May 17, 2024

Purple's Experience With Earned Wage Access

On May 15, Rachelle Dugan, director of payroll for Purple, joined OneSource Virtual (OSV) and Wagestream for a conversation on earned wage access (EWA). This solution for employee financial well-being, which enables employees to access a portion of their earned wages before payday, has exploded in recent years. 

The conversation started with a discussion of 20 illuminating statistics on market trends, how employees use EWA, and the impact of flexible pay solutions on both employees and employers. For a breakdown of those statistics from the webinar, check out our other blog. 

After that, Rachelle shared her experience bringing EWA to her company and the impact it’s had on Purple. Read on to hear her story. 

Purple and Rachelle Dugan 

Founded in 2010, Purple believes everyone deserves a good night’s sleep. To deliver on that mission, it produces mattress and pillows with a unique GelFlex® Grid along with sheets, bedding, and other comfort accessories. Headquartered in Lehi, Utah, Purple employs more than 1,500 people across its corporate offices, production facilities, and retail stores. 

Rachelle Dugan is a seasoned professional who brings over 20 years of experience to Purple. She excels in managing financial operations, including payroll, benefits administration, timekeeping, and accounting processes.  

As a member of the American Payroll Association, Rachelle ensures Purple's payroll operations are efficient and compliant. Known for her discretion and integrity, she leverages technology to streamline processes, saving time and resources.  

She jokingly describes her team as “the best, most well rested payroll team out there.”  

Rachelle’s first thoughts on EWA 

When Rachelle first heard about EWA, she was skeptical. She remembers thinking, “No one is going to use it and it’s going to be a ton of work for me and my team.” 

She was also apprehensive about the promises of EWA to alleviate financial stress. “I don’t want some company taking advantage of our employees and putting them in a bad situation because it sounds like it’s a payday loan,” she says. “There’s a negative connotation [as if] they’re borrowing against their wages.” 

But now, she is happy to have been proven wrong on all accounts. Which brings us first to the reality of implementing EWA at Purple. 

Implementing EWA 

Rachelle learned that she could implement earned wage access with hardly any work from her team through myFlexPay by OneSource Virtual, one of the key features of myFlexWallet. And not only that: it didn’t cost the business anything to implement it. 

“The OSV and Wagestream partnership made it so simple. We didn’t have to do anything,” she says. “It wasn’t difficult, it didn’t cost us anything. There’s zero financial cost to the company and it’s something cool we can give to our employees.” 

That made it easy to get buy-in from senior leadership, and she was excited to present a solution to them that would cost nothing and benefit their employees. 

Employee support for EWA 

When it came to employee communications and driving adoption, she had support too. OSV provides a dedicated content hub for communications and material to engage your workforce, including launch and new hire emails, posters, videos, and guides. 

But still, employees will inevitably have questions or run into situations where they need help. Rachelle was pleased to discover that all employee support would be covered by her partnership with OSV. There is a 24/7 support line built within the app that enables employees to ask questions and get answers. 

The impact of EWA 

Immediately after implementing EWA, Rachelle received positive feedback from the organization. “The recruiters rejoiced when we rolled it out, they were pretty excited because they had heard the buzz and wanted to add it,” she says. “When you're trying to attract top talent, you definitely need to be a little bit on that cutting edge of trying to have the best benefits and have the best packages to offer your employees.” 

Since Purple has retail, production, and corporate workers, Rachelle wanted to make sure that they were all able to benefit from the solution. “It’s an expectation at this point for these younger tech [workers] to have something like this,” she says. “We just launched a whole bunch of retails stores and we have retail frontline workers too that are using it like crazy.” 

"There is a lot of value to these people who are just starting out in their careers. They’re probably our heaviest users,” she says. “But I have directors that use it because they like the control.” 

And employees are not just using it, they’re loving it. “I have yet to have anyone complain. Not one,” she says. 

A memorable EWA story 

Rachelle recounted receiving a phone call from a new employee who was in a panic because he couldn't pay his rent and was facing eviction. He had mistakenly entered incorrect direct deposit information into Workday — a common error payroll teams deal with. 

The employee was desperate for a quick resolution, needing money that very day. Rachelle asked if he had used myFlexPay, but he was unaware of the service. After explaining how the app works, she directed him to the HR department, which helped him download the app and access his earned wages immediately. 

Shortly after, the employee sent a heartfelt message to Rachelle, thanking her for the assistance. It felt incredibly rewarding for her to know the company had a tool that could provide immediate help and relieve his financial stress.  

“He had made a mistake. It was an innocent mistake. That happens every single payroll. Somebody makes a mistake on their direct deposit, every single payroll,” she says. “But instead of sinking his ship, he was able to right himself. And I'm sure we have a little bit more of a loyal employee at this point because we had that tool for him.” 

The transformative power of EWA 

The experience of implementing EWA at Purple has been transformative, both for the organization and its employees. Initially skeptical, Rachelle and her team discovered that EWA not only alleviates financial stress for employees but also streamlines HR and payroll operations. The ease of implementation and the support provided by OSV made it a seamless addition to their benefits package, offering significant advantages without any financial cost to the company. 

The positive feedback from employees, ranging from frontline retail workers to corporate directors, underscores the broad appeal and utility of EWA. By providing immediate access to earned wages, Purple has enhanced its ability to attract and retain top talent, reduce turnover, and increase overall employee satisfaction. 

EWA is more than just a financial tool — it's a strategic asset that enhances employee engagement, reduces administrative burdens, and contributes to a supportive and responsive workplace culture. Purple's successful adoption of EWA sets a compelling example for other organizations looking to improve their employee benefits and operational efficiency. 

You can view the full webinar on-demand here.

About OneSource Virtual 

OneSource Virtual delivers patented in-tenant technology and expert services that efficiently automate the administrative, transactional tasks of Workday payroll, taxes, payments, and benefits. We eliminate complexity to give business leaders the confidence they need to drive strategic change.  

Our customer-centric approach puts your goals and objectives at the center of everything we do. With over 1,000 active customers and 95% customer retention, OSV is the leading exclusive provider of Business-Process-as-a-Service (BPaaS) solutions for Workday customers. 

Reach out to us if you have any questions about bringing an EWA solution to your organization. We'd be happy to chat!

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