Patra’s Tips


Free HR 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.

June 8: Hiring and Firing
Smart strategies and simple tactics to ensure your hiring results in the right talent for each need you have. And, given the fears so many organizations have about termination of employment, we will also look at saving those you can and quickly removing those who you must. Laurie McIntosh of SHRM will join me on this panel.

Save the dates:
Sept 8: Performance Management
Oct: Compensation

More information and registration:

Community Service

Several of the non-profits I have worked with are on the lookout for new board members. This is a great way to give back to the community you work and live in.

If you are interested in more information on these specific openings, contact me.

If you have not been involved in community service recently, take a look at issues which interest you and see what you can do to help. Donating money and donating food are always important. Donating your expertise, interest, and time makes a real difference!

Quick Links…

SHR Website
My WomenGrowBusiness posts

Spring into Summer Cleanly

Scenes from a consulting life:

  • a small association’s 19 page performance appraisal form
  • a government contractor with more people management forms than people
  • myriad employee handbooks that were so long and so detailed as to ensure compliance was impossible – and legal risks high
  • the 25 page travel policy that tried to control every possible penny spent.


Many organization founders, executive directors, and senior managers know that they need some policy or procedures. These are often recruiting requisitions, employee handbooks, pay or performance-related, and other ‘HR’ forms. But rather than spend time to research and build the right stuff or hire an expert, they punt. ‘The old form I used at my last employer was good enough’, they think – and it must have passed review there. So I will just change the logo and company name. And somehow they forget to think about their own culture, goals, or employees.

Got you wondering about your own business?

Take a look at your policies, practices, and forms. Make a bit of time each week to review one or two. Try do more than that and you’ll be screaming in frustration. (Don’t just think of HR stuff either.) Ask yourself these questions:

  • What is the goal of this document? Why does it exist?
  • Is it relevant to our strategy? Business plan?
  • Does it reflect our desired culture?


Make notes. And then make changes! Whether you do it yourself, create a task force, or hire me to help – you can create a better organization and enhance your future success.

Tomorrow Comes

When my niece was quite small, I took her to the Smithsonian’s Natural History museum. At the end she announced, as only a 4 year old can, that it had been ‘three many funs’. And then patiently explained to me that meant lots of new things, interesting and exciting stuff.

Too many of us lose our early curiosity and wonder and interest in learning. And, if you want to grow your business, that can kill you.

Take a look at yourself: What

  • have you done differently in the past year as a result of some reading or training or development activity?
  • publications, research services, or article clipping services do you read regularly in your field? In other areas? On the future?
  • new skills have you learned?
  • use are you making of your network?


How are you keeping your brain properly fed? And what are you doing differently as a result?

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

Sign up here to receive the SHR newsletter via email!