Which Objectives do Small Businesses View as Most Important?

Feb 26, 2018
| Jean Wiskowski
Most important business objectives for small employers

A few weeks ago, we wrote an article that explored some of the results from our Customer Value Survey. Conducted in partnership with CEB, now Gartner, the goal of the survey was to gather information and data on what is most valuable to our clients.

Part 1 of this series explored the services and attributes our clients view as important to their business. We also asked them how unique each of these attributes and services are to Extensis. But that’s not all we asked in the survey.

In part 2 of our Customer Value Survey results, we’ll take a look at the business objectives our clients rated as most important to their company. This article will also dive deeper into these statistics by exploring the drivers that help our clients achieve these critical business objectives.

Lastly, we explain how Extensis’ services and solutions help our clients with their objectives and drivers. Let’s take a look at the data!

Which 3 Objectives are Most Important to our Small Business Clients?

One of the most exciting results from our survey showed which business objectives our clients consider most important to their organization. To do this, we asked our clients this question: “On a scale of 1-7, please rank these objectives in terms of importance to you and/or your organization.”

The top three objectives and their average score were:
  • Reducing costs and employment risks (5.97)
  • Increasing time for high-value business activities (5.59)
  • Attracting, engaging, and retaining employees (5.28)

We were also able to break this down even further, showing the percentage of respondents who rated the objectives as important or very important (score of a 6 or 7):
  • Reducing costs and employment risks was 69%
  • Increasing time for high-value business activities was 59%
  • Attracting, engaging, and retaining employees was 50%

Given the rising costs associated with modern HR and employee benefits, not to mention the increasing complexity around regulatory compliance at all levels of law, it’s not too surprising to see reducing costs and employment risks as the number one business objective for our clients.

This can be even more challenging for small employers, who often have less resources available to tackle these objectives, and can struggle to find affordable health and other benefits for their employees.

To further explore this topic, we asked a follow-up question that dove deeper into each objective, and how they can be achieved.

What Impacts the Ability to Meet Each Business Objective?

The next part of our Customer Value Survey looked to gain more insights into each of the top 3 business objectives our clients identified. We did this by asking about which drivers were most important to each objective, ranked on a scale from 1 to 7.

Here are the top answers for “reducing costs and employment risks,” broken down by the percentage each was chosen as important or very important (receiving a 6 or 7):
  • Healthcare and benefit cost management – 91%
  • Group purchasing power – 78%
  • Operational efficiencies – 59%
  • Regulatory compliance expertise – 47%
  • Number of vendors – 16%

We asked the same question for the second most important business objective “increasing time for high-value business activities,” with the same scoring system. Here are the results:
  • Accessibility to experts – HR, benefits, risk management – 63%
  • Task automation – 56%
  • Delegated responsibilities – 41%

Lastly, we asked our clients to rank the top drivers to “attracting, engaging, and retaining employees.” These were the five choices, in order from most important to least important (same scoring as before):
  • Quantity and quality of benefits – 88%
  • HR response time – 63%
  • Easy-to-use technology – 53%
  • Learning and growth opportunities – 38%
  • Referrals and recruitment strategy – 16%

The data and statistics we obtained from this survey were very exciting, and gave us better insights into the wants and needs of our small business clients. They also showed how Extensis, as a PEO solution, can help small employers meet their objectives.

Extensis Helps its Clients Achieve Their Key Business Objectives by Providing the Drivers Necessary for Success

A key takeaway from our survey is that Extensis provides many of the services and solutions that impact the important drivers that our clients view as critical for achieving business objectives.

For the most important objective of “reducing costs and employment risks” we help our clients by providing them access to quality healthcare and benefit offerings at a much lower price than they would be able to receive otherwise. This coincides with the number one driver of this objective, “healthcare and benefit cost management.”

Looking at the objective of “increasing time for high-value business activities,” our dedicated team of HR and benefits managers enable our clients to focus less time and energy on these important HR tasks, and instead work on other projects that can lead to significant business growth. Considering that our clients rank “accessibility to experts” as the number one driver for this objective, this is another way we provide value to small employers.

Lastly, for the objective of “attracting, engaging, and retaining employees,” our clients listed the “quantity and quality of benefits” as by far the most important driver for success. Partnering with a Extensis gives our clients access to the same quality and quantity of benefits that are usually only accessible to large-group employers. This significantly helps with attracting new job seekers as well as lowering turnover of current employees.

Partnering with CEB, now Gartner, to conduct this survey was a great success and gave us many valuable insights into not only our clients, but about small businesses in general. It also showed how we provide value to our current clients, as well as how we can help future small business clients achieve their key objectives.

We look forward to conducting another Customer Value survey at the end of 2018. Stay tuned!

Want to learn more about PEOs? Check out our eBook, How Well Do You Know PEO? This eBook provides an overview of the PEO industry as well as helpful information for brokers and employers!

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