The favourable working culture of small businesses will aid them in the recruitment battle as the economic picture brightens, according to new research.
A Bank of Queensland survey of its small business customers found that a thumping 88% of them feel that the SME culture was intrinsic to loyalty rates among staff.
A further eight in 10 think employees are more likely to be loyal to a small business than to a large company, with flexible working considered a key factor in staff retention.
More than seven in 10 of those polled believe flexible working hours are desirable in managing employees’ work/life balance.
And 76% of small business owners quizzed say they are in a better financial position than they were 12 months ago.
Ram Kangatharan, acting CEO of BoQ, says the working culture of small businesses should help to attract staff as the economy 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,” he says.
“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.
“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.”