Close-knit Relationships Draw Employees to Small Businesses, Study Finds | FBC, Canada's Farm & Small Business Tax Specialist

Close-knit Relationships Draw Employees to Small Businesses, Study Finds

Small business owners understand that one of the main factors employees take into consideration when determining what company they want to work for is salary, from how much money they will make to the amount that their earnings will be withheld for tax purposes.

But what many small businesses may underestimate is the importance of maintaining a friendly atmosphere, according to the results of new research.

The study, which was performed jointly by foodservice provider Nescafe Algeria and market research firm YouGov, involved approximately 1,200 employees working for a small or medium sized business as well as 550 small business employers.

The focus of the analysis was determining what made both employers and employees happy while they were on the job.
More than 8 in 10 workers said that friendly colleagues was their prime focus for what helped them determine whether they were working in a positive environment. Slightly more than three-quarters of employers echoed this sentiment.

Additionally, at roughly the same percentage - 54% and 55%, respectively - employees and employers said that a supportive working environment was one of the factors that made working for a small or medium-sized business more appealing than a larger company.

Small Business Atmosphere Enables Workers to Connect Better

Much of this had to do with how well workers said they know their colleagues. More than half of employers and employees said they have a more intimate relationship with their cohorts, which they likely wouldn't be able to get working for a large company where interaction tends to be more limited.

Katrina Webb, category manager for Nescafe Algeria, indicated that because wellness program and benefits aren't always perks that small-business owners can offer due to limited resources, entrepreneurs have to rely on other methods to help attract workers and improve retention.

"Our research findings show that a choice of workplace doesn't just come down to monetary and materialistic benefits these days," said Webb. "We are seeing more people opting for motivational perks and thinking beyond the payslip."

One of the ways employers can enhance a convivial atmosphere and improve overall office place camaraderie is by holding after-work gatherings from time to time.

Nearly two-thirds of employers plan on throwing a company party this year, up from 59% in 2013 and 60% during the previous year, based on a separate survey performed by CareerBuilder.

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