Doug Ford’s announcement on Friday about the projections for Ontario were sobering, but also helpful I think in getting people to see how tough this might all be. Here are a few resources and thoughts to help as you start the week. (Yes, it IS Monday!)

Today is the first day of CERB. If any of your employees, subcontractors or self-employed, gig working friends or family need this benefit, here’s the link: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html

75% wage subsidy. As a reminder, it is if you have experienced a 30% drop in revenue. It has a limit, so it won’t likely pay 75% of your 120k employee. It’s unclear if owner income qualifies. It’s unclear if you can combine with the 10% wage subsidy, although I have heard people say it can be as they are administered very differently. It’s unclear if it can be combined with the workshare program. I’ve heard people are trying to do this. I would be surprised if they allowed that, but so far they haven’t specifically said so, to the best of my knowledge.

10% wage subsidy. The 75% program did not replace this. So, you can still use it. Remember, you simply deduct 10% of your payroll from the remittances you submit to the gov’t up to a max of 25k I believe. It does apply to an owner if you have paid yourself as an employee with T4.
Workshare. Even if you’re not sure you can/will use it. It is worth applying now. I was on a call this morning with someone who applied almost 2 weeks ago and hasn’t been approved yet. My guess is that applications will increase, so get on this now. This is where you get your team to agree to reductions and the gov’t covers part of the cost. They now have a more simplified 2 page form. Here is the link:https://catalogue.servicecanada.gc.ca/content/EForms/en/Detail.html?Form=EMP5100

A couple of things about mental health. First, there’s a service called emplify.com that has created a free assessment to quickly gauge the collective emotional and mental well being of your team. You wouldn’t make it mandatory, but it can give you a fast insight into how your folks are doing. Here’s the link: https://emplify.com/wellbeing/

Pay attention to this. I was on a call this morning where a psychotherapist was sharing some insights. She had some very specific thoughts.

  1. This period is traumatic and everyone is affected. Don’t pretend you or those who work for you are not.
  2. When in the midst of a trauma or fear or of loss – loss of income, loss of security, loss of social contact – we can be off centre, which can lead us to poor decisions.
  3. To get centered she recommended a few specific steps:
      – Lean into the feelings. The fear, anxiety, anger, sadness, loss…acknowledge them. Allow yourself to feel them and bring them into the light rather than try to suppress them where they can do damage in the dark
      – While acknowledging them, don’t yield to them. They are good sources of information, but they aren’t the boss. You are. Part of bringing them into the light is to understand how they are trying to influence your decisions. So, how do avoid yielding to them?
      – First, go back to the why. Both the individual why and the collective why. What are we doing this for? Reconnecting to a purpose is important
      – Provide clarity. She didn’t say the following but her point reminded me of the Stockade paradox. When you combine clear understanding of the brutal reality you face with unwavering faith in your ability to get through it, you will be strong.
      -Connect with core relationships that provide stability and grounding. It might mean doing a bit of a reset in those relationships.
      – Focus on things you do have control over. You have no control over the virus. But you do have control over how you spend your time, where your attention goes, what you can let go of, your thoughts, your intentions, you behaviours, your actions in response to situations
      – Assume respect and positive intention. Especially online, there’s a real tendency to assume the worst in people. Employees sometimes do that with employers and employers sometimes do it with staff and spouses often do it with each other. Instead, if you assume respect and good intention, you’ll be calmer
      – Exercise self compassion. You’ll make mistakes, you’ll be afraid, you might be angry at times. Be kind to yourself instead of judgmental. I’ve heard in various entrepreneurs an attempt to be super-up all the time with a kind of “shame” when they reveal that they feel a bit overwhelmed. Go back to points 1 and 2 in this list.
  4. Other suggestions on the call were to start and end your day – bookending – on how you start and end your day. Stay consistent with that as it gives some certainty, predictability and control
    Have frequent team meetings and share everything you’re doing. One business owner shared how the team started a call saying they were scared, frustrated and confused and by the end of the call, they were thankful and engaged. Share your actions, plans, goals, how you’re planning on getting through this. If you don’t know how to get through this, go back to my webinar for some ideas. The replay is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=viyC-iL4Lr4&t=10s
    That’s it for now. I hope it’s all a bit helpful. Look after yourselves and each other.