We had another successful Twitter chat on Sunday. I loved chatting about our HR/professional groups and seeing what others are doing. The chatter moved fairly quickly; I’m glad I’ve got the Storify to go back to, so I can remember who brought up which topic or question for follow up.
I spent last week at the annual SoDak SHRM strategic planning meeting/leadership conference. [It’s called a leadership conference, but it’s really a strategic planning meeting for the council. Which is needed, I’m just a little put out by the lack of clarity in the title of the event.] We spent time using the SWOT method to determine areas of focus which are, unsurprisingly, *Volunteers, *Brand, *Partnerships. All 3 encompassed Communication as well. As we talked about goals and action steps, we found a lot of crossover. While the time was well spent, I was a little disappointed there was no time for us to talk about the individual chapters within South Dakota and how can the state council better support us. [To be honest, we did talk about this within the Partnership goals and one of the goals was to find ways for the council to support sharing information between the chapters. We felt that is the true purpose of the state council is to support the chapters, so this should be an easy win.] I think we do have a good group of volunteers now that will help us get to the point where the council is supporting the chapters, so the chapters are happy to financially support the council and we can all be advocates for SHRM.
As I read through the conversations Sunday evening and thought about the 2 days in Rapid City, I was struck by the common theme. Volunteers are key. Not only do you need people to step up to take the lead and keep things moving forward for the organizations, but you need to figure out how to treat them properly. We are all professionals and want to do right by our members, so let’s treat each other that way. Work within your groups to figure out what your members want and what your volunteers need. What do the volunteers need to be able to support the membership? Opportunities to attend conferences, training or simply network with other volunteers, learn what works for them, what didn’t work for them. Heck, sometimes providing something to drink during a meeting can go a long way.
I talked about my experience with local chapters and I’m really glad I’ve gotten involved. If nothing else, I have become a lot more confident in my own skills which has made me a better HR practitioner. And SHRM groups aren’t for anyone. I’m fortunate to be in a community with lots of volunteer options. [I’m also active with my daughters’ Girl Scout Troops & starting to get active in our new church.] I enjoyed seeing how others are involved in the profession outside of the “official” SHRM groups – we had a few side conversations around DisruptHR [which someone at the state leadership conference asked for an “official” SHRM response]. Here’s my take: if we want to be taken seriously as a profession, we need to take our profession seriously. We need to promote and be active in the professional organizations and if we don’t like the direction of the group, we need to either get involved or move along. We need to continue to learn, grow and connect with other professionals. We cannot stay in our bubble of our department or organization and think that we can get it all in one location. You can’t. You need to know what others are doing. You need to talk through your issues with other professionals who might be able to offer you an outside perspective. I think it is so important to find at least one professional organization to be a part of, even if only as a member.
Join or not, the decision is yours. But please do not complain about what others have done, if you aren’t willing to step out to make the change you want to see.