Servant Leadership

One of the corporations I worked with in the 2000’s decided they wanted to transform all their leaders into Servant Leaders. It wasn’t a new concept, as servant leadership had been around since the 1970’s. But the new CEO had just “read a book” and decided it was the answer to our struggling company. He told the leadership team to prioritize the well-being of the team members and “serve” the people. He believed this was the answer we needed to turn around the company.

The servant leadership philosophy is still around today. Servant leadership is a style of leadership that prioritizes the growth and well-being of others before our own personal needs or success. The team members come first. Their needs are the priority, not the leader’s and not the company’s.

The servant leadership approach promotes innovation, helps the staff develop their skills, and therefore encourages the team to perform at a higher level. It is a leadership style that is designed to make people feel like they matter.  Leaders are to live by a “people first” mindset. Team members must feel personally and professionally fulfilled to be their most productive. And with a supported, productive team, comes trust and collaboration.

In theory it was a good concept, but in my case the new CEO hadn’t read the entire book. He put 100% of the implementation and responsibility on the leaders, and none on the organization. For servant leadership to be effective, an organization needs to focus on creating a culture of sustainable success. They need to create an atmosphere and the conditions (processes, procedures, etc.) that not only allow for success but allow the leaders to feel supported.  The servant leadership philosophy, which is the goal of the leader is to serve, must begin at the top of the organization. The leaders who are serving their teams need to feel the commitment from the organization so they can turn around and provide that to their people.

I know that now, I didn’t know that then. In short, I burnt myself out putting myself last and my people first. They needed something, I was there. I fought hard to protect them. To support them. To develop them. Some of my team took advantage of my service philosophy. They wanted more, and more, and more. I had trained them to think they deserved the world – and some of them truly expected the world. They got angry if I couldn’t give them what they thought they deserved. Also, every decision seemed like a mountain to climb. Everyone had an opinion and was I serving them correctly if I didn’t listen and implement their ideas? Further, as I mentioned, the business culture didn’t foster a service mentality. Instead, it was a “do it now” or “who cares make it happen” attitude. I was in constant conflict and so very tired.

Because of my experience, I haven’t been a huge fan of the servant leadership concept. But when you find the right balance between serving others and asserting authority, servant leadership can transform your team experiences.

Servant Leadership can:

  • Increase your company’s morale.
  • Increase team collaboration.
  • Increase employee engagement.
  • Inspire vision.
  • Place ethics before profit.
  • Balance focus with flexibility.

Now that I have escaped corporate and created my own company, I naturally embrace the concepts of servant leadership. I challenge you to look at your business, your staff, and your client interactions and see how the fundamentals of servant leadership can help elevate your business practices.

Do you:

  • Consider your client’s, employees, or stakeholder’s needs before your own.
    • It isn’t about the paycheck for you, (although that is necessary to keep the lights on!). Instead, it is about truly serving, or helping people.
  • Ask for feedback regularly.
    • This can help you elevate your leadership skills, your business practices, and fosters a growth mindset.
  • Lead from the heart.
    • Care for your fellow humans and be open to other’s opinions, needs, and outlook.
  • Focus on elevating others before your own personal success.

It has been said that a servant leader is an excellent listener, has empathy, is able to conceptualize solutions, and can build a community. I think that sounds like the type of leader we would all like to be.

Want to know more about leadership styles and how to elevate yours. I offer training, coaching, and consulting to help You elevate your leadership. Reach out to me today.

Here we are in May – the time for graduations, weddings, sports tournaments, and Memorial Day. The time when my schedule can seem overwhelming and non-stop. Mostly because the personal invades my professional time. Why when they overlap does my stress level spike?

A recent survey I read said nearly ¾ of leaders are already stressed out. And this same survey mentioned that 70% of senior leaders admit that burnout and stress affect their ability to make decisions. Yikes, not good!

Being stressed out not only affects your ability to make strong business decisions but it affects your health, it affects your attitude, and it affects your productivity.

Back in January I was working on my 2024 goals. I realized that I needed to be gentle to myself. Even when I think I should be pushing, hustling, or striving – how can I be gentle with myself and let go of the guilt? That negative Nelly in my head needed to take the year off. As a business owner not only do we have that annoying Nelly ragging on us, but we have employee requirements, client needs, and piles of work that needs to get done to keep our bank accounts at a healthy level. Here are some tips and tricks I personally use to stay above the stress and chaos and to balance the professional with the personal commitments.

  • Know your body’s stress signals – Paying attention to your body is the first step in reducing stress. Does your heart race? Do you get antsy or fidget a lot when stressed? Do you get irritable? For me either my foot starts moving a mile a minute or I get blotchy. I know if I am feeling stressed and upset, I can feel my core heat up and the rash and blotches run up my neck. It is sooooo attractive, but when it happens, I know I need to take a few minutes, remove myself from the situation, and breathe. My body tells me even when my head tries to ignore it.
  • Get enough sleep – sounds easy right? Nope, I can tell you from experience it isn’t always simple. First you have to discover how much sleep your body needs and then honor that amount. Arguing with your body isn’t going to change the fact that you need at least 7 hours of sleep. And I don’t know about you, but I can’t pull off less than 7 hours of sleep anymore. I have NO idea how I functioned for years on 4 hours a night. Because I get up at O’Dark-Thirty my bedtime is earlier than anyone else in my household. It meant a few weeks of experimenting with schedules, buying an eye mask (so the light doesn’t bother me as he sits there and reads) and sometimes ear plugs when the football game is still on. In order to be your highest, most productive self, you need to take care of YOU first. Start with sleep.
  • Move your body – we all know exercise is good for us, but moving your body can reduce your stress levels and help you breathe. Remember that cold snap we had back in January?! (Brrr!) It was so dang cold I didn’t do my long walk every morning. So instead of feeling guilty about that, I walked around the building at work whenever I had 10 minutes to spare. Try not to make exercise an all or nothing thing. I struggle with that constantly, but I do know that any movement is better than none. Do things that you enjoy. Exercise should be fun, not a chore. Loved roller skating as a kid? Try it again. Ride your bike with abandon, not determination. Skip, jump rope, and try that yoga studio up the street. Find something that makes you forget you are doing something healthy for yourself.
  • Create boundaries not barriers – Where to begin? Go through your page long to-do list and create priorities. Be truthful about what you must get done vs. what you would like to get completed. Decide what is non-negotiable and start there. I also schedule time for personal “odds and ends.” Having time on my calendar to pay the bills, or to run an errand, or whatever small personal task is requiring my personal attention resolves the guilt I once had about using “work” time to do personal items. Remember you don’t want barriers as it cuts off communication. You want boundaries which will help you structure your time.
  • Use Productivity Tools – The biggest change in 2024 is I now schedule time to think, brainstorm, and plan. What is the productivity tool I am referring to? Your calendar. Use it and then stick to your “appointment.” I wouldn’t cancel on a client so why do I cancel on myself or my own business development. Having time allotted to my own business helps me stay focused on its development. Another productivity method is to “eat the frog.” Basically, that means to pick the task that is the hardest or biggest, or the one you just really DON’T want to do and do it first thing in the morning. Once you get that accomplished the sky is the limit for the rest of the day – AND no matter what else happens you are productive because you got that “frog” crossed off your list.

If you Google “Self-Care for Busy Entrepreneurs” you will find a ton of other resources. During this season of busyness, I encourage you to find something that helps you reduce your stress, be your best self, and be at your most productive. And don’t forget to breathe!

Because of the FLSA ruling, I have been asking my clients the same questions repeatedly.

  • Do you have employees who are currently on salary?
  • Is their salary less than $58,656 annually?
  • What are their job duties and title?
  • Do you know about the new DOL (Department of Labor) Overtime ruling?

What new ruling you ask? Last week the Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA) increased the required annual salary-level threshold by 23.4%.

If you are reading this and saying “Huh?” Or if you have no clue if this applies to you. Or if you want to understand the changes you need to make with your workforce – keep reading. I am going to try and simplify it as much as I can.[1]

Who needs to comply?

  • The FLSA regulates essentially every employer which means everyone must comply with the changes.

What are the changes?

  • Effective July 1, 2024, workers who earn less than $43,888 (the minimum salary requirement) will need their employment status classified as a non-exempt employee.
    • Non-exempt means they qualify for overtime pay.
  • Effective January 1, 2025, workers who earn less than $58,656 (the minimum salary requirement) will need their employment status classified as a non-exempt employee and are eligible for overtime.
  • The next update will take place on July 1, 2027, and the salary threshold will increase again at that time.

Things to consider:

  • Many employers think because they pay their employee on salary, the employee is exempt or ineligible for overtime pay. That isn’t an accurate statement.
    • You can continue to pay your employees a salary provided they are reclassified as non-exempt they receive overtime pay whenever they work more than 40 hours in a workweek.
  • Simply raising your worker’s salary to the new limit will not necessarily meet the classification requirements.
  • Simply changing the employee’s title to “manager” or “supervisor” will not meet the new classification requirements.

What do I mean by that?

               In addition to meeting the minimum salary requirement a position must meet certain “specific duties tests.” There are DOL websites where you can run the duties through and see if they qualify for an exception. I will summarize what I see the most of below.

Positions NOT eligible for salary or exemptions from the new rule.

In other words, if you are currently paying these employees on salary, you will need to classify them as non-exempt them by July 1st and they qualify for overtime pay.

  • Blue collar workers or manual laborers. These employees perform work involving “repetitive operations with their hands, physical skill and energy.”
  • Inside sales employees.
  • Paralegals and legal assistants.
  • Most admin assistants.

There are several “white collar exceptions.” Here are the two I mostly see with my clients.

Executives:

  • The primary duty must be “managing the enterprise or managing a customarily recognized department.”
  • Must regularly direct the work of at least 2 or more other full-time employees.
  • Must have the authority to hire or fire other employees.

Administrative Workers:

  • The primary duty must be “the performance of office or nonmanual work directly related to the management or general business operations.”
  • The primary duty includes “independent judgment with respect to matters of significance.”

There is near certainty of legal challenges for this DOL ruling, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t comply. This is not a “let’s wait and see” situation. If you do not comply with the new requirements, be prepared to pay hefty penalties. It isn’t worth jeopardizing your business. I recommend you begin these changes sooner rather than later and be ahead of the game.

Here at Structure for Success we are happy to help you with assessing your workforce. Please reach out and let’s see how we can help.

Additional resources:

Fact Sheet #17A: Exemption for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Computer & Outside Sales Employees Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) | U.S. Department of Labor (dol.gov)

FLSA Overtime Rule (shrm.org)

Businesses Face a Choice on How to Address DOL Overtime Rule Change (shrm.org)

DOL Releases Final Overtime Exemptions Rule | SPARK Blog | ADP

FAQs: FLSA Overtime (adpinfo.com)


[1] This article is strictly a summary of the new ruling. For detailed or personalized information, please reach out to me directly.

One of the most overused and underexplained leadership concepts is that of “Lead by Example.” It should be self-explanatory yet in every one of my leadership workshops I have new leaders who are brave enough to ask questions on this concept.

“Does this mean I have to do the same work they are doing?”

“Does this mean I can never, ever, make a mistake?”

“Does this mean I can’t laugh and have fun?”

The way I explain the concept of leading by example is simple. Leading by example is demonstrating the behavior you want to see in others. You don’t push your team into the excellence you expect from them, you show them how it is done.

Leading by example isn’t grand gestures. In my opinion the small things you do as a leader have more power and go a long way to improving your team. For example, if you want everyone to be on time for a meeting, you had better be on time for that meeting.

A leader who practices leading by example not only earns the respect from their team but earns respect from their bosses as well. Demonstrating the behavior you want to see inspires confidence and fosters a collaborative team.

Not sure where to begin? Here are 5 positive ways to lead by example in the workplace.

  1. If you say you are going to do something, make sure it gets done! This is one of the most efficient, and fastest, ways to build trust with your employees. It demonstrates to the team your own level of commitment. By following through with your promises, they will respect you and have confidence in you as a leader.
  2. Follow the rules. If you want others to follow the policies and procedures of the company, you had better follow them as well. With rank does NOT come privilege (nor the right to disregard the rules). Instead rank requires responsibility. And remember, rules don’t have to be negative and can instead clarify expectations and responsibilities.
  3. Listen. Listen to your employees, your fellow managers, and the leaders you report to. Listen to consultants, mentors, and teachers. Everyone has something of value to add to a conversation. Interacting with your team, by listening to them, helps them feel comfortable coming to you about any issues. Besides, the more you truly listen, the more you learn.
  4. Keep growing and learning. Every leader understands they need to learn and grow to continually improve their leadership skills. Attend workshops, training opportunities, read business book summaries or an article instead of mindless scrolling. And don’t bad mouth or put down those workshops. That sets an example too. Instead, let your team see you stretching your mind and continually improving your skills. Encourage them to learn and stretch themselves as well.
  5. Watch what you say and do. Welcome to leadership. You are now a celebrity. Your staff is your paparazzi. They are watching, and learning from you, how to behave. Be aware of how your team could interpret what you say, or how you act in any given situation. Yes, work (and life) can be stressful. But flying off the handle and dropping 15 F-bombs may make you feel better but what message does it send to your paparazzi; I mean your team? How are you going to react if someone on your team behaves that way (and worse in front of YOUR boss?).

Everyone has their own unique qualities that make them a good leader. There is no one way to be an exceptional leader. Good leadership is about motivating and inspiring your team as well as meeting your production requirements. When you emulate the behavior you want to see in your team members, you encourage your team to practice effective communication, incorporate collaborative team practices, and you show them that they matter.

Want to talk about ways to put your team first, but maintain your own sanity? Give me a call and let’s discuss how to implement the lead by example concept without losing your authentic self.

An HR leader recently called me to bounce some ideas around regarding her leadership team. As she began to describe their struggle with specific situations, I realized there was a solution they hadn’t tried yet. It wasn’t accountability, or goal setting. Instead, we realized her leaders hadn’t created an environment where psychological safety was the primary driver.

There is a lot written about psychological safety in the workplace. Go ahead and Google it. It is an easy rabbit hole to spiral into. Here is the short definition for the purposes of this blog.

  • Team psychological safety is a shared belief, held by ALL members of the team, that it is ok to take risks, to express their ideas and concerns, to speak up with questions, and to admit mistakes.
    • Team members, and the leader, feel safe to express themselves without the fear of negative consequences. As we joke in my family – the filters come off.
    • That doesn’t give people permission to be rude, nasty, or indelicate. But it does give team members permission to try new things, speak up with questions, be open and honest, and make mistakes.

Unfortunately, psychological safety is often a fantasy in the workplace. Luckily it isn’t difficult to create a “safe” space at work. But as leaders, you do need to be committed to the concept. 

Here are 6 ways to create Psychological Safety at Work:

  • Actively solicit questions.
    • Ask open-ended questions (with an open and welcoming tone) to get your team members thinking. Open ended questions are the questions where they cannot simply answer with a Yes or a No. Allow your team members to dig deeper into their reasoning. Allow them to actively, and verbally, work through their thoughts.
  • Show value and appreciation for ideas.
    • The saying there is no such thing as a stupid idea / question comes into play here. Tell your team members how you appreciate their input. That doesn’t mean you have to do everything they suggest, but somewhere in there may be a gem of an idea you hadn’t thought of yet.
  • Promote positive dialogue and discussion.
    • Team safety comes not just from you but from the other members of the team. No eye-rolling, sighing, or snorting when someone suggests a new way of doing things. No “of course” comments under someone’s breath when someone admits to messing something up. And my pet peeve – no talking over each other. Everyone’s voice is equal.
  • Be precise with information, expectations, and commitments.
    • You have heard me say this over, and over, and over again! Be specific about what you need from them. What their duties are, what your expectations are and how you want them to achieve their commitments / goals.
  • Explain reasons for change.
    • When your team members understand the why behind the shifts, they realize that the change isn’t personal or something they specifically did.
  • Own up to mistakes – your own.
    • No one is perfect. One of the best lessons I learned as a leader was being willing to say I was wrong. Is it comfortable, of course not, but necessary. Once they see you are open about your mistakes, and the world doesn’t end, then they will feel more comfortable being open about their mistakes. The catch is to allow them to make a mistake. Let them fix it as well. Mistakes mean you took a risk, tried something new, and lived to tell about it. It does not mean this mistake is held against you forever and a day.

Psychological safety takes effort from the leader and from the team. Not sure if you are fostering psychological safety with your team? Give me a call and let’s talk it through.

When I teach leadership classes I try to instill in my class that there are three important leadership traits that will help them stay on the leadership track.

  • Authenticity counts – forget about eloquence, focus on being real.
  • Visibility is a form of communication – get out there and be consistently seen.
  • Listening is a powerful tool – active listening is a skill that needs to be constantly honed.

I think a skill that can also be honed is emotional intelligence or EQ.  Emotional intelligence in a leader can help them read their people as well as they can read books. Ever had one of those leaders who couldn’t read the room and barreled on and made moral worse? If that leader had known the basic concept of EQ, would it make a difference to the team? I think it does.

In my experience leaders who have a sense of EQ stay cool under pressure. They don’t hide from their feelings but learn from them. They understand others better, and they communicate more effectively than the “clueless” ones. Sounds perfect, right? Don’t we all wish we could do those things. In the interest of honing and learning new skills, here are 5 components of EQ and a brief summary on how to use them as a leader.

  1. Self-awareness. This is the leader’s ability to recognize and understand their own moods and emotions and how their state of mind affects others on their team. Knowing your own frame of mind and communicating with your team (not over sharing, think of it as a public service announcement instead) can help misunderstandings.
  2. Self-regulation. This involves the leader being able to control their impulses and moods and think or pause before acting. Self-control in the sense of being optimistic (be like Ted Lasso!) vs. being pessimistic. Self-regulation is focusing on being forward thinking instead of reactionary. Process your feelings instead of taking them out on your team.
  3. Internal motivation. Know your WIIFM (What’s in it for Me?). Do you know your WIIFM? Why are you in this leadership role? Do you know your team’s individual WIIFMs? Understanding the difference between intrinsic (internal) and extrinsic (external) motivations can help you, as a boss lead your people in a way that motivates them. There is not meant to be judgement in this exercise, just acknowledgement of what drives the individuals on your team.
  4. Empathy. Leaders need to be able to understand emotions and empathize when someone is struggling. I am not saying you need to fall for every sob story that comes your way. But acknowledging that a team member is frustrated and giving them an outlet to safely “vent” can help them move past their hurt, anger, or frustration and get back to being productive. Empathy helps us accept their feelings without judgement or more importantly, listen to them without the need to fix it. You are acknowledging their feelings without owning them.
  5. Social skills. The aspect of social skills in the EQ realm is the ability to properly manage your own and other’s emotions to connect, interact and work with others.  Think about that networking event you went to and you “got stuck” with someone who didn’t ask you one thing about your business or life and instead went on for a 20-minute monologue about how you can help them. There is no bonding there, just boredom!

As a leader many of us use EQ without realizing that is what we are doing. Keep it up! Remember to check in with your own emotions before taking them out on your team. Get to know your team and what drives them and give them goals and direction that coincide with their WIIFM.

You will find incorporating these EQ techniques can help your communication flow, enhance your ability to inspire and motivate your team, reduces stress for you and your team members, and allows you to be that authentic supportive leader that you are destined to be.

Want your team members to learn more about leadership? Reach out to me to learn about our training modules which will elevate yours, and your team leader’s, leadership skills.

Whenever I teach a workshop on communication I start with the concept of trust. Why do I begin with the concept of trust? Because without trust, communication is superficial. Think about it –if your communication, as a leader, is shallow or non-existent, your employees, your teams, and your colleagues will essentially ignore what you are trying to say. Have you ever been in an organization or on a team where there were trust issues? Where you couldn’t believe anything your leader told you or you didn’t trust your colleagues? That is exhausting and I admit, even though I tried to tough it out, I ended up leaving. You don’t want your employees to feel that way, so let’s explore trust in the workplace.

Trust in the workplace is a fundamental building block and can be established, enhanced, and accelerated through effective communication. Trust can take a long time and a lot of effort to develop, but it takes only one event to weaken or eliminate it.  If you believe there are trust issues in your company or your team here are some things to consider.

First, know why Trust is an important factor in communicating.

  • Trust provides positive morale and team motivation.
  • Trust allows for team collaboration.
  • Trust improves efficiency.
  • Trust empowers decision making.
  • Trust decreases stress levels.
  • Trust improves an employee’s performance.

Second, know how you as a leader can build trust.

  • Do what you say you are going to do – be reliable!
  • Be transparent and honest.
  • Take ownership of your mistakes, issues, and your milestones / celebrations.
  • Be proactive in understanding and talking about issues.
  • Exhibit empathy with a genuine concern for the wellbeing of others.
  • Maintain accountability by setting clear priorities.

Everyone in leadership has heard the advice to lead by example. When building trust, or rebuilding trust, it begins with you – the Leader. This concept is essential and non-negotiable as far as I am concerned. You must listen to your team / employees, deliver on what you promise, value the people around you, and resolve conflicts quickly and professionally. If you want your team to behave in a certain way, and most importantly trust you – you have to be trustworthy yourself.

Remember, actions speak louder than words so put your money where your mouth is and let’s get to work!

November — Thanksgiving, Turkey, cooler weather, changing leaves (ok, maybe not in Phoenix!).

Ok, maybe the leaves aren’t as vibrant here in Phoenix but that doesn’t change the fact that November is often the season to say Thank you. Who else has a tradition of everyone saying what they are grateful for around the family Thanksgiving dinner table? It’s a beautiful tradition and one I incorporate into my daily life. I try to be grateful for the beautiful things in my life daily and not just once a year. The reason I say try is because gratitude isn’t always a seamless or easy practice. Sometimes I have to stretch my imagination to find something. When I do that, no matter how simple my gratitude my world still becomes a bit sunnier.

People often talk about being grateful and keeping a gratitude journal. Some people don’t see the point of it. Some people swear by the practice of writing down your gratitudes daily. I am one of the latter. I encourage everyone to try it. Try it for November and see what happens. What do you have to lose?!

My advice is to remember to be grateful for the little things. Because they aren’t little – they have the power to change the tone of your entire day. Ever want to get out of a grumpy funk? Write down at least 3 things you are grateful for. And by write I mean keep a journal, text them to a friend, write them in your phone. Where you write them doesn’t matter – just write them down.

Here are mine from this morning:

  • Someone holding the door for me as I struggle with my 4 heavy bags
  • My neighbor smiling and saying “Good Morning”
  • The way my puppy is happy to see me every day
  • The way my friend and I smile about a private joke
  • My amazing clients, friends, associates, colleagues, and family

If you don’t already practice daily gratitudes I highly recommend you use November to start. What a perfect season to begin this new habit. It’s easy to begin. Just think of 3 – 5 things you are grateful for each day. Is your heat working? Is your bed comfy? Is your water hot? They don’t have to be complex items – it isn’t about the items you are grateful for, it is about that feeling of gratitude. And savoring that feeling.

In this spirit, let me say THANK YOU to my clients, my friends, my associates, my colleagues, and my family. You are all the best and I appreciate each and every one of you.

Thank you and Happy Season of Gratitude!

This month we are celebrating 10 years in business.

10 years of helping small business owners, professionals, and leaders realize their potential, expand their businesses, and navigate through uncertainty.

Time is a funny thing. Making the decision to open Structure for Success feels like yesterday AND a 100 years ago. My business doesn’t look the same as it did back in 2013. Different clients, different projects, different office. But I don’t think that is because it has been 10 years. I have changed. My business model has changed. Life has changed. Change isn’t a dirty word. I think both professionals and businesses need to grow and evolve to thrive.

I do think that sometimes when a milestone hits, we, as busy professionals, miss the milestone. I know I was always striving for the next best thing and often missed what was right in front of me. Always looking for the next best project. The “one” that made my heart sing. I am pretty sure many of the people I work with, don’t take the time to truly look back and celebrate everything we have achieved. I’ve decided I don’t agree with the “rule” that tells us not look back because we aren’t going that way. Don’t wallow in the past but we can learn from it. And more importantly we should celebrate everything we have done and how far we have come.

But when I look back, I think there were lots of celebrations I missed because I was too busy scrambling. So my lesson today and my advice to you is to take a minute, no matter where you are, and breathe in your successes. Don’t wait for tomorrow, or until this one thing is done, or until you get this one client – celebrate now.

Celebrate the people, friends, clients, processes, events, and whatever else helped you get to where you are today. And thank them. Also celebrate and be proud of you. You persevered and prospered. Don’t forget to celebrate you too! Cheers to more celebrations.

Thank YOU for being part of our lives for the last 10 years. And here’s to many more!

The new I9 form has been the talk of the town for a couple months now. It was announced on July 21st that the new form should be used as of August 1, 2023.

So why am I just now bringing it up? Because the grace period ends on October 31st and employers are required use this new form beginning November 1st.

There are several changes to the form, and they aren’t complicated. Just new. The new form was designed to be more streamlined than the old one. And technology-wise it was designed to be downloaded easier for completion on tablets or mobile devices. 

Your new employees are required to complete it on their first day of employment. You, as the employer, have 3 days to review their documentation and complete the verification sections. Best news is the form’s instructions went down to 8 pages (vs. 15 pages). I mean we ALL read those every single time, right?

The biggest change is the checkbox allowing employers enrolled in E-Verify to indicate they virtually examined identity and employment authorization documents (vs. reviewing the documents in person).

If you Google the new I9 form you can get your very own copy, or follow this link: https://www.uscis.gov/i-9

We are here to help you navigate the changes. If you want more information, don’t hesitate to reach out. I am also including a SHRM article that is a fantastic help if you want further information. https://www.shrm.org/new-form-i9-available-now