Towers Watson

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Towers Watson Reviews

Updated Jul 04, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.3 331 reviews

83% Approve of the CEO

Towers Watson CEO John Haley

John Haley

(166 ratings)

66% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • I like that they focus a lot on employee health and work/ life balance (in 22 reviews)

  • Smart professionals, great working environment and work/life balance (in 24 reviews)


Cons
  • Work life balance (there is none) - Long hours/weekend work (in 40 reviews)

  • No work life balance during peak seasons (in 8 reviews)

More Highlights
30 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    Incompetent

    Actuarial (Current Employee)

    ProsNot a single thing is good

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

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

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

    Consultant (Current Employee) London, England

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

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Disconnected, no job security

    Software Developer (Former Employee)

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

    ConsAccepting 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 Senior ManagementFind 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.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    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.

  1. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Glorified secretary, occasionally does basic arithmetic

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) London, England

    ProsGood 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?

    ConsYour 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 Senior ManagementThink 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.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    Bad management, lack of communication

    Associate (Current Employee) London, England

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

    ConsManagement 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 Senior ManagementListen to your employees and take their thoughts into consideration

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    dreadfull local management

    Senior Pensions Administrator (Former Employee) Welwyn Garden City, England

    Prosjob to pay your bills

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

    Advice to Senior Managementthe 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

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    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!

    Analyst (Current Employee) London, England

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

    ConsManagement 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 Senior ManagementIf 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.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Not great for growth opportunities

    Consultant (Current Employee) New York, NY (US)

    ProsGood Benefits and work life balance

    ConsNot a lot of growth opportunities

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Make sure you have a people manager who takes development seriously.

    Analyst (Former Employee)

    ProsExposure to various clients and industries.

    Flexible work environment depending upon the office and the manager.

    ConsYou'll do the same work over and over again. If you get stuck with a people manager who doesn't care about development you can get dead ended. Some offices afford you more flexibility than others. Average benefits. I highly recommend not starting your career at Towers. Other firms do a much better job of developing their people. Go to Hay, Pay Governance or Pear Meyer if you are starting your career in this field. You'll be treated much better as an analyst or project manager.

    Advice to Senior ManagementDo a better job of picking people managers. Look at what offices have high turnover/haven't promoted people and ask yourself what has been the constant.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Great Company unless you work in the Finance Department

    Project Billing Analyst (Current Employee) Philadelphia, PA (US)

    ProsThere are opportunities to post out to other departments, but it is very rare and a slow process to transfer out of the Finance Department. The Finance Department is looked down upon and the workers are treated like peons. Management is very hands on and is constantly watching who is at their seats and working. The Department is micro managed from the Director down to the Supervisors. It is a very abrasive and tense environment.

    ConsI don't have anything positive to say about personal growth, promotions and leadership except it is very hard to move. The low balled the salaries of the employees just joining the team and the disparity in salaries amoungst the group is very large. Some people make 38,000 and some make 65,000 to do the same exact job.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThey need to evaluate the leadership role from the Supervisors up to the VP of the Department and make changes. Talk the talk, but also walk the walk. They have nice meetings but people are afraid to speak up and speak their minds for fear of retaliation or being terminated. Management is unapproachable and too hands on.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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