SHRMChat – November Recap and December Preview


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 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!