Responsibility to Our People

Allstate people make sure we meet customer needs and expectations, help us reward shareholders and serve the communities where we live and work. We all rely on each other to get the job done. So Our Shared Vision commits the company to treating employees with respect and providing a supportive, stimulating and rewarding

We work hard to find and hire outstanding people, pay them competitively, offer opportunities to learn and develop, provide a safe and supportive work environment, continually challenge and reward them, ask for their input and measure their satisfaction. According to Allstate’s 2011 employee survey (see below for more information), 87 percent of Allstate employees considered themselves “proud” to work for Allstate.

It starts with attracting top talent. We routinely evaluate our employment value proposition to ensure we can hire and motivate outstanding employees. For entry-level positions, we particularly attract students from schools with curriculums that meet our core business needs (technology, finance, actuarial), including historically black colleges and universities.

We continue to educate college students about the many opportunities at Allstate that go beyond “selling insurance.” We also offer a program that employs more than 100 interns a year, creating a talent pipeline for future full-time openings across Allstate. Our Leadership Development Program provides accelerated leadership opportunities to top recent college graduates — helping develop leaders who have a broad perspective on our business and who bring cross-functional, decision-making abilities to their work.

Employee Satisfaction and Engagement

To ensure our employee programs are effective, and to encourage input from employees themselves, we conduct an annual voluntary and confidential employee survey called VOICE. The survey measures how well employee perceptions and behaviors align with the values of Our Shared Vision — including honesty, inclusive diversity, accountability, superior performance and creating a work environment that allows our employees to do and be their best.

Survey questions focus on key priorities like employee engagement and satisfaction, manager and leadership effectiveness and customer focus. All employees, including officers, are invited to participate in VOICE, which is administered online by an outside vendor. The survey is designed and analyzed by our Human Resources team.

In 2009 and 2010, we experienced a decline in the employee response rate to VOICE, which may be partly attributable to changing the administration of the survey from anonymous to confidential. The trend reversed in 2011, with 63 percent of employees responding to the survey — a 5 percentage point increase from 2010.

A key measurement provided by VOICE is overall employee satisfaction. Our employee satisfaction rate in 2011 remained consistent with 2010 results at 78 percent.

Highlights from this year’s results include:

  1. Employees say that ethical behavior, the ability to collaborate and work together to achieve business goals, and the support they receive from leaders positively influence their satisfaction, engagement and intent to stay.
  2. Employees are increasingly concerned about job security.
  3. Employees place a high value on the ability to further their professional development and advance within Allstate.

Management teams across the company review and discuss survey results with employees, and create local action plans with a focus on improving areas with significant opportunities. More broadly, we are committed to enhancing Allstate’s overall value proposition as an employer. Initial efforts have focused on creating an integrated employee value proposition strategy and brand that will enhance our ability to attract and retain talent. We also have significantly improved our internal job opportunity processes to increase transparency and access as well as systems to help employees and their leaders better manage their careers. These areas will remain a priority for 2012 and beyond.

For more information, view our 2011 Key Metrics.

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Employee Development and Continuous Learning

We want everyone at Allstate to excel. So we’re committed to helping employees who want to change jobs, improve their skills or advance in a current role. We provide a variety of learning opportunities, including workshops, online classes, college degree and certification programs and on-the-job learning.

We offer tuition reimbursement for both graduate and undergraduate courses from accredited colleges and universities. We help employees and their family members secure loans and scholarships for private (K-12), undergraduate, graduate and professional education.

We provide financial support and flexible hours for employees who participate in industry certification and professional designation courses.

We make more than 4,000 learning assets available online, 24/7, to help employees develop business, interpersonal, technical and leadership skills. We support employee involvement in business conferences and professional associations.

Our learning and development programs also focus on giving employees and agency owners the opportunity to learn more about Allstate and better understand our business by interacting with top management. These include “town hall” meetings held at Allstate locations throughout the country, our Allstate NOW news website for all employees and our Gateway site for agency owners.

Employee Health and Wellness

Our 2010 Employee Satisfaction and Engagement survey results showed that many Allstate employees expected more from our health and wellness programs. As a result, we made significant investments in 2011 to expand these policies and benefits.

They included:

  • Launching a signature health and wellness initiative, which includes events, programs and information to support the physical, emotional and financial needs of employees and their family members — as well as work/life balance.
  • Creating a well-being online portal for employees and their families to easily access tools, resources and program information.
  • Updating cafeteria menus with more healthy options, promoting healthy options (good choice meals), better nutrition labeling and subsidies on healthy options.
  • Training more than 2,500 people in a one-and-a-half-day session, Energy for Life, which helps employees in all aspects of their lives by managing their energy more effectively.
  • Launching a nationwide fitness program, Destination You, with more than 12,000 employees currently registered. After just four months of encouraging employees to increase their physical activity by walking more, we amassed more than four billion steps collectively.
  • Promoting and organizing two wellness weeks.
    • Spring wellness week with a focus on nutrition.
    • Fall wellness week with a focus on movement. This event included an appearance by Magic Johnson and our biggest turnout for the annual Sprint and Stride event (more than 1,400 participants).
  • Providing free biometric screenings to employees in home office and more than 100 field locations.
  • Offering free flu shots in home office and approximately 60 field locations.
  • Providing wellness incentives focused on “know, grow, go” to encourage employees to know the status of health, learn, and take action. We had more than 30% participation.
  • Offered free well-being assessments, lifestyle coaching and disease management (DM) to employees and spouses/domestic partners (if in an Allstate plan). Participants in the DM program experienced lower ER utilization, lower hospital admission rates and reductions in average hospital days.
  • Developing a partnership with a local area hospital system to improve quality of care and maximize savings for employees in the Chicago area, where our highest concentration of employees reside.
  • Introducing a national center of excellence program to remove barriers to access to high quality of care for surgical procedures (Bridge Health).
  • Reducing self-insured medical premiums in 2012 based on good experience. Allstate’s average medical trend rate of 2.5% over a four-year period compared to national trend rates of more than 8 percent.

As a result of these changes, employee agreement with the statement, “At work, I’m encouraged to pursue healthy habits that will improve my overall well-being,” increased from 81 percent in 2010 to 91 percent in 2011. Overall, employee well-being results from the health risk assessment improved from 69 percent in 2010 to 71 percent in 2011, exceeding the national average.

In 2012, we will open two on-site Wellness Centers, in Illinois and Texas. The Illinois facility will include:

  • A full-time doctor and nurse practitioner with experience in family practice; physical therapist; pharmacist; and an on-site health coach.
  • Four exam rooms, physical therapy room, private rooms for wellness coaching and a pharmacy.
  • The center will be open to employees and retirees, spouses, domestic partners and dependent children.

Our facility in Texas will be similar to our Illinois facility, except that it will only have a nurse practitioner on staff, and it will not have physical therapy services or well-being coaching.

Financial well-being is also an important aspect of our overall employee offerings. In 2011, we took several steps to increase retirement readiness and financial literacy among our employees:

Retirement Readiness

  • Instituted 401(k) auto enrollment for new employees.
    • Increased 401(k) participation rate from 81.5 to 82.7 percent
    • Increased 401(k) 5 percent match from 70.6 to 75.0 percent
  • Added optional auto-escalation and auto-rebalancing
  • To make participation easier for employees who may not be comfortable choosing their investments, Allstate added target retirement date funds. And to enhance choices in the 401(k), the company added a mid-cap fund and an enhanced international equity fund.

Engagement with Financial Literacy Tools

  • Launched a Personal Finance Center, an online educational resource, for employees.
  • Created a Retirement Guide and Checklist.
  • Provided videos and articles related to financial literacy on the well-being portal.

Employee Safety

Providing a safe and healthy working environment is a priority for Allstate, and we strive to eliminate all accidents from our workplace. In 2011, 388 of our employees, or 1.2 percent of our employee population, filed a worker’s compensation claim for work-related injuries. Of these claims, 62 resulted in lost work time. The most common claims were due to slips and falls, material handling, repetitive motion and vehicle accidents.

If accidents do result in lost time, Allstate offers programs to help employees recover and return to work through the Integrated Disability Management Program, which combines short-term and long-term disability benefits with worker’s compensation benefits.

Work/Life Balance

At Allstate, we understand that our employees’ overall well-being depends on successfully managing the sometimes conflicting demands of work and family. In our 2011 employee survey, 92 percent of respondents said their immediate manager gives them the flexibility to balance work and personal time. To do this, we offer options for flexible work hours, telecommuting, part-time status and job sharing.

We also offer the LifeWorks® Employee Assistance Program as a free service to employees. It includes:

  • 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week LifeWorks® telephone access.
  • Personalized consultations and assistance on issues such as parenting and child care, older adults, legal, financial, education, work, addiction and recovery, emotional well-being and referral and crisis intervention services.
  • Individual referrals to resources in the community.
  • Educational materials, kits, booklets and audiotapes on a wide variety of topics.
  • Access to more than 200 issue-specific resource rooms, booklets and audiotapes and more than 500 articles that address a wide variety of life issues such as domestic violence, alcohol and drug abuse and HIV/AIDS.

Compensation and Benefits

We reward our employees for their hard work with competitive salaries and a range of benefits tailored to the needs of individual employees and their families. In 2011 we paid $2.4 billion in non-agent employee total compensation. This included payroll taxes countrywide totaling nearly $174 million and $900 million for benefits that help employees support their families and stay healthy.

Read more about diversity in our workplace in the Inclusive Diversity section.