Friday, July 12, 2013

MAC Meetings with "the Boards" Feedback

First of all, thanks to all those who participated in the Spring 2013 MAC Survey and to all the SHRM State Council Directors in the North Central Region for electing me to serve you. The input we received was so valuable and made our jobs easier as representatives of our volunteer leaders and the members in the states we serve.

The MAC Representatives met for an hour each with the HRCI Board, SHRM Foundation Board and SHRM's Board of Directors prior to the SHRM Annual Conference.  The MAC Reps expected to spend about 20 minutes with each board; however, they were so engaged and interested in the information that we had to share on behalf of the members that we were given additional time. Since our approach for collecting data was via survey, we were able to provide actual data and statistics to back up the information that we covered. Our methodology paid off, as the information we discussed was fact based and gave it credibility in the eyes of the board members.

The MAC Survey had 5 Areas of Focus:

·       Information in regards to SHRM's Global Strategy
·       Obtaining Feedback for the SHRM Board and its Leadership Team
·       Feedback on SHRM Foundation and HR Certification Institute
·       The challenge of the Skills Gap that HR Professionals are facing
·       Ways that SHRM can better serve the HR Professional

Overviews of the discussions were as follow:

SHRM’s Global Strategy

Our members fully understand SHRM's global strategy; however, they feel that this strategy and membership growth have resulted in SHRM losing sight of supporting the professional.  SHRM's Board took note of this discussion and was appreciative for the feedback. 

Obtaining Feedback for the SHRM Board and its Leadership Team

Members truly resonated with the previous strategy of “Advancing the Profession”, which told a compelling story. They are looking to SHRM to continue to raise awareness of the value of HR and certification.  We were pleased to hear Hank Jackson bring language about Advancing the Profession (ATP) in his remarks during the SHRM Annual Conference the day after we met.  You should also know that Bette Francis is passionate about professional development.

We shared with the board that communication needed to be a strategy and that improved communication is needed particularly when new strategies are being implemented.

We also discussed the membership's feedback on the high cost of the Annual Conference, recertification programs, and local and national membership dues. This was the number 1 rated feedback received in our survey.

SHRM Foundation

Overall, those that completed the survey, 95% are pleased and proud of what the SHRM foundation provides to the members in the form of grants, scholarships, and research. 

Symbiotic relation that the average member doesn't understand what the SHRM foundation does. There needs to be better communication from the foundation and the flow downward.

One area of focus is those volunteer leaders and members are constantly being marketed to donate to the SHRM Foundation even after they've made their annual donation.  It becomes overwhelming to those members that have made their annual donation. 

We shared with the foundation board the feedback relating to the state council's and chapters burden to always be fundraising and having to communicate the value of donating to the foundation. Members need more support from the foundation in marketing their value and need a greater outreach for fundraising.


We shared with HRCI, some of the challenges chapters and state councils are having in obtaining certification credits for programs, as well as the difficulty with entering recertification credits. You will be pleased to hear that HRCI is in the process of implementing a new web site.

Skill Gap

The survey simply reinforced there is an ongoing problem with skills needed for most jobs in various industries.  This is an area SHRM has been working on and will continue to work with different partners to provide resources for HR Professionals.  The Board was interested in hearing developing stories such as “work centers” creating a stir with NLRB (#Fightfor15 & OurWalmart where among several examples) shared by the MAC Reps.

Ways to Better Serve the HR Profession

We shared with the Board top resources for SHRM to Serve the HR Professional of which the following were ranked as a result of the survey:

#1 Join for Professional Development- Professional Society
#2 Employment Law Resources- Immigration, caveat on how to apply, not just what law says
#3 Comp & Benefits- PPACA, ADAAA, FMLA
#4 Employee Relations- what to do

Other concerns for members were Talent Retention/Employee Engagement as economy improves.

Also members continue to look to SHRM to expand technology resources.
Finally, members don't want SHRM to reinvent the wheel, just embrace it. SHRM doesn’t have to be everything to everyone. What we do, should be done great! Continue to engage in strategic partnerships to achieve goals.

Future Focus

Lastly, the MAC Reps are waiting for our next focus areas and that we will once again be conducting a survey. You will be happy to know that the SHRM Foundation has agreed to help us generate our next survey and that we are looking to expand our survey to reach out to the At-Large Members.

Overall, this was a positive exchange as well as a positive experience and we are hoping the information we shared with all three boards along with recommendations made by the MAC Reps will have a successful outcome for all.   

Donna Rogers, MEd., SPHR
Instructor, University of Illinois at Springfield
President, Rogers HR Consulting
North Central Region MAC Representative

Illinois SHRM Immediate Past State Director

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