4 Reasons Why the Size of Your Company Matters

Angie - Test Knowles, | February-17-12



Does the size of a company matter?

Here’s an enviable dilemma: You’ve written a resumé masterpiece, aced the interview stage, and received not one, but two great job offers in the field of your choice. 

The only real problem is in how much the two companies differ. 
Option A is a large organization with good career advancement opportunities, but a noticeably formal, bureaucratic structure. Option B is a small business with a friendly, close-knit atmosphere, but limited avenues for career growth. Which one should you pick?
In a major ECO Canada study of the key factors affecting employee engagement, large and small to medium employers (SMEs) varied substantially along several unexpected measures. Here’s how the employment experience can differ depending on the size of company you choose:

1.) Values

As part of the 2011 Professional Engagement study, employees offered their perspectives on the factors that made their work meaningful. Staff working in SMEs found value in contributing to a larger cause. By contrast, employees in large organizations derived value from being recognized for their contributions.
Highlights of the study's findings are featured in the short presentation below:

2.) Needs

In large companies, employees mentioned how the drive for them to go above and beyond expectations was linked to feelings of commitment to their organization, the willingness to recommend their employer, and a sense of accomplishment in their daily work. 
Workers in SMEs noted a different set of needs. According to employees in these smaller companies, they needed to be able to understand their customers’ needs, brainstorm new and improved methods of productivity, access opportunities for training and development, and understand their employer’s goals.

3.) HR Approach

As a result of the different engagement needs of employees working in large companies or SMEs, employers may have a specific HR focus or orientation. In a SME, this could consist of emphasizing a sense of trust, making an effort to hear employee opinions, maintaining open, honest communication and ensuring that employees feel treated with dignity, respect and fairness.
Engagement strategies that are tailored for large organizations look slightly different. Here, employers may focus on building recognition programs that provide candid acknowledgement of strong performance, facilitating strong relationships between peers and supervisors, and offering flexible work schedule options.

4.) Engagement Profiles

Company size can also determine the type of coworkers you will be working alongside. Large businesses and SMEs had different proportions of the four engagement profiles (Committed, Strategic Switcher, Detached and Disgruntled).
Companies with 19 staff or less had the greatest percentage of Committed employees. These were staff who were fully engaged and intended to stay with the current employer for three years or longer. Very large organizations (with more than 1,000 employees) were more likely to have Detached workers. These were employees who were not engaged, but were also not planning on leaving any time soon.

So which size of company appeals the most to you? Large or small to medium?