Staff Loyalty Strong In Small Firms


Small–business owners are creating strong staff loyalty and practising effective staff retention, according to a Barclays survey

Some 29 per cent of respondents to the Barclays Local Business survey employ somebody who has worked for them for at least ten years; with a further 32 per cent having an employee who has remained with the business for between five and nine years.

Moreover, two–thirds of small businesses still employ their first ever recruit. The survey found these first recruits tend to have an attachment to their job, staying with the business for an average of 5.3 years.


“Employees in smaller establishments are closer to their boss,” commented Mike Emmot, employee relations adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). “There’s more of a sense of what the organisation is trying to do, what they are there for and where they fit in.

“Staff need to know what’s wanted from them, but they also need to know that their managers are willing to listen to them, and where you’ve got a shorter management chain there is more confidence that people will take notice of what they are saying,” he continued. “Another element of retaining employees’ loyalty is having mutual respect. You have to treat people on a basis of trust and deliver what people expect from you.”

The CIPD has carried out extensive research on employee attitudes in collaboration with Professor David Guest, Professor in Organisational Psychology and Human Resource Management at King’s College London. The research found that the smaller the organisation, the more likely the employee will feel loyal to it.

Barclays claimed that the staff loyalty revealed by its survey is a reflection of employers’ loyalty to their staff in small firms. Barclays Local Business marketing director John Davis said:

“Not only are the UK’s small business owners committed to their business for the long term, but they are committed to their employees. For two–thirds to still be employing their first ever recruit is a remarkable achievement, and testament to the strength of the relationships that make small businesses work.

“This loyalty could be just as important to business success as more commonly touted skills, like tough negotiating and sharp sales skills,” he added.

For guidance on staff retention, visit the CIPD website

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