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Loyal employees seem a lot harder to come by these days, even in larger companies. For one reason or another, people who don’t feel they are being treated correctly or their industry is going in the right direction are less likely to just “stick it out.”

You would think that smaller businesses would have a particularly difficult time building loyalty since they cannot offer the high salaries, outrageous perks, or undeniably professional appearances of their larger competitors. And yet small businesses sometimes end up with the most loyal teams in their industries, even though their finest employees would probably have no trouble getting a higher-paying job somewhere else.

Here are three reasons smaller businesses are able to build loyalty:

1. MORE FREEDOM

Larger companies typically have more rules. You have to dress a certain way, sit at the same place, or follow a general code of conduct that makes you hesitant to be yourself around your co-workers. These might be minor inconveniences to some but for others, they are deal-breakers. The latter individuals cannot perform to the best of their ability if they are forced into such a restrictive environment.

Smaller businesses are more likely to have no dress code, the opportunity to work from home every once in a while, and, most importantly, a more open and friendly workplace. Co-workers have more freedom to socialize and are therefore more likely to bond, which gives them yet another reason to stay at the company. These advantages are especially appealing for those who don’t work in industries that are so exciting or aren’t as passionate about their work. They might think, “I’ve got a pretty boring job, but at least I get to wear whatever I want.”

2. A LEADER YOU CAN GET BEHIND

Smaller businesses need to grow to be more competitive, and a key ingredient for growth is hunger. Workers have to feel motivated and inspired in order to believe their company will reach its long-term goals. A high salary, however, is nowhere near as motivating or inspiring as an uplifting leader. Employees of smaller businesses are much closer with their bosses, the best of whom have a bold vision, contagious energy, and passion to spare. They regularly make an effort to talk to their employees about their plans for the future and compliment them on their hard work.

Employees of larger companies might rarely speak to or even see to their CEOs, nor did they know their bosses at the beginning of their careers. But when you work for a young company, you are watching a few scrappy individuals attempting to build a company from the ground up. How can you abandon someone who is brave enough to do such a thing? These are the kind of people you’d feel comfortable going into battle with, and it’s an honor to serve beside them.

A boss who understands the value of working closely with employees will not let stress, an increased workload or any other obstacle jeopardize their relationship. So when times get rough, it might be wise to look into a small business loan that would prevent the need for unwanted sacrifices just to pay your bills at the end of the month. A little extra funding from a working capital loan might help remove some pressure while ensuring each task is given proper attention.

3. REAL CONTRIBUTION

Having less people at your company gives each employee more responsibility. Even lower level positions feel more important because you are working more closely with your superiors. Lower level employees of larger companies, on the other hand, usually don’t have a say in the bigger picture. It will be a very long time before they can even think about people working under them, and might have zero interest in taking a higher position since they have no idea what their superior does all day.

People stay at small businesses because they like knowing their opinion really matters. They are knights of the round table, not robots who are better off keeping their mouths shut. Expanding a department while simultaneously giving a longtime employee the promotion he or she deserves might be difficult to afford but a working capital loan could let you do both without digging into operational funding. Some business funding programs give you all the funding you need to cover the additional, ongoing expenses associated with expanding a department and let you pay off the majority off the debt when the department starts bringing in more sales.

LOYALTY IS AN INVESTMENT

As you can see, what keeps people at a small business is the very nature of its existence: being small. Alternative business lenders help small businesses maintain their identity and core values even though they might be signer larger accounts or increasing productivity. Like any long-term investment, building loyalty often comes down to managing debt correctly early on and seeing your returns when the opportunity to grow comes your way.

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