Employee Compensation: Consider the total package

Monday, March 26, 2012

A. When most of us hear the term "compensation," we typically think only of the money we receive in our paycheck each payday. However, "total compensation" goes beyond salary--it is the complete pay package for employees. This includes all forms of money, benefits, services and any other "perks" employees may receive when they work for your company. Total compensation can be defined as the sum total of all benefits, monetary and otherwise, an employee receives from a company. Ideally, compensation packages are designed to attract and retain talent. Depending on the size of the company, a compensation package may have several components, including salary, stock options, in-kind services, bonuses and perks. Needless to say, large, well-established organizations can typically offer more comprehensive compensation packages, while salary may be the main compensation component in a start-up or smaller company.

The latest trends in total compensation packages see a rise in monetary benefits and a slow-down in stock options. Financial advice, family-oriented strategies, such as childcare facilities, wellness programs, eldercare, assistance with relocating, paid time off, telecommuting and flexible schedules, are some other preferred benefits included in a compensation package.

It's important that employees understand their compensation package and the benefits of working for your company.  Many smaller employers don't do enough to promote their businesses in recruiting and retaining employees, but those that do find that it was well worth the effort. HME

Ana McGary is president of PeopleFirst Enterprises. Reach her at ana.mcgary@people1sthr.com.