Patra’s Tips


Tomorrow Comes
We face a time of significant change – the economy continues to deal with past and global issues, people are working longer as they live longer, young people are having a tough time finding first jobs. What do these changes mean for your future? For your organization?

Have you built some time into your schedule to think and to plan? I have been working with several organizations trying to plan for their futures and the difficulties of many Board members in focusing on possible options and making choices is quite obvious. What would you do? How are you doing it?

Upcoming Seminars
The Alexandria, VA Small Business Development Center is putting on a series of free seminars on Human Resources. I am excited to be working with them on this project. Save the dates:
Sept 8: Performance Management
Oct 13: Compensation

More information:

Community Service
Non-profits work in a wide range of issues critical to our communities and future. Most need additional help — money, time, resources.

Donating money and donating food are always important. Donating your expertise, interest, and time to organizations which interest you makes a real difference!

Quick Links…

SHR Website
My WomenGrowBusiness posts

Hiring Veterans

Do you work with military vets? Then you understand their value to any organization. If not, you should consider what they can bring to you.

I am always amused at the number of folks who still think of military people as just following orders. Even the more junior enlisted folks have jobs in which the ability to work well with others, to manage functions and processes relatively independently, and to lead in often tough situations are common. Vets can offer you a wide range of technical and ‘soft’ skills. One critical to many SMB employers is their dedication to ‘get the job done’. Another is dependability. I could go on and on.

An Employer’s Toolkit is available from the Federal government to help in planning and hiring veterans, including wounded warriors.

The Society for Human Resources Management has been holding it national convention and started again this year with a large workshop on effectively hiring and using military veterans. Your HR staff or consultant should be able to access this program and show you how to use it to enhance your organization’s success.

I recently heard of an HR person advising a senior manager that they should not hire veterans because so many had PTS and could become violent in the workplace. And I suddenly was back in the 70s when all of us were “psychotic ‘Nam vets”. Sure there are folks with PTS and some of them do have depression and other illnesses. But workplace violence caused by PTS in the civilian world remains quite rare. I would certainly consider counseling or firing the HR person who made those statements – but I am not about to throttle her!

Independent Contractors

So many of us hire out some work. And it is easy to consider such efforts as involving independent contractors. But far too often, what we are really doing is hiring an employee and calling that person an independent contractor. And the IRS is really cracking down on such behavior. First they focused on big companies but increasingly they are looking as mid-size organizations.

Federal rules include:
Facts that provide evidence of the degree of control and independence fall into three categories:

  1. Behavioral: Does the company control or have the right to control what the worker does and how the worker does his or her job?
  2. Financial: Are the business aspects of the worker’s job controlled by the payer? (these include things like how worker is paid, whether expenses are reimbursed, who provides tools/supplies, etc.)
  3. Type of Relationship: Are there written contracts or employee type benefits (i.e. pension plan, insurance, vacation pay, etc.)? Will the relationship continue and is the work performed a key aspect of the business?

I see violations fairly regularly when I am doing effectiveness reviews of organization’s management practices. Time to check yours?

As always, if I can advise or assist you in any way, please call me at 703.751.2832

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