New Report Highlights Emerging Technologies to Boost Well-Being for Low-Income Young Workers
BOSTON, March 31, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- As companies grapple with the challenge of supporting employee well-being a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, JFF, a national nonprofit driving transformation in the American workforce and education systems, today released a comprehensive report that focused on technologies designed to improve the employee experience for low-income and younger workers. With backing from the Prudential Foundation, the Thrive@Work market scan highlights companies deploying new technologies to address the most common and pressing challenges that low-income workers experience at work—from burnout and mental health issues to family care-giving responsibilities and opportunities for advancement.
"Challenges related to mental health, income insecurity, and remote work have been widespread during the pandemic, but low-income and younger workers—who often have the fewest personal, financial, and career resources—are among those experiencing these issues most acutely," said Maria Flynn, president and CEO of JFF. "It has never been more critical to help employees balance work, family, education, and personal life. We're thrilled to see the rise of a new category of impact employers who share our conviction that employee well-being and business performance are truly two sides of the same coin."
Against a backdrop of unprecedented labor market volatility, the new report arrives at a time when more than 10.1 million displaced workers are struggling to find jobs. At the same time, the COVID-19 health crisis is causing historic increases in income and housing insecurity, exacerbating challenges related to family care-giving responsibilities, and raising new concerns around diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
"In today's volatile labor market, all workers, especially those who are transitioning from unemployment or unfinished education experiences, deserve tools and support that foster a sense of belonging and purpose," said Paula D'Ambrosa, director of work & wealth, Prudential Financial. "We've seen this firsthand, and with JFF we are excited to shine a light on innovations that will transform how we unleash the potential of workers, particularly opportunity youth, in ways that further impact the American workforce at large. This partnership is another example of our company's $180 million commitment to connecting and advancing opportunity youth in quality jobs."
The Thrive@Work market scan was produced by JFFLabs, a team within JFF that designs and scales new technology-enabled approaches to promoting economic advancement. The market scan is designed to help employers, investors and entrepreneurs better understand the maze of new technologies designed to boost employee engagement and well-being, with an explicit focus on younger, low-income workers.
In a sweeping analysis of more than 1,000 companies, JFFLabs evaluated a wide range of human capital technologies designed to support employee performance management, boost learning and advancement in the workplace, deliver targeted coaching and mentoring, promote healthy work-life balance, and collect employee feedback. The report offers a new framework that assesses technology solutions and platforms based on their ability to tailor and deliver on-the-job support, improve employee engagement and well-being, and promote career advancement and retention for low-income workers.
Innovators to Watch in Employee Experience Technology
The report includes JFF's "Innovators to Watch" in the employee experience and well-being market, a list of 18 companies—all founded within the past 11 years—poised to address a wide range of challenges. To assemble the list, JFFLabs reviewed companies of all sizes and at all stages of growth that are focused on addressing various needs in the employee experience, and then assessed them based on innovation, the efficacy of their offerings, and contributions to social impact.
According to data collected from the private capital markets database Pitchbook and analyzed by JFF, nearly $800 million has been invested in our 18 Innovators to Watch since 201—98 percent of that in the past two years alone and nearly 30 percent in the past year. Valuations of employee experience technology companies grew 350 percent from 2016 to 2020—an indication of the momentum these companies are achieving and the interest they are generating.
Here are the "Innovators to Watch" (in alphabetical order):
ABOUT JFF: JFF is a national nonprofit that drives transformation in the American workforce and education systems. For more than 35 years, JFF has led the way in designing innovative and scalable solutions that create access to economic advancement for all. www.jff.org.
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