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Critical Business Insights for SMBs from Distinguished Speakers, Business Leaders and Prominent Thought Leaders Were Shared at TriNet PeopleForce

Three-day conference covered an array of pivotal topics—including diversity, equity & inclusion, workplace culture and the future of work

Dublin, CA —October 27, 2020 — TriNet, a leading provider of comprehensive human resources solutions, concluded its inaugural three-day TriNet PeopleForce virtual conference on Thursday, October 22. The one-of-a-kind conference for small and medium-size businesses (SMBs), was headlined by former U.S. President George W. Bush, who was interviewed in a heartfelt and honest conversation by his daughter, New York Times bestselling author and co-host of “Today with Hoda & Jenna” Jenna Bush Hager.

The roster was comprised of prominent business leaders, public servants, educators, authors, influencers and health industry experts. Speakers shed light on critical, timely issues that are having major influence on SMBs, including diversity and racism in the workplace, employee mental health and issues that impact company bottom lines, such as legislative updates, healthcare costs and maintaining cash flow.

“SMBs are the backbone of the U.S. economy and their struggles affect everyone. Serving these businesses is our lifeblood and with such a challenging year, we knew we needed to create a dynamic and unique way to reach them where they’re at,” said TriNet President and CEO Burton M. Goldfield. TriNet PeopleForce aimed to bring insight to entrepreneurs and business leaders from a distinguished lineup of experts within a variety of disciplines. We wanted to address the critical topics, have the tough conversations and start the process of navigating together toward solutions. Attendees have overwhelmingly given us feedback that the conference left them motivated, inspired and ready to face the obstacles of 2020 and beyond.”

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

A diverse workforce creates a conducive environment for growth, encourages innovation and celebrates differences. It’s imperative for businesses today to embrace diversity, understand the need for equity and promote inclusion. These were the lessons learned from the panel on how SMB leaders play a pivotal role in creating an inclusive and diverse workforce. In this panel, Shotspotter President and Chief Executive Officer Ralph Clark strongly emphasized that “embracing people so they can show up as their whole selves in a work environment is really critical if you’re going to get the full participation and engagement of your employees.”

During the sessions, TriNet provided live polls to the audience, where they were able to collect and track real-time responses to timely issues and topics under discussion at the conference. According to the polls, 53% of polling participants indicated that their company has implemented DE&I training and 63% feel comfortable openly talking about race at work. Fifty-eight percent of the attendees think diversity fares stronger than ever among all other company initiatives.

Workplace Culture

Company culture is an important aspect of an SMB’s ability to attract potential employees and retain their top talent. As such, it can have a direct impact on a business’s bottom line. For a number of reasons, it has been challenging for companies of all sizes to maintain their culture during the pandemic. The panel on “COVID vs. Work Culture: Can We Win?” discussed the challenge of maintaining workplace culture when everything has been turned on its head.

David Heath, CEO and co-founder Bombas highlighted how remote working environments and social distancing have reinvented the way they think about culture. “With so many forces in motion and change being inevitable and the only constant, the only factor that leaders have control over is how they treat their people,” said Heath. He reiterated that it was crucial to treat people as people first and as employees second in order to create a people first culture.

Forty-eight percent of polling participants that took part in the live poll believe that company culture is stronger than ever during COVID, while 77% reiterated that a company’s mission is important to the company culture.

The Future of Work

The future of work is no longer in the future. It is here. “Doing the Pandemic Pivot: Facts from the Frontline” was a panel discussing the new normal of a virtual work environment. The panelists weren’t convinced that we were heading toward a fully remote workforce but, collectively, they believe that we have entered a new normal that will shape the way business is conducted moving forward. According to Re:3D Co-Founder Samantha Snabes, “the ability to attend more pitch conferences and market your product due to easily accessible technology platforms has been very beneficial.”

The live polls revealed that 65% of participants wanting to work in a hybrid environment once we are past COVID. This foreign time has taught everyone that we are moving in the direction of a digital economy, at least to some extent, and we have the tools and resources to succeed in this new climate.

“TriNet PeopleForce was inspiring and insightful, with words of wisdom from renowned and respected leaders,” said TriNet Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Communications Officer Michael Mendenhall. “The message is clear—we as a nation are strong. This year has brought many challenges, but we are poised to combat them together.”

For those who missed the virtual conference, sessions can still be viewed from the on-demand hub here. Daily recap blogs of each day’s sessions are also available: day one, day two, day three.

For more information on this one-of-a-kind virtual event for SMB leaders, visit

About TriNet
TriNet (NYSE: TNET) provides small and medium-size businesses (SMBs) with full-service HR solutions tailored by industry. To free SMBs from HR complexities, TriNet offers access to human capital expertise, benefits, risk mitigation and compliance, payroll and real-time technology. From Main Street to Wall Street, TriNet empowers SMBs to focus on what matters most—growing their business. TriNet, incredible starts here. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter.

Alex Bauer
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Renee Brotherton
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