While I think that we all saw this coming, none of us really SAW THIS COMING. Nor do we know what to do about it, other than take things one day at a time.
For those of us who remember 9-11, (I can’t be the only one old enough to vividly remember that period in our history, can I?) everything screeched to a halt and became “weird” for a period of time – but it passed fairly quickly, and we moved on and back to “normal.” This one feels a bit different. Collectively, we don’t know how to stop the COVID-19 virus, other than having everyone practice safe-distancing, appropriate hand washing, and just waiting things out.
There are more questions than answers.
As a small business owner without an HR department, the current environment requires quick learning, and quick adjustments! Can I afford to continue to pay my employees? Should I cover their healthcare premiums? What is “essential business?” What resources are available to me?
I wish that I had the answers for some of my clients and friends who are in the same position – but I don’t. What I can offer are some quick practices that I’m using to keep my team connected, and some available resources to help get you to others who can help.
This is a pause – not a hard stop.
Pause: A temporary stop in action.
It is important to remember – and communicate – that this is simply a slow-down. Read a book. Catch up on sleep. Get outside. While it may feel like a punishment if you are stuck inside, it’s actually an opportunity to get to that “someday” list of things to do – personal and professional!
Regular communication is the best thing that you can do for your team right now.
Nothing elevates stress like not knowing what’s going on. Even reporting that nothing has changed is better than not-communicating with your employees during situations like this. Consider a weekly video-conference check-in. Have some fun with it! If there aren’t business updates, share what you’re doing to stay sane – or have a poll with your team to see who they think will snap first! Just stay connected.
There are lots of programs that look and feel like “help” rolling out right now. Here are some links to people and resources you can connect with now.
- Michigan State Government – Quick Reference for Filing for Unemployment
- Right Place – Michigan Small Business Relief Grant Application
- US Small Business Administration – COVID-19 Help
Stay home. Be safe. Wash your hands. We look forward to working with you soon!
Cheryl Lyttle and your team at E&M Design Solutions