Advantages of SMEs in Employee Engagement

Small and newer companies face a slew of problems during the new normal due to scant resources and restrictive budgets. To make matters worse, SMEs do not readily receive assistance from large lending institutions like banks due to the lack of proof in financial stability and a successful track record. 

For times like this, SMEs can level the scales by focusing on a crucial aspect of their structure – a closely-knit workforce. In SMEs, everybody knows everybody – water cooler conversations enable every member to feel welcomed and comfortable, where the office serves as an extension of their homes. 

There are countless advantages of SMEs in employee engagement, and SME leaders can significantly improve employee engagement levels by leveraging the familiarity and togetherness in a small team.

smes in employee engagement

Greater Flexibility

SMEs operate with simpler and more agile structures compared to MNCs and other larger corporations. The simplified set-up enables employees to share their opinions and feedback in facilitating swift change openly – ideas will flow with less resistance to improve employee engagement. 

Operational processes do not require tedious approvals from higher-ups in a complex hierarchy. As such, SMEs can quickly adapt their structures and policies according to extraneous challenges for faster results. Additionally, SME leaders can offer employees more flexible work options that have become the norm in the current remote work environment. 

The SME market is known for creating many job opportunities with low start-up capital. In most situations (unless through a public crowdfunding campaign), smaller companies have few initial investors. Although this could prove problematic for business development since available capital ultimately determines company scalability, SMEs could turn this to their advantage.

Less-diffused shareholder accountability means leaders enjoy more leeway to invest in employees’ ideas and creativity – giving them a higher purpose and impact in their roles and contributions to the company. Purposeful employees will be more engaged, and an engaged workforce is known to optimise productivity

Forging Closer Bonds

Personalisation is a trending business term these days. Customers react well to personalised marketing strategies when brands go the extra mile to recognise and acknowledge individuals from the faceless crowd. 

Customers appreciate it when the landing page or email personally addresses them by name or when Amazon provides apt recommendations. We see this strategy expertly played out with Coca-Cola’s highly successful Share-a-Coke campaign, where consumers branded their names on Coke cans from within printing booths and shared them with friends and family. 

SMEs can personalise their approach to niche markets by forming strong personal relations with every customer – a feat that is impossible with MNCs. But individualisation should not stop with customers. Employees require the same level of dedicated attention. The small scale of SMEs enables companies to also focus on individualised employee engagement. 

Employers can arrange bonding sessions (even pizza parties with Zoom) to strengthen working relationships or allocate time during virtual meetings for staff to catch up. Leaders can expedite problem-solving processes by working with employees in a healthy and learning-driven ecosystem. 

SMEs account for 70% of the global workforce. Hence, organisational leaders from small and micro companies can collectively make a significant impact on the world economy. It all begins with realising and developing the power of small in a landscape dominated by small players.


StrengthsAsia has helped many individuals and corporate clients throughout the region, empowering leaders with breakthrough experiences for both leaders and followers. If you wish to learn more about the Strengths Leadership Program, please reach out to us here.

A devotee at the altar of language and a celebrant of expression. Laurenzo has written for various SMEs, MNCs, startups and international brands over the last three years. He specializes in topics of psychology, lifestyle, employee management, and digital trends.

Aly is StrengthsAsia’s marketing and communications guru and lead editor. She's over the top inquisitive and everyone in the company knows her as “The Googler” as she practically googles everything. Honestly, we all worry for her… She is also the Principal Trainer for our one of a kind ice cream team building workshops in Asia.

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