Skip to main content

Innovative Company - Transformational Business Impact Finalists 2024

State Farm

Header desktop

What business problems did your organization / project face, and why did you choose a digital adoption strategy to help you solve it?

In 2023, State Farm hired approximately 17,500 new employees. Prior to the fall of that year, new hires were required to complete a complex list of tasks on their first day. These tasks were outlined in a 13-page printed word document that was often outdated. Additionally, new hires had to attend a lengthy PowerPoint presentation that guided them through various setup procedures, such as password and security question setup, security key registration, Microsoft Teams and Outlook setup, VPN enrollment, software updates, and more. On average, this process took approximately 6 hours and 45 minutes to complete.

This onboarding process was confusing, and it resulted in 10-20% of in-person new hires reaching out to the Support Center for assistance on their first day. The number of support calls increased to 80% when new hires were virtually onboarded. The first day for a new employee became a challenging introduction to State Farm’s systems and technology, which contributed to the organization’s 86.2% 90-day retention rate in 2022. This retention rate is considered a measure of successful onboarding, as it reflects State Farm’s ability to retain and engage new employees.

To fulfill the State Farm promise to its policyholders, the company requires experienced professionals for efficient and effective operations. This is especially important within the Claims Customer Support and Underwriting departments. To ensure a quality customer experience, State Farm strives to increase employee retention and reduce turnover. Given the high volume of work in the Claims department, ease and efficiency are highly valued by employees. Improving the initial steps of the onboarding process is the first step towards enhancing the overall employee experience in these areas.

Recognizing the need for improvement, the HR&D Digital Support Team identified an opportunity to enhance the onboarding experience through the use of WalkMe. By seamlessly integrating the disjointed system setup tasks, WalkMe reduces the time required for system setup, enabling new hires to engage in business-critical training and tasks more quickly. This improved efficiency in system setup also allows trainers, managers, and first-line support representatives to focus on more rewarding aspects of their roles. Ultimately, this enhancement aligns with State Farm’s commitment to delivering exceptional customer service.

How did you use WalkMe, in conjunction with other strategies and technologies, to address your challenges?

The HR&D Digital Support Team took a thoughtful approach by closely observing the onboarding experience of new hires throughout the organization. After identifying the pain points, the team brainstormed a solution that leveraged various tools such as Smart Walk-Thrus, SmartTips, Launchers, ShoutOuts, and Surveys. These items were implemented on State Farm’s intranet, the Workday Onboarding app, and WalkMe Workstation, all seamlessly interconnected with WalkMe Data and permalinks.

To provide better visibility and progress tracking, WalkMe Data was set at each step of the system setup process, indicating whether a step was Not Started, In Progress, or Complete. This real-time measurement allowed trainers to determine if an onboarding class was ready to move on to more business-critical tasks, while also providing users with clear indications of their progress. If a user was interrupted during setup, they could easily resume their work from where they left off.

As the general design was developed, the team conducted small- and large-scale pilots of the solution in collaboration with our Enterprise Tech and Claims business partners. WalkMe Data enabled the Digital Support Team to set Insights Tracked Events and Funnels, which measured the time taken to complete processes and identified areas where users faced difficulties.

Through this pilot phase, we not only improved the WalkMe build, but also provided valuable insights to our business partners, enabling them to simplify their own processes.For example, insights from the Funnel data revealed that the security key enrollment process took an average of 56 minutes and 39 seconds. We shared this data with the security key team, allowing them to streamline their internal processes without compromising the security of our internal systems. With the guidance of WalkMe and the streamlined process, users now take an average of 19 minutes and 26 seconds to set up their security key, resulting in a time reduction of 65.7%!

Additionally, we collaborated with our Information Security Area to develop a new application that improved the initial VPN sign-on process. This significantly reduced the need for new employees to immediately contact support at the start of their setup, benefiting both the new hire experience (no waiting in the support queue) and the first-line call center representatives.

By the end of the pilot phase, we had a comprehensive solution in place to guide new hires throughout the enterprise in completing their day-one system setup tasks. This solution included improvements to setup processes across the organization, resulting in a more efficient and user-friendly onboarding experience.

How does your digital adoption strategy, especially with regard to WalkMe, impact or benefit your end-users (customers and/or employees), your team, and leadership?

The Welcome and System Setup Tasks solution, powered by WalkMe, has significantly reduced the time required for system setup. Previously taking 6 hours and 45 minutes, the setup process now takes less than 2 hours. This improvement enables trainers, managers, and new hires to quickly dive into role-specific content, without the need for State Farm Learning Development Facilitators (LDFs) to interrupt onboarding classes to address unexpected technical issues. As a result, the class can proceed smoothly, while LDFs offer personalized assistance, fostering a sense of independence and confidence among new hires that carries throughout the rest of their onboarding and training journey.

Since January 1, 2024, new hires on average have rated their first day onboarding experience at 4.7 on a scale of 5, indicating a high level of satisfaction. We have received a wealth of positive feedback regarding the improved efficiency and effectiveness of the onboarding process.

“Everyone was very welcoming and I didn’t feel lost in anyway.”

“I loved the amount of detail and attention everything had, I am looking forward to getting to know my coworkers and the company much more!”

“Great team atmosphere. Clear directions.”

“Trainers did a great job. The welcome system is set up very well to get new hires online.”

“Most onboarding processes that I have experienced have been slow and honestly annoy me. This process was smooth and the instructors were helpful. I appreciate that for the most part we all got to move at our own pace, which I feel helps keep us engaged.”

How has your digital adoption strategy, especially with regard to WalkMe, helped your organization better achieve its mission, goals, or values?

Throughout the discovery, planning, and building phases of the Welcome & System Setup Tasks WalkMe initiative, the HR&D Digital Performance Support team collaborated extensively across the Enterprise. This collaborative effort aimed to address onboarding challenges that extended beyond the scope of a WalkMe solution.

As a result, notable improvements were made to the VPN enrollment process, the New Hire Onboarding Dashboard, and the deployment of workstation systems. This cross-departmental collaboration had a positive impact on the organization’s 90-day retention rate, which improved to 94.2% in 2024, compared to 89.9% during the same period the previous year.

Thanks to the implementation of the Welcome & System Setup Tasks solution and the collaborative discovery efforts between departments, the time required for system setup has been reduced by a significant 69%. In the first three months of 2024, State Farm successfully onboarded 5,177 employees. With approximately 4 hours saved on system tasks per employee, this solution has conservatively resulted in cost savings of $383,098 for the Enterprise

What about your implementation or success makes you most proud? Why?

This project has allowed the HR&D Digital Performance Team to fulfill the State Farm Good Neighbor promise by addressing a process that was negatively impacting both our customers and colleagues and taking proactive steps to improve it. Throughout this journey, all parties involved have had the opportunity to excel. The Digital Performance Team successfully leveraged WalkMe’s powerful platform in an innovative manner to meet the diverse needs of stakeholders, it also allowed the team to develop their business acumen, WalkMe, CSS and development skills as they addressed complex tasks and relationships.

This effort has significantly enhanced the relationship between the Digital Performance Team and the Claims and Operations Support business areas, fostering collaboration and collective problem-solving. It has also instilled a greater sense of confidence in WalkMe as a tool for Digital Adoption across the Enterprise.

Moreover, this initiative has inspired all levels of the organization to prioritize and enhance the new employee experience. Notably, even Jake, a prominent figure within State Farm, has become involved in welcoming each new hire through a video shared via a ShoutOut at the start of the onboarding process.

Please share any additional information about your role in the project, your results, and/or your vision for the future that supports your submission.

Our work is far from complete! Both the Enterprise and HR&D Digital Performance Team are dedicated to ongoing improvement and iteration of the current new hire experience. This commitment is reinforced by the positive outcomes we have already witnessed in terms of retention and time savings. State Farm’s growth trajectory necessitates the annual hiring of 15,000 – 20,000 employees. This presents an opportunity to expand the WalkMe Onboarding initiative to encompass tasks beyond the first day. We are currently developing plans to utilize WalkMe to guide managers through the new hire process, and we are actively conducting discovery research to identify ways to support new hires throughout their entire onboarding journey.

About your organization

For over 100 years, the mission of State Farm has been to help people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected and realize their dreams. State Farm and its affiliates are the largest providers of auto and home insurance in the United States. Its more than 19,400 agents and 67,000 employees serve over 91 million policies and accounts – including auto, fire, life, health, commercial policies and financial services accounts. Commercial auto insurance, along with coverage for renters, business owners, boats and motorcycles, is also available. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 44 on the 2023 Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit