Nationwide Insurance: On Employees' Side

 -  11/5/07

With more than 36,000 associates, managing Nationwide’s roster of talent is a big job.

Nationwide Insurance’s motto is “Nationwide is on your side,” which extends to its approach to employees,
as well. With more than 36,000 associates, managing Nationwide’s roster of talent is a big job. But the company does so in a way that is personal and resourceful. We spoke with Rocky Parker, associate vice president of talent acquisition, to learn more.

TM: Describe Nationwide’s approach to talent management.

Parker: We take a systematic approach to talent. So, if you look at what we consider the broad buckets of talent management, they include talent acquisition, the onboarding of that talent, performance management, learning and development and the movement of that talent. The gel that holds all of those buckets together is talent planning — driven by business strategies to produce business results.

TM: What processes or programs have you established to improve the performance of the entire workforce?

Parker: There’s a process there, so at the beginning of the year, we set objectives that have cascaded throughout the organization to make sure we have alignment. We create development plans for individuals. We have a midyear check-in and review, and a year-end check-in and review to make sure that we’re doing what we say and course-correct if we need to, based on business strategies.

TM: How is performance management linked to Nationwide’s strategic objectives?

Parker: Our reward systems are based on individual, as well as business, objectives and obtaining those objectives over the period of measurement, which is traditionally a year. There’s a goal-sharing plan for our associates. There is a short-term incentive and a longer-term incentive for some executives and associates.

TM: What challenges affect Nationwide’s talent management?

Parker: They’re the same as challenges I’ve faced in other organizations, and I know other people are facing them too. We get our heads down and are doing all the great work that we need to do, and sometimes we end up doing replacement planning rather than succession planning or talent management or development. You get caught up in the day to day, and you sometimes lose sight of the greater strategy.

Article Keywords:   outsourcing   technology  

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