#SHRMChat – December Recap and January Preview


December Recap


Like many workplaces during the December holidays, SHRMChat was pretty quiet during December. We had the usual gang of suspects, but no newbies or novices. Hopefully we can attract more people from outside of the HR social media bubble in 2013. Tell your friends and acquaintances to join us!

That doesn’t mean that our questions weren’t discussed, because our regulars are never at a loss for words. Here are the questions posed, with a quick summary of the discussion that followed.

  •  Does your chapter or council do anything to recognize December holidays for their members? SHOULD THEY?

There were as many different responses to this question as there were people chatting. Some chapters take the month off, some have special holiday themed events, and some chapters focused on charity events. It was the general opinion of the chatters, though, that December should be a time for board, holiday, or recognition programs and charity-based works. Take the focus off chapter or council events during the holidays.

  •  People in the HR discussion space often call for HR to get out of the party-planning and gift-giving business.  Do you agree? If parties and gifts are not the responsibility of HR, who should be taking care of them?

Participants in the December SHRMChat were almost unanimous in their belief that holiday parties should not be an HR-only function. But they were split almost down the middle into two groups: (1)HR should jettison all parties, or (2) All work groups or departments should contribute in some way to holiday functions. What do you think HR should do – let me know in the comments for a future discussion.

  •  Other than cash or praise, what is the best or worst year-end gift you have ever received from an employer?

The majority of our December attendees didn’t receive any kind of year-end gift, so the best and worst answers were a little sparse. Here were a few of my favorites: Best (1) Getting off work early, and (2) Layoff notice from a hated job. Worst (1) Forced to work through Christmas party, and (2) a cheap plaque.

  •  Do you have a resolution for your chapter/council for 2013? What is the most important thing  your chapter/council should do in 2013?

Mostly our December chatters wanted more and better chapters – more members, a bigger and better conference, greater support to students, and a better system to find/rate speakers. Don’t forget to support the Wisconsin effort to rate speakers here!


January Preview – Thinking Outside of the Lines

Does your chapter or council focus your marketing and program attendance on members or potential members inside of your specific geographical area? Do you, as a SHRM member, confine your program attendance to your own state or local?  The January SHRMChat will discuss the potential benefits of attending and promoting outside of your geographical box or lines. Here are a few questions; feel free to add your own during the chat!

  • Q1. Does your state or local promote your conference or program to those who live outside of your boundaries? Why or why not?
  • Q2. Do you have specific strategies to suggest for promoting your conference to other states without creating internal jealousies or competition concerns?
  • Q3. Have you ever attended a conference outside of your state (not including SHRM national conferences)? Why?
  • Q4. What are the benefits or disadvantages of attending other conferences?
  • Q5. Based on tonight’s discussion, will you do ONE thing you will do to promote your program outside of the state or to change your attendance plans to include another state? Name it.

#SHRMChat is held on Twitter the 2nd Tuesday of every month at 8 pm EST/7pm CST. Join our next chat on January 8th!

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#SHRMChat – October Recap and November Preview

Apologies for the two-fer post, but I have been galavanting around Europe without a reliable internet connection, and blog posts became difficult. Doing a recap and preview together is one way to try to catch up.


Our October SHRMChat was about membership, and you can find the questions we asked here. Once again we had a small-ish turn out, but the dedication and knowledge of those who managed to stop by was top shelf (as always).

Paul Hebert participated in our October chat, and I need to give him special thanks. In case you don’t know, he is an incentive and recognition specialist, and his insights and suggestions about those areas – so crucial to membership recruitment and retention – were invaluable.  His blog is a great source of information if you want to know more.

Early in the conversation it was made clear that recruiting and retaining were two different sides of the membership coin, each group with different motivators, so the strategies and tools necessary to maximize each group are going to be different.  It was suggested that it may help your state and/or local to split the membership committee into two different pieces to effectively manage each group.

It was suggested that people join SHRM locals because they are looking to learn, network, and have fun – probably in that order. Making sure you promote and enhance those aspects of your chapter will help if you are looking to increase your membership numbers. As Paul Hebert stated (shown above), make sure you don’t have barriers to entry.

But keeping members seemed to be more difficult, and some “barriers to leaving” that were suggested were (1) more rewards for volunteers, (2) medals or levels based on longevity and engagement, (3) badges, points or other gaming recognition for attending or contributing. potentially redeemed for rewards.  Asking the members by way of survey is often used by chapters/councils to determine engagement levels, but it was cautioned that what members say and what actually works are not always the same thing.



Without learning programs of some kind, SHRM state and local chapters would cease to exist. Many groups ramp up their program efforts in the fall, after taking a summer break or at least slowing down for the summer. But finding the right kind of programs at the right price for many groups is difficult. So this month we are going to chat about programs – where to get them, how much they can/should cost, and what types work best. Here are the formal questions:


  1. How do you determine programming for a year, and how far in advance are programs scheduled?
  2. Do you pay for speakers, or other parts of your program, such as room rental or food?
  3. Where do you find most of your speakers?  Do you actively recruit them?
  4. Are there other programs besides a traditional “speaker with power point” that you are doing?
  5. How do you evaluate the success of your programs?
Join the November #SHRMChat on Twitter – Tuesday, November 13th at 8pm E/7pm C