Went from being a great company to work for to just average.
Engineer (Current Employee) – Melville, NY – 17 March 2019
The benefits at UL are good, 401K, medical, dental etc. The flexible work schedule available to most employees is great.
Underwriters Laboratories was a not for profit company dedicated to public safety. But with more and more global competition Underwriters Laboratories established a for profit entity (UL-LLC) where the safety testing is now done. Being ‘for profit’ means that employees are also eligible for a yearly bonus - if financial goals are met. To help meet those goals, many are expected to put in extra hours and any bonus is paid based, at least in part, based on the financial goals being achieved. Like you can imagine, Manager bonuses are much higher than what the average employee gets. If you do end up getting a bonus, many consider it only delayed payment for all the extra hours we worked for free in the past year. (Do the math.) From that point of view, I am still not sure how this is a ‘bonus’ if you had to work extra hours to get it….? Still, most of us are happy to get it.
UL was a company that was different from all others. The tremendous experience and knowledge gladly shared among the staff made for a great collaborative working environment. Instead of being creative and continuing down that road, lately seems like we instead just copy our competitors. These days there is a tremendous focus on profit, but that is everywhere today. It is the world we live in and UL got in line, and decided to just follow instead of lead. End result, employees view their coworkers more as competitors and not as colleagues. This hurts the mission in the longmore... run. The company still stands behind the hereditary banner of ‘Safety’, but that was earned by prior generations of safety dedicated employees over the first 100+ years as a non-profit. Today, profit is the main goal and a daily focus of any manager you work for.
Management fluctuates and like every other company, some managers are better than others. We have the usual reorgs – just like your typical company. To employees, this reduces confidence in leadership and contributes to uncertainty.
Like other reviewers wrote, some longer term employees say they believe UL is happy to see them go. Some say they were encouraged to leave and think it is maybe part of the company being groomed for sale by getting financial liabilities, like pensions and the higher salaries of experienced employees, off the books. These employees then question if the company is sold, whose name goes on the check? There is no owner of UL and we always just assumed to avoid any appearance of partiality in our testing, we could never have shareholders. Whatever is true or happens, pretty sure decision will be profit driven and anything can be justified.
Sadly, UL is probably no longer a place to establish or have a long gratifying career, lately it just resembles most other companies with a lot of turnover. Some look for better opportunities or are shuffled out, then new people are shuffled in. These days many employees are less enthusiastic about the company, and more sadly the UL safety mission as a whole. They are getting burned out trying to meet the financial goals, but that is where the newer younger employees come in and seem to be accommodated.
With good benefits, and a brand that still has some notoriety, it is a good stepping stone and resume enhancer for an idealistic entry level person. If you are young, and OK with working the equivalent of many weeks for free each year, in exchange for the carrot of a possible bonus dangled in front of you, give it a try, you could do worse.less
Flexible schedule, benefits
Lost its uniqueness, too much like every other company
Field Engineering Project Specialist I (Former Employee) – Northbrook, IL – 27 March 2019
The management is very poor, 2% of African Americans employed in US, very little advancement. The pay is low, lots of work. Training is horrible, not organized. The technology is outdated, do as I say or else,
Manager of Consolidations, Consultant (Current Employee) – Northbrook, IL – 21 March 2019
My boss was great. I wish there had been an opening for permanent placement. The people were nice and I liked the corporate culture. The only negative is that they like to hire accountants from big CPA firms thus they have high turn over. I was a consultant and I was there longer than other staff accountants.
Data Management (Former Employee) – Northbrook, IL – 17 February 2019
Working at UL gave me valuable experiences to take with me to future jobs, such as growth opportunities, paid training, and support. I enjoyed working with a few different teams throughout my years of working there.
Principal Engineer (Former Employee) – Melville, NY – 19 January 2019
I put in over 40 years there as an engineer which says something for stability. There also many changes going on at al times. Keeping on top of these is sometimes a challenge but understanding them and how they affect you goes a long way to keeping your job.
stability, fair salary, opportunities to progress at times
Constant changes to management and business strategies
ICS Specialist Grade A (Former Employee) – Northbrook, IL – 11 January 2019
I learned so much working for UL which is a family oriented company. I worked in the International department with different types of nationalities. The department gave you European Certification Mark.
Excellent company to work for
They started laying off which never happened until the year 2000.
Client Service Representative (Current Employee) – Arkansas – 6 January 2019
They do not follow their own policies regarding job posting so it is hard to advance. They will post a position then decide they want to fill another and back fill it and others without posting against their policies. You cannot believe them when they advise policies. Many people who are unqualified are promoted. Management has different rules depending on who you are and will tell you one story then turn around and do something completely different.
Management doesn’t follow policies, unqualified managers, no advancement
Senior Project Engineer In Product Safety (Current Employee) – Brea, CA – 21 December 2018
Flexibility is great here; goals are getting tougher and tougher to meet; internal processes need lots of improvement; pay need to be adjusted to meet the market (relatively 10 to 20 % less than the average).
SENIOR LAB TECHNICIAN (Former Employee) – Camas, WA – 5 December 2018
I enjoyed working at UL for most part. The downsizing part of UL is hard to take when I have worked there for over 30 years. At times work load would become heavy but manageable for most of the time. I have learned to be patient and saw what it take to be in business. I enjoyed the people at UL and the job was pleasant too.
IT/Business role (Former Employee) – Princeton, NJ – 27 November 2018
Company has a great culture that fosters innovation and autonomy. Employees work together to achieve results. There are few silos and all employees are encouraged to take ownership of the success of the company.