I look like Steven Tyler on a bad hair day.
But on the plus side, I haven’t had to wear long pants for over a month!
Here’s your biweekly share of business, smiles, and—this week—two recipes!
Workforce PPPlanning and the Paycheck Protection Program
A lot small businesses have received their PPP loan and now the question is “What do I do with it?”
I’ve heard from more than a few HR folks that their leadership has basically said “Here’s a pile of money. Make sure we don’t have to pay it back.”
Maximizing forgiveness means counting FTEs and correcting any pay decreases. But the calculations can be confusing and there are number of situations where an employer can think they’re doing the right thing but be penalized for it.
In figuring out how to spend our own PPP loan, I did a deep dive into the regulations and SBA rules, talked to trusted advisors, and banged my head on my desk for several days. Here’s my understanding of the PPP forgiveness requirements and a PPP forgiveness calculator that I built this week.
What Running Six Miles Reminded Me About Being in the Moment
I’m not a runner.
(Well, there’s a good example of a self-limiting story I tell myself.)
I’ve not been someone who chooses to run on a regular basis since college.
But the socially-distanced COVID workouts I’ve been doing with my buddies during the quarantine have reintroduced running into my health regimen.
And my ten years of yoga practice have taught me to breathe, focus on form, and let distracting thoughts slip past me.
So tonight, I started out to do two miles.
Then, well sh*t, I guess I’ll do three.
Still haven’t stopped? Huh.
Might as well make it six.
I wasn’t expecting to run six miles when I left the house tonight.
Hell, I doubted I could complete two.
But each step led to the next and I just kept freakin’ going.
The future is always uncertain—we’ve only become more aware of that uncertainty recently.
We aren’t guaranteed anything but the moment we are in right now.
We can choose to waste or invest this moment.
I’ve wasted too many of them.
I’m choosing to invest this moment and—if I’m so fortunate—my future moments in love, kindness, community, peace, and, yes, sh*ts and giggles.
I’m going to try to string them together like that and just keep going.
Today at 2:00 CDT, I’m joining Jennifer Reed on a Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce Facebook Live discussion about managing remote employees, returning to work, and extended family medical leave. The recording will be on the Chamber’s Facebook page (unless I really screw it up).
Also, next Monday, May 4th (May the Fourth Be With You!), I am joining attorneys Julie Ross and Julia Gannaway for a Fort Worth HR webinar about employer considerations as we begin to reopen businesses. (Registration closes May 1st!)
Sugar-Free Cocoa Silk Pie
This is a very rich and sugar-free pie that is fairly simple to make, even for a very inexperienced baker like me.
PS: Don’t judge it by the photo—my presentation is never that great!
- 3 cups almond flour
- 1/3 cup granulated monkfruit sweetener
- 5 tbsp butter (room temp)
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 2 large eggs (room temp)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp arrowroot powder or xanthan gum
- 16 oz cream cheese (room temp)
- 4 tbsp full fat sour cream
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup granulated monkfruit sweetener
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tsp granulated or powdered monkfruit sweetener
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350° and grease a 9” pie dish.
- Add almond flour, arrowroot powder, monkfruit, and salt in food processed and pulse briefly to mix.
- Separate eggs and whip the whites until stiff.
- Add the yolks, vanilla extract, and butter to the almond flour mix and pulse in food processor until well mixed.
- In a separate bowl, fold the eggs whites into the rest of the mix and stir gently until well combined.
- Spread the dough into the pie dish evenly.
- Bake for 12-17 minutes and then allow to cool while you make the filling.
- Mix the cream cheese, sour cream, butter, vanilla extract, cocoa powder, and monkfruit with the electric mixer until well mixed.
- Prepare the whipped cream by mixing the ingredients with an electric mixer until stiff.
- Fold the whipped cream into the mix and mix gently until well combined. Be careful not to over mix.
- Scoop the filling (it is pretty thick) into the cooled pie crust and smooth the top.
- Refrigerate for at least two hours before serving.
- I use Lakanto Monkfruit Sweetener. Swerve works just as well, if you prefer it.
- The pie crust mix makes more crust that is really needed for the 9” pie pan. I’d reduce it but math is hard. So I just roll out the extra mix, cut it into squares, and bake it for 15 minutes to make tasty crackers. Sprinkle some melted butter, cocoa powder, and monkfruit on top when you’re ready to eat them.
Recipe Numero Dos: Beer Bread
My friend and fellow HR pro Bo Bottger suggested I include a recipe “that is quick, easy, good and that people would have the ingredients in their kitchens.” She gave me this one as an example.
It isn’t what she called a “Mike recipe,” meaning it isn’t sugar or gluten-free but she promises it is delicious!
- 3 cups self-rising flour
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 12 oz. can of beer
- Mix all ingredients together and put into a greased 9x5x3 bread pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
- Remove bread and spread butter across the top.
- Bake 25 minutes longer or until golden brown.
- Best when served hot but after it’s cooled down, cut a slice, put it in a toaster oven and then spread butter and honey on it.
It feels like we’re in the home stretch with this whole pandemic thing. I’ll let smarter people than me decide whether it is safe to return to normal life but I know we’re all looking forward to it.
Reopening won’t be the end of our challenges. Deciding where and how we work going forward will require more than a “hunker down” mentality.
As business owners and leaders, we should be open to new ways of working.
We’ll see new expectations from employees about where and how they work. If we’re going to be competitive in the talent acquisition and retention market, we need to be in tune with those expectations.
We may find that some employees really thrive with the daily in-person interaction that comes with an office environment while others are more productive working remote and communicating via Skype or Slack.
The horse is out of the barn and we need to start considering these issues before the talent market forces our hand.
As ever, leaders will lead and find the best way forward for our business’ success.
And, with any luck, some of you will start hiring again… and ordering some dang background checks and drug tests!
Until then, be well, keep your chin up, and keep washing your hands!