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Survey: Employees Happier Working at Small Businesses

What's Hot in Small Business – Chris Crum
Chris Crum writes for Small Business Resources about what's new for small business. Chris was a featured writer with the iEntry Network of B2B Publications where hundreds of publications linked to his articles including the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, LA Times and the New York Times.

Survey: Employees Happier Working at Small Businesses

Survey: Employees Happier Working at Small Businesses

Employees who work at small businesses tend to be happier with their jobs than those who work at larger corporations. That is if a recent survey from supplemental insurance company Aflac is any indication.

The firm released the results of its 2018 Small Business Happiness Survey, which polled 1,000 small business employees in the United States, ages 18 and older, who have been employed at an organization with three to 49 employees for at least one year.

According to the findings, about half say they are happiest working at a small business, and most agree that happiness is somewhat (36 percent) or very (55 percent) important to their company's leadership team. The numbers skew even more in favor of small businesses when it comes to less stress and more fun. Forty-five percent of respondents said that working for a small business is somewhat less stressful than working for a large business, and 20 percent said it is "very much" less stressful. Fifty-one percent say it's somewhat more fun working at a small business compared to a large business, and another 36 percent strongly agree that it's more fun.

The vast majority of those surveyed also said they are satisfied working for a small business. Fifty-nine percent went so far as to say they are "very" satisfied, and another 36 percent said they are "somewhat" satisfied, while only two percent said they're very unsatisfied.

Roughly 90 percent of those polled believe they have more of an opportunity to voice their ideas and opinions and actually have those ideas listened to by management at small business companies.

When it comes to the benefits of working for a small business, employees perceive the best ones to be more flexible scheduling and a greater sense of appreciation. Twenty-five percent cited flexible scheduling as the most important benefit, while 19 percent cited feeling more appreciated, and 14 percent said feeling like their input matters. Another 12 percent said having a greater impact, while 10 percent said seeing the fruits of their labor, and eight percent cited being rewarded for hard work. Six percent said being noticed by people who matter, and four percent said, "broadening a skill set."

Interestingly, at 32 percent, "feeling like a family" was cited more than any other answer to a question about the best part of working for a small business overall. Next, tied at 14 percent, were the ability to make a greater impact and greater recognition/appreciation for their work. Tied at 10 percent were greater transparency among employees and a more positive culture or work environment. Tied at five percent were more collaboration and better opportunities for skill development. Four percent responded better opportunities for advancement, and three percent said better benefits.

As far as challenges, salary and health care coverage are the top concerns among small business employees. This is followed by finding someone to fill in when an employee needs to take time off.

"Overall, small-business employees’ perceptions of the future of the small-business industry are very positive," Aflac says. “Though the future of health care reform and recent government regulations might make them uneasy, results show that small-business employees are looking on the bright side."

As many as 91 percent of respondents said they are either "somewhat" or "very" (about an even split) optimistic about the future of small business.