FBL Financial Reviews | Glassdoor

FBL Financial Reviews

Updated January 20, 2017
24 reviews

Filter

Filter

Full-time Part-time

3.1
Star Star Star Star Star
Rating Trends Rating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
(no image)
Jim Brannen
8 Ratings

24 Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date

  1. Helpful (1)

    "IT"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at FBL Financial full-time

    Pros

    Obviously the benefits and people are great as other reviews have commented on. Place is clean, wellness is good, and people are friendly. Technology is about middle of the road, FBL wants to be not a leader, not a follower but right in the middle and they do a good job of this. Most managers including management team are approachable and willing to listen, middle level management has been shakey but getting better. Lower level management is about a 50/50 shot, this needs work. M-team is strong and lead the company well, they seem to care about the staff.

    Cons

    Some of the negative comments are unfounded and simply aren't true and basically represent sour grapes. The ex-CIO from Nationwide almost destroyed IT, while some change is needed, as in all companies a total over haul was unwarranted as was evident in the end. The new CIO while young brings a better understanding of what FBL is all about and while some hard decisions had to be made, as is with any new management change, they were needed. The negative here is that continued management changes has stressed the staff to the point of breaking, this needs stabilized, that's on m-team, the staff in IT is excellent and ready to work. Agile need solidified as well "where it makes sense", one size shoe doesn't fit all

    Advice to Management

    Change needs to be managed in a way its consumable by the employees, be careful with lower level managers as there seems to be a lack of skill and finally make sure the environment promotes skill development and opportunity for growth, managers should be more than open to allowing staff to move within the company.


  2. "Benefits"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at FBL Financial full-time

    Pros

    Very good benefits, paid volunteer time

    Cons

    Lack of transparency, no bonus for employees


  3. "IT developer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in West Des Moines, IA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in West Des Moines, IA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at FBL Financial full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good work environment and good people

    Cons

    Pay is on the low end and little or no raises, easy to find another employer that will pay you what you are worth.

    FBL Financial Response

    Jan 17, 2017 – Human Resources

    We’re glad to hear that you enjoyed your experience with us – especially with the people and work environment that make our company so unique. While we cannot speak specifically to your situation ... More


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Helpful (3)

    "what a mess"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at FBL Financial full-time

    Pros

    great facilities. people are nice

    Cons

    I've been in IT for over 20 years. Half of those years as an architect. I have never known an organization that seems so opposed to having an enterprise architect view on things. They want to set up things in silos. Each of the companies doing their own thing without thought to how things should be at an enterprise view. This limits how systems scale and interact. The CIO from nationwide tried to implement this. Knowledge sharing, scalability, etc. I guess it was too much change cause they let him go. The new CIO is so wet behind the ears that I have t shirts that are older than him. From my view, he's getting rid of a lot of people that would challenge (or maybe did challenge him in the past). I'm not privy to a lot of that but I do know people. Someone who does that is acting out of fear.
    My advice to those looking to work here. Don't. Unless you want someplace that you can settle down, do very little work and not be noticed, this is your place. Otherwise, if you want challenge, ability to speak your mind, and management support. And like another reviewer said, go work somewhere else

    Advice to Management

    lead, don't manage. dont be afraid to challenge what is happening.


  6. Helpful (5)

    "Terrible work environment"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Applications Developer in West Des Moines, IA
    Current Employee - Applications Developer in West Des Moines, IA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at FBL Financial full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    very little. poor management. I don't think Jim Brannen knows how bad the culture is there....which is very sad

    Cons

    So I've been there for about 4 years now. I'm a developer. I've worked in a variety of places in my career and FBL really takes the cake.
    This is an organization that is so behind the times. A fairly simple ZOS mainframe upgrade took down our admin system. I work in the Life area and it took us well over a year to stand up a new life admin system with absolutely minimum functionality. There are so many manual processes that I’m not sure if it was even cost effective to do this. Someone is getting snowed. Managers and senior leadership have no real clue on how projects need to be put together. Decisions get made and then changed 3 months later. The CIO is a rotating door.
    My advice, if you’re a developer that really wants to work on exciting things and have your input really be heard, this is not the place to go. Find somewhere else!

    Advice to Management

    create a path for people to get promoted or move within the organization. People start on a team and they never move from that team. So if you're on the P&C team, that's where you'll stay forever. Allow people to grow and learn other systems.

    FBL Financial Response

    Nov 30, 2016 – Human Resources

    Thank you for taking the time to write this review. We take great pride in the work environment and internal talent development. We encourage employees to have open conversations with their leaders ... More


  7. Helpful (4)

    "business system analyst"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Business Systems Analyst in West Des Moines, IA
    Current Employee - Business Systems Analyst in West Des Moines, IA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at FBL Financial full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    none. There is no ba practice here.

    Cons

    I’ve been a BA for well over 15 years. I’m fairly new to the FBL company, less than 2 years but wow. Talk about not keeping up with the times. There really is no BA practice here. It’s a bunch of people that worked in the business (P&C) and understand the system but don’t know the first thing about requirements gathering or testing. In fact, one of the testers gloats about how are able to find defects in the code and that it’s a reflection on how bad the developers are. Really? I have never worked in a place that has had that attitude. We should be a team and figure out how we help each other to deliver a better product. I was hoping things would change here but they don’t. A lot of the people here seem to be waiting to retire. Terrible work environment. Do not work here!

    Advice to Management

    leadership needs to figure out how to lead and not be manager. There's a difference. Learn it.

    FBL Financial Response

    Nov 30, 2016 – Human Resources

    Thank you for taking the time to write this review. We take these concerns seriously, and we want to improve the situation. Glassdoor reviews are anonymous, but if you'd like to talk more about it ... More


  8. "Actuarial Assistant"

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

    I have been working at FBL Financial full-time

    Pros

    - Smaller company so allowed me to take on more responsibility

    Cons

    - Not much room for advancement
    - Base salary good but no bonuses and retirement plan worse than some of their competitors


  9. "IT"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    People are loyal and supportive

    Cons

    Work is not evenly distributed.

    Advice to Management

    Need to hold people more accountable.


  10. Helpful (4)

    "IT"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - IT Professional in West Des Moines, IA
    Former Employee - IT Professional in West Des Moines, IA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at FBL Financial full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    The people - genuinely nice people and with 10 years at the company you really come to appreciate the majority of the business as family.

    Cons

    Poor leadership choices moving forward with the IT department. Now ex-CIO brought in all of his cronies from Nationwide. Became a culture of either you're from Nationwide, or you're nothing. Ruined the family culture of the organization and many people packed up and left. CIOs mantra was "IT is just math" and people were treated like numbers, unless you were hired under that regime. CIO is now gone, but many of his hires still hold the leadership in IT. For that reason, unless you have Nationwide on your resume and you're looking for a job in IT; look elsewhere. If you have doubts, ask anyone that works in IT at FBL.
    Hoping the new CIO (who was hired internally and not of the Nationwide lineage) can turn things around.

    Advice to Management

    You've started to make good strides, but continue to lose good people due to the inner power struggle between cultures. IT needs to focus on business delivery and the new CIO is poised to deliver. What makes it even more difficult to deliver is that FBL has continually adopted a flavor of the month with Lean/Agile, 10X, Plan/Build/Run and continue to spend more time training on the new flavor than actually delivering value.


  11. "Excellent company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at FBL Financial full-time

    Pros

    We protect livelihoods and futures. We strive to do that every day.

    Cons

    At times a challenging work environment.



Showing 24 of 26 reviews
Reset Filters