Almost Half of Small Business Employees Describe Their Firm as ‘Progressive’

Survey of small and mid-sized businesses shows that ‘progressive’ companies are more concerned with employee and customer experience than financial growth

Research unveiled by YouGov and Vodafone yesterday revealed that whilst only a third of respondents have seen their company’s revenue grow– 46% still describe their company as progressive.

The survey, conducted with over a 1,000 small and mid-sized business employees, found that 33% witnessed financial growth within their business in the last three years – with 18% experiencing a revenue growth rate of over 20%. However, the majority did not view financial growth as a progressive businesses characteristic, with only 36% naming growth as a key indicator.

Instead, businesses named good customer service (61%), employee commitment (56%), efficient technology and systems (47%), and motivational leadership (46%) as their top picks for a ‘progressive company’.

In contrast, when asked to identify the main reasons why small and mid-sized businesses were labelled un-progressive by employees, employee engagement (50%) and leadership (47%) topped the list, along with a lack of the business’ performance information (39%).

Another key finding was the difference in employee experience, with the majority of employees in progressive businesses describing their working life as flexible, sociable and relaxed; whereas non-progressive claimed it was slow, inflexible and hierarchical. Furthermore, only 14% of non-progressive company workers considered their job as important to the firm, compared to 40% at progressive businesses.

Vodafone UK’s enterprise marketing commercial director, Jonathan Kini, commented on the findings:

“While many of Britain’s small businesses are driving the country’s economic recovery, the report suggests that a cultural change is needed to drive true innovation and financial growth.

“To unlock the X-Factor, SMEs need to focus their efforts on becoming more responsive to customers, and this can only be achieved by finding better ways of working for their employees, so they can deliver great customer service.”

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