Naturally, most small businesses put a lot of time, energy, and resources toward catering to their customers. Whether your business is B2C (business to consumer) or B2B (business to business), there is another audience you need to keep happy: your employees.
In a 2015 report by Glassdoor, https://b2b-assets.glassdoor.com/50-hr-and-recruiting-stats-for-2016.pdf, 47 percent of the small businesses surveyed said they had difficulty finding qualified candidates for the positions they were trying to fill. So, to recruit and keep top talent, your small business needs to create a top-notch work environment.
To answer that challenge, a growing number of businesses are integrating a “B2E” (business to employee) approach into their company cultures. The overarching theme of B2E efforts is showing employees they are as valuable as a business’s customers. B2E goes beyond the occasional staff appreciation gestures; It envelopes all of the initiatives and programs a business offers to create a working environment that attracts and retains highly competent employees.
Some components of companies’ B2E strategies include:
- Creative recruiting tactics
- Flexible working hours
- Professional development opportunities
Another way your business can provide a quality experience to employees is through robust intra-company tools that streamline finding information and performing tasks. For example, implementing a company intranet that makes information, business applications and collaborative capabilities readily available in one central place can boost efficiency and employee satisfaction.
Elements of an Ideal Small Business Intranet
A few examples of the information and capabilities companies offer to employees through their intranets include:
- Company announcements
- Request forms for ordering office supplies
- Special deals on company merchandise
- Online management of insurance policies and 401K plans
And with a B2E portal (an intracompany homepage or desktop screen) that allows employees to customize elements of what they see, some companies also include individual employees' special interests:
- Stock reports
- News clips
- Weather forecasts
- Sports scores
By having an intranet for your business, you can give employees one centralized location to access what matters to them. Then you can use other traditional means of communication like email to reinforce information.
Benefits of a Small Business Intranet and the B2E Mindset
A B2E focused intranet gives employees a direct route to what is happening within a company and promotes a sense of community within a business. It can improve employee morale and save time as individuals can easily find and access the tools that they need to do their jobs and review or change their human resources related information. Having forms and documents online can also cut expenses as a business can rely on printers less and will not have to manually handle as much paperwork.
Where to Begin
If you are interested in implementing a company intranet for your small business, considering asking for a free consultation from one or more companies that specialize in developing intranets for small businesses. That will help you understand the available capabilities, implementation process, training requirements and pricing.
Remember, there are other strategies as well that can help make your company B2E focused. Contact SCORE to talk with a business mentor who can help you brainstorm ideas for practical and effective business-to-employee initiatives. SCORE mentors have expertise in all aspects of starting and growing a business, and they are available to provide you with the guidance you need to succeed.
Since 1964, SCORE “Mentors to America’s Small Business” has helped more than 10 million aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners through mentoring and business workshops. More than 11,000 volunteer business mentors in over 320 chapters serve their communities through entrepreneur education dedicated to the formation, growth and success of small businesses. For more information about starting or operating a small business, contact SCORE TriCounty. You can call 610.327.2673, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website at www.tricounty.score.org.
SCORE is funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.