Small-Business Employees Happier Than Those at Medium and Large Companies

Small businesses are the backbone of America, representing more than 90 percent of businesses today.[1] Now, they can also claim to be some of the happiest places to work.

According to the 2017 Aflac Small Business Happiness Report by Aflac, insurance benefits remain a key area for improvement, however. The report, in its second year, unveils a number of findings about what it’s like to work for a small business and identifies several factors related to employee satisfaction and happiness. It is designed to serve as a resource for small-business owners looking for insight to better support their employees and keep them happy.

“At Aflac, we understand that employees are the most valued asset to any small business, but many small-business owners juggle numerous responsibilities and struggle to find the information they need to create a strong, loyal team,” said Matthew Owenby, Aflac senior vice president and chief human resources officer. “And while our report shows that small-business owners can breathe a sigh of relief because their employees are happy, it also sheds light on areas of opportunity for employers looking to build upon that success, including improving their benefits offerings.”

The report found that 84 percent of small-business employees are happy in their current job and nearly half (48 percent) agree that most or all of their happiness in their current job is actually because they work for a small business.

While the flashy perks offered by many large companies are enticing, working for a small business offers its own advantages, which can often be more lasting and influential to employee career development. Factors such as seeing the fruits of their labor, feeling that their input truly matters and being rewarded for their hard work were all cited by respondents as the best parts of working for a small business.

Additionally, compared to working at a large company, employees indicate that small businesses make them feel more appreciated (67 percent), accomplished (54 percent), productive (55 percent) and motivated (52 percent).

Benefits still missing the mark

Although small businesses are fostering happy workplaces, 72 percent of respondents indicate that an improvement in their benefits offerings would make them even happier. 22 percent of respondents also said that their benefits package is one thing they like the least about working for a small business, and 26 percent said that benefits offerings would be their main reason for moving to a large company.

“While adding benefits may seem out of reach for some small-business owners, it could mean the difference between losing and retaining talented employees,” Owenby said. ”Offering a more comprehensive benefits package that includes supplemental insurance options would enable companies to provide a more robust benefits package at little or no impact to the bottom line.”

To learn more about the 2017 Aflac Small Business Happiness Report, visit

Ayo Mseka


[1] U.S. Small Business Administration, “United States Small Business Economic Profile,” accessed on March 23, 2017 –