Every year, American employees leave 430 million vacation days up for grabs. (If you were wondering, that’s 1,178,082 years of unused vacation every year.)
Or in other words, way too much time.
We already know Americans are by and large workaholics. But still, if you own a small business, there are some days you should definitely give off to your employees. And it’s helpful to know what that mix of days should be.
That’s where I come in. I’ll show you how to build your own paid holiday schedule for your small business, using benchmarking data as our trusty guide.
The bigger PTO picture.
Let’s start with the main question on your mind: How much time off do people normally get? An average full-time employee in a small, privately-owned business in the U.S. receives about 7.6 paid holidays per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That number also breaks down even further:
- Technical/professional employees get 8.5-ish days a year.
- Clerical/sales employees get 7.7-ish days a year.
- Blue-collar/service employees get 7 days a year.
While that’s the average, other studies have shown most employees report getting about nine paid holidays per year. Think about these benchmarks as you decide on the number that will work best for you business.
There are no federal laws requiring employers to give PTO, but most companies offer it anyway. Why? Because it’s a must to attract and retain great employees. In fact, PTO is the second most important benefit to employees, right after health insurance.
Now, onto the next layer of the paid holiday puzzle: Choosing the actual days you give off.
So, what paid holidays should I offer?
No, really, I promise, it’s good stuff! Have I ever steered you wrong?