Over the past two years, Allstate replaced our annual employee engagement survey with a continuous listening approach to gathering feedback about employee engagement and its drivers in shorter but more frequent surveys. Due to increased frequency of surveys, our response rate fell in 2018; 65% of all employees responded. Results have been more than 83% favorable for Engagement for the last several years.
We now provide leadership with feedback about the health of our culture once per year and manager effectiveness twice per year through the Inspire survey.
We slice the data by race/ethnicity, gender and tenure to ensure that all employees have similar favorable responses and to identify opportunities to provide support for specific groups. We incorporate metrics from the Inspire survey throughout our report, including this section, as evidence of strong employee engagement and effective talent management.
Our flexible work policy consists of compressed and part-time work schedules, telecommuting, home-based work, job sharing and flexible starting times. All exempt and nonexempt employees are eligible for flexible work, based on factors such as business need, work performance and job characteristics. In 2019, 47% of Allstate employees utilized flexible work arrangements, and our employee survey found those participating in these arrangements generally reported higher levels of well-being than the overall employee population. Flexible work arrangements were also the most frequently cited strength when employees were asked, “In what area is Allstate exceeding your expectations?” Internal data shows that those in flexible work arrangements receive the same rate of pay increases and promotions as those in nonflexible arrangements.
In addition to formal flexible work arrangements, Allstate encourages managers to foster a flexible work environment where employees can integrate work and life to meet the needs of the team. Being open and sympathetic brings about a culture of transparency and leads to stronger working relationships and positive feelings toward work-life balance.
Employee Life Cycle Survey Program
Our Employee Life Cycle Surveys gauge the attitudes, beliefs and behaviors of our employees so we can determine which initiatives and efforts are most important for morale. The program includes both a 90-day retention survey to assess new hires’ integration into Allstate and an exit survey process. When employees decide to leave Allstate, this process helps us understand what they found most compelling about Allstate’s Employee Value Proposition, why they are leaving and what they plan to do.
Strategic Workforce Planning
As we look to the future of Allstate, we are proactively planning for workers’ shifting roles to address the current and future needs of our business. Our Strategic Workforce Planning team, within our Human Resources organization, is evaluating the skills, quantity and location of workers we need to drive success.
Throughout our work, we are aligning our talent strategy with our business strategy. Our team reviews the areas of the business that have the most potential disruption and works with employees to ensure the function can adapt. We are creating a skill-based taxonomy for employees in their roles today to identify those at risk and understand what skills may be needed to meet the future needs of the business.
Our initiatives include reskilling workers who have responsibilities that may no longer be needed in the future and upskilling workers who can advance beyond their current skills. Internal partnerships are essential to our strategy. In 2018, we completed several initiatives with different areas of responsibility, including Claims, Product, Brand Operations, and Human Resources. In 2019, we’re aggregating findings and insights to create an enterprise view.
We’re assessing the location of employees and expected labor market trends across our talent center locations as part of the Enterprise Resource Strategy. We forecast where we will need employees and make plans to adapt our hiring/internal placement to meet those needs.
Our approach to workforce planning will ensure the long-term value of our business for employees and all stakeholders.
Retaining high-quality candidates is critical to sustaining an efficient and skilled workforce. Allstate recognizes the strategic link between what prospective and existing employees value and what we offer in exchange for their work. Improving employees’ retention and engagement improves the organization’s ability to serve customers, agents and communities – and each other.
Turnover is a useful barometer for the health of our workforce culture, and we monitor it carefully for insights into employee uncertainty or dissatisfaction. Turnover also affects Allstate’s financial performance, through short-term impacts to productivity and the cost of recruitment, as well as long-term effects on intellectual and human capital. Estimates to replace an employee range from 50% to 150% of the employee’s salary, including hidden costs such as loss of productivity while the position remains open. In 2018, the non-retirement voluntary turnover of employees who were performing at or above expectations cost Allstate as much as $410 million.
Using our Predictive Attrition model, Workforce Insights (WFI) identifies employees who are at the greatest risk of leaving Allstate and gives their managers the chance to inspire them to stay. WFI launched two pilot studies in Allstate Brand Distribution and Allstate Technology & Strategic Ventures. In these studies, WFI provided managers with the name(s) of direct reports identified as high-risk. Using a conversation guide, we asked the manager to have a “stay conversation” with the high-risk employee. Stay conversations may cover career development, work duties and interpersonal relationships.
WFI also provides managers with two brief surveys: one to capture concerns that arose from the stay conversation and another to capture how the manager addressed the employee’s concerns. These surveys provide a wealth of information to combat attrition by identifying systemic issues and the actions best suited to address them. The aim is to improve the working experience for our valued employees while reducing the costs associated with attrition.
Overall, Allstate’s metrics for the past several years closely track the Saratoga Institute benchmark of 13% overall turnover and 10% voluntary. In 2017, we saw a slight increase in both of those indicators as our Claims organization went through a transformation. This organizational change is also reflected in the gender gaps for 2017 – the related turnover was concentrated among more heavily male employee departments.
Talent Review and Succession Planning
The Board of Directors reviews Allstate’s leadership succession continuously throughout the year, with rotating areas of focus each quarter.
|Topic||CEO Succession Planning||Talent Development Systems||Senior Leadership Succession||“What If?” Scenario Planning|
|Focus||Internal succession alternatives across multiple time periods – immediate, less than 2 years, 3-5 years, and long-term under different operating scenarios||Organizational health and pay fairness analyses – how the organization recruits, develops and retains people, including its inclusive diversity commitments||Key leader development and retention||CEO and senior leadership succession – Board dialogue in advance of unexpected succession issues|