Allstate trips, travel cut

There are 17 comments on the Chicago Tribune story from Mar 17, 2009, titled Allstate trips, travel cut. In it, Chicago Tribune reports that:

Allstate Corp. , which last month announced that it was halving its quarterly dividend amid pressures on its financial unit, has canceled recognition trips for top agents, is putting all business meeting under ...

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Bubba

Arlington Heights, IL

#1 Mar 17, 2009
Typical Insurance industry eyewash. costs are cut on the backs of the worker bees - while top management keeps its perks. Real smart screwing the agents - do you think they'll be motivated to go out and sell more now? they'll probably start looking to switch to another insurer that takes better care of them.
aghhhhhhhh

United States

#2 Mar 17, 2009
Companies are AFRAID to reward employees without the White House calling them "to account". According to industry leaders, the meeting/convention/hospitality business lost over 300,000 jobs since JANUARY.

You don't see the pols cutting down on THEIR "fact finding" junkets, do you? It's a cryin' shame.
HAPPY ALLSTATER

Waltham, MA

#3 Mar 17, 2009
I am one of the worker bee's you mentioned and I disagree with you 100%. Our Senior Management is giving up their perks some that we can stay employed. The will be no bonus for Senior Management in 2009 or in 2010. They would rather keep the money in the Company so that we can keep our doors open and service our customers. By them for going their bonus it ensures that I might stay employed thru this recession. I have a lot of respect for that, other companies could learn from our management team.
Bubba wrote:
Typical Insurance industry eyewash. costs are cut on the backs of the worker bees - while top management keeps its perks. Real smart screwing the agents - do you think they'll be motivated to go out and sell more now? they'll probably start looking to switch to another insurer that takes better care of them.
Unionize

Chicago, IL

#4 Mar 17, 2009
The sanctimonious posturing that politicians require from those who accept government assistance explains why government employees need the protection of the labor union movement. The government as both a rescuer and employer is ruthless. Those who expect compassionate health care from the government will not have a union to protect them from the insane compulsion of its officials to fake fiscal restraint.
Faithwalk

Chicago, IL

#5 Mar 17, 2009
Insurance, banking, healthcare.. All thought to be safe jobs. This ain't good and these politicans can keep lying because things aren't getting better NOW..They hopefully will eventually however Save yourself!

http://www.faithwalkclothing.blogspot.com
jfr

Virginia Beach, VA

#6 Mar 17, 2009
Bubba wrote:
Typical Insurance industry eyewash. costs are cut on the backs of the worker bees - while top management keeps its perks. Real smart screwing the agents - do you think they'll be motivated to go out and sell more now? they'll probably start looking to switch to another insurer that takes better care of them.
Ignorance is bliss and you seem quite happy!
Robert Salm

Chicago, IL

#7 Mar 18, 2009
Since when are insurance agents expected to be competitive? I mean, a customer goes in, negotiates what kind of coverage they need, the agent and underwriters create a policy and the customer pays their premiums. What kind of competition within Allstate would there be--to create and sell more coverage than a customer really needs? Sell speciously termed annuities?
Shon

Northbrook, IL

#8 Mar 18, 2009
I think this is a good move on the company. It could keep talks of employee cuts away. Although I feel bad for those whose trips are cancelled at least they still have a job in these times and right now that is the most important thing as well as our customer's happiness and satisfaction with our company
SBGMMM

San Clemente, CA

#9 Mar 18, 2009
I feel really bad for those top Agents. They are self employed, entrepreneurs. They are 100% commission. How many people would take a 100% commission career? They are not protected employees with salaries. In no way do they get the benefits like vacation, sick time, pension, health insurance, jury duty or any of that stuff.

The Agents had been enticed with trips years ahead of time. They invested tons of time and $ to achieve goals that Allstate set. They put a lot at risk to achieve these goals which may not necessarily be in their best interest, but what Allstate wants to see. These were the people who worked the hardest, smartest and bonused their top producers to achieve these levels. This was their reward. Their families have paid dearly to achieve these goals and now the most revolting news is they have to tell their families that it was all for nothing. The most painful part. The country and the company have declared socialism.

The reason for the cancellation is that big groups of self employed agents and direct Allstate employees will be a big crowd at an event and salary/hourly media types will scream corporate excess.

Allstate should honor their commitment to the self employed Agents as they met their goals. They should eliminate any employees from participating. The company had a crappy year.

Unfortunately, the corporate excess will continue. Big events like these attract attention so the company will cut these. The usual $50k dinner for 4 at Morton's with the execs or golfing at Torrey for 6 will continue. It does not attract attention and they believe it is their right. America will not be able to stop these big execs from corporate greed. The exec's are doing their best to show they are cutting the perks...unfortunately it is on the back's of the people who need perk's/incentives to drive them to the highest level of achievement.
Bubba

Buffalo Grove, IL

#10 Mar 18, 2009
Lots of pro-insurance industry trolls here. But nobody ever said that the adjuster ranks were populated with Rhodes Scholars.
NOT IN GOOD HANDS

Somerset, NJ

#11 Mar 18, 2009
I think it is an outrage that bonus level employees took their recognition trip but cancelled the non-bonus level employees recognition trip. I think you are kidding yourself if you think senior management is trying to save our jobs while they vacation in California. I think this was handled very poorly. Do as I say not as I do.
Never make a promise you can not keep.
The cost of the cancelled trip will pale in comparison to the loss of trust in our management.
Bad call whoever made it..really bad call.
Wife of an Unhappy Agent

Penns Grove, NJ

#12 Mar 19, 2009
I completely disagree with you. My husband worked very hard last year to win these trips and now they have been taken away. It is truely unfair! If Senior Management is giving up so much, why did they still go to Palm Springs?? Don't tell me they didn't know it wasn't coming!! Yet they still decided to take their already planned trip. Imagine that. If you want to cancel the trips for next year, I completely agree. That is being socially and economically responsible because they haven't been earned yet. AllState, as a company, benefitted last year from these TOP producing agents. The agents should get what they earned or an EQUAL equivalent.
HAPPY ALLSTATER wrote:
I am one of the worker bee's you mentioned and I disagree with you 100%. Our Senior Management is giving up their perks some that we can stay employed. The will be no bonus for Senior Management in 2009 or in 2010. They would rather keep the money in the Company so that we can keep our doors open and service our customers. By them for going their bonus it ensures that I might stay employed thru this recession. I have a lot of respect for that, other companies could learn from our management team.
<quoted text>
Wife of an Unhappy Agent

Penns Grove, NJ

#13 Mar 19, 2009
I agree 100% to all that you said.

As a wife of an agent who won one of the trips, our family has paid dearly with the absence of a husband and father! He has worked very hard and put in LONG hours last year to win the big trip. The plus side was that when he won we would all being going on the trip, so his absense was accepted and excused. I now have to break the terrible news to our very excited children that we are no longer going. The message being taught to young impressionable kids is hard work doesn't pay off!
SBGMMM wrote:
I feel really bad for those top Agents. They are self employed, entrepreneurs. They are 100% commission. How many people would take a 100% commission career? They are not protected employees with salaries. In no way do they get the benefits like vacation, sick time, pension, health insurance, jury duty or any of that stuff.
The Agents had been enticed with trips years ahead of time. They invested tons of time and $ to achieve goals that Allstate set. They put a lot at risk to achieve these goals which may not necessarily be in their best interest, but what Allstate wants to see. These were the people who worked the hardest, smartest and bonused their top producers to achieve these levels. This was their reward. Their families have paid dearly to achieve these goals and now the most revolting news is they have to tell their families that it was all for nothing. The most painful part. The country and the company have declared socialism.
The reason for the cancellation is that big groups of self employed agents and direct Allstate employees will be a big crowd at an event and salary/hourly media types will scream corporate excess.
Allstate should honor their commitment to the self employed Agents as they met their goals. They should eliminate any employees from participating. The company had a crappy year.
Unfortunately, the corporate excess will continue. Big events like these attract attention so the company will cut these. The usual $50k dinner for 4 at Morton's with the execs or golfing at Torrey for 6 will continue. It does not attract attention and they believe it is their right. America will not be able to stop these big execs from corporate greed. The exec's are doing their best to show they are cutting the perks...unfortunately it is on the back's of the people who need perk's/incentives to drive them to the highest level of achievement.
Goober

Chicago, IL

#14 Mar 19, 2009
Allstate is a good company! Why, they care for me - look at their wellness programs. They even pay my social Security.
matula

Northbrook, IL

#15 Mar 20, 2009
And now another rate increase.
Allstater

Brawley, CA

#16 Mar 20, 2009
It isn't just agents who had their trips taken from them, some of those winners are plain old Allstate claims reps. People who work their butts off day after day doing everything they can to help the customers get what they need - in their time of need. These people take thousands of calls from customers who have been in auto accidents, weather catastrophies, etc. They take earfuls of abuse on a daily basis, then have to deal with having every word they speak and type being scrutinized by management, and told that all of this has to be done within a certain number of minutes, all the while maintaining their smiles and giving absolutely amazing customer service. These are not agents on a comission, or senior (or even lower-level) management. These are people just like the rest of us, who have been validated by the company, only to have that dangling carrot in front of them ripped away at the last second. I work with several people who had their bonuses taken from them, and they are heartbroken. And rightly so. So far, no announcements have been made regarding what they are getting instead, so some people are feeling they may get nothing at all. It's very sad.
NOT a top exec

Northbrook, IL

#17 Mar 24, 2009
There were a few "top executives" on this trip, but most were 2nd level claim leaders who who put in 12-14 hour days just to try and qualify for the one and only trip that hard work may yield. And no they DID NOT know ahead of time--they didn't know until Tuesday morning - a day before they were going home. Nobody at the company says so, but I'm sure its related to AIG's bonus announcements, the public outcry over that and the need to quickly respond. Otherwise, why wait until one group is on a trip to make the announcement. Any bone-head could tell you that was a horrible idea. ALL trips are cancelled, including the ones for the top executives. Meetings will be local without any non-business events tied to them and NOBODY is thinking entitlement.

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