Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Absence Doesn't ALWAYS Make the Heart Grow Fonder: My Thoughts on SHRM Actions of Late

So the last months have been upheaval in our profession due to the SHRM/HRCI separation. The only other times I remember the HR community being this "moved" is when the SHRM Members for Transparency concerns where made public and the "I Hate HR" article was published. I know the later dates me a but but I have been passionate and incredibly supportive of the "Profession" society I have been a very active advocate for most of my business career.

As expected, over the last few days at #SHRM14, I have heard comments both positive and negative about both SHRM and HRCI. However, I consider myself to be a reasonable person and I don't take everyone's comments to heart. Nor do I believe everything I hear.  But (and not my first BUT) what I can't get over is the absence and uneasy feeling that has been so obviously present during this conference. 

That absence is everything HRCI- PHR/SPHR/GPHR and so on.  HRCI,  who by the way, has been an organization that has supported our profession since it's inception and still does!  Yeah maybe our current testing and certification process needed an upgrade. BUT (and I do mean a BIG BUT) do we have to make an obvious disagreement at the highest levels of the organization so very blatant especially to the average SHRM member and non members? Do we have to portray a perception of being the BIGGER Kid on the block (the Bully) who will do whatever they want to get their way? Do we have be so careful and purposely talk as if the current certification is irrelevant and unimportant? Do we have to "bully" the little guy? Isn't bullying an issues we deal with in the workplace? Are we not better than that? Are we not professional business people? Are we not suppose to set the example for the workplace? Seriously, I am ashamed of the organization I have supported, cheered for, promoted, and grown fond of over the years to the point that I feel SHRM is a part of who I am. They are why I am who I am. I now don't feel comfortable with my own thoughts and feelings:

When the HRCI board is not in the front seats of this conference along side the SHRM and SHRM Foundation boards who's members all work so very hard to advance our profession. 

When you walk into the SHRM Store and see zero PHR, SPHR, and GPHR imprinted items that we are all so use to seeing all these years. 

When you have to go offsite to participate in HRCI events. 

When HRCI is not even mentioned when discussing the new certification (referred to as the other or present certification). 

When the obvious feeling of absence of a key player is so distinctly obvious all over the conference almost as if HRCI is a curse word. 

Honesty, I am very very disappointed with the actions of SHRM. The absence of anything related to my certification does not make my heart grow fonder for the organization I have loved for so long! 

SHRM you expected us to get certified in the new competency model. Sections of which are new to the old model. Sections for which I and many others don't feel you are portraying. Seriously, if you expect professionalism of your members, why don't you walk the talk? 


  1. Wow! Strong & powerful sentiments that may be shared by far more than we realize. I've been very neutral in all of this. My first and foremost concern was strictly a lack of "business acumen" concern that could have negatively reverberated throughout the entire international business community. It still remains my foremost concern. Perhaps a growing one, after reading Donna Rogers' first hand account of her impressions from attendance at SHRM14. Damage control anyone?

  2. Donna - thank you for the post. Your honesty on the subject is very appreciated.

  3. "They are why I am who I am." You, my new found virtual acquaintance, are who are because of your upbringing, background, accomplishments, education, and commitment. That comment by you said in your current exuberance is the only part of departure I have with your otherwise fabulous text. As a former vendor and winner of the Professional Member of the Year award at HRPBC (Palm Beach County, FL) and proud of it, "our" leaders simply let us down. In my view, this is no time for splitsville. No time for dumping one certification in favor of a new one. Anyone with any awareness of what is facing the HR as a profession also knows the option selected is counter productive. What about a robust re-merger and resulting celebration that announces to the world SHRM and HRCI are all under the same "tent" only more so than ever before? You and I can't ignore what is at work here. The good news that in a few years "all new people" who can see farther down the road than the current leadership. And you, my new "friend", Donna Rogers just might be one of the new leaders to get this done. Those that dis the HR profession (outsources its professionals, for example) must be delighted to see this rift. The sun will come up tomorrow and the next day and the next. Hang in there, Donna, and all those who proud of their profession, and those just coming on board. Imagine what they are thinking.

  4. What is happening with HRCI and SHRM is an absolute tragedy! This may be the most serious crisis the Society has ever witnessed. Surely, the public relations and member impact is extremely negative. This doesn't say much for SHRM, HRCI or our profession.
    Even if there were some justified reasons why SHRM felt it needed to disassociate itself from HRCI, their actions appear to be abrupt and unnecessarily aggressive. For instance, SHRM kicked HRCI out of the SHRM headquarters, discontinued the SHRM membership for HRCI staff, would not allow HRCI to attend or exhibit at the SHRM Annual Conference, required HRCI to obtain their own benefit plans, payroll and other administrative systems previously performed by SHRM; however, paid for by HRCI.
    I simply do not understand why some type of compromise was impossible. For instance, HRCI insists that the proposed SHRM approach, based on competencies, and HRCI’s current approach, have substantial overlap – – possibly as much 90%? I have no way of confirming this; however, based on my ten years on HRCI’s Board, and what I know about this profession, substantial overlap must exist. The two approaches simply cannot be that much different if they are both testing the knowledge and competencies of our profession.
    I am also greatly concerned about the impact on the SHRM Foundation. Since 1993, HRCI has contributed $17.3 million to the Foundation. The most negatively impacted part of SHRM may very well be the SHRM Foundation.

    Mike Losey, SPHR, CAE


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