For all the ways that small businesses are at a disadvantage when competing with big corporations due to fewer resources including time and money, there is one important area where small businesses consistently win. Employees at small business are consistently happier and more engaged that those that work for large corporations. But why is that? You would think that an employee at a large corporation would perhaps have access to larger salaries and more perks (think Google’s free lunches), making them happier and more engaged. But that is not the case. A recent article in Inc. highlights several reasons that small companies have more engaged employees.
The ability to make a difference– Employees at smaller companies find it easier to see the impact their individual contribution has to the company as a whole.
Connection to the company– Employees at smaller companies are more likely to directly interact with company leadership, leading to higher levels of engagement. Smaller companies also generally have and easier time communicating their mission and values to employees, to get them more invested in their employment.
Varied and interesting work– Often small companies require employees to wear a lot of hats. This variety can lead to greater satisfaction and engagement for your team.
Feeling trusted– One of the elements that leads to higher engagement among employees is when they feel like management trusts them to perform their job. With fewer management levels there is often more autonomy at smaller organizations.
Greater transparency– Typically employees at smaller organizations are more likely to have frequent interactions with leadership, on a personal and professional level. Small business owners are much more likely to be trusteed because of this frequent interaction.
Better communication- in both directions- Smaller organizations lend themselves to greater informal communication from the top down and the bottom up. Often just physical distance between leadership and other employees is much shorter in small companies. This alone leads to greater opportunities for communication.
If you are a small business owner, consider what you can do to emphasize these areas that are important to your employees. This can give you a competitive advantage over large corporations when competing for top talent.