Nationwide insurance will be eliminating the jobs of approximately 1,100 of its employees across the country in a 3.6 percent reduction of its workforce due to technological advances rendering certain positions obsolete.
The insurance and financial services giant told about 80 workers in Des Moines and 350 in Columbus, Ohio on Tuesday that they would be cutting their jobs by the end of March 2019. Nationwide indicated that it will notify the remaining workers in the coming weeks.
According to Nationwide, employees will receive severance pay and other transitional support. Nationwide spokesman Joe Case said workers would receive their official 60-day notice in January. Consequently, they have about four months’ notice before the layoffs become effective in March.
“These are difficult but necessary choices to position the company for the future,” Case said. “We are committed to moving through this period with great respect and full support for those impacted.”
The layoffs will mostly affect those in IT, marketing, and bank organizations, as well as property and casualty operations.
Currently, the company has more than 770 open positions posted internally. Consequently, the company is encouraging employees facing layoffs to apply for these openings.
Nationwide Workforce Needs Evolving Due to Technology
According to Case, the insurer’s workforce needs are changing as the company “implements new technologies and modernizes for the future.”
“Our digital modernization, our distribution evolution and the formation of emerging partnerships all position us to meet customers where they are,” he said. “As we implement new technologies and become more efficient across our businesses, our workforce requirements are changing.”
These technological advances are hitting industries across the board, as automation and artificial intelligence (AI) increasingly take over lower level tasks. While this inherently endangers a certain number of jobs, individuals can leverage this trend to empower themselves with higher level skills and functions. Consequently, it’s imperative to upskill and reinvest in continual job training to keep pace with organizational needs as technology continues to change the way we work. Those who do not evolve with digitalization risk being marginalized or left behind all together.
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