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What are Employee Success Wraparound Services?

Employee success wraparound services are resources that help participant workers secure, succeed and advance in employment. These services can vary widely – from transportation assistance, to earnings supplements, to record expungement. Some ESEs call these services “barrier / obstacle removal” since providing participant workers with these resources can help them overcome employment barriers.

Why is it important?

  • Employee success wraparound services provide participant workers with relevant and responsive resources to help them overcome barriers to work and onto a path towards self-sufficiency.
  • Work experience alone is often not enough for individuals with high barriers; education and skill attainment are integral to accessing and succeeding in mainstream employment.
  • Wraparound services provide a holistic, positive experience that goes beyond a job and addresses the needs of the whole person.

Best practices   

If you are considering offering employee success wraparound services for the first time, here are some resources to help you:

1) Define goals and strategies for providing services to participant workers,
2) Configure your services offering,
3) Create a structure and policies for your offering

When selecting employee success wraparound services to offer, or if you are reassessing existing offerings, be sure to:

  • Identify the goals and needs of your participant workers and focus population(s) you work with, and map services directly to those needs.
    1. Learn how one social enterprise developed (and continues to evolve) “informed benefits” by listening to their participant workers to understand what they need to be successful in their jobs.
    2. Use data from your intake process to regularly assess what barriers your participant workers are facing and therefore what services you may want to explore offering (e.g., “I know from my application form that X% of participant workers are facing homelessness”). 
    3. For leaders of lived-experience, lean on your personal experience to understand what resources your participant workers may need, while recognizing that their journey might be different than yours and might require additional resources. For leaders without lived-experience, this is a great place to leverage your strong listening skills to further understand what participant workers need to be successful.
  • Think about the economic, demographic and place-based factors impacting your focus population and consider promising practices for providing services.
  • Make sure services align with and support your theory of change and logic model.
  • Regularly collect and track data to understand why participant workers are exiting from your ESE. Address barriers that may cause participant workers to drop out from your program and permanent work.

Consider what to offer internally vs. partner

Offer employee success wraparound services consistently

  • All participant workers should be eligible for in-house services; external referrals may depend on partner availability. While the suite of wraparound services should be available to all, participant workers and case managers should select specific services tailored to individual needs.

Ensure that employee success wraparound services are high quality and easily accessible

  • Train your program staff on relevant community resources and public benefits.
  • Create standards for quality and accountability for in-house staff and partners.
  • If you decide to offer digital services, make sure they are thoughtfully used and intentionally incorporated into your offering.
  • Consider your participant workers’ assets and barriers when deciding how to deliver wraparound services. Also consider trauma-informed practices in your design.
  • If you offer a fund for direct barrier removal (e.g., emergency funds for a Lyft/Uber ride, utility bill), share clear instructions on the drawdown process and policies.

Decide whether and how to compensate participant workers for time spent in wraparound services

Track how participant workers use employee success wraparound services

  • For quality assurance, outcomes measurement and continuous improvement.  Consider analyzing subsets of data to understand if there is any unintended bias or inequity in utilization rates.

Adapt employee success wraparound offerings at least annually

  • Based on reviewing data, participant worker feedback, program budget changes, partner relationships, and innovation, as well as a regular revisit of your logic model / theory of change.