These days, Labor Day is the unofficial bookend of summer, hallmarked by backyard cookouts, sun-soaked road trips and bargain shopping. But its original purpose was to honor the country’s labor force and celebrate its production, innovation and achievements.

In that spirit, employers can do more than grant employees an additional paid holiday per year. WorkLife Partnership, a one-of-a-kind employee benefit program, advises business leaders to reflect on how they’re meeting the needs of their workers, and what more they can do to help workers be more present physically and mentally at work. Right now, the country’s labor force faces an abundance of challenges both in and outside the workplace, from rising housing costs to medical debt to feeling burnt out on the job. At the same time, employers are trying to re-engage workers who left the workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Employers who start investing in the ‘whole person’ will gain the competitive advantage by creating a thriving workforce who are capable of fully showing up to work and delivering upon the business promise to consumers,” said Liddy Romero, founder and CEO of WorkLife Partnership. “When employees are supported with life’s challenges and opportunities, they can better meet their potential at work.” 

Hamra Enterprises, headquartered in Springfield, Missouri, includes three restaurant brands and one hotel brand with approximately 6,000 employees in nine states. It incorporated WorkLife Partnership into its benefit offerings at the beginning of 2020 when it noticed it was missing a critical piece in supporting its employees. 

“They create relationships with the employee,” said Christie Reed, director of culture and experience at Hamra Enterprises. “They provide coaching, they provide guidance, they help their action plan, they help them think through things, they are their partner.” Hamra’s partnership with WorkLife furthers the company’s commitment to help employees live a life they love. 

WorkLife Partnership allows employers to take their commitment to their workers further by supporting their financial, physical, social and mental health needs with these services:

Resource Navigators – WorkLife Resource Navigators support employees one-on-one for as long as they need with issues that traditional benefits can’t meet like safe housing, affordable childcare, debt, and goal setting. They help employees come up with a plan, connect them to the right community resources and encourage their progress along the way. The Resource Navigator program has proven to minimize work disruptions, decrease absenteeism, improve workers’ financial stability and, ultimately increase employee retention and engagement.

Health Benefits Navigation – WorkLife’s Health Benefits Navigator helps workers optimize their health insurance plans, navigate the healthcare system and manage costly medical bills so employees can live a healthier life. This service saved workers more than 150 hours of time last year that would have been spent trying to navigate the system on their own. By supporting workers in choosing and understanding their insurance plan, more employees take advantage of the company’s benefit offerings, fewer employees are distracted by the stress of medical bills and debt, and employees lower claims usage by making more informed choices.