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SMB workers still feel they need more from their bosses

(Image credit: Image Credit: Christina Morillo / Pexels)

Most small and medium-sized businesses don’t have a culture of transparency, and even fewer have a clear vision or a goal, according to a new report by Microsoft. However, most SMB leaders share as much information with their employees as possible, because they understand that workers perform better when empowered with information.

Based on a poll of 1,000 SMB leaders and more than 1,000 SMB staff, the report says SMBs have an edge over big corporations in the “culture” department, as they’re less burdened by hierarchy. The report calls this advantage “first mover” and argues is a big one – but some SMB leaders aren’t taking it.

Less than a third of SMB leaders joined the company because they could “do things differently” there, while a quarter did it for the culture and community. These figures drop even lower among SMB employees.

“Enabling a culture that empowers staff, makes them feel like they’re all on the same team and which motivates them to all pull in the same direction is most important of all,” the report argues.

The biggest stress-inducers at work seem to be poor communication and a lack of organisation-wide communications, ahead of poor work-life balance.

“In a small business it’s all too easy to stop proactively communicating when things get busy – a good problem to have, but an important one to solve,” comments Josh Clarke, Director of Coffee for Clifton Coffee Roasters and a Microsoft Teams customer featured in the report.

“Maintaining the ability to communicate effectively and transparently is key to helping support our unique working culture – something that we find makes the business more attractive to the team.”