Small businesses simply don’t have the resources (time, money or otherwise) their larger counterparts do. Big corporations can boast huge employee benefits packages, in office perks and other motivators on top of the fact they already ahead in. Though it seems impossible to compete, smaller organizations actually have some freedoms that the corporate world just can’t commit to. Small business leadership, if you’re feeling a little winded trying to keep up, rest a little and catch your breath because keeping up with their boastful benefits and perks simply takes a bit more of a tactical approach.

Develop a Work from Home Schedule.

Small business need structure, but they aren’t catering to as many regulations and expectations as the larger companies. 36% of employees would choose to work from home over a pay raise. You might fear work and deadlines will suffer, but research found that people who work from home at least 3 days a week are more satisfied with their jobs because they have less stress and fewer interruptions. Fewer interruptions means better concentration and better work.

Is your small business offering the right #employeeperks ? Find out: Click To Tweet

Read more on how to creatively show employees appreciation.


Personalization, communication and feedback.

At Vitru, we’re all about knowing your employee’s personalities and work values better than ever before. The ability to see your team as individuals leaves employees feeling special and appreciated for what they bring that no one else can. In fact, 71% of employees who believe their managers can name their strengths feel engaged and energized at work. While larger corporations probably care about their employees, it’s far more difficult for managers to know and understand all the people who work beneath them. Sure, there will be those who stand out above the rest, but some employees will always fly under the radar, keeping much of their skills and talents in hiding.

71% of employees who believe their managers can name strengths feel engaged at work. #SmallBizPerks Click To Tweet

As a smaller organization, it’s easier to keep all levels shining in the light. It still comes with a little work and effort on leadership’s part. Start by verbalizing noticeable strengths. For example, has Lucy been providing clear, concise and amazing direction for the new web designer? Call her out on it! More importantly, watch for struggles. If one of your usually on pointe employees is falling short, pull them aside and, in a sympathetic way, discuss your observations. Ask for ways to help and follow up. When asked what was most helpful in developing their career, 72% of employees said corrective feedback from their manager would improve their performance. It might bring about a difficult conversation, but your employees will feel cared for with the gesture.


See why small business HR tech is gaining traction.


In-office pick me ups!

When we hear ‘pick me up,’ we think small surprises or splurges that weren’t originally planned, but are so satisfying once we receive them. Maybe you stopped by your favorite coffee shop on the morning of a busy day or maybe you grab a bite to eat from your favorite diner for lunch. Whatever the case, the underlying similarities are that it doesn’t always take a huge, orchestrated idea to uplift your employees. Something as simple as catering lunch or offering an unplanned, paid break for employees to walk as a team on nice days can be a real boost to morale.

These little gestures are an easy and relatively inexpensive way to boost small business company morale: Click To Tweet

Sick of hearing about free lunch? You might as well get used to it because 67% of full-time employees who have access to free food report being extremely or very happy at their job. And as for the walk, well, Stanford research found that someone walking on a treadmill had an increased average creative output of 60% compared to when they were sitting. Finding a place for both throughout the month might have huge rewards.


Check out why big companies want to hire like startups.


Managing a small business is hard, especially when you want to give your people all the great benefits that larger organizations can. Luckily, your size does offer its advantages.

Do you want a clearer look at the people who work for your small business? Vitru is a free tool built for leaders like you who want to build better teams and lead their organization to success. Check it out!

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Ryan Mead

CEO / Partner

Dad, Chief Enthusiasm Officer, Coach, Tech-nut.