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Keeping staff contented is vital

Thanks to the recent economic downturn, small business owners have a lot on their plates at the moment. But they can't neglect the fact that the people they share their office space with – their employees – might be struggling too, particularly as the government pushes ahead with wave after wave of austerity measures.

According to Dilys Robinson, from the Institute of Employment Studies, many business owners and entrepreneurs have battened down the hatches in the wake of the financial crisis and adopted a "Blitz spirit".

However, Mrs Robinson claimed that this attitude will eventually start damaging the reputation of business owners as employees become disengaged.

"Discontented, disengaged employees are likely to withdraw discretionary effort and voice their discontent to their colleagues," she said.

Recently, Change to Succeed said that job satisfaction and workplace camaraderie was more important that fiscal rewards. So boosting engagement doesn't mean upping pay, business owners could just rearrange their office space to make sure staff members don't feel isolated.

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