Show employees their value with Total Rewards

Show employees their value with Total Rewards

Author: Josh Steinfeld
Read time:  4 minutes
Published date:  June 6, 2022
By putting a specific dollar value on salary, equity, and benefits, Carta Total Rewards can help engage your employees and retain high performers.

Every minute you leave a role open amounts to time and money that could be going toward your company’s bottom line. To keep your employees happy in their roles, they need to feel engaged and valued. And companies that get compensation right are setting themselves up to hit those goals—even in a quickly changing market. 

Introducing Carta Total Rewards

Carta Total Rewards is a way for each employee to easily visualize the value of their compensation in actual dollar amounts. It clearly shows the employee’s current salary, equity, and benefits, and helps them visualize the potential value of their compensation in the future. 

The categories shown in Total Rewards are fully customizable by the administrator. They can include:

  • salary

  • equity grant

  • bonuses 

  • retirement matches

  • health insurance

  • any other benefits you offer

By putting a specific dollar value on salary, equity, and the unique benefits you offer, Total Rewards can help retain high performers who might be tempted by recruitment offers by showing them the current value of their total package, not just the salary. They can also engage employees by showing them how that value can grow with pay bumps and equity refreshes over time. 

How Total Rewards works

Employees can log into Carta Total Comp to see their Total Rewards. First, they’ll see the total value of their rewards, a number that sums up their cash compensation, equity, and benefits. Then they can look at breakdowns of base salary, equity, and benefits—plus any variable pay like bonuses and commissions—so they can understand the percentage of the total that each component makes up. 

The compa-ratio is a unique number for each employee that divides their total compensation by the current market rate for their position, determined using Carta Total Comp’s real-time benchmarks. You can choose to show this to employees so they can see how competitive their package is. 

Employees can also see what their compensation might be in the future. They can use the sliders on their Total Rewards page to uplevel their company’s valuation, their salary, and estimate how much variable compensation (such as commission) they might receive. The bar charts update automatically to model how their total annual compensation would change over four years in each scenario. 

While salaries show up on pay records, employees historically haven’t had much visibility into the value of their equity. Total Rewards shows each person the current dollar value of their equity, based on a share value that you enter in the platform. It breaks this information up into components that estimate the total value of their ownership, the value of their vested shares, and the value of shares that will vest in the next 12 months.

With the equity value calculator, employees can see what their equity could be worth if the company hits new valuations and growth targets. Moving the slider to the right allows your employee to see how their equity might go up in value as the company hits higher valuations—an easy way to show that as your company grows, their financial interest does, too. 

Entering in a future date and the number of shares they might sell helps the employee visualize how much it could cost to exercise their stock options. It also projects the value of the equity left over after exercising costs (before taxes) and of any equity that’s still unvested on the exercise date. 

The benefits visualization gives a summary of how much their benefits are worth. It shows a dollar value for the entire package, with a breakdown so that employees can understand what each benefit is worth. (It’s not uncommon for employees to be surprised by the depth and value of their packages—so another effect of Total Rewards can be a bump in employee use of their benefits.) 

Total rewards benefits page

To understand how Total Rewards can help employees stay happy, take the (hypothetical) example of a senior engineering manager at a Seattle startup; let’s call her Jill Williams. Say she’s been at her company for three years. A recruiter at a later-stage competitor reaches out, Jill takes the call, and she learns that the new company is offering a 10% salary increase.

That sounds tempting, so she logs in to Total Rewards to look at her current compensation. She knows her salary, but she’s able to look at what her equity grant might be worth once she’s fully vested after her fourth year with the company. That number might be higher than she expected.

Then, she clicks over to her benefits and sees how much they’re worth. Turns out that the 5% 401(k) match and free therapy she makes use of are really adding to her total compensation. 

Without this data, she would not have known how valuable her current package was. She might have chosen to leave for that 10% higher salary—which could have lowered her annual compensation. 

Built on the most extensive data

Typically, startups get their compensation data from expensive HR consultants, yearly surveys, or by asking other founders. Without Total Comp, employers are left to rely on old data. Putting Total Rewards to work helps companies base compensation packages on the most robust and accurate data from more than 120,000 employees of companies using Carta. It shows how much peers are paying for the positions you need to hire or relevel to ensure the compensation underpinning the total package is competitive in the first place.

Retain and hire people successfully with Total Rewards

Building a culture where high performers want to work and feel valued fuels long-term growth. Before Total Rewards, there wasn’t a consistent way for employees to value benefits and equity grants. Now, employees and candidates can know they’re being paid competitively. They’ll have more time to focus on doing great things in their role instead of weighing offers—and you’ll reduce the time and money you spend on hiring and retention.

Demonstrate true value
Learn more about how Total Rewards works—and the comprehensive data it’s built upon.
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Josh Steinfeld
Josh Steinfeld leads product strategy for Carta Total Compensation. Josh has been a compensation professional for the last 20 years, most recently leading compensation at Google for YouTube and Google’s corporate functions.
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