Monday, May 14, 2012

Allstate Model of Goal Setting

             Based on the model for goal setting, Allstate’s goal setting process is very effective because their processes have the key variables and general relationship which can lead to high individual performances which are present in the model of goal setting illustrated in figure 1.
            According to Hellriegel & Slocum (2011) there are five conditions that must generally come together for managers to be effective and gain the benefits of a goal setting program. Based on these conditions is possible to affirm that the Allstate’s goal setting process is very effective because it meet with all conditions cited. Especially because they have broken the process into steps where the employee will receive an assessment of their current job skills, a road map for developing the critical skills followed with constant feedback so the employee can compare their performance and assess future development programs. Additionally the employees are committed to achieve the goal because programs like Diversity Index Program and QLMS evaluate their performance to reward people for high performance.
Finally we can concur that by having goal setting process Allstate have probably improved their performance because the goal setting clarifies the level of performance expected and the whole process serves as a motivator for their employees. It creates incentive to achieve high performance because it allows people to develop the abilities required to attain the goal and then compare their present performance with those required to achieve the goal.

                                                                                                            The Diversity Index is a tool which evaluates the relations between the employee’s race, sex, and other diversity factors. With this internal program the employees need to answer some questions that are totally confidential, allowing employees to voice their opinions on various diversity issues. The most important factor of the diversity index is that it provide feedback and measurement of the process. Using the results from the Diversity Index Allstate management is able to identify areas of diversity that need improvement and is able to formulate programs to fix any diversity issues. With the feedback, the employees can compare their performance about how well they are doing and this comparison, in turn, can influence changes in the degree of goal commitment. Because the diversity Index is complex, it encourages the employees to make more effort to obtain high performance.
            As a consequence, the Diversity Index highlights the importance of human capital as a strategic asset and reflects the value of people and their role in obtaining competitive advantage for Allstate adding value also by generating a cultural mix in the human resource base (Delery & Doty, 1996). Increasing cultural diversity in the workforce poses one of the most challenging human resource and organizational issues of our time, especially nowadays when most companies are becoming more global and the workforce has to interact with its increasingly diverse client base. Also heterogeneity in decision-making and problem-solving styles produces better decisions through the operation of a wider range of perspectives and a more thorough critical analysis of issues (Jackson, 1992).
            With the Diversity Index the Allstate’s managers can develop a better knowledge of business strategy and other areas traditionally beyond the human resources domain in order to make cultural diversity deliver. When they meet this challenge, they can take advantage of what cultural diversity and its management offer in their organizations, not only for the sake of corporate social performance, but also in the interests of corporate financial performance.

                I would recommend for them to use the skill-based pay program, in this system the employees are paid according to their value in the labor market. According to Hellriegel & Slocum, (2011) skill based programs are based on the number and level of job-related skills that an employee has learned. Because Allstate’s diversity program has one step that allows the employees to develop their skills by receiving all the support necessary as an education, coaching and training, each employee can control their own development. I believe that skill-based pay program would be the best because using this program, employees with high developed skill and those who develop multiple skills will be particularly valuable assets to the Allstate.
            Because Allstate’s focus is diversity it is important to learn, therefore with this program the individuals will be motivate to learn because in order to be recognized by the program which has an emphasis on learning and growth. Then, employees will be paid according to the number of different skills that they can perform (Hellriegel & Slocum, 2011).
            However, this program has some limitations such as inadequate training, inadequate manager commitment, poor program design, conflicts between employees and the tendency to “top out” have to be consider before starting this program. Also they already have the Diversity Index which measures all the processes, but the skill based pay program will require a measurement capable of assessing when an employee has fully learned each skill.

             If I was an Allstate employee, I would be very motivated by the Diversity Index and QLMS that is used by the company because of two factors I am a woman and I am from Brazil. As a woman I have faced many situations where to be a woman was a big disadvantage, for example in my last company men have salaries about 10% higher than women, also there were only men in the upper management positions in that company. Those factors do not motivate me to continue in the company and apply for a better position; instead I left the company and start to look for another company that could give me more opportunity to grow in the company. If I was working for Allstate the consequence would be much different because instead of looking for another job I would looking for a way to develop skills to work even better every day and show that women are just as capable as men.
            Additionally, as a Spanish and Portuguese speaking employee, it would be very motivating for me to know that the company sees this attribute, as an advantage which could assist in achieving more success. Finally to know that the company understands our differences and respect the use of this as a competitive advantage creates be very good mechanism to motivate myself to work hard to make the company grow.

Delery, J. E., & Doty, D. H. 1996. Theoretical frameworks in strategic human resource   management; Universalistic, contingency, and configurational perspectives. Academy    of Management Journal, 39: 802-835.

Hellriegel, D., & Slocum, J. W., Jr. (2011). Organizational behavior: 2011 custom edition           (13th ed.). Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.

Jackson, S. 1992. Consequences of group composition for the interpersonal dynamics of            strategic issue processing. In P. Shrivastava, A, Huff, & ], Dutton (Eds,), Advances in   strategic management, vol. 8: 345- 382. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press                                                                                                                                                                              
MODERATORS: Employees receive an assessment of their job skills and map for developing the critical skills. Leaders provide feedback.                  In one year they can complete the mandatory diversity course.


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