Small businesses vs. XXL companies: 7 differences
The middle class, say the numbers, is the backbone of the German economy and also Specialists without a university degree are more likely to be in the middle with company sizes between 100 and 500 employees. But where are the plus points when you leave this “golden mean” and orientate yourself around the edges?
This is the comparison between small businesses and XXL companies, and we have taken a closer look at the most important advantages and disadvantages - for example with regard to further development opportunities or employee rights. And Startups are not that trendy any more. 7 points in direct comparison.
For many, the workplace is more than just a place to perform. Because apart from achievement thoughts and career also the interpersonal is crucial in the job. For example, for 89 percent of all career starters, the good relationship with their colleagues is the most important criterion for retaining their employees. In general, a familiar relationship is high on the wish list of most employees.
Small businesses can of course score points here. Not only because a workforce of less than 25 people is more manageable, but because in such companies it is generally a bit more familiar, and not just in the trades. This also has advantages for the work, after all, each character has its own "beat". In the smallest company it is easily possible to know this rhythm of all of his colleagues. Advantage of miniature operation!
Manageable clientele, a rather local orientation. These two factors can lead one to believe that micro-enterprises make it easier for employees in terms of workload. Unfortunately, however, the opposite is the case. Because for companies of this small size usually every order counts. Regionalism ensures that word-of-mouth mistakes are usually spread quickly. And the stress level in StartUps is particularly high in the start-up phase, when it depends on each individual employee.
All of this and the naturally low number of employees ensure that the workload of the individual employee in such companies is often quite high. Especially because of the family atmosphere, the personal connection to the company is usually greater and a “no” is much more difficult. Completely different in large companies: Because even here the number of employees is rationalized and the measures against stress are far from ideal, the workload of the individual is usually lower and the workload can also be divided among more colleagues. Advantage big business!
3. change of location
Those who love professional equality should focus on micro-enterprises. Although the low number of employees also often requires non-professional assignments, most of the employees in this segment are focused on their professional background, including their location, with all their advantages and disadvantages. But this can also be a boomerang. If the life design requires a change of location, eg because the partner is moved. In the case of small-scale operations, termination and job search are usually connected inevitably, because the head office of the company is simply the only seat.
The large company can, however, fully exploit all of its advantages. The range of products from industry giant Fielmann covers over one and a half thousand in-house job offers across the country - no problem with well over 700 branches. The tool colossus Würth looks similar in relation to its 450 branches. At the metal size Thyssenkrupp, 660 jobs across Germany are also waiting to be filled. In such and similar large companies, the motto “the bigger, the less location-dependent” actually applies to employees. Advantage big business!
4. Development opportunities
Long gone are the days when there were job descriptions in which innovations became relevant at intervals of several years or even longer. Because with computerization and its penetration of even the most traditional professions, the half-life of the necessary knowledge today is more in the range of several months, if at all.
Even if StartUps seem trendy at first glance: Many employees of micro-enterprises with their very narrowly defined areas of activity within the job, however, frequently pass by these innovations. There is also less investment in staff training. Of course, this is at the expense of one's own professional qualification: in case of doubt, a person will be given preference to the one who is constantly on the pulse of the times, not just through irregular courses, but daily work.
Another advantage for the large company, because here alone most of the changes are made thanks to large RundD budgets. Where not, the first contact for innovations lies with the market giants of the industry. Advantage big business!
From team leader to department manager to the next superior. Large German companies are doing a great deal to shorten the chain of command and implement flatter hierarchies. Quite successfully, because as the renowned Hans Böckler Foundation found out, in German medium-sized and large mechanical engineering companies, for example, entire 26 employees come to a supervisor; in Switzerland or the US, this ratio is much lower; the hierarchy piles up across the pond to 7,1 employees per supervisor.
However, this should not hide the fact that an enterprise with several thousand employees can never reach such a lean hierarchy with such short command chains as a ten-headed small business, in which the owner is also the only supervisor and does not have to cope with any lengthy adjustment. Here the result will always be: Advantage of miniature operation!
6. Salary and Co
Of course, a large company alone has huge salary costs because of the number of employees. However, it is a fact that the wages in such companies are usually much more exuberant than in the case of small business, even in sectors without fixed tariffs. First of all, it is because the qualification in the large company is by far the most important and good people can still be attracted and attracted by attractive salaries even today.
Moreover, the sales margins of large companies also allow the offering of various bonuses, where, for example, Christmas money flow, is in most cases in this country, a very strong-working company behind it. This financial power also extends to other areas: employee gyms, company child care, privately usable company vehicles are extremely rare in micro-enterprises, but are almost standard for many large companies. Advantage big business!
7. worker rights
Theory and practice are often very different in everyday German work. In theory, for example, a works council must be elected in every company with at least five permanent employees. In practice, it appears that, depending on the industry, in some cases only five out of every hundred micro enterprises have such a staff representation. The reasons are always the same:
- Operation felt too small
- Fear of negative consequences
- Supervisor can be approached directly
In fact, however, this approach shows that workers are disadvantaged by this. In start-ups and micro-enterprises without works councils, two weeks per week are worked on statistically, even if there is no tariff binding in the industry.
It looks completely the other way around in large companies. Beyond the 500 permanent employees, only 25 percent of companies in which there is no works council are still well. And the further you go up, the thinner this low number will be. In the meantime, however, the works council is not just a standard for the very big, but it can also look back on extremely effective interlinking and thus be an effective link between company and employee interests in everyday life. Even SAP, who were the last DAX-listed group against founding until 10, was ultimately forced to do so by court order.
It must also be borne in mind that in large corporations, especially in industry, there is a much greater chance of having a form of union agreement, ie collective bargaining and / or working hours, which is often overridden by micro-enterprises. Advantage big business
Conclusion: big businesses at an advantage, but StartUps also have advantages
Would be this Article a soccer tournament, the commentators would call the end result “crystal clear victory”. It is 2: 5 for large companies.
However, startups and small businesses are able to score points that are more family-oriented and the hierarchies are incomparably flat. In all other respects, the very big ones in the industry decide for themselves. Whoever is an employee here has not only less stress but also a lot more (financial) advantages.
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