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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’s another audience you need to keep happy: your employees.

In a 2015 report by Glassdoor, 47% 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.

Components of B2E strategies include:

» creative recruiting tactics;

» flexible working hours;

» bonuses; and

» professional development opportunities.

Another way your business can provide a high-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.          

A few examples of the information and capabilities companies offer to employees through their intranets are:

» company announcements;

» request forms for ordering office supplies;

» special deals on company merchandise; and

» online management of insurance policies and 401K plans.

And with a B2E portal (an intra-company homepage or desktop screen) that allows employees to customize elements of what they see, some companies also include individual employees’ special interests, such as:

» stock reports;

» news clips;

» weather forecasts;

» sports scores; and

» games.

By having an intranet, you can give employees one centralized location to access what matters to them. And then you can use other traditional means of communication, such as email, to reinforce information.

A B2E-focused intranet gives employees a direct route to what’s 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 they need to do their jobs and review or change their human resources-related information. Having forms and documents online also can cut expenses as a business can rely on printers less and won’t have to manually handle as much paperwork.

If you’re interested in implementing a company intranet, consider 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.

There are other strategies 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.

For more information about starting or operating a small business, call SCORE at (434) 295-6712 or visit centralvirginia.score.org.

 

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