Cincinnati Financial

  www.cinfin.com
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Infuriating culture of deceit, secrecy, and finger pointing; IT begs for scraps from the master's table.

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Developer  in  Fairfield, OH
Current Employee - Developer in Fairfield, OH

Pros

If you happened to go to college with someone in upper management, you'll do very well for yourself here. Connections mean everything in this company.

The company is well respected in insurance circles, with arguably one of the better claim services in the industry. They really look after their customers.

Cons

Sadly, they don't take especially good care of their employees. Doubly so for IT personnel.

The culture of nepotism is such that people who are wholly unqualified for positions of seniority are promoted, usually to their own level of incompetence, thanks to a kindly word from a friend with influence. In a technical organization, this is a heinous oversight. We have utterly incompetent team leads, service managers, resource managers, and architects running the asylum. Of course, if you're the slightest bit vocal about these incompetencies, you're a troublemaker and will find yourself swiftly sidelined.

Communication within the company suffers from an overriding need for secrecy on even the slightest matters. There is absolutely zero transparency; senior management are well aware of just how incompetent their policies are, but are powerless to do anything about it - the policies and processes that exist would require a herculean effort to uproot and redo. Money is wasted at an alarming rate because management are paralyzed with indecision.

Technology has never been one of Cincinnati's strong points; it's estimated we lag five to eight years behind most other similarly-sized insurance companies. There's been a recent attempt at introducing up-to-date technologies and agile methods, but project management isn't up to the task. The future of entire IT departments are uncertain, as the company has gotten on the outsourcing bandwagon - again, several years behind the rest of the industry.

There's very much an "Us vs Them" attitude in IT; we're constantly butting heads with the various business units over patently unrealistic timelines. Their answer should be put to Gregorian chant music: "Release it on schedule and work on a hot-fix."

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Mr. Johnston, you recently met with IT and shared your belief that we have the best people. Respectfully, we do not. We are bleeding intelligent and skilled engineers because they see the writing on the wall - whether that's because of outsourcing, lack of advancement opportunities, or because they don't get the recognition they deserve. The worst people are being promoted; they have the support from similarly unqualified friends in more senior positions.

Resource managers do nothing to truly evaluate the skill levels of their direct reports. How relevant are the skills of a team lead who has been with the company for 20+ years, yet can't explain what an Object Oriented language is?

Your best people are the ones who are passionate about what they do. When they stop talking and stop sharing their enthusiasm, you know they're headed out the door. Start listening to them. Please.

Look at the experiences of other companies who have outsourced - the ones who are desperately clawing to bring their operations back home. Don't listen to your self-serving cronies on the Board.

Doesn't Recommend
No opinion of CEO

Other reviews for Cincinnati Financial

  1.  

    A nice place to work with good benefits and hardworking fellow employees

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Fairfield, OH
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Fairfield, OH

    Pros

    Company has a good reputation and makes you feel proud to work there. Free soup and salad is a nice perk if you forget to bring lunch. The people really come together when fellow employees need help with personal matters such as death or health issues.

    Cons

    since my job is being slowly fazed out, I'm unsure what I will do next and no one is really communicating the options when that happens

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Just Another Cog in the Insurance Machine

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Underwriter  in  Cincinnati, OH
    Former Employee - Underwriter in Cincinnati, OH

    Pros

    CFC has a well-recognized name in P&C insurance, especially throughout the Midwest region. Its strengths in prior years was their commitment, first & foremost, to agents and insureds, as well as sound underwriting & business practices. Lots of opportunities to advance in the home office in Cincinnati or in any of the field locations. Field reps (e.g. state sales reps or claims handlers) work from their homes in their assigned territories.

    Cons

    Employees often viewed by middle and upper management as expendable resources, whereas in the past they were seen as valued resources. Sense of belonging/worth for most employees decreasing over the last few years. Perception that employees will be "downsized" more prevalent than in recent years. CFC has gone from a very good regional carrier to a "wannabe" national carrier, losing those small-business attributes that distinguished itself in the early years and becoming very similar to those competitors that were CFC's typical rivals.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    CFC has gotten away from those core values first established by Jack Schiff Sr. half a century ago. Were he still alive today I believe he'd be embarrassed and upset at the direction the company has taken in the last decade. The company has mutated from an organization steeped in traditional values (honesty, trustworthiness, personal and professional integrity) to one in which the pursuit of profit apparently is valued above all other objectives. A common concern voiced by many agents is that "its not the same company it was ten years, or even five years ago". Loyalty from agents, insureds, and employees is declining at a steady rate.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
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