Welcome to the Small Business Run Down. Each day, we bring you stories and trends that impact small business owners and their workforce.
Today, young workers want debt relief, Oklahoma businesses get a life line, acceptance of LGBTQ workers inches up, and lots of workers won’t take vacation.
Younger Workers Rate Student Debt Repayment a Top Perk
What is it the youngsters want? Turns out, freedom from crushing student debt.
A survey of young workers found that they rated student debt repayment programs from employers as a top three fringe benefit — just below healthcare insurance and PTO. Interestingly, it was two rungs above a 401(k) match program.
The Number: 41%. Forty-one percent of recent college graduates seeking jobs placed student debt repayment in their top benefits offered by employers.
The Quote: “A mentality of ‘I’ll start saving when I get a bit older’ often results in retirement savings being put on the back burner.”
SBA to Help Oklahoma Businesses Hit by Severe Weather
The Small Business Association (SBA) is offering low-interest loans to small businesses hit by the flooding, storms and tornadoes recently in Oklahoma. Businesses can secure a loan with an interest rate as low as 4%. Nonprofits can avail themselves of loans as low as 2.75%.
The Number: $2 million. Businesses can get a loan up to $2 million.
The Quote: “Getting our businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA.”
Acceptance of LGBTQ Workers Inches Up, Poll Says
The workplace is becoming more accepting of LGBTQ employees, according to a recent poll. The poll found that 60% of workers didn’t have a preference in their choice of co-worker when it came to sexual orientation or gender expression. That’s up from 55% the year before.
But the results are a mixed bag. While 83% of respondents said they believe LGBTQ workers will achieve equality in the workplace, but nearly a third of workers said they had been harrassed at work because of their sexuality.
The Number: 68%. The majority — 68% — of workers believe LGBTQ equality is improving.
The Quote: “Education, particularly of managers, is key — but ensuring communication lines are open and that LGBTQ employees can speak to their managers about their needs is paramount.”
Lots of Workers Say They Don’t Have Vacation Plans
Maybe more folks have access to rollover days in their PTO policies. Because 10% of workers say they don’t plan to use their vacation days this year, according to a survey by Monster. This is a concerning statistic given how prevalent burnout is in the workplace.
The Number: 29%. The number of workers who said they had no vacation plans but hoped to take random days off throughout the year was 29%.
The Quote: “When you indicated that you’re away and not checking messages, it looks weird if you start responding to messages. Especially if you’re a boss, you absolutely need to set an example to your team that when you’re OOO (out of office), you need to stay OOO.”
Employees Leaving? Try Structured Onboarding
Quitting is a real problem. Check out how a structured onboarding program can help tackle employee turnover.