Towers Watson Reviews

Updated 15 October 2014
Updated 15 October 2014
389 Reviews
3.4
389 Reviews
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Towers Watson CEO John Haley
John Haley
188 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • I like that they focus a lot on employee health and work/ life balance (in 29 reviews)

  • Flexible work environment depending upon the office and the manager (in 29 reviews)


Cons
  • A lot of reviews have quoted an excellent work/life balance but I don't see it (in 51 reviews)

  • No work life balance during peak seasons (in 11 reviews)

More Highlights

37 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Incompetent

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Actuarial
    Current Employee - Actuarial

    I have been working at Towers Watson full-time

    Pros

    Not a single thing is good

    Cons

    As a junior actuary I want to learn. To grow. To become the best at what I do.
    All I have done for the past year was cleaning data. When confronting management about this, they confirm that this will continue for the next 4 to 5 years, and even worse even people with 12 years of experience are still doing this.

    The methods we use are out-dated to say the very least. In our whole office there are only 3 people who knows how to program in VBA. If I suggest a better approach it is shot down almost immediately.

    I compare myself to my other actuarial friends in other companies and they are doing far more advanced things after 3 or 4 months than what I am doing after 1 year.

    The junior actuaries hired (and a large number of senior actuaries as well), are completely useless as well with one girl who will become a qualified actuary in a few years asked me (to mention one of the few stupid questions) how to concatenate 2 cells in excel.

    Another asking me what SC is exactly after working at TW for 7 months...

    Good talent is leaving TW.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    DO NOT EMPLOY IDIOTS. Set up a testing system in which candidates much attain a certain level to be considered to join TW.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Towers Watson Response

    Oct 09, 2014Segment Lead Recruiter

    Thank you for taking the time to write a review. We're disappointed to hear your negative comments. We have a graduate recruitment process with a vigorous assessment criteria, which we hope ensures ... More

  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Used to be great as Towers Perrin .... but that was ages ago!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Consultant in London, England
    Current Employee - Consultant in London, England

    I have been working at Towers Watson full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    - remnants of intellectual capital still make it a good consultancy compared to the big four (who suck in human resource consultancy);
    - aspires to be the mckinsey of strategic HR ... and on occasion does a good job!

    Cons

    - little shop mentality all over the business - a cottage industry like behaviour amongst pricipals who will give projects to their favourites, shutting out new talent or those that could outshine them
    - will they EVER reward their consultants with market rates .... ironical for a reward consultancy to not drink its own coolaid
    - very unfriendly to consultants with young families or those due to go on maternity etc (though they say its worse at the big four)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - have been losing or not winning for a long time ... something is wrong
    - reward your peeps ...

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Towers Watson Response

    Oct 09, 2014Segment Lead Recruiter

    Thank you for your review. As mentioned in a previous comment we have recently carried out work around maternity leave which is hopefully a positive step.

  3.  

    Disconnected, no job security

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Developer
    Former Employee - Software Developer

    I worked at Towers Watson full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Many of the clients and actuaries that we worked with were very friendly and intelligent.

    Cons

    Accepting this job was the worst mistake of my career, which I've thankfully recovered from since. A lot of time was wasted on internal processes and objectives were very vague. I know people who were forced to leave for reasons that were contrived. They have had much more success at other companies since, with much higher salaries.

    There doesn't seem to be enough awareness of competing technologies.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Find ways to keep your best employees, enjoy themselves and be productive. Find ways to leverage and develop the skills of your employees and allow them to engage with their broader professional communities.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Towers Watson Response

    Sep 30, 2013Segment Lead Recruiter

    Thank you for taking the time to write a review and for your positive comments about the people who work here. Your constructive feedback will be passed on.

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  5.  

    Glorified secretary, occasionally does basic arithmetic

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England

    I have been working at Towers Watson full-time

    Pros

    Good people here if you can find them but they have all left.
    With the amount of people gone now, if you are a junior client consulting analyst you are able to go to client meetings in your first year, but is that really a good trade-off?

    Cons

    Your hard work is rewarded with more admin and coordination work. Most of your day is spent chasing people and writing up invoice summaries.
    Juniors are expected to only do admin and billing for about 3-4 years until you make consultant. When you bring this up to managers, they only solidify that sentiment and ask you to be patient.
    Low compensation.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Think about why your analysts are leaving.
    Think about the business model, loyalty is not a business model in this paradigm shift.
    There is a gap between all levels of employees. What you think works may not work for your junior tier.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Bad management, lack of communication

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate in London, England
    Current Employee - Associate in London, England

    I have been working at Towers Watson full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The people you generally work with are really nice and generally quite helpful.
    Company pays for any study you want to do.

    Cons

    Management is poor in terms of communicating to employees leading to lack of team moral and motivation. Projects aren't planned properly meaning no organisation, work being rushed and having to be redone, etc.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to your employees and take their thoughts into consideration

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    dreadfull local management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Pensions Administrator in Welwyn Garden City, England
    Former Employee - Senior Pensions Administrator in Welwyn Garden City, England

    I worked at Towers Watson full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    job to pay your bills

    Cons

    people are treated there like dirt, promotions by who you know and not what you know

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    the big bosses need to put system in place where they can monitor technical knowledges and human skills of their managers on an annual basis by requesting feedback from all employees under the particular manager

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Get on the conveyor belt, don't be ambitious, don't expect positive change. I'd suggest you dont bother!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Analyst in London, England
    Current Employee - Analyst in London, England

    I have been working at Towers Watson full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Exceptional colleagues that keep you sane during the daily grind. CFA/FIA paid for and adequate study support. Exposure to a range of departments.

    Cons

    Management completely disintegrated from analysts. Pay is extremely low until senior management, which is freely admitted. You won't get promoted quickly by being good or working hard, you are put on a conveyor belt and expected to be happy with it. Bonus is a joke again until more senior and you have to wait for seniors to die/retire/leave before positions are made available.

    London office is depressing and dull. Sometimes work 8am - 10pm whilst seniors leave at 6.

    Only apply if you enjoy updating spreadsheets, models and drafting emails for seniors. If you're lucky they might let you "check" other peoples attempts at making the circle bullet points squares.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you hire the top talent don't expect to keep them for long if you don't start treating them fairly. Look at the deadwood in the higher ranks and promote the potentials. Don't treat the underachievers the same as the stars.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Very stressful and under appreciated

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Towers Watson full-time

    Pros

    Have flexibility to work from home.
    People who enjoy working in a remote environment will like it because you will never a have a team. Entire work/meetings is done through phone.

    Cons

    No work life balance during peak seasons. They don't treat you as humans during peak hours as client comes first no matter what.
    Leadership has unreasonable expectations. They don't understand the system but demand you to work.
    Heavily process oriented company so there is absolutely no scope to define anything. You have to follow the process even when it is inefficient

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be reasonable to your employees and listen to their voice. Try being flexible when needed.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Want to work like a workaholic and still not get recognized?

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Pension Analyst (PAG) in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Pension Analyst (PAG) in Toronto, ON (Canada)

    I have been working at Towers Watson full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Big company, challenging work, name brand looks good on the Resume.

    Cons

    Do not like the "bell curving" approach and penalizing those more than they should be. The review process is very biased and if you're not on the "inside track" you may as well start looking elsewhere. The most politically oriented place in my ENTIRE career.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get off the "family brotherhood" bandwagon and cliques and actually reward people for putting in hard work and hours, not just fast-tracking cliques and bloodlines like royalty. People talk, and the turnover (and training costs) will only increase.

    Secondly, stop underbidding the competition for ridiculously low contracts. Yes, you acquire the account, but at what cost to recoverability? This will only hurt the teams in the long run.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Toxic environment (International)

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - International Consultant in New York, NY (US)
    Current Employee - International Consultant in New York, NY (US)

    I have been working at Towers Watson full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Other groups seem stable and invest in their employees.

    Cons

    Clients are poorly staffed. No work-life balance. Rewards are abysmal given the workload and effort. Leadership does not operate with integrity and takes no responsibility for their actions. Not smart.Turnover is extremely high.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Appoint someone else to manage the group who has people skills and is impartial. Use outside people to run the daily operations including work flow and career management of associates.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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