As a small business owner for 17 years, I tried to create advantages for my employees. Their responses let me know that I was successful in fulfilling their needs on a personal level, a business level, and for the most part, on a compensation level. There are many good points to working for a small business versus a large corporation.
Flexible Hours in a Small Business Environment
Whenever possible, employees had the advantage of making appointments, like doctor or dentist visits, during office hours. Production was the number one requirement and as long as the deadlines were met in the designated period, it did not matter when the employee worked. (It was the nature of the business) Any employees taking advantage of this benefit found themselves out of luck the next time they asked!
Extra time off could always be worked out with management should a family emergency arise, or doing a routine errand such as picking children up from school. There were no hard-set rules and no time clock to punch. Hardly an advantage one would find in a corporate atmosphere.
Direct Involvement in Small Company
Employees that are included in business staff meetings, work assignment choices, client meetings, and job follow-ups are happy employees. Involvement with management and clients made employees feel trusted, appreciated, and a real part of the business. Employee participation in these areas also limits the need of lengthy explanations to the one actually doing the work, resulting in better production.
Small Businesses have Less Political Chaos
In a large corporation, many employees climb the ladder of success on the backs of fellow employees. In a small business where employees are involved in the business process and greater access to management, there is a friendlier atmosphere. Should disagreements arise, management will have the ability to quell the controversy immediately. When employee interaction is on a daily basis by management, it is easy to see when someone is dissatisfied. Politics in a larger corporation tend to go on forever!
Compensation in a Small Business
Salary or hourly pay in a small business may be somewhat less than in a larger corporation. Benefits are sometimes not available, such as insurance or retirement fund opportunities. Although our small business compensation and benefits were less that the larger firms in our city, we tried to compensate our employees adequately in salaries and gave bonuses at year-end if possible.
Many times cash advances were extended to employees when the need arose. It was gratifying to be able to help individuals in tough times.
Depending on personal preferences, working for a small business with less pay could be more desirable than the benefits offered by a larger corporation. Individuals must decide this for themselves.
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