Small businesses report steady or improved morale, despite recession

A new workplace survey suggests that efforts by small businesses to maintain employee morale throughout the recession are paying off.

More small businesses believe that employees’ work environment has more impact on job satisfaction than financial factors like benefits or compensation, according to the TriNet quarterly HR Trends Survey.

More than 75% of the 250 small businesses surveyed said employee morale has held steady or improved during the second quarter. Another 41% believed that employee morale in their companies has remained unchanged from a year ago. More than one-third (34%) felt that employee morale in their organizations improved during the past year.

Survey respondents cited company culture and reputation as the top contributor (36%) to employee morale, followed by flexibility and work/life balance (23%) and job security (22%). The bottom of the list included advancement opportunities (4%), benefits (5%), or compensation (9%).

Well over half of employees (60%) said their employer successfully built and maintained a positive employment brand through good communication and quality management practices.

“These results prove that employees are happier and more likely to stay with their companies due to the quality of their management,” said Burton M. Goldfield, president and CEO of TriNet. “Companies that develop the skills of their leaders boost employee morale, which then positively contributes to the company’s overall employment brand.”

How do you think the recession has impacted employee morale at your company? Over the past year, has it improved, remained steady or declined? Please leave a comment and let us know how your organization is handling it.

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