Small Business Culture Drives Employee Loyalty, say Business Owners

Wednesday, 28/09/2011

Despite some economists forecasting challenging economic times ahead, Australian SMEs are in a strong position to retain their highly valued staff with the majority of small business owners believing small business culture drives employee loyalty. 

According to the BOQ Straight Talk Survey, a regular nation-wide survey that canvasses the views and experiences of small business owners, almost 90% of respondents (88.8%) believed that the small business culture was primarily responsible for the high degree of loyalty amongst employees of SME businesses. 

BOQ Acting CEO Ram Kangatharan said that this loyalty may prove a boon to SMEs as the economic environment improves. 

“While the difficult economic environment and uncertainty borne out of problems overseas are likely to see employees bunkering down rather than looking for new jobs, employee loyalty will come in to its own as the economic environment improves,” said Mr Kangatharan. 

“And with the survey indicating small business employees are believed to be more loyal than their big business counterparts, SMEs will be in a stronger position in the war on talent as economic conditions normalise. 

“With 77% of small business owners believe flexible working conditions are the crucial factor in retaining staff, it appears business owners are ahead of the game when it comes to understanding how to keep their valued employees.
“Considering the rising cost of retraining employees and the lack of skilled workers in some professions, workplaces that cater to the changing needs of their staff will be employers of choice for many individuals who desire flexibility in their working arrangements, like those returning to the workforce after maternity leave,” said Mr Kangatharan. 

“Working arrangements that offer flexibility around working hours, patterns of work and location may appeal to staff, especially those caring for children.
“The challenge for small business owners is to remain attractive to job hunters and existing staff without impacting on the operation of the business.” 

76% of small business owners surveyed said that they were in a better financial position than they were 12 months ago, indicating that the outlook is improving for many SMEs. 

The Bank of Queensland Straight Talk Survey was sent to hundreds of the Bank’s small business clients across the country.
Key findings:
• 76.5% of SMEs are in a better financial position than 12 months ago
• 58% of employees say childcare is not an issue/68% of employers say childcare is not an issue
• 77% consider flexible working hours desirable in trying to manage family/childcare
• Flexible working conditions are also seen as the key factor in staff retention
• Almost 80% think employees are likely to be more loyal than employees from large companies
• Almost 90% believe this is due to small business culture