How are you managing the impact of Covid-19 on your organization? Now that we are a few weeks in and have at least another month to go in stay-at-home and other restrictions, it is a good time to give yourself an hour to think. What is working reasonably well? What needs to be fixed?

If you need loans or grants to help your organization stay afloat, do contact your local Small Business Development Center. They offer expert advice, information resources, and other help to navigate old and new options.

New Law

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act goes into effect today, April 1, 2020. This law offers new paid benefits for employees and their families during the rest of 2020 which you must understand. While there is a proposed exemption from parts of it for small employers – 50 or less including all employees – the implementing instructions for exemption are not yet clear. More guidance is available in these FAQs. The info in numbers 4, 58, and 59 specifically address the small employer issue.
Families First Coronavirus Response Act FAQs

The law requires you to provide a poster for each work location which should be placed in an area where all employees will see it. If you are currently having all employees work from home or regularly have some telecommute, you must provide each such person with a copy by April 1. Here it is:

FFCRA Poster


One of the biggest issues in times of uncertainty is effective communications. Your employees – and you too – are wondering

  • if they will get sick,
  • if their families are in danger,
  • how long this will last,
  • whether their job and paychecks will continue to exist, and
  • how to move forward.

Clarity on what your work plans and processes are now is vital. So is your own humanity. Be as open and realistic as you can.

Set clear expectations for what results you want from each employee. If the work allows, offer some flexibility in daily work schedules. This helps parents who have children at home but also any employee who has other responsibilities which have increased now. If the job requires the person to be available at specific times, then make that clear. But, if possible, offer some leeway.

Perhaps you are having regular video chats. If so, how are you enticing all employees to contribute new ideas or helpful tips? A weekly, short newsletter is useful for information you want to be sure people understand as well as resource links and tips. In between the work info, consider adding in some links to amuse or educate parents/children or to help everyone cope with this difficult situation.  Resources on remote work may also be useful to share.

Remind your supervisors that they still need to talk directly regularly with each employee. They need to know what is working and what is not. Plus a little small talk is smart and helps keep your employees engaged.

One important idea to help you be effective at leading and managing is to look at the language you are using. This article has some smart tips and is a fast read:

Crisis Language

Another interesting issue is the increasingly common use of home digital assistants. While this article is geared to lawyers, you may want to think about potential risks to your intellectual property and trade secrets. Do you or others in your organization need to turn them off while working on some issues?

What’s Alexa listening to?

Got a question?  Need an ear?  Call and let’s chat.