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Imagine Allen: A hardworking, loyal employee whose wife unexpectedly lost her job. His monthly income is just enough to cover groceries, rent, utilities, and gas so he can get to and from work. While he isn’t saving any money, he is keeping his family above water—but this means putting off any large purchases.  

The tires on his family’s car are well beyond their mileage limit and are bordering on dangerous. Because Allen is unable to save the $500 he needs for new tires, he continues to drive on them until one morning, when he is on his way to work, a tire completely blows out. Allen is now stranded and running two hours late. After putting on his spare tire—which is also in bad shape—and getting his car safely back home, Allen decides to use a rideshare to get to work.

Worried he might lose his job if he misses any more work, Allen continues using rideshares, which costs him nearly $30 a day. Allen knows he can’t afford this much longer, but with no other vehicle or access to public transportation options, he is running out of options.

Allen’s story is not uncommon. More than 40% of Americans can’t afford to cover an emergency expense of $400 or more. And for those who are just getting by, one financial setback can set off a snowball effect, causing challenges that grow in severity as they go unresolved. When employees reach out to WorkLife Partnership, it’s rarely because they’re facing just one challenge. In fact, the average WorkLife client reports experiencing six or more challenge at once. When one challenge turns into two and two into three, your employees could find themselves up against issues that are insurmountable—unless they have support.

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Five hundred dollars was what stood between Allen and his job. Last year, one in four WorkLife clients reported that they were experiencing a financial challenge. And of those, 44% were able to overcome this challenge with as little as $200. How would Allen’s story be different if he received support as soon as his wife became unemployed? Or if he had help purchasing new tires before his car was undriveable?

By providing your employees with access to services like WorkLife Partnership, you’re helping them address issues when they arise and before they snowball. When your employees face challenges that are difficult to overcome, their job performance suffers—they’re distracted, less productive, showing up late to work, or not showing up at all. All of these equal high costs for your business:

  • $450 – $550 billion: Annual costs to U.S. businesses per year due to lost productivity. 
  • $6,656: Average cost of replacing an employee earning $16/hour
  • $3,600: Annual cost of unscheduled absenteeism per hourly worker

Here’s how Allen’s story would change if he had access to WorkLife’s services:

Despite being a hardworking, loyal employee, Allen was barely making ends meet because his wife unexpectedly lost her job. Since money was tight, he didn’t have anything left over at the end of each month to put toward an emergency savings. However, the family car was need of new tires—a purchase Allen was unable to afford.

Allen reached out to a WorkLife Navigator to talk through his options. First, the Navigator helped Allen find a tire shop that was more affordable that the one he was planning on using, saving him nearly $100. The Navigator also connected Allen to food pantries and funding to cover the cost of his utility bill. Allen was able to put the extra money he was saving toward the tire purchase. Additionally, WorkLife provided supportive service funding to further offset the cost. Finally, so Allen could be better prepared for unexpected purchases like this in the future, the Navigator connected him to a financial coach. 

With the money he was able to save and the supportive service funding from WorkLife, Allen was able to purchase new tires and get back and forth to work safely.

Want to learn more about how WorkLife can support your workforce? Please contact us at lmontgomery@worklifecolorado.org or 303-902-3173. 

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