Monday, March 29, 2021

How to Determine If Your Business is Eligible for the Employee Retention Credit

There has been a lot written about the Employee Retention Credit (ERC), and much of it makes reference to the fact that more guidance was expected to clarify some of the gray areas of the law. Recently, we received additional guidance in the form of a 102-page notice from the IRS: IRS Notice 2021-20. More guidance is expected.

I know most people will not read all 102 pages, or even a summary of 102 pages. I also know that the ERC can provide significant CASH benefits to many organizations, and some are missing out on that benefit due to the complexity of this program. In 2021, it can generate up to $7,000 in cash per employee per quarter, so it is clearly worth some effort.

Rather than summarizing what we know now about all of the fine print and calculations, I am going to focus on who is eligible for the ERC, for both 2020 and 2021, and a few other key concerns. If you cannot meet the eligibility requirements, then you don’t need to worry about anything else. Get back to your business.

ELIGIBILITY FOR 2020

  • Either:
    • 50% decline in cash basis gross receipts (think revenue) in at least one quarter of 2020 vs. the same quarter in 2019, OR
    • Operations were fully or partially shut down due to government orders related to COVID-19
  • Credit will be much more valuable for companies with 100 or fewer employees
  • Yes, you can now participate even if you received a PPP loan

ELIGIBILITY FOR 2021

  • Either:
    • A decline in gross receipts in a calendar quarter in 2021 where the gross receipts of that calendar quarter are less than 80% of the gross receipts in the same calendar quarter in 2019, or a decline in gross receipts using the immediately preceding calendar quarter (i.e., the fourth calendar quarter of 2020 and first calendar quarter of 2021, respectively) compared to the same calendar quarter in 2019, OR
    • Operations were fully or partially shut down due to government orders related to COVID-19.
  • Credit will be much more valuable for companies with 500 employees or fewer. This lets a lot more companies in the door!
  • Yes, you can now participate even if you received a PPP loan

STILL THINK YOU ARE ELIGIBLE?

Then you will need a team effort involving your staff, consultants, tax preparer and payroll provider. There are many twists and turns, especially concerning the interplay of payroll costs used for PPP purposes and those used for ERC purposes. You cannot use the same payroll costs in both programs, so some planning and strategizing are necessary. Know that the reports provided by your payroll provider for each program may not maximize your benefits for the two programs combined.

TO RECAP

Determine if you are eligible. If not, move on. If yes, be prepared for some work, but know that work can result in some significant cash benefits for your business!

Need guidance on how to navigate this lengthy update and determine if your company is eligible? Reach out to me: djones@fahrenheitadvisors.com or email us at Experts@FahrenheitAdvisors.com.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Doug Jones provides fractional CFO and senior financial management services to small and midsize organizations for Fahrenheit Advisors. In addition to improving his clients’ accounting and finance operations, Doug frequently serves as the link between company owners and outside advisors including attorneys, CPAs, investment bankers, appraisers, and personal financial advisors. He is skilled in identifying and integrating the full range of financial and non-financial business issues in contract negotiations and resolution of business decisions. He is a member of Fahrenheit’s Leadership Team.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Image and content provided by Fahrenheit Advisors. Fahrenheit Advisors is a Sponsor of Virginia Council of CEOs. This post was originally posted here.

Posted by Staff at 2:59 pm
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Monday, March 29, 2021

4 Tips to Help Introverted Leaders Succeed in the Workplace

It is widely believed in Western culture that to be a great leader you should be an extrovert. “You need to be able to walk in front of a microphone in front of a big group, capture the crowd and be charismatic be outgoing. Think politicians, kissing babies. And that is far from the truth, explains Brad Eure, co-founder of Eure Consulting. Adding, There are a lot of strengths that extroverts have. There are just as many that introverts have.“

According to Eure, introverts make up nearly half the population. If you think you are an introvert, you are far from being alone. 

Introverts: Why the Bad Wrap?

A hundred years ago, Carl Jung defined a person as being either introverted or extroverted by how they process the world around themselves and how they get and spend energy. There are varying degrees of each, and a person can be considered an ambivert, but to simplify it: extroverts seek out and get energy and stimulation from their outside environment. It energizes them. Introverts are the opposite.

For many introverts, quarantine life today is a little easier, as most of the mixing and mingling and interruptions they encountered pre-pandemic has come to a standstill.

Introverts are sometimes stereotyped as “anti-social” or “shy”, but those traits are found in extroverts as well. “Being shy is social anxiety and it affects both introverts and extroverts,” says Eure.

“Introversion is not anti-social, is not “curable” because it is not a disease. It isn’t a choice. It is not right. It’s not wrong. It is just who you are. And it doesn’t disqualify you from being a good leader. We have found that introverts are phenomenal leaders. All of us have our strengths and all of us have our weaknesses,” he adds. 

Quiet, Introvert in the House

Do you find that you often need to retreat to a quiet space to concentrate, reflect, or rest? You don’t like to rush decisions, are comfortable when alone, and prefer to write rather than talk?

If some of these traits sound like you, congratulations! You are more than likely an introvert. You have a unique self-awareness. Use that and these tips to help you be the best communicator and leader you can be. 

4 Tips to Help Introverts Manage Themselves, Meetings, and Others*

#1) Own who you are.

Some may think extroverts are “natural” leaders but don’t try to be something you are not. Replace myths about leadership with truths. Be yourself, be authentic and be open and honest. This will build trust. Purposely surround yourself with people who complement your abilities and style. 


Bonus tip: Eure suggests checking out “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable” by Patrick Lencioni.

 

#2) Become adept at facilitating meetings when introverts and extroverts are together.

Eure reports that extroverts often dominate meetings and speak without thinking. They think passion/words/volume proves their arguments. Facilitate meetings with that in mind. Ask questions and speak up last. Draw out comments from other introverts and let them know ahead of time that you will seek their input. Like you, they want to have time to think about how they will answer.


Bonus tip: Set ground rules or Rules of Engagement for your meetings to ensure a safe space.

 

#3) Clearly define roles, expectations, values, and processes.

 The best way to manage introverts and extroverts is by clearly defining roles, expectations, and core values. Schedule regular feedback sessions that are clear, consistent, caring, candid, and challenging. Create and strictly follow processes for everyone. Understand extrovert traits so that you are not put off by them and can lead them in the most effective way.

 Bonus tip: Eure likes the Radical Candor approach.

 

#4) Understand the dynamics of communicating with an extroverted salesperson. 

 Eure reports that extroverts, especially salespersons, need to understand how their actions affect others. Keep in mind they can have sporadic listening skills. Document conversation details when appropriate and have them commit to modes of action and hold them accountable. Be able to read the body language for approval or disapproval, and praise them for their achievements. 

Measurement is Key for Continued Development


Many CEOs find that hiring a consulting firm to assess their team’s personal behavior styles can be a gateway toward a strong team dynamic. While you are at it, consider engaging that firm to help establish your company’s own set of Meeting Rules of Engagement — one that balances the needs of extroverts and introverts alike. 

Heartfelt thanks to Brad and Clay Eure of Eure Consulting for their assistance with this article.

*Source: “How to Lead As An Introvert”, 2021 presentation by Brad and Clay Eure, Eure Consulting.


About Virginia Council of CEOs (VACEOs)

Virginia Council of CEOs (VACEOs) is a nonprofit organization connecting CEOs for learning and growth. Formed more than 20 years ago, Member benefits include placement in a peer roundtable group and access to a thought leader network, and a robust program of events for learning and growth. This is not a networking group, but rather a group of CEO peers who are invested in the success of each Member. Learn more at www.vaceos.org.

Posted by Staff at 2:57 pm
Monday, March 29, 2021

From the Desk of Scot McRoberts: Making Our Organization More Inclusive and Welcoming

Shaw was a guy at my church. We worked together on lots of things – youth programs, Upward Basketball, service projects, and the like. He was one of those rare individuals who never met a stranger. No matter who you were – a surly teen, a blue-haired matriarch, a young woman in a wheelchair, or a wary kid from public housing – Shaw made you feel good about being there.

At Virginia Council of CEOs, we are doing some long overdue work on diversity & inclusion. Our D&I Committee held its second meeting last week, and we are getting some momentum. Last month, you made have attended Ace Callwood’s brilliant talk, “The Case Against the Case for Diversity.” In a nutshell, he says that the traditional case for D&I – better business results – is old news. Everyone knows it is true, but it doesn’t speak to the real reason that businesses should be doing this work.

When it comes down to it, I want any organization I am a part of to be like Shaw. I want VACEOs to make everyone feel good about being there, especially people who have not traditionally been involved. The business results will follow. And we don’t really need a business case to be like Shaw, do we?


Scot McRoberts, Executive Director, VACEOs

About the Author

Scot McRoberts is the executive director of the VA Council of CEOs (VACEOs). One of the original co-founders, he has led the organization’s growth from 20 members in 2000 to more than 200 today. Utilizing a best practice model for the Council’s CEO roundtables and a dogged focus on its core purpose of connecting CEOs for the purpose of sharing experiences, McRoberts has developed an association that boasts 90% retention. Before coming to VACEOs, Scot was a senior executive at the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce, where he led business councils, small business programs, and business retention efforts.


About Virginia Council of CEOs (VACEOs)

Virginia Council of CEOs (VACEOs) is a nonprofit organization connecting CEOs for learning and growth. Formed more than 20 years ago, Member benefits include placement in a peer roundtable group and access to a thought leader network, and a robust program of events for learning and growth. This is not a networking group, but rather a group of CEO peers who are invested in the success of each Member. Learn more at www.vaceos.org.

Posted by Staff at 2:55 pm
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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

How to Be a Better CEO in 2021

Last year at this time, I asked the members in my peer roundtable “What are your professional development plans for next year?” I was shocked when two of these CEOs said that they had done all that stuff, that they were within 5 years of exiting, and that they really didn’t see a need for it. It seemed like they had decided to just coast to the finish line of their careers.

Maybe when I am closer to retirement, I will have that attitude, but I hope not. I believe that there is unlimited potential for growth, and that if I am to be the leader my organization needs and deserves, I need to work on myself continually.

I think I am a pretty good CEO. So, what’s wrong with being the same kind of CEO again next year? Well, are my competitors sitting still or getting better? Is the pace of change in business and society slowing down? I don’t think so. If I am to lead my business to compete and thrive amidst rapid change and the unexpected (pandemic, anyone?) I must continue to learn and grow.

So I encourage you, my fellow CEOs, to make a decision about how you will grow as a leader in 2021. The options are endless. You could take a class, join a book club, retain a coach, or join a peer roundtable.

Be a better CEO in 2021. Make a decision now on how you will learn and grow.

About the Author

Scot McRoberts is the executive director of the VA Council of CEOs (VACEOs). One of the original co-founders, he has led the organization’s growth from 20 members in 2000 to more than 200 today. Utilizing a best practice model for the Council’s CEO roundtables and a dogged focus on its core purpose of connecting CEOs for the purpose of sharing experiences, McRoberts has developed an association that boasts 90% retention. Before coming to VACEOs, Scot was a senior executive at the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce, where he led business councils, small business programs, and business retention efforts.

Posted by Staff at 2:42 pm
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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Do You Need a Leadership Coach?

HINT: THE ANSWER IS MOST LIKELY – YES!

As leaders, we know the value in pushing ourselves and others to our full potential. Do the leaders in your organization expand the potential of your team? One of the most effective tools to unleashing potential of an individual or an organization is by bringing in a coach. Think about it, athletes at the pinnacle of their careers have coaches. Olympians, professional football and basketball players, even master chess players have at least one (and usually more than one) coach. Some baseball coaches focus on pitching, others on hitting but each is helping unleash the full potential of the players with whom they are working.

Why then do so many business leaders chafe at the idea of having a coach? The rules of sports and games are relatively stagnant: the batter swings and misses, it is a strike; the ball goes in the net, it is a score. However, the principles of leadership evolve, and the expectations can change overnight. One might argue that leaders need coaches far more than their athletic counterparts. With the global pandemic, political polarization, and social justice movements, 2020 stretched even the most seasoned leader. A fast pitch is still a fast pitch, but leaders are dealing with curve balls every day.

Engaging with a coach expands our self-awareness which is the critical first step in conducting any kind of behavior change. Additionally, it establishes an accountability model by which we as leaders can reflect on our progress and push ourselves further.

BUT JUST IN CASE YOU ARE STILL SKEPTICAL, HERE ARE A FEW SIGNS YOU NEED A COACH

PRODUCTIVITY:

  • Are you getting the most from your team?
  • Have your business goals stagnated?
  • Do you and employees dream back to the “good old days” when work was more fun and exciting?

Leaders need to evolve and meet the demands of their business, customers, and employees. To do that, you need highly engaged employees because engaged employees put in extra discretionary effort. It is the extra effort that can boost your sales, revenue, and production goals. Think about what your business could look like if everyone gave 110%. Ever hear that people leave managers not companies? It’s true. With that in mind, you may need to reassess your leadership style and approach to increase the productivity of your team and therefore the organization. But how do you change your style? How do you know which part of your leadership style to adapt to yield the greatest results? A coach can help you.

EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT:

  • Have you received employee feedback that you do not know what to do with or have trouble prioritizing?
  • When was the last time you assessed your employee’s level of engagement and commitment to the organization?

Most organizations only do so once a year when they conduct an employee satisfaction survey. Not enough of those organizations actually do anything with the results. This is a missed opportunity to take feedback directly from your employees, acknowledge that feedback in a meaningful way and take visible steps to address it. I often find that leaders either do not know what to do or they try some different approaches in the short term, but they do not last. Coaches can help you critically evaluate root causes and forge successful strategies to address them.

DIVERSITY, EQUITY & INCLUSION:

  • Do you have DE&I goals but do not know how to meet them?
  • Are you able to acquire diverse talent but not able to retain them?
  • Do you know why?

DE&I has been an increasingly hot topic for leaders, but few know what to do beyond focusing on talent acquisition efforts and conducting an equity compensation review. How does one build an inclusive culture within an organization? How does one lead with inclusivity? Those are tough questions and answers will vary based on an individual’s leadership style and an organization’s culture. A coach can provide objective perspective, accountability, and facilitate sensitive conversations to leading to real DE&I results.

EMPLOYEE TURNOVER:

  • Do you see trends in employee turnover?
  • Do you have a hard time retaining female employees?
  • Do you know why?

We all know that the costs of employee turnover are high and far beyond the recruitment spend. The opportunity cost and the loss of institutional knowledge can wreak havoc on an organization. Digging into why your employees are leaving and what you can do to retain them will save you great time, money, and energy.

CULTURE:

  • Are your leaders living your organizational values and culture individually and collectively?
  • What would it take to get them there?

Yes, a coach can help you enrich your culture. Leveraging assessment tools and facilitating meaningful dialogue across your leadership team can unearth biases, misperceptions, and behaviors that are keeping your team from modeling the culture you want for your organization.

Some great business leaders have leveraged the benefits of coaching. Erick Schmidt, Steve Jobs, and Bill Gates are examples of successful leaders who have used coaches as part of their journey. Perhaps we all could be open to a coach to help us navigate the curve balls of 2021 and beyond.

To learn more about finding the right coach for you, please join us for The Coaching Continuum- Finding the Right Coach For You– February 16th 12pm EST. This free webinar will introduce you to different types of coaches and help you identify how to find the right coach for your organization.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

As Fahrenheit’s Human Capital Management Practice Area Lead, Sara Shelton brings a passion for organizational performance and creating great places to work. She enables clients to achieve their business goals by aligning and maximizing their talent, leadership, and culture. She influences with integrity and credibility, treasuring her role as consultant, advisor, and trusted confidante.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Image and content provided by Fahrenheit Advisors. Fahrenheit Advisors is a Sponsor of Virginia Council of CEOs. This post was originally posted here.

Posted by Staff at 2:10 pm