WorkLife Partnership 2021 Impact Report confirms burnout trends, highlights importance of diverse benefit offerings

WorkLife Partnership, a nonprofit organization that partners with employers to understand and meet the real, evolving needs of their frontline workers, released its 2021 Impact Report, revealing many workers face life stressors that impact every aspect of their well-being, making it hard for them to get ahead. In 2021, those who experienced inconsistent work are still struggling to catch up financially, and those who stayed in their jobs are exhausted and at risk of quitting. 

“In 2021, business leaders faced monumental movement in the workforce and a labor environment for which no previous living generation has experienced,” said WorkLife Partnership Founder and CEO Liddy Romero. “Workers are finding their voice in a new way, and what’s clear from our 2021 Impact Report is the challenges workers are facing are only deepening. Frankly, providing the benefit ‘status quo’ is not enough to meet the needs of today’s workforce.”

WorkLife provides a Resource Navigation program and Workforce Insights to help organizations meet the current and future needs of their employees and business. This program pairs employees with a real, live person equipped with the resources and expertise to guide workers through whatever keeps them from being successful. For example, a Resource Navigator can help an employee research and secure affordable housing, interpret a medical bill or coverage, or even just help them develop an annual budget for their household. WorkLife has found that pairing employees with this one-on-one support can significantly increase workers’ well-being and job performance. 

According to the 2021 WorkLife Partnership Impact Report: 

  • Navigators connected workers to more than 1,000 mental health services—a 58% increase from 2020
  • WorkLife granted more than $200,000 in cash assistance so that workers could afford emergency expenses.
    • 57% of workers surveyed in 2021 said they would be unable to afford an emergency expense of $300
  • WorkLife Partnership Navigators supported 2,215 workers and 4,450 household and family members
  • 114,000 workers in 28 states were eligible to receive support from a WorkLife Partnership Resource Navigator or its Network of Regional Service Providers. 
    • The top-three industries represented by employer partners in 2021 were healthcare, hospitality and manufacturing.

In a time when many industries face worker recruitment and retention challenges, employees who accessed WorkLife Partnership’s services indicated increased workplace loyalty and productivity. According to served and surveyed workers;

  • 78 percent say they are more likely to stay at their current company as a result of resource assistance;
  • 87 percent reported feeling less stressed, and 70 percent were less distracted at work.

[Colorado only: Additionally, WorkLife partners with Colorado businesses to provide their employees with its Small Dollar Loan Program, a safe alternative to predatory lending. This program is based on the safe lending principles recommended by PEW Charitable Trusts, including affordable payments and reasonable time to repay. Borrowers can request up to $1,000 and have one year to repay the loan. In 2021, WorkLife Partnership lent $355,716 to borrowers, with 98% of recipients in good standing. According to WorkLife’s post-program survey, 90% of borrowers said they were more likely to stay at their current employer because they had access to a WorkLife loan.

WorkLife Partnership prioritizes safe lending as four in 10 Americans do not have enough savings to cover a $1,000 emergency expense. Workers under financial strain with limited resources or little-to-no credit are more likely to resort to predatory payday loans, of which the average interest rate is nearly 400 percent.] 

Based in Denver, WorkLife Partnership provides its Resource Navigation program and Workforce Insights to companies nationwide, including Starbucks, Delta Dental, FirstBank, American Furniture Warehouse, Meritage Hospitality Group and SCL Health [as well as Colorado companies including Arapahoe Basin Ski Resort, Bobo’s Oat Bars, Sonnenalp Vail, JAX Mercantile and Denver Health.]. 

To view more insights and the full 2021 WorkLife Partnership Impact Report, visit

About WorkLife Partnership: WorkLife Partnership, founded in 2009, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to economic equity and thriving workplaces across the country. WorkLife deploys its Resource Navigator benefit inside of businesses to provide personalized, immediate, one-on-one assistance when workers need it most. WorkLife Resource Navigators minimize work disruptions, decrease absenteeism, improve workers’ financial stability and ultimately increase employee retention and engagement. Currently, more than 65,000 employees across 36 employers are eligible to receive support from WorkLife, and 80 percent of those surveyed by WorkLife said that they felt good working for a company that offers this benefit. WorkLife is guided by its vision that prosperity is possible for everyone through work.