New Study: Small Business Employees Report 50% Higher Levels of Satisfaction at Work

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New Study: Small Business Employees Report 50% Higher Levels of Satisfaction at Work

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 15, 2023
CONTACT: Kristofer Eisenla, LUNA+EISENLA | 202-670-5747

With Record-Breaking Surge in New Small Business Applications, Employees at Smallest Companies are Happiest in the Nation


WASHINGTON, D.C. – A new report released by the BambooHR Employee Happiness Index shows employee satisfaction at work continues to erode in the third quarter of 2023 except among employees working at America’s smallest companies who are the happiest in the nation.  As reported yesterday by Axios, the study finds scores around, happiness at work remain relatively high among small business employees, BambooHR notes — 11 points higher on the Employee Happiness Index compared with the average among all companies.”

“As the leading advocate and resource for America’s smallest employers, we couldn’t agree more with the results of this study that our small business owners and their employees are among the happiest and satisfied in the American workforce,” said Keith Hall, president and CEO of National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE), the nation's leading advocate and resource for the self-employed and micro-businesses. “While the pandemic was challenging for our community, through preservation, resilience, and determination, we came through it stronger with a recording-breaking surge in new small business openings.”

Over the last few years since the pandemic, there has been a surge in new small business openings reported by both the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Census Bureau, including a recent Yelp report illustrating every state was on track to beat last year’s all-time high.

Hall continued, “America’s small business owners are finishing out the year incredibly optimistic about the future of their business with their employees happy and satisfied and even more new applicants joining our ranks every day.  2023 is turning out to be another major, record-breaking year on all fronts for our country’s small business community, the lifeblood of our nation’s economy.”

“Self-employed and micro-business owners have chosen a work-life balance that allow them to enact policies that will keep their employees happy and satisfied. We are thrilled that this new survey sheds light on one of the biggest benefits of owning and operating a small business in America’s new work environment – happiness,” concluded Hall.

From the Axios report:
The smaller the company, the happier its workers are.

  • In the third quarter of this year, those at companies with fewer than 25 employees reported happiness scores that were on average around 50% higher than workers at firms with 151 to 300 employees, BambooHR found.

The report identifies three factors driving employee satisfaction:

  1. Transparency breeds trust and happiness — especially in remote or hybrid workplaces and especially when bosses need to deliver hard news, like layoffs, BambooHR notes. It's naturally easier to communicate frequently at a smaller firm.
  2. Friendship at work matters to many people. Per BambooHR, 93% of new hires at companies of all sizes say they want to shadow a colleague, and 87% say they hope to make a friend at work. Forging these bonds can also be easier in a smaller group.
  3. Engagement with the company's mission also drives worker satisfaction. Those who work for smaller companies — like startups or close-knit, family-run operations — are likely to feel a stronger connection to that mission.

NASE advocates and gives voice to America’s smallest employers, the self-employed and micro-businesses, before our elected leaders in Washington. In addition, NASE serves as a critical resource for new and existing small businesses in their operations. Specifically, NASE offers a robust Growth Grant program – sponsored by AARP, DELL Small Business, and Payanywhere – to Ask The Experts business and tax advice and the NASE Minute video with free business advice online to both members and the public. The association’s goal is to support the small business community to help them to grow and thrive.

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The National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) is the nation's leading advocate and resource for the self-employed and micro-businesses, offering a broad range of benefits to help entrepreneurs succeed and to drive the continued growth of this vital segment of the American economy.

The NASE NextBizThing helps identify and connect our nation’s smallest businesses. Need small business help? Check out NASE’s Ask the Experts for advice or the NASE Minute for small business support.

The NASE is a 501(c) (6) nonprofit organization and provides big-business advantages to hundreds of thousands of micro-businesses across the United States. For more information, visit the association's website at

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