This study examined employee retention and aspects of organizational culture in order to provide assistance to small business owners seeking to understand what their employees desire to keep them loyal and committed to their organizations. Prior studies failed to focus on small business employees to determine what motivates them to work in small businesses rather than seek employment with larger organizations. This study was designed as an exploratory and nonexperimental qualitative research that targeted 10 out of 35 small businesses located in a rural southwest Georgia county where the owners of these small businesses are members of the board of directors of a Georgia County Chamber of Commerce. The results showed that participants listed a family-oriented work environment, enjoyable work, flexibility, location of work, the supervisor, customers, and empowerment factors as the main reasons to remain with small businesses rather than move on to larger organizations. Participants stated that an open-door policy, cohesiveness, good communication, information sharing, customer orientation, Christian atmosphere, integrity, and appreciation were the primary aspects of the culture in their organizations that motivated them to remain with their employers. This research is useful for rural small business owners who are currently in operation, those who desire to become rural business owners, and those who have attempted business ownership in the past and failed. This study also supplements the small businesses literature, specifically for use by employers with employee retention and organizational culture concerns.
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