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HR

Why Allstate is tapping into innovative workplace tech to improve HR outcomes

Posted by Deepshikha Shukla

October 21, 2021    |     3-minute read (469 words)

Allstate Chief Human Resources Officer Carrie Blair, in an interview with Business Insider,  describes the insurer’s move to HR analytics tools that provide an enterprise-wide perspective of how and where employees are working, as well as self-service HR tools for staff.

Below are five key reasons Blair cites for Allstate’s decision to invest in workplace technology.

To ramp up efficiency and in-house capabilities

Blair explains that her role is to work with the company’s chief information officer and chief financial officer to deploy tech investments predicated on quantifiable outcomes. Allstate’s new self-service and analytics tools aim to help employees track productivity and boost efficiency. They also reflect Allstate’s commitment over the last year to provide innovative tech experiences for employees in an industry where innovation has been slow to come, she adds.

To transform the insurance industry

Allstate has long sought to disrupt the insurance industry, not only for consumers but also for employees, notes Blair. The company’s interest in transforming the industry is what prompted Allstate to introduce telematics that gauge driving behavior and drones that appraise catastrophes, and eventually spurred the company to assess how it was using technology for HR.

To glean insights about work patterns

Allstate’s HR analytics tools allow staff to assess their workflows. Employees can see “how they spent their time last week, how long they were in meetings, how much time spent on collaborating, and how much time they had for focused, head-down work,” Blair explained. This information also informs the company’s plans for its hybrid workplace.

To create a digital workspace

The focus on technology and innovation for managing HR has been accelerated by the pandemic, says Blair. Since employees today seek flexible schedules and continued work-from-home policies, Allstate rolled out a digital workspace dubbed Mural that supports remote work collaboration. The Mural platform’s collaboration tools include a digital canvas and Zoom rooms supported by face-recognition tech. 

To facilitate a hybrid workforce model

According to Blair, when the pandemic set in, 95% of Allstate’s employees were able to move to remote work in mere days because the company had invested in a solid technology stack.

Now that remote work has untethered many people from an office, the company has seen a major uptick in applications from job candidates around the world. This has allowed the company to find tech talent in places where it doesn’t have a physical presence, she adds.

Recently, Allstate announced that 75% of its positions could be conducted remotely and that 24% could be performed under a hybrid arrangement where the employee divides their time between the office and home. “The 1% who will go back to a pre-Covid-style office setting includes some top executives and certain people in field offices with customer-facing roles,” Blair says.

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