People

employee well-being
and safety

The COVID-19 pandemic made Allstate even more focused on employee health and well-being. Our commitment to robust safety and well-being practices, training and tools helped keep Allstaters safe. We devote resources to occupational health and safety, and offer benefits and programs to help support employees’ physical health, financial security and work-life integration.

Overview

When the pandemic started, we transitioned 95% of our workforce to remote working within one week. We established COVID-19 hotlines for employees to call, and continued to pay employees (full or part time) who couldn’t work remotely under shelter-in-place orders. We enhanced safety guidelines and cleaning protocols, and social distancing practices remain in place for in-office workers. We acted quickly and put people first.

Accountability

Allstate’s Enterprise Workforce Safety Committee, which includes representatives from Risk Management, Administration and Real Estate, Law & Regulation, Compliance and Corporate Brand, meets regularly to discuss safety issues.

We have many mechanisms for employees to ask questions or raise concerns. Employees can contact the Safety and Environmental teams, or Human Resources through AskHR, a dedicated line to reach the team quickly by phone, email or chat. Speak Up is Allstate’s 24/7, independent and confidential process for reporting ethics concerns.

Policies and practices

COVID-19 pandemic response

Our priority during the pandemic was to keep employees safe and healthy. At the onset, only 3% to 5% of employees were deemed essential, representing individuals who were business critical to work in person. Through our Virgin Pulse partnership, we created a health screener for all essential workers to submit before they would be allowed to enter our buildings. In Northbrook, Illinois, we kept the medical center open so employees could continue to receive critical health care.

In the early days of the pandemic, Allstate spent about $3 million on PPE for staff. We established protocols to ensure social distancing in elevators and other shared spaces within our facilities. With guidance from medical partners, Allstate reconfigured desks to reduce density by 50%. We improved indoor ventilation using MERV-13 filters or similar upgrades. Our app technology allowed claims agents and adjusters to work from home or from a safe distance as much as possible.

For more on our COVID-19 response for customers and communities, see the Organizational Culture and Data Privacy and Information Security sections.

Safety Training and Education

Employees’ safety training is tailored to their role. Although Allstate is primarily an office environment, our communications center, service centers, record center and engineering employees require targeted training.

In 2020, employees participated in online training on workplace violence prevention. Every U.S. employee completed these online modules: “Your Role in Workplace Violence Prevention,” “Gatekeeper Safety” and “Responding to an Armed Attack.”

In 2020, Allstate provided targeted safety training to 640 active employees. This exceeds standards set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the National Fire Protection Association and the Environmental Protection Agency. Where safety issues could have catastrophic results, Allstate trains employees annually, exceeding OSHA requirements. Except for first-quarter CPR and AED (automated external defibrillator) drills, all training last year was virtual.

Allstate sends weekly Safety Food for Thought articles and in 2020 made biweekly safety presentations available to all employees. These included COVID-19 health and safety discussions.

Monitoring and Audits

Allstate conducts instructor-led online safety training to ensure employees understand safe processes from beginning to end. We perform and document periodic safety observations of employees who work in high-hazard environments to ensure they do their tasks correctly. In large locations where Allstate handles all aspects of the facility, the company performs annual safety site audits based on OSHA general industry guidelines.

Metric 2017 2018 2019 2020
Number of employees receiving safety training: CPR/AED Training 553 903[1] 445 166
Number of employees receiving safety training: Grainger Safety Training 570 640 679 640
Number of safety audits 46 51 34 4[2]

[1]The large increase in 2018 is likely due to the rollout of training in additional locations.

[2]Safety audits were stopped in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Safety Equipment

We provide personal protective equipment, or PPE, at no charge to employees. All locations have fire extinguishers, and we have 350 AEDs across our locations. Portable extinguishers are evaluated annually, with additional monthly quick checks. We monitor each AED and ensure that defibrillator replacement pads and batteries ship automatically before they expire. Allstate trains employees in CPR and how to use an AED. These classes are held on request and are not required for most employees. In 2020, 166 members of our workforce received CPR/AED training.

Contractor Safety

OSHA requires building owners to ensure safety compliance at their facilities. We expect all vendor partners to comply with OSHA 29 CFR 1910 (general industry), 1926 (construction) and NFPA 70E (electrical safety) guidelines. OSHA standards require extensive protective measures to minimize risks of incidents like falls, chemical spills or fires. They also ensure safety precautions when working on ladders, stairs or in confined spaces. Compliance documentation is required from our vendor partners and their subcontractors and is incorporated into our working agreements.

Programs and performance

Choice Dollars

The Choice Dollars program (first offered in 2019) empowers Allstaters to decide how to allocate their corporate benefits based on their needs and circumstances. For example, some Allstaters under 26 still have medical coverage with their families, so they might use Choice Dollars to pay down student loan debt instead of offsetting the cost of health benefits. An interactive guide helps Allstaters select from a menu of benefits options, including:

  • Medical plan
  • Dental plan
  • Vision plan
  • Contributions toward health savings account (HSA), flexible spending account (FSA) or 401(k) plan
  • Identity protection
  • Student loan repayment program
  • Life insurance
  • Buying additional paid time off (PTO)
  • Accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D)
  • Long-term disability
  • Group hospital insurance
  • Group critical illness insurance
  • Group accident indemnity insurance
  • Group legal

Choice Dollars are applied each paycheck toward the cost of employee benefits. If the benefits selected cost more than the offered Choice Dollars, the employee pays the additional cost through payroll deduction. If the benefits selected are less than the offered Choice Dollars, any remaining Choice Dollars are paid to the employee in cash via payroll.

Allstate offers the following benefits at no cost to employees:

  • Pension (Allstate employees only, not including subsidiaries)
  • 401(k) match
  • Paid time off
  • Holiday pay
  • Paid parental leave (new in 2020)
  • Short-term disability
  • Workers’ compensation
    LifeWorks employee assistance program
  • Well-being programs

Allstate Good Life®

Most people are more likely to live a healthy life and make positive choices like exercising, eating right and getting health checkups when they are influenced by their peers. Through our Good Life® well-being programs, we have a network of more than 200 Wellbeing Champions who help create a culture of well-being.

We conduct well-being assessments to help determine which services, programming and benefits to offer our workforce, in addition to helping Allstaters make health and wellness decisions that are right for them. The assessment asks about physical, emotional, mental and financial well-being. In the past, we added offerings like nutritional guidance in our cafeterias and Financial Fitness Week as a result of assessment findings. Participation in the well-being assessment lowers the cost of benefits for Allstate employees.

Metric 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Completed Well-being Assessment 28,309 29,909 30,709 31,190 30,217

Energy for Life

We offer resilience and stress management programs to improve employee well-being, including Energy for Life, a wellness workshop to help employees articulate and pursue their individual purpose and embrace new challenges with ease. EFL is based on principles learned from more than 30 years of research on human energy by the Human Performance Institute.

In 2020, Allstaters completed 6,941 courses in the Energy for Life portfolio. More than 39,000 employees have taken this wellness workshop since 2010, including 45% of active employees and 59% of active managers. Virtual EFL offerings have increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Resilience Resources

The pandemic has increased stress levels at work and home. As part of our Virgin Pulse partnership, Allstate provides the resilience and stress management tool Whil, which has digital programs to improve employee well-being. Its microlearning sessions are backed by neuroscience, mindfulness, emotional intelligence and positive psychology. Allstate employees can virtually access Mindfulness 101, Yoga 101 and Emotional Intelligence 101 to maintain well-being.

Thrive Programs

Our Good Life offerings include Thrive programs for helping build positivity, optimism, resilience and gratitude. In 2020, 5,321 employees participated in Thrive programming. We had about 24 Thrive Book Clubs in 2020, and we offered virtual yoga and meditation classes with an average of 75 participants per class.

Financial Security

Financial well-being helps employees do their best work. Allstate provides virtual financial well-being seminars throughout the year, including the seventh annual Financial Fitness Week, renamed Money Talks. More than 5,400 employees virtually attended and viewed sessions on personal finance, including decision-making, effective budget management, paying for college and improving financial health in times of crisis (a session presented in partnership with The Allstate Foundation on how survivors of domestic violence are impacted financially, with tips to build financial health). Allstate also offers financial adviser services to employees through its vendor, Alight.

Metric 2018 2020
Money Talks Participants 4,529 5,400

Student Loan Repayment

We offer student loan services to employees through a partnership with Commonbond, a provider of education products. Commonbond also provides one-on-one student loan counseling, refinancing and consolidation opportunities for employees with existing loans and affordable loans to help cover the cost of education for Allstaters and their families. Allstate also offers flexible contributions toward loan repayment through the Choice Dollars program.

Physical Health

Allstate’s wellness partnership with Virgin Pulse is designed to give employees and spouses more flexibility and choice in earning financial rewards. Participants earn points for taking small steps, like regularly monitoring activity, nutrition and sleep. The earned points lead to rewards when they reach certain point levels. The more they engage with the program, the more they’re rewarded. In 2020, 76% of eligible employees enrolled.

Employees in Illinois and Texas can visit the on-site Wellness Centers and pharmacy, which offer convenient access to treatment for minor illnesses, preventive care, physical therapy, laboratory services and ongoing condition management.

For employees who want more focus on specialized areas of health, such as fitness, weight management, pregnancy or tobacco cessation, Allstate’s Good Life programming includes activities, online resources and discounts for additional support.

Healthy Building Environments

Most people spend about 90% of their time indoors. Small improvements in the overall quality of indoor environments can have meaningful impacts on health, cognitive function and well-being. Indoor air quality has become increasingly important as we learn more about how coronavirus spreads. Allstate took swift and immediate action to improve ventilation and implement social distancing and sanitization services in all buildings.

Allstate leases or owns more than 362,000 square feet of LEED-certified space. In other locations, we implement indoor environment guidelines to provide healthy workplaces for employees and guests. As Allstate builds new locations, we strive to align with certifications like Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

Allstate has an ongoing indoor air quality (IAQ) program. At a minimum, every two to four years, we conduct IAQ surveys at each location to assure they are safe and meet Allstate’s IAQ comfort guidelines. Allstate developed these guidelines to meet or exceed applicable Occupational Safety and Health Administration and American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) standards for indoor air quality.

Other important components to indoor air quality include volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from paint, furniture, cleaning supplies and office equipment. VOCs are emitted as gases from some solids and liquids. Exposure to elevated levels of VOCs can cause headaches, fatigue and dizziness, among other symptoms. We require low-VOC paint and finishes in our interiors, as well as low-emitting carpets.

The Administration and Real Estate department leads several other initiatives to ensure a safe environment for employees and protection of the natural environment. For example, each year the team leads asbestos awareness training and spill plan control and countermeasures training sessions to facility-related employees. An online portal tracks which employees receive safety training, how often they receive it and how well they perform.

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