TransferWise "autonomous teams" Reviews | Glassdoor

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TransferWise Employee Reviews about "autonomous teams"

Updated Feb 16, 2020

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4.5
90%
Recommend to a Friend
93%
Approve of CEO
TransferWise CEO Kristo Käärman
Kristo Käärman
217 Ratings
Pros
  • "Fast paced work environment teaches skills that may otherwise take much longer(in 47 reviews)

  • "Great people that you get to work with(in 20 reviews)

Cons
  • "Communication overhead due to autonomous teams(in 27 reviews)

  • "Cross-team efforts are not so easy to coordinate as all teams are autonomous(in 9 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Reviews about "autonomous teams"

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  1. "Excellent learning environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Public Relations in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at TransferWise part-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Smart co-workers Helpful atmosphere Thoughtful, inclusive team

    Cons

    Lack of direction at times as they believe in 'autonomous teams' and self-starters People can work in silos

    Continue reading
    TransferWise2019-12-18
  2. Helpful (2)

    "Great, but not the cup of tea for everyone"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - KYC Analyst in Tampa, FL
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Awesome medical benefits, tight knit work culture, indepence to make your own decisions and path, yearly travel for all positions, free lunch and office foods, dog friendly, great office location with lots of after work life, super work life balance. If you can handle a bit of chaos and misorganization, you will really thrive here, especially if you are a young professional or just out of school.

    Cons

    Because of the "autonomous teams" concept, there is a lot of inconsistency between teams on internal processes.. "well, that's how that team does it, but we do it THIS way", it provides an inconsistent experience for customers and employees. There is a pay cap after a certain amount of time working here. You are not rewarded for side projects or extra responsibilities, you will get paid the same as another person on your team with zero side projects. The pay is lower than the market average. There is absolutely no overarching framework for handling performance or team issues. There is no office wide QA system or preformance methods, basically youre at the mercy of what the leads determine is important for your team. There are no checks on how leads operate and it feels like there is no one to go to with those concerns. People get fired, and people get afraid. There is no way to know what steps were taken to make that firing decision because it can vary so wildly from lead to lead. I understand that it's a "right to work" state, but there should be some foundation laid down by HR, something like a verbal warning, written warning, improvement plan, then firing if all else fails unless it is some UNFORGIVABLE offense.

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    TransferWise2019-09-20
  3. Helpful (2)

    "Great company with loads of opportunities"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Verification Specialist in Tampa, FL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    I’ve worked for TransferWise for a year and so far my experience has been amazing. The people who come here from other corporate jobs know how lucky they are to have found TransferWise. It’s unlike any other company in the Tampa area. The office is beautiful and there are plenty of drinks, snacks, and coffee provided daily. We have weekly team lunches on Thursdays. You can bring your dog to work any time you like. It’s just a really cool place to come to everyday. We have the flexibility to work from home but many people enjoy coming into the office because it really does have a good vibe to it. We just enjoy being around each other. The benefits are amazing. Lots of PTO, company stock, 401k, sick time off, and on and on. They really do take care of you and the out of pocket costs are minimal as compared to the benefits I’ve had from other jobs. There is a lot of opportunity for growth if you want it. People who are driven and self-motivated will succeed. If you need a lot of hand-holding - or being told what to do - this is probably not the place for you. Leads will help point you in the right direction to help you achieve your goals, and if you work hard you can be promoted pretty quickly. There’s flexibility to create your own role. The company is growing fast so new positions are popping up all the time.

    Cons

    There is a lot of competition for roles, and many roles are filled externally rather than hiring from within. There is a need for better training of associates who wish to develop their skills and talents. There seems to be a lot more travel opportunities for the foreign offices and not so much for Tampa unless you are a lead. Even then there isn’t much travel. More often it’s that’s people from the other offices are visiting us. Autonomous teams means that communication between product and operational teams is strained. It’s getting a lot better and everyone agrees we can work on this, but there is still a bit of a divide. Pay is not great. It’s hard to get top talent if you aren’t willing to pay for it.

    TransferWise2019-07-17
  4. Helpful (4)

    "New Employee, my thoughts"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Customer Service in Tampa, FL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great environment Friendly people FAT benefits Insane quantities of PTO Not the hardest job ever, challenging enough to be interesting

    Cons

    Startup culture is definitely not for everyone Autonomous teams can be confusing

    Continue reading
    TransferWise2018-02-20
  5. "Great People!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Product Engineer in Tallinn
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The people around you are amazing. You have freedom to do whatever you feel like has the most impact for the customers. Endless possibilities to grow.

    Cons

    Autonomous teams can cause lack of knowledge what other teams are building.

    TransferWise2020-02-14
  6. "A scale-up with the soul of a startup"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Tallinn
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at TransferWise full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    - Great culture - Relatable mission - Lots of autonomy (both a pro and a con) - Better life/work balance than most fintechs

    Cons

    Autonomous teams and mostly flat org means your opportunities to grow are limited - if you're looking for a career ladder you can climb, you're looking at the wrong place. Also, coordinating between teams can be difficult because there's little leadership to steer teams in the same direction. The end result is that most decisions are reactive - something that could have been sorted months before will only see proper action when they become minor crises.

    TransferWise2020-02-13
  7. Helpful (1)

    "Autonomous teams on a mission to bring fair international banking about"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Budapest
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The mission: I loved the main goal of company which is lowering international banking costs to minimum possible levels, while being transparent on fees and waiting times. It is a worthy task, and they have millions of real users with real problems. About company structure: The company is a fast growing ex-startup, with a mixture of startup and corporate. Hierarchically speaking it has a flat structure with tribes organized around consisting many teams. All these teams have KPIs to push. Good part of company structure: Since it is not yet corporate there is still flexibility: people can work on stuff they know best as opposed to only the things in their contract. Also there is a lot of trust and openness to recommendations outside of your own team. Good part of engineering culture: - lots of smart and world class level engineers - a lot of freedom in doing things, - teams own their process, so no outdated processes to block you. - people can be convinced with reasoning, no bottleneck architects - engineers are treated as partners in product not just workers - a chance to talk to the customers, customer support, OPS as participant! In my previous company I could not talk with either of them, so it is a great opportunity to have some ideas - the CEO picks up the phone to solve customer issues time to time; which shows that the company really want to be customercentric The best type of employee for the company (in engineering): - senior level; has to know how to weigh pros and cons - has a lot of willpower to tackle lots of threads and lack of direction (i.e. "I don't know, solve it!") - willing to do non-engineering tasks (gathering product requirements, assessing design, discuss team KPIs, etc.) - does not afraid to decide and risk - has the necessary people- and verbal skills to voice criticism in a solely positive way

    Cons

    Mostly there are two sources of issue with company: one is having autonomous teams in a flat structure _at scale_ which is a very new concept with not so many ready solutions. The second issue is coming from the fact TransferWise is being an ex-startup with breakneck growth: there was no time tackling them. So in detail: Negative consequences of autonomy: - anything under a KPI gets better and possible modern as well; anything not measured or easily measurable are not really solved - that means that problems outside responsibility of a team are solved very late or not at all; usually these are the really hard problems - there is a cult of the Messiah Employee who would be a person who can find time, energy and willpower outside of day-to-day feature-work to fix these cross-team really hard problems Negative consequences of being an ex-startup: - the company did not invest in people skills; leads don't know how to solve interpersonal conflicts, so they just lay off people; nor there are employees who can intervene in these - there are senior product managers who makes decisions over guesses or their own ideas; regardless of the team invested in data analysis and UX beforehand - certain areas like data engineering are surprisingly unprofessional and a lot depends on the coding skills of a given team's data analysts; the quality varies team-by-team - there is a lot of legacy code that is not tackled and there is no human resource to do it (scaling issue); also there are product managers who does not want to hear about these problems, consequentially there's a lot of guerrilla engineering tackling tech-debt - there are many questionable team leads who might have great technical knowledge but really not mature enough or ready to tackle human issues - people expected to be fine with not-so-great compensation; however really hard issues require really valuable people who in turn might know their price

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    TransferWise2020-02-16
  8. "Amazing culture and work enviroment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Product Analyst in Tallinn
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Transferwise is really committed to making the values work on the day to day. This means when they say autonomous teams, they really mean it, you have an amount of responsibility which is surreal (comparing to other companies) and this can be quite scary but also a great development opportunity. Apart from that, the culture is amazing, the growth is very high and the C-Level (if we can even call it that) is super down to earth.

    Cons

    With the autonomous teams, there also comes a few challenges such as structuring the teams, making operational teams efficient and aligning everyone. I feel it's not bad but of course could improve on these points. The one thing I feel could improve is career progression clarity. Since I got here it's been very confusing in terms of what the salary brackets are, when to trigger these promotions and what I should be aiming for, I've had to push quite a bit to get these answers and should be easier for people in my view.

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    TransferWise2020-02-03
  9. "Fantastic company to work for!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Reward Specialist in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Autonomous teams; means you can get stuff done, quick! Quarterly planning ; so you know what is happening and kept up to speed Fantastic benefits - work from home, flexible working, events, lunch, travel! Growise every 6 months to make sure your career is moving in the direction you wish. Intelligent, warm and friendly people to work with

    Cons

    I've been here for 6 months and have enjoyed everything about working here.

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    TransferWise2020-01-13
  10. Helpful (1)

    "Great benefits and autonomous Teams"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Full Stack Software Developer in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Visionary and inspirational CEO. Lots of flexibility and trust. Great community and awesome perks. Surrounded by smart and talented people.

    Cons

    Salary is below market rate but the benefits and stock options make it a good option Autonomous teams can leave me feeling like there's a lack of structure and support

    Continue reading
    TransferWise2019-09-25

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