Saturday, April 01, 2000

Allstate H.R. managers

In this assignment, after viewing the video and reading MS-Word document on Allstate, I will address the following questions: 1..) How do Allstate H.R. managers contribute to the firm’s overall competitive strategy; 2.) Why a focus on work-family life is so important in today’s companies? 3.) How I would characterize the morale of Allstate and what factors would contribute to it? 4.) Describe how the Allstate succeeds or fails in satisfying each of the five needs outline in Maslow’s hierarchy.
Allstate HR managers contribute to the firm’s overall completive strategy in the following ways.
1.) Allstate’s use of a diverse employee work force produces a broader range of thoughts, and ideas which can be utilize to develop the best possible products and services. Also having a diversified workforce ensures that the company can meet the customer’s cultural expectations and needs; thereby, the employee could possibly respond better to the customer and could have better understanding of the needs of a particular culture. Allstate sees that the demographic is changing and that their workforce reflects the customer needs so they can have the skills and services to deal with customers effectively in the way the customers want to be serviced. [Boone, L. E. & Kurtz, D. L. (2007)] [Boone, L. E. & Kurtz, D. L., flash, 2007] [Boone, L. E. & Kurtz, D. L., word doc, 2007] [Boone, L. E. & Kurtz, D. L., pg 300, 304, 2007]
2.) Allstate also promotes regular training for their employees, which is provided through the means of workshops, in-house education, coaching, online sessions, and promoting interpersonal leadership issues, and customer service education. They also promote and support career planning, learning opportunities and skill development. [Boone, L. E. & Kurtz, D. L. (2007)] [Boone, L. E. & Kurtz, D. L., flash, 2007] [Boone, L. E. & Kurtz, D. L., word doc, 2007] [Boone, L. E. & Kurtz, D. L., pg 300, 304, 2007]
3.) Allstate also provides good benefits to the employees that include health insurance, pension plan, and profit sharing with additional benefits like flexible work schedules, and educational support in response to a changing labor market. [Boone, L. E. & Kurtz, D. L. (2007)] [Boone, L. E. & Kurtz, D. L., flash, 2007] [Boone, L. E. & Kurtz, D. L., word doc, 2007] [Boone, L. E. & Kurtz, D. L., pg 300, 304, 2007 ]
The most important factor for today's companies is work-family life and in the following paragraph, I will explain why this is such. Our culture is constantly changing and diversifying; and many companies see the need to stay ahead of the curve by changing their work force and environment. Many workers today believe family life is just as important as their career; therefore, companies have taken a holistic approach by incorporating flexibility in the employee’s normal work week just as Allstate has done. This would include: flexible start times, compressed work weeks and job sharing. By doing this, you’re providing the employee with more opportunity to self fulfill their personal needs along with their careers. For the company, it provides a reduction in employee turnover, and dissatisfaction while producing more productivity and employee satisfaction. Companies that promote this concept are usually non-manufacturing where individuals are working mostly independently verses manufacturing where employees must work as a team. [Boone, L. E. & Kurtz, D. L. (2007)] [Boone, L. E. & Kurtz, D. L., flash, 2007] [Boone, L. E. & Kurtz, D. L., word doc, 2007] [Boone, L. E. & Kurtz, D. L., pg 300, 304, 2007 ]
I believe the morale of working for Allstate is pretty high. They received recognition from Forbes, Fortune, Essence, Working Mother, etc. Allstate has competitive pay, interesting and meaningful work, career advancement, flexibility of work hours, employees are diversified who are providing diversified ideas for the company and finally Allstate has a great benefit package molded to the individual employee’s needs. Employees need the balance between work and family. The Allstate employees’ satisfaction is monitored and maintained annually. This is done by an annual employee satisfaction evaluation which involves a number of strategic questions provided by the company; whereby, the evaluation in itself gives a better picture on how the company performs or could improve, while at the same time, the company is also trying to meet the needs of the individual employee. Finally, the employee has the opportunity to develop skills in different departments or to advance in the company. This opportunity is also encouraged and supported by Allstate Company. Per video quotes, “To keep a workforce happy, they must train the workforce to keep the skills sharp through online classes, class facilities, coaching, and outside workshops for technical abilities, interpersonal communication, leadership skill sets, and customer experience training.” “Allstate has a culture that expects people to seek opportunity or broaden their skill sets.” Allstate has a cafeteria plan profit sharing, pension plan, health benefits, work/family benefits, wellness seminars, commute options, childcare, and disability plans. All of the information I have mentioned above has to result into a positive employee attitude. The company has put great emphasis on keeping the employee happy. [Boone, L. E. & Kurtz, D. L. (2007)] [Boone, L. E. & Kurtz, D. L., flash, 2007] [Boone, L. E. & Kurtz, D. L., word doc, 2007] [Boone, L. E. & Kurtz, D. L., pg 300, 304, 2007] [Allstate, PDF, 2007 ]
My outline on how the Allstate’s employees succeed in Maslow's hierarchy of needs is stated below split up in five paragraphs from the basic to the highest order of needs. However, I wish to point out at this time, that I believe that each individual has different needs to be satisfied in order to progress; therefore, their approach on the Maslow hierarchy of needs may be chronologically different then stated below.
Physiological needs: Allstate has competitive salaries (that are sufficient to maintain one’s life style), flexible hours (promotes employees time for adequate rest periods, lunch breaks, etc). I can only assume by looking at the video that the employee’s work environment looks well lit with chairs and desks at adequate comfort levels, overall the working environment looks pleasant and comfortable. [Boone, L. E. & Kurtz, D. L. (2007)] [Boone, L. E. & Kurtz, D. L., flash, 2007] [Boone, L. E. & Kurtz, D. L., word doc, 2007] [Boone, L. E. & Kurtz, D. L., pg 300, 304, 2007]
Safety needs: Allstate provides safe working environment, good retirement benefits. (cafeteria plan), child care at the facility for working moms and possibly dads, program for domestic violence; whereby, the employee may be eligible to receive funds to better themselves.
Social needs: Again, flexible hours provide time between work and family, employee diversification provides cultural enrichment to the employees, as well for the company. Also, Allstate provides health and wellness training along with a fitness center which in itself provides socialization with other employees. [Boone, L. E. & Kurtz, D. L. (2007)] [Boone, L. E. & Kurtz, D. L., flash, 2007] [Boone, L. E. & Kurtz, D. L., word doc, 2007] [Boone, L. E. & Kurtz, D. L., pg 300, 304, 2007]
Esteem needs: Employee satisfaction survey is done yearly. Also the company encourages employees’ communication with upper management. The company’s goal is for the employee to be satisfied and feel good about working for Allstate. [Boone, L. E. & Kurtz, D. L. (2007)] [Boone, L. E. & Kurtz, D. L., flash, 2007] [Boone, L. E. & Kurtz, D. L., word doc, 2007] [Boone, L. E. & Kurtz, D. L., pg 300, 304, 2007]
Self Actualization needs: Each employee has the opportunity to grow and develop in Allstate. The company uses training as a big part for career advancement. Allstate offers career planning learning opportunities and skill development for their employees; whereby, the company encourages their employees to broaden their skills by rotating to different areas of the business and take advantage of learning opportunities offered to them. [Boone, L. E. & Kurtz, D. L. (2007)] [Boone, L. E. & Kurtz, D. L., flash, 2007] [Boone, L. E. & Kurtz, D. L., word doc, 2007] [Boone, L. E. & Kurtz, D. L., pg 270, 300, 304, 2007]
By viewing Allstate video and reading the Microsoft Word document, I feel the company has made great efforts and strides in their ability to not only attract future employees, but emphasizing the need to maintain employees’ satisfaction while working at the company. By providing diversification in their workforce, they have also tapped the diversification of their customers. I believe this in itself is a very smart business strategy. Allstate also provides a well rounded benefit package and flexible hours for their employees, whom may find this benefit package beneficial to their lifestyle. Annual employee survey, and encouraging employees to communicate with management, also could raise the employee satisfaction index. I feel Allstate has not only met, but also exceeded the five needs outlined for their employees. Working for this company could be inviting for people whose careers are moving in that general direction. It’s a competitive world and Allstate seems to be doing a good job maintaining their competitive role. [Boone, L. E. & Kurtz, D. L. (2007)] [Boone, L. E. & Kurtz, D. L., flash, 2007] [Boone, L. E. & Kurtz, D. L., word doc, 2007] [Boone, L. E. & Kurtz, D. L., pg 300, 304, 2007 ]
References
Boone, L. E. & Kurtz, D. L. (2007). Allstate Employees Are in Good Hand [Video case]. In Contemporary Business (12th ed.) (Online under Lector Notes). Mason, OH: Thomson-Southwestern.

(2007). Boone & Kurtz Video Case Study. [Data File: MS-Word Doc] Retrieved August 24, 2008. From http://content.learntoday.info/B136/site/Media/Week_07_Video_Case_Transcript.doc


Boone, L. E. & Kurtz, D. L. (2007). Maslow Hierarchy of Needs. In Contemporary Business (12th ed.) (pg. 304). Mason, OH: Thomson-Southwestern.

Boone, L. E. & Kurtz, D. L. (2007). Flexible Work. In Contemporary Business (12th ed.) (pg. 300). Mason, OH: Thomson-Southwestern.


Anonymous author. (June 2007). Diversity brochure.[Data File: PDF pg 10]
Retrieved August 24, 2008, from Allstate website:
http://www.allstate.com/content/refresh-attachments/diversity_brochure.pdf

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