… the HR Minion. Because even minions have opinions. And giggles.

#SHRMAdvice Day

Today is SHRM Advice day in the HR Blogosphere and I have to say that when I first signed up to participate, I had no idea what my advice would be. You see, other than a brief stint several years back as a SHRM member, I’ve mostly just hovered around SHRM. Sure I’ve been to SHRM conferences as an attendee, as part of social media teams, and a speaker. I am connected with SHRM employees and members. I even have my PHR certification (even though the HRCI is, but isn’t, but is, separate from SHRM). But still, I don’t think of myself as part of SHRM.

But maybe that’s exactly why I should participate in #SHRMAdvice Day. After all, I am their target audience for membership. And if all the membership offers I get in the mail are any indication, they want me, or my membership dues, bad.

So why exactly am I not a member?

1. There are separate costs to joining SHRM at the National Level and Local City Area. By joining SHRM National you are not automatically a part of the local SHRM group and vice versa. This has never made any sense to me. Now, I understand local chapters have their own budgets, run their own events, etc., but when the cost to join a local group is practically as much as joining the national group, it’s hard for those of us who have to pay for membership ourselves.

2. If you want to be involved in SHRM you have to participate on the local level and that means your experience will vary wildly. The real benefit from SHRM is participating in your local chapter due to the networking opportunities if for nothing else. Plus, if you want to get involved with SHRM as an organization, like sitting on boards or helping with events, you have to join a local group. The problem is that each group is different. I have seen local SHRM groups that were awesome with great people and events and I have seen seen groups that are insular and phobic of change/new people. Let’s hope you are near a good one.

3. OMG the Hierarchy. SHRM is a beast of an organization. There are SO MANY levels. Which admittedly can make sense, there are a lot of groups and members out there to organize, but I swear, some Government agencies have less levels of “management” to get through. And with clearer accountability too.

4. I don’t have to join to benefit from SHRM. As a non member I can still attend events/conferences/chapter meetings/etc and get certified, which are the main things I am interested in doing. Sure there are other benefits from membership, but I haven’t found them compelling enough to become a member again.

So what would make me reconsider? That’s harder to figure out. I would need to be convinced that there was value to be had beyond what I am getting now as a non member.

I would also want to see some good changes happening in the organization, though admittedly there are lots of good things going on. Social media engagement for one has gone from nothing to SHRM having huge social media teams at National as well as lots of encouragement for all members to participate online. I love that.

But you know what would make me really happy with SHRM, enough so that I would rejoin? I would like to see SHRM on a national and local level not only make it easier for HR practitioners to speak at SHRM events, but set up programs specifically designed to develop and encourage that in their members.

One of my biggest complaints with conferences in general is the overabundance of consultants who only want to sell me something and the severe lack of actual HR practitioners who want to be a voice for their profession. The process to get approved as a SHRM speaker at conferences is needlessly difficult in the wrong ways. I can understand having standards, but based on some speakers I’ve heard at events, speakers are not being evaluated by the right standards.

I think it should be a major SHRM objective to encourage it’s members to stand up to help develop their peers and the next generation of HR professionals. After all, how can SHRM be an advocate for us in government, if it doesn’t encourage and develop that advocacy in it’s own members?

So in the end, that is my contribution to #SHRMAdvice Day. I hope in some small way my message will be heard.

On a separate note, did you know that June 3, 2013 was also #BadWolfDay2013? I’m such a geek but I had to participate in the meme:

My car is now a harbinger of the apocalypse.

My car is now a harbinger of the apocalypse.

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