Lee Yarborough: How do CEOs lead in today’s market?
Guests: Lee Yarborough, Daniel Ramsey
Recorded: May 12, 2020
Today we’re going to talk about what a CEO should be focused on RIGHT NOW, including what small and medium-sized businesses need to do today, in order to survive this uncertain time.
Daniel Ramsey interviews Lee Yarborough, President of Propel HR, a Human Resources Outsourcing company & Professional Employer Organization which we call PEO.
These Leaders Share:
- The main concerns for employees right now
- Experiences of a remote work company of 15 years & 7500 clients (MyOutDesk)
- Difference between furlough, termination, and layoffs
- 3 steps to checking in on company health: understand financial implications, keep a pulse on customers/clients, frequent manager meetings on the state of business
- Propel HR manages the HR needs of other companies with services such as Payroll Processing, Time & Labor Management, HR Expert Consultation, Workers’ Compensation, Benefits Administration, Financial and Retirement Solutions, and Assistance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA)
00:00:06:04 – 00:00:34:22
Hey, everybody. Daniel Ramsey here with my outlook and I’m very excited because today we have our help from a professional. And as you know, we’re in this coronavirus world. COVID 19 is just is it COVID 19? Tell me, is that right? Like, I can’t read anything. I can’t see anything without seeing those headlines everywhere. It’s almost impossible to be on in a world where there’s any other news.
00:00:34:23 – 00:01:05:23
Right. And so today I’ve got Lea amo here. She’s actually from Papel, H r she serves over 17,000 employees, multiple businesses. And we’re going to be talking about what a CEO should be focused on right now, what small and medium sized businesses need to do today in order to survive this uncertain time. If you know our podcast or our YouTube channel, you know, we’ve written a book, My Outlook about going virtual.
00:01:06:03 – 00:01:26:24
And today we’re going to give away our entire guide about going remote. And so if you stay here to the end, Lee’s actually going to go over three steps that you need to implement right now. And we reached out to her because, well, she’s in nature and she’s fielding these car calls from businesses and employees, like, what are my benefits?
00:01:26:24 – 00:01:34:18
What should I be doing? Having a lot of conversation. And we’re just so thankful she’s here today to share her world with us. Lee, thanks for joining.
00:01:35:20 – 00:01:37:02
Thank you. I appreciate it.
00:01:37:12 – 00:01:44:12
Let’s talk about how a little background, quick background for your audience so they know who you are and why they should be paying attention.
00:01:45:12 – 00:02:11:07
Sure. I’m in Greenville, South Carolina, for Kelley Cha is a business that I founded with my father 22 years ago. We are a full service professional employer organization, which we call a p.O. And we also offer a la carte services so clients can we might just do payroll and h.r. We might do worker’s comp. We might do benefits with with payroll.
00:02:11:07 – 00:02:16:06
So kind of a just an olive cart. So a little bit of everything.
00:02:16:14 – 00:02:34:04
There you go. Okay. So we were talking before the show and you’re fielding a lot of calls. And I just I kind of want to get into that scenario, like exactly what is happening right now in your world with all of these employees. And and then we’ll go through our three steps to kind of survive in this uncertain time.
00:02:35:10 – 00:02:56:04
Well, as is everybody’s experience in the past two weeks, I feel like have been almost a year. It’s hard to even think back two weeks ago and what we were doing and what we were planning. And so every day is a new day, just trying to focus on that and trying to help our clients and react and learn.
00:02:56:16 – 00:03:37:05
I feel like we’re drinking from a fire hydrant right now. There’s a lot of things happening legislatively, so trying to absorb all of that. Our clients, we’ve personally, we’ve had to reduce our staff. Everybody’s working remote except for a few key people. Yep. And then we are fielding calls from clients nonstop with just questions on how to handle this crisis, whether they need to layoff employees, whether they’re furloughing employees, just fears and dealing with telecommute, commuting and how to to start that if they haven’t.
00:03:37:14 – 00:03:39:06
So a little bit of everything.
00:03:39:16 – 00:03:59:17
I love it. I love it. Well, that’s definitely on our mind being 100% remote company and wildly enough. You know, we’ve been like that for 13 years with over 5000 clients. It’s been kind of like a wake up call for a lot of our businesses that we serve because, you know, they’ve got to figure out how am I going to get, you know, how am I going to get Internet?
00:03:59:17 – 00:04:06:22
Do I need video? How am I going to lead teams remotely? So there’s a lot of a lot of moving parts in this world, right?
00:04:06:23 – 00:04:07:11
00:04:08:08 – 00:04:33:07
I wanted to talk a little about the difference between furlough and termination layoffs. There’s a lot of noise going around. We saw some large corporations yesterday and today are announcing layoffs. I wanted to get your brain around like what are all the options as an entrepreneur from an H.R. perspective for making changes in your employee base?
00:04:35:07 – 00:05:02:19
Yeah, one thing I’ve learned that this process is that furlough is not actually a technical legal word. It comes from the military. And so it is you know, it’s kind of a leave of of absence. So but yet there is the hope that that your job will come back. So most of our clients are implementing furloughs. They are doing it in several different ways, whether we’re saying your job will, will.
00:05:03:06 – 00:05:24:16
We’re just you’re not going to have a job for the coming weeks until we know what happens going forward. And some that are furloughing or cut, reducing hours, maybe saying we’re going to work Monday, Wednesday, Friday and have a few days off where we’re not paying you. So and then there are clients that are just laying off groups of employees.
00:05:25:07 – 00:05:36:23
There’s things that when you lay off large groups and depending on your size, there’s different laws and different compliance issues that they have to be aware of. But we’re seeing a little bit of everything.
00:05:37:09 – 00:05:56:13
Mm hmm. What on the furlough side? I mean, is it is it like a temporary pause? I mean, I’m hearing a lot of people who are just asking the government to say, hey, you know, we don’t have to pay rent. We don’t have to pay our mortgages. We’re going to pause paying, paying, you know, employees for two weeks.
00:05:56:13 – 00:06:11:07
And then we’ll get this thing going maybe by Easter, you know, like. I’m just kind of curious. What’s the difference between a furlough and I mean, do they retain their benefits? Are they are they on some sort of a payroll? Like what’s the what’s the differentiators there?
00:06:12:04 – 00:06:39:23
So typically, if you do a furlough that we’re going to, it is a pause is a good way to say that from the standpoint of benefits, you’re bringing in a whole new slew of of it questions and issues. Most benefits you have to look to your plan documents. Right. Most typically are that you can stay on your benefits for 30 days for leave of absence, and then it’s a COBRA event.
00:06:41:07 – 00:07:09:10
But those are changing. We’re actually talking to different carriers and they are most of the carriers are looking at can they extend that to 90 days? But I definitely are warning clients that they need to look at their plan documents and make sure we cannot promise that you’re going to stay on the insurance until we have that that security around what they the insurance carriers doing.
00:07:09:21 – 00:07:35:17
Another thing to to think about is, you know, a lot of employers don’t want to make it a COBRA event because they are hoping to bring back the employee. But financially, do are they who’s able to maintain that coverage? Is the employee able to maintain the cost for the full family? You know what? There’s so many details that need to be thought through before just say and must pause this for a while.
00:07:35:24 – 00:07:57:15
Yeah. And I guess your point in that is check your check your plan details know exactly what it says and what you can do in the short term, long term and these different scenarios. All right. Well, let’s talk through your three steps. It was cool to actually know that you had some answers for people when they’re calling and you have kind of a process.
00:07:57:15 – 00:08:12:16
So your first step was talk about the financials, understand exactly what the financial implication of this kind of uncertain time is within your business. Let’s lea help us through what that means.
00:08:13:14 – 00:08:38:11
Well, I think it depends on the business structure and the type. And really, I think that we are fielding a lot of calls that are panic and worry. So just kind of saying, take a breath. Let’s see, you know, what have you done from your financial standpoint? What is business able to continue? You are if you’re a restaurant, are you able to do some takeout if you are completely closed?
00:08:38:20 – 00:09:07:10
You know, what does that mean? How long can you financially sustain the business without knowing what the income will be? So really just kind of advising clients to really get with their financial advisors, see what you know, see how long they think they can endure this. What and I would also suggest reaching out to their bankers, reaching out to their vendors, reaching out to their clients.
00:09:07:21 – 00:09:29:13
It’s really important to keep a pulse on their clients and customers to make sure they know their clients. Financial security. Yeah. So everything’s kind of a trickle down. So they need to really do just a really, you know, just monitor it daily and make sure they know every single step of the way what’s happening.
00:09:29:22 – 00:09:51:23
Yeah, one of my one of my friends, I’m in a mastermind and one of those groups said that the last time they went through some sort of a financial crisis every Monday, they had a cash meeting where all the leaders and the managers kind of got together and talked about what resources the business needed in this week. Like it was a weekly meeting.
00:09:52:05 – 00:10:11:17
Decisions were made. People were paid. Things happened. But all the decisions were made as a group. And it was a shorter. Normally we’re planning cash every two weeks, 30 days, even six months out. But during this time, I think it’s it’s wise advice to up the communication, up the meeting.
00:10:12:09 – 00:10:36:21
Absolutely. And I think that if you think about how much your own life has changed in the past two weeks and how every day has felt like so different than the day before, those meetings should probably even be daily. I mean, it’s like, let’s look at it daily. What’s happening? Are any customers being affected? Are are can we keep getting the logistics out, you know, whatever it is?
00:10:37:05 – 00:10:41:19
I think that these conversations have to be happening daily.
00:10:42:03 – 00:11:03:09
Well, we’ve already walked into step number two, which is communicate, communicate, communicate, which is which is great. I mean, what do you tell your banker or your financial advisor or the person in your office who’s responsible for paying bills and doing all that? Like, what are the conversations that you suggest leaders are having with their internal teams, their external partners?
00:11:03:15 – 00:11:06:11
Like what does that look like?
00:11:06:21 – 00:11:29:20
Well, I think that communication, I mean, just in general should always be honest. Yep. So I don’t think that this is not the time to do, you know, make everything seem rosy. I think it’s important to to be helpful. But I think you can call your banker and say we’re we’re watching this. We’re seeing how it’s affecting us.
00:11:30:04 – 00:12:10:08
Want to make sure that you and I have a open communication and that we can call each other if if there’s some concerns. But I think just reaching out just to I’ve been reaching out to clients saying how you do it, what’s going on? How are you handling this? And so sometimes it’s just asking questions. You can learn a lot about about things and then being honest, if you feel like I think you mentioned earlier about rent and things like that, if you feel that you’re not going to be able to make a an obligation financially, call that call that company and and let them know that we’re struggling.
00:12:10:08 – 00:12:27:01
Maybe we can send you this. I mean, I think it’s just that that’s going to really help morale. It’s going to help people. People are really understanding right now. And so I think it’s just having authentic and honest conversations is going to be just key during this time.
00:12:27:12 – 00:12:44:06
I love that. Your third step. It’s interesting. It’s almost like being a strategic CEO and what you said earlier was like plan, you know, do some planning. So let’s look. What do you think businesses should be planning for right now?
00:12:45:15 – 00:13:10:11
Well, I think we have to plan for the worst. So how is this going to affect us? But we also all entrepreneurs are hopeful people that can can really get over obstacles and really rise to the occasion. So I think that we have to come at it from a sense of hope. I think we have to be realistic.
00:13:10:11 – 00:13:44:16
But we really, you know, America was built on visionaries and entrepreneurs. So we have to we have to keep that. We have to keep morale up. We have to. So we’re going to make very difficult decisions in the coming weeks. Yep. And that’s that’s a given. That’s what being a leader is about. And so I believe that we have to we have to to make responsible decisions, but we have to engage with a sense of hope and implement and plan for the future.
00:13:44:16 – 00:13:46:02
It’s going to get better. It really.
00:13:46:02 – 00:14:04:15
Is. I love that. I love that. You know, something that I heard this morning was every day into a recession. You are closer to a boom or like a good you know, and that is exciting. And then every day when we’re in an upmarket, we’re closer to a recession. So you’ve got to plan and be prepared for that.
00:14:04:23 – 00:14:24:19
And so I think it’s great to have you today, Lee. You, you know, propel H.R. is how you would find her. I really appreciate your time. If you’re listening right now, we’re going to wrap up with Lee with her last piece of advice. But if you’re listening right now, we’re going through a series right now where we’re helping people go remote with my out.
00:14:24:19 – 00:14:59:07
As we do virtual staffing, we have virtual assistants. And right now people are like just not ready for work from home. 5% of the economy worked from home as of last year, according to the U.S. Census. And and like literally, like couple of days ago, 50% started working from home. So we’re giving away a free guide. If you text Mody to 31996, you’ll get our I think it’s a 12 part detailed description of exactly the systems tools acronyms to use how to have meetings.
00:14:59:07 – 00:15:19:07
I mean, things like when you have to go to the bathroom, what do you say? Well, it’s in our guide. You actually say, Go, I need to do a bio break. You don’t tell people I’m going potty like my four year old, my you know. So we’ve got that guide for you. It’s it’s completely free. Normally we we get these things are lock them up because we’re a content based company.
00:15:19:07 – 00:15:40:12
We help people with our with our content. But right now, you just text, you get it for free and you can put your company’s logo on it. You can share it with your employees, you can share it with your vendors, you can share it with your clients and your prospective clients, and you can help people do what we’re all getting used to right now, which is working remotely.
00:15:40:12 – 00:15:47:02
Lee What’s thanks for being here again. Absolutely. What would be your summary of advice today?
00:15:48:19 – 00:16:13:24
And well, we’re going to get through this. And I appreciate you in how you’re helping people everywhere with how to work remote. We’re doing the same thing. We’re offering some free advice to get through it. There’s lots of legislation going on to make sure they’re keeping up to date and working with counsel. If any of these things apply to them that they have to do paid leave.
00:16:14:06 – 00:16:35:19
And so there’s so much going on there. Keep learning, keep communicating and and really keep the morale of their teams get going, as in the thought of the day, every single day to all of our employees, just to say, you know, keep going. We got this. Yeah. So there are different ways, but just stay strong. We’ll get through this and stay healthy.
00:16:35:19 – 00:16:36:22
And wash your hands.
00:16:37:05 – 00:16:45:21
Yeah, wash your hands. All right. Well, great advice from Lee. Thank you so much. Propel is her company. And if somebody wanted to find you, how would they do that? Lee.
00:16:47:09 – 00:16:50:09
Go to our website people dot com.
00:16:50:18 – 00:17:11:02
All right. Thanks for being here. And if you’re listening, don’t forget to get your free guide. It’s text the word mode for my out desk. 23199, six. And you’ll get a copy of exactly the way you can take your business, your employees, your vendors, your prospective clients. Remote with my out. Thanks for your time, Lee. Have a great day.
00:17:11:19 – 00:17:14:06