Human Capital

The talent and expertise of our 30,000 employees is critical to maintaining our competitive advantages in a rapidly evolving business landscape. Fostering a thriving, vibrant and authentic culture is essential to attract and retain talented, diverse and qualified employees. It is our employees who collectively drive our performance and fuel our innovation agenda.


We owe our success to our extraordinary talent. Our future success requires that we continue to attract, develop and retain top talent and maintain our unique culture — a culture that cares deeply about the company and is rooted in trust, collaboration and diversity and inclusion. Our approach to human capital management starts with our innovative talent acquisition strategies, which enable us to attract the best people from a broad pool of talent. Once they join Travelers, we provide our employees with development programs that foster personal and professional growth, and an inclusive environment in which our employees feel valued and engaged, allowing them to maximize their potential. And throughout their careers with us, we provide our employees with comprehensive benefits and equitable and competitive compensation plans.

Our Board takes an active role in overseeing our human capital management strategy, including our initiatives to shape our workforce and workplace to drive business performance and ensure that we are well positioned for the future. Our Chief Human Resources Officer — a member of our Management and Operating Committees — and other senior executives present to the Board regularly on these matters.

Culture & Leadership

Travelers has a unique and rich culture that has been built over decades and runs deep in the organization. Hallmarks of our culture include:

  • Trust. At Travelers, so much of our culture is built on trust — the trust we earn from our customers in challenging times and the trust we place in each other and our agents and brokers every day. That trust is built upon honesty, integrity and accountability — values that are core to who we are.
  • Collaboration. As our Chairman and CEO, Alan Schnitzer, noted in an email to all 30,000 employees in 2018, “our culture of collaboration, camaraderie and shared responsibility is a treasure that we should never take for granted.” This collaborative approach to how we operate and think about risk and reward runs through every element of our business, from our underwriting reviews and our approach to Enterprise Risk Management to our Claim operations.
  • Diversity and Inclusion. For us, diversity and inclusion is a business imperative. We believe that diverse experiences and viewpoints yield greater insights and better outcomes, raising the bar on individual and team performance, sparking further innovation and sharpening our customer focus.
  • Focus on Merit. These three elements together — trust, collaboration and diversity and inclusion — form the foundation of our merit-based culture. At Travelers, every individual is encouraged to share their opinion and contribute to the decision-making process. We believe that by listening to diverse views and opinions — regardless of who offered them — we can reach the best business decisions. We recognize, promote and reward employees based on the merit of their ideas and their contributions to our long-term success.

We believe in the connection between culture and leadership and anchor our leadership behaviors on The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership® — to model the way, inspire a shared vision, challenge the process, enable others to act and encourage the heart. These five practices form the basis of how we practice leadership at Travelers to thrive in our business environment today and in the future. The Five Practices enable leaders to increase engagement and inclusion, lead change, drive innovation, tie daily goals to a greater purpose and coach people to higher levels of performance. Our managers are introduced to the Five Practices through the two-day Leadership Challenge® Workshop that serves as the foundation for these key behaviors and practices. A critical element of the workshop is a 360-degree assessment tool that allows the manager’s supervisor, co-workers and direct reports to provide feedback on key leadership behaviors.

Engagement & Inclusion

More than ever before, employees want and expect a workplace that aligns with their needs, wants and values, and we believe that an engaged workforce drives better business results. Because of that, one of our strategic priorities is to deliver an employee experience that engages our team and strengthens our organization. To inform the inclusion and leadership strategies we use to execute on those priorities, we have conducted an enterprise-wide engagement survey. Based on the results of that survey, each leader has developed an action plan to enhance employee engagement and create an even more meaningful employee experience. To evaluate our progress, we conduct periodic “pulse” surveys and focus groups. Our Chief Human Resources Officer meets quarterly with our CEO and other executive leaders to discuss employee engagement strategies and our progress.

In 2018, in recognition of the importance of having an engaged workforce, we created cross-functional teams, composed of managers and employees from across the organization, to develop new processes, policies and programs to enrich our employee experience. As a result of this collaboration, we revised our dress code; introduced new, more collaborative workspaces; expanded flexible working arrangements; and updated elements of our performance management process. These are examples of small changes that have a big impact and reflect the continuing and deliberate evolution of the Travelers workplace — one designed to inspire world-class talent in a constantly changing world. Our work is not done; we continue to identify and implement ways we can make Travelers an even better place to work.

Our average tenure and voluntary turnover rates demonstrate the power of our culture and the attachment our employees have to the organization. Our 500 most senior leaders have an average tenure at Travelers of nearly 20 years, and the average tenure of a Travelers employee is 12 years. The voluntary turnover rate of our U.S. employees, who comprise approximately 92% of our workforce, has been lower than 8% for the last several years. In 2018, our voluntary turnover rate in the United States was 7.5%; our global voluntary turnover rate was 7.8%. We are confident that our engagement and inclusion efforts will continue to have a strong impact — by shaping a workforce and workplace that drives exceptional business performance.

Learning & Development

Our commitment to learning and development is rooted in our belief that for us to be successful, we must provide our employees with the skills and capabilities to enable them to be successful. Travelers offers learning and development, including through online course offerings; in 2018, Travelers employees enrolled in more than 11,000 e-learning courses.

Because we believe that the best learners are the best leaders, we offer a variety of programs that support our managers in their leadership journey. The Leadership Challenge® Workshop provides an overview of The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership®, which is the framework for how we practice leadership at Travelers. Since inception in 2005, 3,800 leaders at Travelers have completed The Leadership Challenge® Workshop. We also offer three additional foundational workshops centered on leadership: Leading People At Travelers, Coaching for Performance Excellence and Appreciating Differences. In 2018, our employees and leaders invested approximately 22,000 hours in these workshops. All workshop attendees rate their experience by responding to three questions on a scale of 1 to 5: did the workshop meet your goals and expectations; was the workshop a valuable investment of your time; and as a result of attending the workshop, will you be more effective in your role. Our average rating for these workshops is 4.7/5.

Performance & Succession

Performance management at Travelers is about growing the right talent and skill sets and equipping employees with the necessary tools and feedback to ensure our continued success. Every employee at Travelers has performance objectives and goes through a performance evaluation on an annual basis. Our annual performance management process helps with setting goals and planning development and involves assessing progress against those goals and discussing opportunities for improvement. These progress assessments involve meaningful conversations to discuss what went well and what can be improved.

To make sure that managers have the skills necessary to guide our employees and help them reach their potential, we build their skills with our Coaching for Performance Excellence Workshop; the workshop helps managers develop their questioning, listening, reflecting and exploring abilities.

We also conduct a comprehensive annual talent review, which includes succession planning, to get our most talented employees ready for leadership positions and identify key employees for the next generation of great leaders. Each line of business identifies top-talent employees and succession candidates for targeted development and advancement opportunities with individualized action plans. The talent review process then rolls up through the business, culminating with the CEO and his direct reports meeting to review succession plans for key positions. The CEO then presents those plans to the Board of Directors.

Talent Acquisition

Travelers is focused on building a pipeline of talent to position the company for future success and is committed to hiring and developing a diverse and sustainable workforce across race, color, religion, gender, gender identity, age, national origin, disability, veteran status, marital status, genetic information and sexual orientation. Through our recruiting efforts, we attract and retain top talent from a broad pool of talent and continue to increase diversity in our hiring. 

To maintain our competitive advantages, we increasingly need industry-agnostic talent. Historically, running an insurance company required actuaries, underwriters and finance professionals, among others; in addition to those types of professionals, we now also need roboticists, data scientists, artificial intelligence experts and behavioral economists. This compels us to reimagine our talent acquisition strategies. While we continue to recruit from within our industry, we also recruit from outside our industry for disciplines that are fundamental to our future. We deploy talent acquisition strategies, including advanced sourcing tools, employment branding advertising, social channels and diverse slate requirements, to help us create a pipeline of strong candidates.

We are focused on inspiring the next generation of insurance professionals and actively encourage students and graduates to explore career opportunities in the insurance industry and, in particular, at Travelers. To help us attract new talent to the industry, we have longstanding affiliations with a number of organizations that share that mission including InVEST, Insure My Path and Gamma Iota Sigma. We also foster partnerships and sponsor diverse professional organizations such as the National African American Insurance Association (NAAIA), Young Risk Professionals, Management Leadership for Tomorrow, the Jackie Robinson Foundation, INROADS, Prospanica, Grace Hopper, Out & Equal, Dive In, Disability Matters, Military Officers Job Opportunities (MOJO) or Veteran Recruiting, the Military Fellowship Program and Academy Women. Read more about our programs to increase the diversity of our workforce in our Diversity & Inclusion section.

Travelers also offers a multitude of career mentorship and development programs to attract both early-in-career and experienced professionals. Our Leadership Programs provide students and graduates with an opportunity to move upward through a steady career path in a specific area such as Actuarial and Analytics, Financial Management, Human Resources, Technology or Insurance Operations. Participants complete assignments and rotations designed to help them build upon their strategic thinking skills and business acumen. Our Development Programs — in Underwriting, Business Intelligence and Geospatial, Investments, Shared Services, Product Management and Technology — include on‑the‑job training, classroom instruction, self-study materials and independent work in an assigned business area. These programs provide the foundational knowledge and skills necessary for success at Travelers and have been a part of our talent strategy for nearly 30 years. Many participants have gone on to hold senior roles in Travelers. More information on our Development Programs is available on our Careers site.

Total Rewards

Travelers compensation programs are designed to attract, motivate and retain high-performing talent. Our long-standing pay-for-performance philosophy differentiates awards based on individual and company performance, regardless of gender, race or any other protected classification. Paying our employees equitably is the foundation of our merit-based culture — our equitable pay statement outlines our approach to ensure that we compensate our employees without influence from bias. As noted in that statement, with the assistance of independent, outside experts, we annually review our compensation practices to help ensure equitable pay across the enterprise.

Compensation is delivered through base salary and variable compensation. Variable compensation helps to tie pay opportunities to company performance for those individuals who have the greatest ability to affect business outcomes. The degree of differentiation and the mix of compensation varies based on the level of an employee’s responsibility. The proportion of compensation that is performance-based increases with successively higher levels of responsibility. Accordingly, the senior-most executives, who are responsible for the development and execution of our strategic and financial plans, have the largest portion of their compensation tied to performance-based incentives.

Because our employees are our most valuable asset, we are committed to helping them be healthy and productive in all aspects of their lives. We know that when employees and their families are well — physically, emotionally and financially — they can be more fully engaged both personally and professionally. That’s why we offer comprehensive, flexible benefit options for our employees, which include medical, dental and prescription drug coverage; flexible spending accounts; life insurance; paid time off; short- and long-term disability; parental leave; child care discounts; and preventive care incentives.

Employees and their eligible family members, including spouses, domestic partners and children, are eligible for coverage from the first day of employment. To keep rates affordable, Travelers subsidizes premiums on its healthcare plans through a cost-sharing model. We subsidize health benefits more heavily for lower-paid employees as compared to higher-paid employees, such as the named executive officers. Accordingly, our higher-paid employees pay a significantly higher percentage of the cost of their health benefits than our lower-paid employees.

We have a forward-thinking approach to our benefit plan design. We deliver new, innovative ways to support employee health and well-being, including personal health support to help navigate the health care system; financial incentives for choosing high-quality, low-cost providers; and protections around the use of opioids to help ensure doctors, pharmacists and patients work closely together on treatment plans for pain management.

Our wellness program provides simple, easy-to-use tools and resources that empower employees with the information and support they need to achieve their wellness goals. These include:

  • a robust Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which offers a variety of services including professional counseling and work-life seminars, resources and referrals and is free, confidential and available 24/7;
  • wellness champions in more than 50 local offices, who facilitate customized wellness programs for each site;
  • a service the helps employees find top-rated doctors in the area, facilitates a second opinion from a specialist and provides information about a new diagnosis or treatment;
  • discounts at health clubs;
  • discounted weight management programs and tobacco cessation programs;
  • wellness screenings;
  • mobile mammography;
  • a diabetes management program;
  • a financial wellness assessment; and
  • retirement planning services, including complimentary consultations and workshops to assist in savings and retirement planning.

Travelers annually matches employee 401(k) contributions dollar for dollar up to the first 5% of eligible pay, up to a maximum of $6,500. We also offer a pension plan that is 100% funded by Travelers and does not require contributions from employees. We also recently announced an innovative new benefit for our employees that takes the tough choice out of paying down student debt or saving for retirement. Starting in 2020, payments by eligible U.S. employees toward their student loans will qualify for our 401(k) plan “matching” program.

Key Initiatives

Our Drivers of Sustained Value

Business Strategy & Competitive Advantages
Capital &
Risk Management
Data Privacy &
Disaster Preparedness
& Response
Diversity &
Ethics &
Human Capital
Public Policy
Safety &