What is up with State Farm?

By:  Diane Benjamin

I’ve talked to numerous people about what is really going on at State Farm.  One felt Ed Rust protected Bloomington-Normal, but he is no longer there.  The new management has no reason to be loyal to Bloomington-Normal.

Another person told me State Farm has serious internal problems that are making them un-competitive.  The insurance industry uses a “combined ratio” to measure losses against premiums collected.  Below 100 if good, above isn’t.  Competitors are in the 90’s, State Farm lowered theirs to 109 by raising rates.  That means more policy holders will leave.  State Farm was at 117 last year with 7 billion in losses.  Of course, that was before this year’s hurricanes.

The same person claims morale is at an all-time low.  Many employees are distraught or in denial.  He/she also claims Bloomington-Normal is in for a rude awakening.

It’s difficult to know how many employees State Farm has locally since the numbers differ dramatically:

 
 
EDC (present day) – 14,282 https://www.bnbiz.org/data/business/
 
Convention & Visitors Bureau (present day) – 14,109 http://www.visitbn.org/about/major-employers/
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The comments below were found on-line at the links provided.  The website is where employees can vent about being laid off or potential layoffs.

https://www.thelayoff.com/t/PEm07fS

As a remote worker, I do not live in BLM, but I did check out the Pantagraph and saw the article that basically said State Farm was committed to keeping the same number of employees in Bloomington.

Do not believe it.

The company is clearly — very clearly — interested in drastically reducing head count. If they weren’t, they would have given their teleworkers a chance to relocate to a hub, provided those employees were still providing a benefit to the business. None of the affected business areas were allowed to extend such a relocation offer (with or without relo benefits) so clearly the objective was reducing head count, not increasing efficiency or benefiting from co-location, per the narrative.

And if you go out and look at the professional/technical JOPs, you will see that 95% of them require development experience (most are java development positions) or expertise in a particular set of tools. That should give you some idea of what the future is. It’s fewer people doing more work and being responsible for more technical work. In and of itself, that’s not a bad work model, but it does mean fewer people employed Systems wide. And it means that those who are lucky enough to keep their jobs will need to re-tool.

I’m not really familiar with your local media outlets, but I’ve seen enough to know I wouldn’t trust anything printed in the Pantagraph.

https://www.thelayoff.com/t/PA2R4UY

The Pantagraph simply re-prints the fax that gets sent to all local media outlets by State Farm Public Affairs department. There is no “reporting” going on. They do not seek out sources who were in the meetings last Monday and Tuesday when they had the entire H cafetaria locked all day with paper darkening the windows and Wackenhut security at each door….too funny.

Our 500 person Funtion in Systems was told today, we need to cut 225. Voluntary separation packages will be offered until 3/31/18, after that the involuntary package will be 50% of the voluntary package… “The consultants” (i think Delloite this time?), you know the group Systems management hires to make the plan so management won’t be blamed when it doesn’t work, again, surely have the silver bullet this time with “vivify”. Or maybe Fawad Ahmad, who did so well at Staples (sales there dropped 6.4% his final year there)…can rescue SF with a digital miracle? Until they abandon their 1950’s Agency model, only Agents profits will increase….good luck you are the next General Motors with a 35+ year market share leak.

I’ve got 20 years in but already am finding the place unrecognizable. And the chaos will just accelerate under Tipsord. That bean-counter coupled with Fawad… jeesh, yikes.

https://www.thelayoff.com/t/NdLWLtO

I just severed on April 28 (2017) after over 30 years. I’m old enough to take early retirement. I’ll need another job but I simply could not face the call center atmosphere that even complex BI/suit claims are plugged into! I don’t want to live at a hub.

I am still in shock that my experience and tenure was so undervalued that I could not have been kept on as a proximity employee or even a contract employee. The company has changed, and not for the better. Our best quality was our service, but that’s going to be gone. The wave after me, the adjusters who will handle suits have an average of eighteen months with SF! In my wave, people who relocated are dropping like flies. It’s so sad to see a great company make such foolish decisions.

I’m glad to leave, but I’ll miss the people I’d worked with for decades. It was very hard to basically be told to relocate or leave!

I could NOT recommend working for SF in the “new world” where even going to relieve yourself is time counted against you! How can a complicated investigation or lawsuit possibly be handled under the new conditions? I am grieving for myself and for my career, and for the great company we used to be.

Who is telling the truth?

The only given is that government will be the last one.  Can’t stop spending money!

 

 

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Comments

  1. As opposed to our lapdog media who continues to paint the “all is well and we are not in trouble” Norman Rockwell picture here in B/N, these people appear to be on the inside of State Farm and have nothing to gain from speaking out. So considering our media’s track history here, I would take these folks more seriously than the State Farm CEO spouting corporate speak about how their goal is to “better serving our customers”. I want SF employees affected by this to tell us what is going on? We deserve to know the truth.. our entire economy and many many jobs (not just State Farm jobs) are at stake. So to State Farm employees… how many people are losing their jobs in Bloomington? The truth will set you free…

    Like

  2. Is everyone who works at State Farm afraid to speak out? If this so, it is very sad…

    Like

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