Welcome to the Small Business Rundown. Each day, we bring you stories that impact small business owners and their workforce.
Welcome to the Super Tuesday edition of the Small Business Run Down, which is thankfully devoid of any exit poll results. Instead, we offer you these updates on the the trend toward expanding paid leave programs, a primer on sussing out what’s fact and what’s fancy in letters of recommendation, and a thoughtful piece on why American workers don’t stay home when they’re sick. Have a super Tuesday!
Nearly a quarter of businesses expanded leave benefits in 2019
Whether they wanted to or not, many businesses expanded the types of paid leave and the amount of leave they offered last year. Results of a new survey indicate that 24% of companies increased the amount of paid leave offered, while 12% expanded the eligibility requirements to include more workers. While the reasons for expanding leave programs vary, many employers point to efforts to attract and retain talent and government mandates.
The Number: 30%. Survey results found that 30% of companies added new leave programs last year.
The Quote: “The increase in state benefits has been one of the factors fueling the growth in employer-sponsored paid parental and caregiver leave. Employer benefits of this type typically enhance the state benefits by topping the benefit up to 100% of pay (all states pay less than 100%) and may also extend the length of paid leave beyond the state entitlement.”
Sifting fact from fiction in letters or recommendation
After weeks of searching, you’ve assembled a pool of potential applicants for a vacant position at your business. When you sit down and begin going through their applications, you find that each and every letter or recommendation describes the applicant in glowing — though ultimately meaningless — terms and that “Puffery is rampant. Evasion abounds.” How do you figure out what’s true and what’s not when it comes to letters of recommendation?
The Number: 77%. One study found that nearly 77% of letters of recommendation describe the subject as “good” or “above average.”
The Quote: “Candor is replaced by gloss, and qualitative distinctions become blurred.”
Impending coronavirus disruption and the problem with American sick leave
It’s impossible to open any news or media sources without being slammed by the latest updates (or fake updates) about the spread of the Coronavirus and the impact that it will have on the U.S. over the next days and weeks. Instead of another story urging disaster preparedness or chronicling the virus’s negative impact on the economy, here’s a thoughtful piece on why it’s not so easy to tell sick employees to just stay home.
The Number: 7. For American workers who get sick leave, 7 days is the average amount.
The Quote: “Many are hesitant to use [sick days] for something they think is minor just in case they need the days later for something serious.”