The organizational culture at Lincoln Financial Group, a multi-faceted, Fortune-250 retirement planning financial services firm, is extremely complex. With there being multiple branches off of the corporate headquarters and governing body, Lincoln Financial Group, there exist Lincoln Financial Securities, Lincoln Financial Advisors, Lincoln Financial Distributors, and my branch, Lincoln Financial Network, or LFN. The Network encompasses the overarching body of employees that handle the group of advisors that Lincoln consults with and provides advice to, all reporting back to the president of annuities and IT. With this, Lincoln recently acquired Liberty Mutual, a large global insurer based out of Boston, MA. This resulted in their acquisitions of several new locations across the country, as well as hundreds of new employees. With this organizational shift, and my interning at this company last summer as well, I noticed many functions of the company changing over time and with this acquisition. Moreover, the values, attitudes, and expectations regarding the work at my site completed by my team, the ways in which my team communicates, and leadership attentiveness will be the facets I choose to discuss.
On my Practice Management Team at Lincoln Financial Network, there are varying attitudes and values regarding the work being completed. At its core, Lincoln serves families and their clients to ensure they feel comfortable about their retirement options, as well as their financial future. Although these values spread across company culture, my team in particular takes a step away from this. Fielding various calls every day from advisors across the country seeking to use Lincoln products and tools, they hold the objective of financial security very close to their intentions and work every day, but they are less client-facing than other areas of the company. There is an expectation on these employees on my team, though, to be extremely well-versed in all areas of the company, not limiting yourself to only group protection or 401k plans, but being familiar with and being able to discuss areas like annuities and life insurance. Finally, there is an emphasis on being friendly, personable, and flexible in your work, and this attitude should carry over to your interactions with all of those internally and externally in terms of working with advisors.
Entering my internship in a different area than I was in last summer, I was under the assumption that the communications amongst my Practice Management team would be more formal, mostly due to the jargon and more financially-focused objectives of the team. However, I learned very quickly this week that things are extremely informal, friendly, and flexible amongst members of the team. There is a great deal of open communication, with employees speaking to each other regarding their personal lives and issues they may be having inside or outside of the office. It was interesting to see such intimate conversations and close relationships amongst employees in, what seemed to me, like a very strict company at first. With that said, business typically slows down the first month of the summer, so I am interested to see if this communication style, seemingly informal, changes over the course of the next few months.
Finally, I think it is interesting to note the varying degrees of leadership within Lincoln, and what each leader must focus on. My manager, Lisa Rickner, is an extremely driven, kind, and focused individual. With her attentiveness on ensuring the success of the Practice Management Team and its deliverables, her attentiveness remains on growing the team, while her consultants on the team remain focused on working directly with the advisors. However, other leaders within Lincoln focus on expanding the company at large, with their attention on their performance financially among broker dealers, etc. Within such a large firm like Lincoln Financial Group, it is difficult to have leaders focused on the same areas, whereas having their attention based on different goals proves useful to the growth of the company long-term.
I am excited to see where the rest of my internship takes me, and what more I can learn regarding the Organizational Culture of such a large, successful financial services firm.