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Rethinking Total Compensation and Other Ways to Retain Talent Keeping your best workers means showing them that they're valued and heard.

Image Source: Jason Beaucour, MHS Artists

The words "great resignation" have haunted the dreams of many HR professionals this past year. Retaining top talent and keeping them engaged has always been a priority, but workers now feel increasingly emboldened to explore their options and search for more lucrative or more meaningful opportunities.

Keeping your best workers means showing them that they're valued and heard. Value is often equated to a dollar amount in the employee's paycheck but feeling appreciated and satisfied in the workplace is also an important motivator.

Even without the resources of their larger competitors, small and medium-size businesses can effectively compete for valuable talent and keep their workforce satisfied by providing a holistic experience.

Don't Skimp on Benefits

A good place to start—offering better and more extensive benefits. Determining precisely which benefits are important to your team is a great first step. According to MetLife, a wide variety of health insurance options, good retirement plans, and the amount of paid and unpaid time off are the most important benefits to workers1.

Innovative companies have started including supplemental offerings that improve their employees' quality of life beyond what may be required by law. A study conducted by TriNet found that 91% of SMB respondents viewed non-traditional benefits as an important aspect of their job satisfaction, including flexible work arrangements, childcare, pet insurance and ongoing training2.

Find Tools That Simplify Work

It's not a stretch to say the tools your employees use daily play a crucial role in their overall happiness and workplace experience. Over time, small inefficiencies and imperfect workflows can contribute to frustration and burnout.

The key is to find tools that can increase overall productivity and simplify individual workflow. The tools you use should empower employees to better manage their day. However, mere output isn't the only benefit to adopting new tools. A PwC study suggests learning digital skills is an important part of employee retention3. When it comes to learning new tools, workers are interested in:

  • Efficiency and teamwork (34%)
  • Workplace status, such as promotions (37%)
  • Individual achievement within a predictable environment (29%)

Learning how to use a new platform makes your team more productive and increases overall employee satisfaction by giving them skills they can use in their career moving forward.

Examine Your HR Data and Stay Open to Feedback

Once you take proactive measures to improve the employee experience, you'll need to measure the impact. Finance, sales, and marketing teams know that collecting data and building dashboards is a great way to facilitate decisive action and build persuasive arguments. Human resources data can be equally, if not more, valuable.

Consider the time and productivity lost when an employee resigns: rehiring, retraining and individual contributions lost. Gallup estimates the cost at one-half to two-times that employee's annual salary4. Monitoring employee satisfaction data allows you to take proactive measures toward employee retention. Length of tenure, promotion rates and compensation benchmarks can help you determine when and how to acknowledge hardworking employees.

In fact, closely monitoring your employee's progression through the organization can help predict and counteract patterns of attrition. A CEB study highlighted the importance of timing when it comes to employees leaving companies. Work anniversaries and milestone birthdays often bring reflection and have an effect on attrition5. Taking proactive measures to address your team's morale and experience a few months before these events may be a worthwhile use of your HR bandwidth.

But even all the data in the world can't replace your employees' words—feedback is still one of the most important forms of employee engagement.

Workers tend to thrive and remain at companies that provide them with the freedom to do their jobs and live their lives on their own terms. When workers have a say in how they manage their time and feel valued, both businesses and individuals can thrive.

Smart HR Powered by an Incredible Platform

Managing HR is even more challenging in today's environment. Let TriNet help you do more with less effort. From intuitive navigation and data visualizations to a superior mobile experience, our newly enhanced platform gives your business what it needs now. To learn more, visit

TriNet provides small and medium-size businesses (SMBs) with full-service HR solutions tailored by industry. TriNet offers access to human capital expertise, benefits, risk mitigation and compliance, payroll, all enabled by industry leading technology. TriNet empowers SMBs to focus on what matters most—growing their business and enabling their people.

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