The Great-West Life Assurance Company Employee Reviews

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3.0
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good company
Claims Processor (Current Employee) –  Regina, SK11 July 2019
The company is large so there is room to advance however you have to spend a year or more in each position before advancing. Management is not very strong in addressing issues and they expect a great deal of work for poor compensation
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5.0
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Very encouraging environement
Claims Processor (Former Employee) –  Winnipeg, MB11 July 2019
Constant audits and input from team leader daily. Can be stressful to meet demands.
Pros
Positive encouragement and development opportunities
Cons
High quotas
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3.0
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It’s a big organization
Assistant Manager (Former Employee) –  Winnipeg, MB25 June 2019
They talk about equality like women getting the same pay with men but I’m a man & the equal pay didn’t happen to me. I was promoted to Assistant Manager but didn’t get the appropriate job grade while my counterpart who is a female is receiving $10k more. Promotion is based on who you know & not what you know. It’s really a sad experience for me. My manager is biased & unfair. But as they say life goes on. If life gives you lemons make lemonades.
Pros
Flexible schedule
Cons
Big organization can be a disadvantage
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3.0
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parking costs low
Senior Document Specialist (Former Employee) –  Winnipeg, MB6 June 2019
Made many friends at work. Had many promotions between two different departments. Had many managers in my career. Some were absolutely great and some were questionable. As in many large corporations, there was lots of politics in the background.
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2.0
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Good place to start - but don't misplace your loyalty to this company
Manager (Former Employee) –  Canada29 May 2019
This is certainly a great place to start your career - a reasonably professional office atmosphere with good branding behind it.
You can also grow your career here too - there is some room for advancement if you are ambitious and very driven.

The work life balance is ok - at least on par with other reputable companies - but it's not as extraordinary as the company would want you to think. All the same, no big problems for normal situations.

BUT -

The work volume can become overwhelming, and does burn people out fairly quickly - particularly in lower level positions. This is exacerbated by high turnover.

Office culture is very chilly - and about as cliquish an environment as I have seen in a workplace. It can and does have an impersonal feel. While the business is based on relationships, its model is very structured and contrived. The result is that (almost) everyone interacts on a very superficial and less than genuine level. This is a problem in that it prevents the creation of fully functional teams, and to help individuals who may be experiencing a difficult time to get back to full performance.

The pay is fairly low in comparison to other employers for similar work.

The company can be aggravatingly slavish to procedures and internal protocols. If you like everything structured and rules-based then this is the place for you. If you have an entrepreneurial or creative spirit about you - or if you want things to simply be efficient and reasonably sensible - then GWL will drive you nuts.

While the company demands long-term commitment from staff (as
  more... traditionally people would stay with this this company their entire careers), GWL does not always repay this loyalty with appropriate pay increases or bonuses unless you perform at an exceeding level. Mass layoffs and restructuring also occur periodically.

Bottom line: the company is worthwhile to get a start in, but don't misplace your loyalty - consider looking for better opportunities elsewhere after putting in a couple years of experience if you are not already in an upward trajectory.
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Pros
Good place to gain experience
Cons
Can be rigid, procedural and impersonal
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5.0
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amazing place
Human Resources Assistant (Former Employee) –  Winnipeg, MB28 May 2019
i worked several positions here during my 10 years but my favorite part was reception in the human resources department. Loved meeting new people and the atmosphere was awesome
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1.0
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Bulying and backstabbing
IT Manager (Former Employee) –  Winnipeg, MB27 May 2019
IT management consists of 'good ole boys' and clueless new hires. The culture is very toxic in that:
- there is no work life balance
- more time is invested in the blame game than on fixing issues
- they are always seeking more ways to outsource the best work off-shore
- stress is met with derision and more bad behaviour
- bullying is rewarded and encouraged
- they talk about being a mental health resource but they don't treat internal staff accordingly
- backstabbing and lying is supported
- anyone over 55 is viewed as a risk/liability as opposed to valuable experience and knowledge
Pros
interesting projects
Cons
Bad management, toxic work environment
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3.0
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Numbers before People
Long Term Disability Processor (Former Employee) –  Vancouver, BC24 May 2019
In the beginning it was a great place to work, when it was more about people then numbers. When it went through an overhaul, it became more about numbers, it turned into a very toxic enviroment to work in. The management was not encouraging to the employees.
Pros
Benefits were great
Cons
turnovers
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2.0
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Management needs a do-over, employees are like zombies/robots.
Administrative Assistant (Current Employee) –  Winnipeg, MB23 May 2019
It's a good place to work, however I wouldn't recommend it. Management picks on weaker roles/staff. I've seen some staff brought to tears and others get quiet when they are more outgoing and happy. There is no recognition for your work. People tend to use you and put their work on you. If you are too good at your job, you will get put down and you will be made to feel like you can't do your job or aren't doing your job right. If you take too many sick days, you will be questioned. Work environment can become toxic and get too stressful at times. The hardest part is trying to please managers and get work done after getting put down. The enjoyable part I think would be the events here, like the dinner and dance, co-ed day, etc.
Pros
Out-of-office events, good cafeteria
Cons
Underpaid for type of work, poor benefits
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5.0
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Great company all around
Claims Processor (Former Employee) –  Winnipeg, MB9 May 2019
This company is just a great company to get into if you want to work and climb. The only reason I left was to attend University. The job I had itself sucked, but that was the nature of the job. If one can stick out the lower grade level jobs, there is real potential for advancement in this company.
Pros
Advancement opportunities
Cons
Mind numbing work
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1.0
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Company makes very clear that they do not care about their employees.
Claims Examiner (Former Employee) –  Winnipeg, MB12 April 2019
The company criticizes employees who make zero errors for not working fast enough and fast employees are criticized for minor errors. The company used to do many things for their employees but they have cut back and made it very clear that they do not care. They emphasize their "vision" of the customer being at the core of everything that they do but they do it at a cost to the health and well-being of those that keep them afloat.
Pros
Sort of half decent benefits.
Cons
Nothing you do is ever considered good enough.
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4.0
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Productive and fun workplace with a great team
Administrative Assistant (Current Employee) –  London, ON11 April 2019
Great company to work for with good work incentives. If downtown location, a con is that you pay for parking daily. I enjoyed working for this company however i didn't feel all opportunities were presented as desired.
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1.0
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Poor Management ... !! The worst company in GTA !!
Manager (Former Employee) –  Toronto, ON6 April 2019
If you want to enhance/practice your documenting skills, this is the great place to start because GWL's inbox size is only 5 MBk, that means if you receive more than 10 mails every day, you had to file and clean it up every morning once you come back office. Otherwise, you are out of contact.

On the other side, you need to document teammates/co-workers' bad behaviors (date/time/event/descriptions/processes/outcome...) because they are good at spread rumors/intimidate... and Director of Finance would ask you to give her a daily work spreadsheet to record every single minute what you're doing/for what task/expected time to finish/..... the worst department is FINANCE.

Furthermore, the average age of employees in GWL Toronto, I guess is ~ 58. Systems were built 20-30 years ago, no productivity, don't like innovations, spend hours in chatting and ...... a lot more you could imagine.
Pros
Nothing
Cons
No flex hours/Overtime till 9, 10 pm and no pay/Fix other teammates' problems
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3.0
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Worked too hard apparently
Rehabilitation Consultant (Former Employee) –  Canada5 April 2019
I was very successful with my work
I learned that my colleagues didn't put in a full days work
Management studied my results and asked me to slow down and only work half of what I am doing
Workplace culture - Only work to what your minimum requirements are, don't do any more or you will be accused of making your colleagues look bad
I loved working with some of the leaders, loved getting people back to work.
Pros
Work from home
Cons
Executive Leaders did not approve of my "over the top results"
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4.0
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A lot of upside potential
AVP, Risk Governance, ERM (Current Employee) –  Toronto, Ontario2 April 2019
There are many strategic initiatives designed to make the company more efficient and modern. This is truly an inspiring place to work now due to the amount of productive change happening and the ability to influence this change.
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2.0
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Unreasonable expectations
Disability Case Manager (Current Employee) –  Toronto, ON27 March 2019
Pros:
Co-workers are great

Cons:
unreasonable productivity expectations, high case loads, non-sensible metrics, too much oversight of work, old equipment, out of touch management.
The job is stressful for various reasons, not just dealing with difficult and unwell customers where one needs to be a medical doctor and counsellor rolled into one, but also needs to keep up with crazy high volume of work but do everything perfectly because your worked is checked and scored! The numbers matter more than the customers, but the numbers make no sense anyway. They need someone who really understands how to develop metrics. All the grunt work is dumped on the Case Manager too.
I would never recommend this job to anyone.
Pros
Co-workers are great
Cons
unreasonable productivity expectations, high case loads, non-sensible metrics, too much oversight of work, old equipment, out of touch management
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4.0
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Satisfactory workplace
Administrator (Current Employee) –  Toronto, ON10 March 2019
I enjoy working in a fast-paced environment both individually and as part of a team. I learned that multi-tasking and time management skills are a necessity in this type of business.
Pros
coworkers
Cons
too much work
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2.0
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Insecure Managers / Leadership
Identity & Access Management Specialist (Former Employee) –  Winnipeg, MB4 March 2019
Insecure Managers, they do not take suggestions.
If they feel a threat -someone smarter and more educated than them - they will make sure that the person does not last too long and still get away with it.

Executive Management either ignore the situation because they produce the results they want or completely ignore the situation.

Either way, I think this company can do better by "recycling" management and bring new ideas.
Pros
Good working team
Cons
Manager / Leaders are there to succeed themselves not to lead.
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2.0
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Great people
Human Resources Assistant (Current Employee) –  Winnipeg, MB28 February 2019
Very busy atmosphere and it sure makes the time go fast. Great benefits though. Company needs to update a lot of office equipment which they are currently updating work spaces for Employees. Phones are from 1950.
Pros
Great Benefits
Cons
Expected of too much workwise
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3.0
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Customer Relations Specialist - Call Center
Customer Relations Specialist (Current Employee) –  Winnipeg, MB18 February 2019
Salaries and benefits are great, but they are mostly to mitigate the side effects of a super stressful job culture. Even when the calls with clients are not super stressful, the expectations of productivity and efficiency override your quality. The biggest dominating factor is your attendance and sick days, this dominates all other elements. So heaven forbid you get sick (which you will there), or have a disability!
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Overall rating

3.0
Based on 26 reviews
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3.0Work/Life Balance
2.9Salary/Benefits
2.8Job Security/Advancement
2.3Management
2.5Culture

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