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Small Business Job Satisfaction: SMB Employees Want This…

A large number of employees at small and mid-sized businesses are unsatisfied with their jobs, and technology provisioning could solve the problem according to a new survey from Lenovo.

The Lenovo Global Study shows that 40 percent of all SMB employees are dissatisfied with their work environments. A large facet of the problem can be pegged to an increasingly mobile workforce, according to the study’s authors.

A growing number of workers expect to have access to technology that enables co-working, shared spaces, and bette work-life balance and integration. But what the study shows is that SMBs seem to have fallen behind the curve on delivering those positive employee experiences.

SMBs represent over 90 percent of the business population, 60 to 70 percent of employment, and 55 percent of GDP in developed economies. Meanwhile, a better employee experience has been shown to lead to better work performance, lower turnover, and improved customer experience. That suggests an imperative for SMBs to address the disconnect and prioritize technology to help create a positive work environment, the study’s authors write.

The survey spoke with more than 1,600 employees from companies with fewer than one thousand employees globally to examine employee experience trends in at least 14 countries.

Here are some of the key takeaways from the study:

  1. Most employees still believe their employer offers a generally good employee experience. Fully 79 percent reported to be satisfied with their at-work experience.
  2. However, 41 percent of employees said they’re missing the key technology tools for flexible working.
  3. Almost 38 percent of respondents said that technology issues present an issue at work. Issues like long loading times and slow file transfers were said to cause major distractions while on the job.
  4. A whopping three-quarters (74 percent) of SMB employees don’t have access to cloud-based tools. They also report not being able to choose technologies best suited to their tasks.
  5. Fortunately, more than three-quarters (77 percent) of employers say improving employee experience is a high priority. To help improve employee experience, the Lenovo study suggests that SMB employers begin actively listening to employee feedback on their current work environments.

A majority of employees at SMBs – 71 percent – still use desktops as their main device. Lenovo suggests that IT decision makers at SMBs invest more in mobile and portable device options to improve their workers’ experience. That includes things like laptops, smartphones, 2-in-1s, and next-generation smart devices like augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR) and smart office set-ups.

At the same time though, those IT decision-makers say they don’t have the budget to adequately cover all of their requirements.

So, while companies have traditionally relied on financial incentives and benefits to attract and retain staff, the study suggests that SMBs may need to invest more in future tools and technology to help make sure their current employees are content.