

    Put together a structured training program, with a schedule and stick to it. Bring in people with experience training. Keep your word. It's hard enough to keep people in a call center like this but when management keeps making promises they don't keep, it's hard to get employees to remain loyal.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Strong Executive Leadership, Inept core managers"

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

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

    Pros

    The benefits are good at Symetra and they have never had layoffs. The company if filled with 8-4 employees happily collecting their paycheck and waiting for their distant retirement. These people are kind, fun, and they do care about the company and its clients. The actuary department and legal seem happy. The executive leadership is very good. The CEO, and top three executives that lead the divisions are top notch leaders.

    Cons

    Above the hard-working masses that fill the Symetra offices, (including the lower managers who are just as underpaid and overworked), there are highly political, nepotistic, pathological, back stabbing people who care about their personal careers more than anything else. I witnessed many instances, department managers up to the vice president level, of window dressing to show their great progress; but the good managers who cared about their departments' sustainability and the company mission always ended up getting thrown under the bus. The 'good guy manager' doesn't win at Symetra because there are so many cunning competitors ready to push them out.

    Advice to Management

    It would benefit the shareholders rather quickly if they company invested in more management training at all levels.


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