In 2019, PayPal employee Mark Parker, along with a group of other PayPal employees, was invited to meet with company executives to discuss his financial wellness. They asked him what more he’d like from PayPal as an employer to be more successful inside and outside of work.
Mark said that while he loved the company and appreciated his market-rate salary, he’d love a raise and more comprehensive benefits. Sometimes, to make ends meet, he gave his plasma in exchange for extra income.
Several months later, PayPal CEO Dan Schulman and his C-suite team rolled out a comprehensive financial wellness program. Mark’s life completely changed.
Mark is just one of the nearly 1 million employees represented through the Worker Financial Wellness Initiative which helps companies take steps like raising wages or expanding access to benefits to help bolster the financial health of their employees. To explore how those actions have impacted their lives and livelihoods, we set out to hear from the workers firsthand through a compelling new video series.
This is Mark’s story:
“I just feel taken care of. I feel like I have all of the support that I need,” Mark said. “I’m able to give more of my heart, more of my personality into my work. I think the way that PayPal has embraced me, I’m able to then embrace PayPal,” he said in the video.
To ensure PayPal was living its mission of financial inclusion internally, the company conducted an analysis of worker incomes compared to the cost of living, to arrive at a net disposable income calculation. After learning many employees were struggling to get by, Schulman rolled out the pioneering Worker Financial Wellness Initiative in late 2019.
The new worker benefits included pay raises, a reduction of healthcare costs by over 60%, personal finance education programs, stock options, and more.
Productivity and culture improved and now PayPal is helping other companies conduct their own worker assessments through the Worker Financial Wellness Initiative with JUST Capital, the Financial Health Network, and Good Jobs Institute.
Franz Paasche, senior vice president and chief corporate affairs officer at PayPal, said participating in the Initiative has bolstered the company’s financial success.
“Talented and committed employees are the greatest competitive advantage any company can have,” Paasche told JUST. “Research increasingly shows that investing in the financial health and security of employees has a positive impact on engagement, retention, productivity, innovation, culture and more. That is good for our customers and good for our shareholders.”
Mark’s experience represents that of thousands of PayPal employees. He’s now more productive at work, and also feels incredibly loyal.
“Financial wellness just means freedom to me. It really does,” he said. “Because PayPal’s truly got my best interest in mind, I wouldn’t look for another company.”
He feels personally grateful to Schulman and PayPal’s leadership.
“I mean, it truly is coming from him and I feel that this is personally gifted from Dan Schulman,” he said. “Thank you.”
Paasche agreed that Schulman’s leadership on the issue has changed not only the company, but helped shape the public conversation around supporting America’s workforce.
“Dan has led from the front in putting our employees first. Throughout his leadership at PayPal, he has been outspoken about the inequities in our economy and financial system that result in so many people and families feeling financially vulnerable,” Paasche said. “Dan’s leadership on employee financial wellness is consistent with his deep commitment to fulfilling PayPal’s mission.”
Paasche said he’s excited to continue to build the coalition of companies committed to advancing the financial wellness of their workforces.
“We are working to do our part to make the global financial system more affordable, efficient, safe, and inclusive for everyone,” he said. “By prioritizing our employees, we can better serve our customers and shareholders.”
Hear from other employees about the impact worker financial wellness programs have had on their lives:
- Verizon: This is Eddie’s Story
- Chipotle: This is Eddy’s Story
- Prudential Financial: This is Shanelle’s Story
The Worker Financial Wellness Initiative is a vibrant and growing community of business leaders dedicated to improving the financial health and security of their workers. The Initiative includes peer learning opportunities for C-Suite leaders; creating resources and events for HR and compensation professionals; providing direct assistance to companies on how to develop and deploy a Worker Financial Wellness Assessment, and use it to identify areas for improvement and immediate next steps; and public opportunities to celebrate corporate leadership.
To learn more about the Initiative and how you can join, click here.