#SHRMChat – March Recap and April Preview

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March Recap

Our March #SHRMChat  on Governmental Affairs was hosted by Lisa Horn,  Director, Congressional Affairs at SHRM. The discussion was spirited and engaging, and every question was enthusiastically discussed. Here is the briefest of recaps, so you can know what you missed, or what type of chat you can expect next time. 😉

 1.  Other than being a CLA, what should motivate chapters and councils to be more engaged in advocacy and public policy?

Most of the answers to this question revolved around two main themes – (1) it helps the chapter or council build relationships with their members, and (2) advocacy and policy is a professional issue, not just a SHRM issue, so all HR practitioners have an important stake in the knowledge and development that advocacy activity creates

2. Is your membership active with SHRM on advocacy efforts such as the A-Team? What are some of the benefits?

Based on the discussions, state councils are far more active in this area than local chapters are. Somewhat surprisingly, most agreed that advocacy involvement is largely individual instead of chapter or council wide.

3. How do you determine which legislative issues are important to your membership? What do you do the address them?

The three most commonly cited methods were (1) polling, (2) roundtables, and (3) bringing in state directors or volunteers to speak at or discuss with local chapters.

4. What activities should your council/chapter engage in to ensure a positive legislative environment for the sector to grow?

There were almost as many answers to this questions as there were people discussing, but my three favorite answers were (1) have at least a short focus on advocacy at every single chapter meeting and educate your captive audience, (2) position your chapter or council as an expert on workplace issues so policy makers will seek out your HR expertise, and (3) invite the legislative staffers for breakfast or to meetings so that they become aware of your HR role in the community.

5. What is the one most important thing that SHRM national could do to help you increase your involvement in government affairs?

There was one resounding answer to this question, and that was that SHRM already has lots of opportunity for chapters to increase their advocacy activity, and that chapters and councils need to reach out more instead of waiting for SHRM to spoon-feed them.

April Preview

Certification is a topic that pops up in almost every SHRMChat, especially those dealing with member benefits, meetings, and conferences.  So in April we will devote the entire SHRMChat hour to the topic of certification. Our chat will be hosted by Ohio SHRM and the long-time SHRMChat advocate Nicole Ochenduski. The questions that will drive our discussion are

  1.  Are you HRCI Certified?  What certifications do you hold and what percentage of your local chapter/state membership are certified?
  2. How do you most frequently receive your recertification credits?
  3. What percentage of your local chapter meetings are approved for credit?  Of those approved, do you pay for speakers that are accredited?
  4. How do you promote certification within your chapter/state council?
  5. What one improvement/suggestion would you give HRCI and SHRM for their certification efforts?

 Join us on Tuesday, April 8 at 8 pm Eastern/7 pm Central!

 

 

 

March #SHRMChat Preview – Government Affairs

I started #SHRMChat in the fall of 2011 because I wanted to dialog with leaders in other SHRM-affiliated local chapters and state councils about how to use and promote social media within the chapter or council. Since then our topics have expanded to include a discussion of all Core Leadership Areas (CLAs), concentrating on how state and local SHRM affiliates can improve and expand their competencies in those areas, while continuing to address social media, conferences, and other topics important to chapter leaders.  We chat on the second Tuesday of every month at 8pm Eastern, and I try to have a different SHRM leader act as host each month.

This month our guest host is Lisa Horn, known to many by her Twitter name – @SHRMLobbystLisa. Our topic is “Government Affairs”, a CLA that admittedly troubles many chapters and councils. Lisa is uniquely qualified to host this chat, as her official title at SHRM is Director of Congressional Affairs.

We will address the following questions during the chat, but, as always, please feel free to discuss related issues that are not specifically addressed in the formal questions.

  1.  Other than being a CLA, what should motivate chapters and councils to be more engaged in advocacy and public policy?
  2. Is your membership active with SHRM on advocacy efforts such as the A-Team? What are some of the benefits?
  3. How do you determine which legislative issues are important to your membership? What do you do the address them?
  4. What activities should your council/chapter engage in to ensure a positive legislative environment for the sector to grow?
  5. What is the one most important thing that SHRM national could do to help you increase your involvement in government affairs?

 

Remember – Join us on Tuesday, March 11 at 8 pm Eastern/7 pm Central. Use the hashtag #SHRMChat on all of your tweets!

 

 

 

The Return of #SHRMChat

For those of you paying attention, you will remember that I put #SHRMChat on hiatus in the early part of June, and left its future up in the air. I wasn’t sure of the direction it needed to take, or if I was the one to take it anywhere. Then I went off to the #SHRM13 Annual Conference in Chicago, and spoke with several people who support and believe in #SHRMchat – its need, value, and importance.

Those discussions yielded the following changes in #SHRMChat and its format:

1. #SHRMChat will continue to be held monthy from September through May on the second Tuesday of the month at 8pm Eastern/7 pm Central.
2. There will be 8 scheduled chats per year, plus two special/optional chats, based on the following schedule:

  • SEPT – College relations
  • OCT – Membership
  • NOV – Diversity
  • DEC – Special/As needed
  • JAN – Social Media
  • FEB – Conferences
  • MAR – Government Affairs
  • APR – Certification
  • MAY – SHRM Foundation
  • JUNE – Special/As needed

NO chats in July and August

These chats are based on SHRM Core Leadership Areas that all local chapters and state councils should have assigned volunteer leaders to cover, making them critical to the success of each chapter/council.

3. Each monthly chat will be sponsored and hosted by a state council or local chapter. This will give the council/chapter a relatively simple way to introduce themselves, and their members, to the benefits of social media.

Planning for the coming months has already started, and I urge you to contact me if you and your chapter would like to be involved.

Since September is “back to school” month for all, we are starting off with the topic of college relations, hosted by Matt Stollak (@akaBruno on Twitter), formerly the social media direction of the Wisconsin State Council, and current adviser to the student chapter at St. Norbert College, which was named an Outstanding Chapter at #SHRM13 (one of ten in the nation). His preview blog with questions for the chat on Tuesday, September 10 at 8p Eastern/7p Central is here.

PLEASE JOIN US!

#SHRMChat On Hiatus

Stats from the April 2013 SHRMChat
Stats from the April 2013 SHRMChat

hi·a·tus

noun, plural hi·a·tus·es, hi·a·tus.

1.  a break or interruption in the continuity of a work, series, action, etc.
2.  a missing part; gap or lacuna: Scholars attempted to account for the hiatus in the medieval manuscript.
3.  any gap or opening. (from dictionary.com)

When I started SHRMChat in November 2011, I was on the Detroit SHRM board of directors as its first-ever social media manager. I knew I needed some discussion about establishing a social media policy and presence in a SHRM-affiliated local chapter, but the only people to really talk to were people actually outside the chapter.  I called a lot of friends on the phone, but I also knew that social media was the perfect tool to start a dialog among far-flung volunteers of other locals, without waiting for a leadership conference or formal meeting to get, give, share and reject ideas.

A monthly Twitter chat seemed like the ideal platform, so that’s what I started. As my good friend Steve Browne would say, I was geeked.

For a while, it worked exactly the way I thought it would. A small community came together and added their considerable expertise on issues such as conferences, membership, social media, programming, and advocacy. I also had fun.

But lately I have found that I have been struggling to maintain any kind of momentum with SHRMChat. I have a difficult time thinking of themes or topics, and a hard time finding speakers or guests. I no longer have a board position on a local affiliate, either, making me feel like an uniformed outsider.

So here we are, on the eve of the big national SHRM conference, and I have decided to step away from SHRMChat for a while. Yeah, my timing sucks, too.

I truly hope the break isn’t permanent, because I really enjoy the conversations and connections that SHRMChat gives me on a regular basis. I hope to use this interruption to find a way to bring SHRMChat back, with some different leadership and maybe some new blood.

If you have any interest in stepping up, or have suggestions to share, please let me know.

May 2013 #SHRMChat Cancelled

“Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not after you.” – Jospeh Heller, Catch 22.

 

I’m beginning to think the gods really are after me. About a week and a half ago I explained a little about some physical limitations that were keeping me away from my keyboard. Since then, things like 6 days of no internet connectivity and sick dogs have conspired to keep me even further away. It is because of those issues that I am forced to cancel #SHRMChat, which should have been held tonight (May 14th). I plan on being back full force on June 11th at 8pm Eastern to discuss the annual SHRM conference. Forgive me now and join me then.

#SHRMChat March Recap

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In case you are asking yourself if I made a mistake about including a preview of the April chat, the answer is, “Are you kidding?”  :-)  The April SHRMChat will be hosted by the HR Official Dave Ryan, and he will have the preview and questions on his blog here.

So what happened in March, with our topic of  “What role does and should SHRM and its state and local affiliates occupy in the HR profession?”

 Here is the summary, broken down by each specific question asked:

     1. SHRM national wants to be a professional society and not a membership association. Which is it to your affiliate?

This question prompted my favorite tweet of the night: “If SHRM wants to be a professional society, it needs to push value and not tote bags.” Thanks to John Jorgenson for that response, which sums up the basic attitude of the participants: SHRM’s idea is a good one, but its actions don’t match its message, making most chatters highly skeptical of SHRM’s ability to change the perception of them as a society.

     2. What are the benefits, if any, of a “professional society”? Are they different for a mere membership association?

Most chatters felt that the primary benefit of being a professional society is a large emphasis on professional development of the HR industry as a whole, and not just on the individual development of its members. But while the chat participants were somewhat in agreement that a professional society is more desirable, there was a scattershot discussion of how to achieve that goal with absolutely no consensus of opinion.

     3. Should SHRM and your chapter embrace the middle, or stretch the boundaries of the HR profession as a whole?

Stretching the boundaries of the profession was desired by most SHRMChat people, but there was a sizable minority of people (including me) who had some doubts about the effectiveness of this type of strategy. One of the themes of the dissenters, which ran through the entire evening discussion but was prevalent in this question, was that the size of the chapter has a lot of impact on the ability to embrace some of these forward strategies, with smaller locals at a distinct disadvantage.

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     4. How can one association meet the needs of the CHRO and the HR administrator?  Should they?

The majority of the chatters were optimistic that all levels of the HR profession could be reached with one professional society, BUT – and it was a large but, echoing the discussion of the first question, there has to be a very different approach by SHRM than is currently the norm. Several suggestions were put forth, including

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“Know your audience and create content specifically for it”

“Have roundtables or other alternatives to address different levels of practitioners”

“Focus on professional development versus a program at a monthly meeting.”

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Thanks again to our guests Steve Browne and Donna Rogers for their insight from the SHRM Regional Leadership Conference!

Tune into our next SHRMChat on Tuesday, April 9th at 8 pm Eastern/7 pm Central.

#SHRMChat – February Recap and March Preview

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In February, SHRMChat happened to fall on the evening of the State of the Union address, so we teamed up with SHRM’s Governmental Advocacy Team, who was already holding its own #GATChat around that topic. We were fortunate to have Chantral Bibral from SHRM as our guest, and we posted these three questions:

  1. Are you currently engaged in advocacy activities on behalf of the HR profession? If not, why? If yes, what do you find most gratifying about your engagement in public policy?
  2. What challenges or road blocks do you face in your advocacy efforts? How can SHRM help your group become successful advocates on behalf of the HR profession?
  3. What HR public policy issues are most important to you and why?

I am not going to separate the discussion for each question, because the summary of the evening’s chat is simple: SHRM members – at least those represented by chatters who attended – don’t care about advocacy. The answer to question #1 was a definitive “no” – chapters/councils are not engaged because there is not enough time and interest in this area to do anything meaningful. In fact, the word apathy could be used to describe our entire February chat, as well as the attitude toward the topic by those brave few who participated.  I think this topic might be revisited in the future if things change a bit.

I would like to thank Chantral again for being our guest, though. It has been hard for SHRM to embrace unfiltered and uncontrolled social media from outsiders, but they were there and willing in February.

March 2013 Preview

In February, SHRM holds a Regional Leadership Summit for State Council Directors, so while their memories are fresh, I have asked Steve Browne, Ohio State Council Director, and Donna Rogers, SHRM Membership Advisory Comittee (MAC), to be our guests on SHRMChat to discuss issues that may have been brought forward during this summit. Based on that, our March topic will be “What role does and should SHRM and its state and local affiliates occupy in the HR profession?”

These are the questions:

  1. SHRM national wants to be a professional society and not a membership association. Which is it to your affiliate?
  2. What are the benefits, if any, of a “professional society”? Are they different for a mere membership association?
  3. Should SHRM and your chapter embrace the middle, or stretch the boundaries of the HR profession as a whole?
  4. How can one association meet the needs of the CHRO and the HR administrator?  Should they?

 

Join the #SHRMChat discussion on Twitter – Tuesday, March 12th at 8 pm EST/7 pm CST.

Don’t forget to add a name or three to the “Crowdsourcing SHRM Speakers List here before then!

#SHRMChat – January Recap and February Preview

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JANUARY 2013 RECAP

Last month participants were asked to “think outside the lines.”  We wanted to know if chapters/councils attempted to promote programs and conferences outside of their specific geographical area, and if there were benefits or disadvantages to doing so. We asked

  • Q1. Does your state or local promote your conference or program to those who live outside of your boundaries? Why or why not?

Most of the participants did not actively promote their programs outside of their geographical area, although many relied on social media and word of mouth to do so in an informal way. Some felt that there were geographical disadvantages to doing this in their specific state and other chatters stated that they were met with some resistance from other councils when they asked to promote their conference. It was suggested that if some locals made an attempt to hold joint meetings, state councils and SHRM national might be able to interact with more chapters.

  • Q2. Do you have specific strategies to suggest for promoting your conference to other states without creating internal jealousies or competition concerns?

The chat participants were a little stumped by this question, not seeing why outside promotion of their programs and conferences would cause others to be concerned with competition.

  • Q3. Have you ever attended a conference outside of your state (not including SHRM national conferences)? Why?

Most of the chat participants, social media devotees that they are, had attended conferences outside of their state. They were quick to point out, though, that most people were limited in time, resources, and geography, limiting the likelihood of multiple-conference attendance.

  • Q4. What are the benefits or disadvantages of attending other conferences?

Cost, travel time, and missed work were mentioned repeatedly as disadvantages of attending conferences or programs outside of traditional boundaries. The most frequently mentioned advantages were networking and the building of personal relationships. I was surprised that the potential diversity of program offerings was not mentioned in this discussion, although I personally believe in that as a major advantage.

  • 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.

Most of the chatters agreed that there was sufficient advantage for them to invest in the concept to some degree. One chatter mentioned running announcements in neighboring states via LinkedIn. Another made a commitment to attend another state conference, and yet another participant vowed to promote their future state conference to neighboring states. Everyone agreed that social media can help chapters and councils think outside of their geographic lines.

FEBRUARY 2013 PREVIEW – Government Advocacy


SHRM National recognizes that it is at necessity for the human resources professional to be concerned about public policy. To that end, they have an Advocacy Team (the “A-Team”) to help create a relationship and dialog with legislators to help them understand relevant issues. But advocacy isn’t just a national issue – it means involving people at the state and local level, too. So we’ll discuss that issue this month, with special guest Chatrane Birbal, who is SHRM’s Senior Member Advocacy Specialist. Our suggested questions are:

  1. Are you currently engaged in advocacy activities on behalf of the HR profession? If not, why? If yes, what do you find most gratifying about your engagement in public policy?
  2. What challenges or road blocks do you face in your advocacy efforts? How can SHRM help your group become successful advocates on behalf of the HR profession?
  3. What HR public policy issues are most important to you and why?

I am only posting a few questions this month because after the 1st half-hour, I am going to add the hash-tag #GATChat to our discussion, which is the official chat hosted by the SHRM Advocacy Team during  the State of the Union address. We hope that our participants will stay for at least a while and join in the #GATChat.

 

Join the #SHRMChat discussion on Twitter – Tuesday, February 12th at 8 pm EST/7 pm CST.

Don’t forget to add a name or three to the “Crowdsourcing SHRM Speakers List here before then!

#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 – November Recap and December Preview

NOVEMBER RECAP

Our November SHRMChat was all about programs. Here are the questions asked, followed by a brief recap of the discussion.

Q1.How do you determine programming for a year, and how far in advance are programs scheduled?

There was a lively discussion about how far in advance programs are planned, often a year or so before, and the need to be more responsive to current affairs and issues. Sometimes, our chatters thought, programs planned so far in advance become stale. It was then mentioned that people still tend to like old topics, which created a discussion around whether programs should be geared toward what attendees want or what planners think they need.

Q2. Do you pay for speakers, or other parts of your program, such as room rental or food?

The general consensus is that speakers are almost always free, and that other program costs, such as rooms and food, vary. This led to a discussion about the quality of free speakers, invoking the old saying, “you get what you pay for.”

Q3. Where do you find most of your speakers?  Do you actively recruit them?

Chatters stated that it is very hard for chapters and councils to find quality speakers. It has been mentioned before that there should be a database of dates/names/topics that chapters could access, perhaps maintained by SHRM. Matt Stollak, Director of Social Media for Wisconsin, called for a Yelp or Urban Spoon- type list of reviews for speakers. The name “WikiSpeaks” was suggested by a clever chatter. Matt decided to put his money where his mouth is and started a speaker list. You should visit it here and add your thoughts.

Q4. Are there other programs besides a traditional “speaker with power point” that you are doing?

The answer to this was a resounding ‘no”. Participants felt that the need for HRCI credits limited alternative programming.

Q.5. How do you evaluate the success of your programs?

Some groups are using Survey Monkey and some a printed evaluation form or email. Attendance numbers was also cited as a way to determine the success of a program.

DECEMBER PREVIEW – HOLIDAYS AND YEAR-END

December is the month of holiday and year-end celebrations, so SHRMChat will jump on that bandwagon and ride it along. In addition to asking about how your SHRM affiliated chapter or council deals with the holiday, we will talk about parties and celebrations in the broader HR world, too.

  • Q1. Does your chapter or council do anything to recognize December holidays for their members? SHOULD THEY?
  • Q2. 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?
  • Q3. Other than cash or praise, what is the best or worst year-end gift you have ever received from an employer?
  • Q4. Do you have a resolution for your chapter/council for 2013? What is the most important thing  your chapter/council should do in 2013?

#SHRMChat is found on Twitter the second Tuesday of every month at 8:00 pm Eastern/7:00 pm Central. Join us on December 11th!