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Why Working In A Small Company Kicks Ass

Why Working In A Small Company Kicks Ass

Studies have shown that the happiness of a person in their job starts to decrease dramatically after the firm passes one hundred employees. What is it about small companies that makes us so happy? I can’t tell you the number of entrepreneurs that went to found their own business because life at the big company basically sucked. Opportunities you spent years building up to — gone. Credit for your efforts — nowhere. A feeling of value in the machine — hell no. My personal experience in co-founding Twoodo and knowing many people who made the switch over the years adds substance to the hypothesis.

It used to be that large companies offered security and perks that small companies couldn’t live up to. However, those old stereotypes are disappearing as small companies (past the early stage of development) are stepping up with equal or better contracts.

small-biz-office-culture

    What is a “small company” anyway?

    There’s the micro company (1 – 10 employees) and then the small company (<50 employees) (European Union). In the USA it depends more on the firm turnover. You can take a look at the overview of how every country in the world defines a small company here. Small companies are often lumped in with medium companies and called SMEs (small medium enterprises).

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    What are scientists saying about small companies?

    The paper finds that Generations X and Y are seeking equivalent values and satisfaction outcomes from SMEs. It is seeking very caring, environmentally concerned, and sensitive SMEs.Tangible and intangible benefits, empowerment and respect, workplace involvement, concern for employee welfare and supportive management are critical. (City College Thessaloniki, Greece)

    From this study, we can see that there is a shift from “climbing the corporate ladder” to searching for fulfilling and meaningful jobs. This is healthy — there is only so much room at the top in any case. It also means people aiming for jobs that they are happier in, and happier employees mean better quality work and higher proclivity to voluntarily lend a hand in times of crisis or be more flexible. Perhaps lessons handed down from our parents in the 70s, 80s, and 90s have pushed us to find more appropriate jobs, rather than jobs that have a high financial reward.  Or perhaps the expansion of the worldwide middle class has impacted on choosing our careers less out of fear and more out of satisfaction.

    What makes small companies so successful at being great places to work? 

    The secret sauce for a great small company seems to be how it is managed. Logically, it is easier to properly manage a small group of people than a large group. Here’s a table from another study that defined five statements that impacted on employee satisfaction (ref: International Human Resource Management Journal, 2007):

    1) Working here is informal and relaxed.

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    2) Working here is like being part of a team/family.

    3) Company success is shared by all employees.

    4) I would leave this company if offered another/similar job.

    5) Employees are treated fairly by management.

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    results-study-work-for-small-company

      The conclusions from this show that people generally:

      • don’t want a highly-formalized workplace.
      • have an emotional need to feel like an integral part of the success of the company.
      • need to feel appreciated and close to their work colleagues.
      • react well if they perceive management to treat everyone equally.

      It really boils down to a question you must ask yourself every day: WHY AM I DOING THIS JOB?

      Most of your (fully-functioning) adult life you are going to be at your job. It should be the perfect fit.

      A survey of 200 UK graduates commissioned by Give A Grad A Go found:

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      • 91% believed big corporations paid more.
      • 79% felt they provided greater job security.
      • 74% felt they offered better career progression. 

      But they felt that SMEs:

      • encouraged creativity in the workplace (95%).
      • provided greater job satisfaction (82%).
      • encouraged a better work ethic (75%).
      • provide a better work-life balance.

      does-management-notice-me

        Does management notice me?

        Not only will working in a small company give you access to all levels of management, but decisions will be made faster and progression will be more visible. Your part in the operation will be more obvious and therefore more motivating. You won’t be restricted by department or hierarchy. Ideas on the fly can be pitched and discussed without needing to book formal meetings with the boss-man. The inevitable variety of the job will also keep your mind stimulated (and improve your general learning capabilities).

        AND — you get to skip all those corporate networking events :D

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        Published on November 19, 2018

        10 Ways to Build Positive Work Relationships and Work as a Team

        10 Ways to Build Positive Work Relationships and Work as a Team

        Behind the corporate veil, the actual members who work towards achieving the company goals are the ultimate assets.

        It is very important for every team member to maintain focused goals on a professional front, at their individual level and at the organizational level. With even the slightest discord between two employees, the entire team might suffer and have to adjust with the downsize in organizational success that they realize ultimately.

        As humans, each and every employee is bound to have different opinion and feel inclined to meet their personal goals, just as much as they meet the goals of their company. Hence, it is essential that work relationships among different employees are friendly and cordial. This will help the fellow team members to work together as an efficient team. The ultimate outcome of which will be a capable work force, poised to gather the gains of organizational success.

        Let us take a look at some of the ways to build positive work relationships and help employees work together as a team:

        1. Respect Your Peer’s Time

        No matter which specific domain you work in or in which your organization deals in, each arena entails performance of various jobs by the employees. Within this organization, there are a set of cumulative jobs which ought to be performed at a specific pace, and within a set period of time.

        Sometimes, there might also be a sequence to the performance of actions and processes, so that the next process in the sequence can be performed. Some procedures are dependent upon the performance of an action by a certain member of the team, so that the other members can carry out the subsequent steps in the sequence. The ultimate target with this planning is that the work must be completed on time and there should be no delay in meeting the deadlines which have been set for the purpose.

        Thus, in situations where you are placed in a role where other people are affected by your actions or performance, it is essential that you respect their time and effort, and ensure that the ball is not pent up in your court.

        At the same time, remember that you should make yourself available for other people, should they require your help. Ultimately, your aim must be focused at ensuring that work is not pending and you get it done like experts doing the work.

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        2. Ensure that You Are Cautious With Social Media

        With the ongoing trend in the digital space, it is easy to feel compelled and drawn towards the idea of connecting with your peers and colleagues on the social media. Although there is not much harm in the practice, it is essential to observe caution while making these connections.

        The simple reason behind this is that one wrong move can dampen your reputation or else, cause your peers to gather an incorrect impression about you.

        It makes sense to ensure what the social media policy of your organization is before treading on this path. If such policies restrict the association of fellow employees, then you must respect them.

        3. Communication is the Key

        Communication is essentially one of the most vital keys which impact how your relationships with peers and other employees are. The role of effective communication cannot be stressed enough. It is vital in attaining the goals of working together in an organization and carrying out the jobs which will help in attaining success.

        However, there is a very big danger with communication. As part of the human nature, it is easy to assume that the person ahead of us has understood what we intend to say. This might not be true at all times.

        Therefore, taking feedback is important. This will help you understand if your message has been understood in the intended manner. If the message has not reached the intended party as expected, corrective actions can be taken at the same time.

        Poor communication has the disadvantage of adding stress and distrust among fellow employees. It can sometimes causes crucial message failed to be delivered, leading to organizational turbulence, after which the blame game is hard to end.

        In order to avoid the confusion and misunderstanding, communicate through a formal chain of command and follow formal mode of communication. Thus, communicating through mails or any other formal channel of communication would be the appropriate way to communicate in order to keep everything on record. This will help in referring to the communications later, should any dispute arise.

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        4. Feedback is Important

        As important as it is to take feedback from other people, it is also important to give your feedback. It is not just you who needs feedback but also your peers, in order to understand how well they are performing.

        Your feedback will help other people progress in their work as much as it will help you progress in yours. Giving constructive feedback to your fellow peers at the right time and in the right state will help them advance, and ultimately lead to the success of the organization.

        Your co-workers are bound to value your opinion and regard you in a positive light, if you provide them with the feedback that you require from them.

        5. Make Use of Common Day Courtesies

        Greeting a co-worker may sound like something so ordinary that you might wonder how it ended up on this list. However, as long as we are talking about ways to build a positive work environment, this one cannot be ignored.

        You maybe surprised by bidding your co-workers simple common day courtesies! Being humble never hurt anyone, even if you do not exactly receive something in return.

        Moreover, you must maintain eye contact with your fellow peers if you wish to gain their trust. This will provide the necessary infrastructure to build a capable team.

        6. Get Into the Habit of Helping Yourself

        While at work, accept that you are never going to receive the pampered behaviour which you do at home. No one at your workplace wakes up in the morning and makes themselves available at the  to hear you rant or constantly answer your questions. However, you might come up with situations nevertheless, which require you to ask for help or advice.

        In this scenario, try to gather some information about your question, say, from the manuals which you receive upon joining, or from the web and equip yourself with some concrete information about the question which you may be ready to ask from someone else.

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        At least when you approach someone with your doubts, along with the information gathered you’ve gathered, they will appreciate you for having made the effort to find out the answer.

        This will make them feel important as well, answering your questions and helping you achieve your goals or tasks.

        7. Treat Everyone as Equals

        As a member of your team, it is not your job to point out who is better and who is not. Organizational politics can be a deadly game to play and as long as you are not a pro player, it is always risky to put yourself in a situation that will tarnish your image.

        Gossiping is a strict no and spreading rumours is something you must avoid at all costs. Behave in a humble manner and even if someone tries to pull you into a conversation, avoid it in a respectful manner. Do everything you can to pull yourself out of that situation.

        While talking behind people’s backs may sound like a refreshing fun activity initially, it will definitely come to bite you behind the back in the future.

        Also, it will be wise to remember that no one in the organization is permanent. People change and so can their designation. It will be better for you to keep your personal views about someone in your head.

        As long as you maintain the idea of treating everyone as equal, you will find yourself amidst a positive working environment at all times.

        8. Acknowledge Your Mistakes

        Mistakes happen and one of the more noteworthy facts about mistakes is that they can be made by anyone. The wisest thing you can do is to admit mistakes you’ve made.

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        Playing the blame game will not only tarnish the name of your peers but also your own. It is always good to avoid getting into a tiff with others. Admit your mistakes and think of remedies or solutions to fix it. For a positive working relationship with your peers, you will need to adopt this quality.

        9. Learn to Take on Responsibilities

        Passing on your work load might be required when you are overburdened with work. However, when entrusted with a job, you should try to accept it as your responsibility and avoid putting it off to someone else.

        Putting off work all the time will only end up creating a block between you and your peers, while they may start avoiding communicating with you at all. When you work in a team, your duty is to cooperate and build a positive working relationship with your teammates.

        10. Engage in a Follow-up Routine

        As a part of a team, it is necessary to express the fact that you care about your team members and you are also poised to achieve the targets set by your team.

        Whenever you get the chance, do not hold back from asking your co-workers about your work performance and whether they think there’s anything you should improve.

        Be prepared to be available to change and improve. This will go a long way in presenting yourself as a responsible and willing to learn employee.

        The Bottom Line

        These are just some of the ways in which fellow team members can build positive work relationships among themselves and work towards taking the organization to new heights. This attitude is  best to achieve overall success for the organization and create an environment of trust and honesty among the employees.

        Featured photo credit: Mimi Thian via unsplash.com

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