Western & Southern Financial

www.westernsouthern.com
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Western & Southern Financial Reviews

Updated June 5, 2015
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2.4
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Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Western & Southern Financial Chairman, President, and CEO John F. Barrett
John F. Barrett
38 Ratings

Pros
  • On-site cafeteria provides free lunch and subsidized parking is convenient (in 8 reviews)

  • Free lunch and breakfast (although I could take it or leave it), subsidized parking (in 4 reviews)

Cons
  • Work/life balance is suffering in a "do more with less" environment (in 5 reviews)

  • There was a parade of less than qualified sales managers and district managers (in 2 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

61 Employee Reviews

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  1. Account Manager

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

    I worked at Western & Southern Financial

    Positive Outlook
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Freedom to set own schedule. Work at your own pace. Determine product lines to participate with.

    Cons

    Straight commission paid over 13 weeks.

    Advice to Management

    Management was very well organized. Training in helping clients understand needs versus wants was excellent. Area I was in was very low income so affordability was a major issue with my sales.


  2. No Surprises

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

    I have been working at Western & Southern Financial full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Very stable, strong Cincinnati presence with sponsorships in many well known large events, solid and affordable benefits, pension, very professional culture, in that you work with very competent people, free breakfast and lunch (very impressive). If you are an A performer, and are patient and come up with good ideas, you have a huge offering of internal promotion possibility.

    Cons

    CEO defines corporate culture and it does not align with progressive, employee friendly corporate cultures you hear and see at other organizations. There is almost no trust from senior level for employees and mid level management, so very defined boundaries for almost every aspect of working styles. Many long tenured employees, which can be good, but requires a very patient approach to changing anything. Work life balance is really bad, expectation, well communicated throughout interview process, is 45-50 hours per week. Culture is very 'corporate' and kind of cold.

    Advice to Management

    The company, with so many good things to offer employees, should be a 5 star company that is proud of its culture. But you're only allowing the CEO and senior officers define culture and that approach is not what your brightest future stars are looking for. Eventually when all the tenured people retire, 10 - 15 years or so from now, this will be a big problem. Small changes would be HUGE wins! Take your top, brightest, most dedicated contributors with less than 10 years of tenure and find out what's important to them. Or one day all of the positives won't matter because you won't be able to keep anyone or attract talented people. Plenty of other solid organizations in Cincinnati will offer a more attractive culture and you'll end up with their rejects.


  3. Worst Management Ever

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Web Designer in Cincinnati, OH
    Former Employee - Web Designer in Cincinnati, OH

    I worked at Western & Southern Financial

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

    Pros

    The free breakfast and lunch were good.

    Cons

    The managers are always fighting and backstabbing each other, so it's no surprise that a lot of employees do the same thing. I was bullied by a mean girl and constantly talked down to by my manager. I'm fortunate to be at a great place now and away from that mess.

    Advice to Management

    Grow up.


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  5. Programmer

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

    I worked at Western & Southern Financial

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Free breakfast and lunch in the company cafeteria.

    Cons

    Horrible work conditions. You are expected to work 60-70 hours a week for your 40 hour pay. Very disfunctional working environment. Managers don't care how you get the work done, just get something done on time even if it isn't complete and full of bugs. In addition, the timelines for projects are always unrealistic.They are still patching Cobol programs that were originally coded in 1970.

    Advice to Management

    Get in the 21st century, understand and adhere to real project management to manage projects


  6. Helpful (3)

    Thought it would be a great experience, but I was mistaken

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Corporate Communications in Cincinnati, OH
    Former Employee - Corporate Communications in Cincinnati, OH

    I worked at Western & Southern Financial full-time (More than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    You get paid every other week, but you have to work well above the 40 hours they are compensating you for

    Cons

    Little to no internal management promotions as they would rather hire from the outside. When outsiders walk in they are shocked at the 1960's type culture with antics which last seen in high school

    Advice to Management

    Quit sending people home or firing them for their bright clothes, haircuts, tattoos, and instead appreciate the people you have working 70-80 hours for 40 hours of pay


  7. Helpful (1)

    Sad, sad, very sad

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

    I worked at Western & Southern Financial

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Been in business in Cincinnati since 1888

    Cons

    Dated building with known items causing illnesses, dated board and leadership, dated systems going back 40 years, and dated vision

    Advice to Management

    Wake up and start sharing profits with employees instead of buildings with leaders names on it


  8. Helpful (3)

    Stay as far away from HR as you can

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Human Resources Generalist in Cincinnati, OH
    Former Employee - Human Resources Generalist in Cincinnati, OH

    I worked at Western & Southern Financial full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Rock solid financially, free breakfast and lunch, subsidized parking, generally friendly people, almost impossible to get fired (esp. if in a protected class), defined benefit pension, 401k with matching, health benefits in top 20% of local employers.

    Cons

    While there are a few good people at the lower/mid levels in HR, you should know that HR spends must of its time like a police force for violations of dress code. For females, every aspect of appearance is restricted like what kind of shoes you can wear, how high your heels can be, what color hose/stockings, length of skirt (must be at or below the knee), no cleavage, no revealing sweaters. For males, hair length, hair style, facial hair, clothing are all based on rules. Ties are required 364 days a year (one casual day per year. I think HR turnover was probably like 30%, but because the number is lumped in with stable groups like benefits, guard force and cafeteria, which report into HR, it looks much better than it is. If someone split out the true turnover number for HR, the CEO would probably freak.

    Organization is extremely hierarchical. Generally, if you talk to your boss's boss (in HR or elsewhere) you can get in major trouble. I saw few skip-levels unless there was a crisis.

    Worse, HR doesn't do talent management. It takes forever to move people out of the organization because of fear of lawsuits. This means loads of paperwork and butt-covering, so company is stuck with a huge percentage of low performers because who has time to go through the process? It's like pulling teeth to get low performers out.

    There's no turnover at the highest levels of company. Business heads get rotated around, even if they fail. Average age fo business heads is around 65-70. Most have no energy, no interest in what's happening in the outside world. I was told that at least one business head has been known to fall asleep during meetings. Ops, which I supported for a short while, is a gossip factory, with blame always falling to HR. The same leaders who have been their since the 90s watching the company shrink are still in charge in 2015.

    This same talenet management gap is throughout the organization with possible exception of Fort Washington. There is no talent management function in HR, and then leadership wonders why the company underperforms the industry for expenses, growth. Could it be that 20% of the org are below average performers?

    In addition to no talent management, there's no OD function in HR either. With no TM and no OD, you can imagine how stale the company has become. Which is why they spend their time as HR police, not strategic/value-added HR.

    If you want to learn something about a modern HR org, stay as far away from this group as you can. But if you want to learn how NOT to run HR, go ahead and join up.

    Advice to Management

    Install a modern HR organization including talent mgmt and OD. Spend more time on developing associates and less as a police force for dress code violations. Get new blood at business head levels.


  9. Sad

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - District Sales Manager in Cincinnati, OH
    Former Employee - District Sales Manager in Cincinnati, OH

    I worked at Western & Southern Financial full-time (More than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Will hire anyone that is not a convicted felon

    Cons

    Worst company to work for

    Advice to Management

    Find another insurance company to work for


  10. Out Dated

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

    I have been working at Western & Southern Financial

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

    Pros

    Generous paid training for new employees.

    Cons

    Super high turnover. No mobility. Unrealistic hiring process and expectations.

    Advice to Management

    Hiring process does not allow entry for candidates who are new to the industry. Old insurance pros would not work for this company as every other insurance company offers better compensation and realistic goals. If and old insurance pro does come to work here they are gone in a year when they find out how things work.


  11. Helpful (2)

    Old Fashioned Culture, Lots of Seniority, Lots of Rules. But Stable Company

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

    I have been working at Western & Southern Financial full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Stable company that has never laid off in 125 years. Health Care benefits from day one, free lunch, subsidized parking or bus pass. Extra week of vacation earned at 10 and 15 years. Classes at Guilford for personal improvement are good. Fitness center.

    Cons

    Culture is old fashioned, rules are too stuffy in this day and age. Not will to allow telecommuting, no personal days-all PTO. If you call in, you get an occurrence. If you have another occurrence (call in sick again too soon), you can be written up. You lose sick days if you don't use them. There is no incentive to not use them. Phonecalls from your desk are monitored for time and a report is given to mgmt. if you exceed your allotted monthly time for personal calls.
    Salaries are okay but could be better. Inhouse benefits can be challenging to work with (instead of a big name insurer).

    Advice to Management

    Join the 21st century and allow telecommuting. There are times when it would be beneficial to the company. Put some trust into your employees to get their work done.
    Have some benefit to NOT using your sick days, or rename them personal days.



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