As I get ready to speak with an HR community this week at a conference in Waco, Texas, I think about the importance of engagement in the workplace, and how leaders serving HR have a wonderful opportunity to grow “inside” the organization by stepping “outside” the office and engaging with other HR professionals in the community. However, it takes courage to walk into new environments for anyone. Think about a new employee on their first day of work. It can be daunting. They are worried about being on time, wearing the right clothes, saying the right things, and they don’t know anyone as they try to navigate in their new organization. It can be lonely and very challenging for anyone. It’s the same for business leaders that want to get to know others outside their organization. It’s hard! It takes courage to show up to a new event not knowing anyone and this new environment makes it twice as hard.
But why is it important to get to know others outside the organization? It’s not just important, it’s imperative to grow our organization and our careers. Years ago, I attended a networking event and met a guy named Richard. One of the questions I like to ask is “why did you decide to attend the event”. His answer shocked me. He said he had led HR in a company for over 25 years and wanted to get to know some people because he now found himself looking for a job. He was so busy in the organization, he never got outside to meet anyone. The time to start networking is not when you no longer have a job, or want to look for another job, the time to start is now when you have a job. I love what Steve Browne said at SHRM 2019 conference, we all need to have at least 5 people outside the organization to connect with at any time.
One of the best ways for HR professionals to better engage with other HR professionals outside the workplace is through their local, state, and national SHRM associations. In the State of Texas, there are 32 local Texas SHRM chapters spread out across the state waiting for you. There are so many benefits to being a member of both your local chapter and national SHRM. Today, I want to share some strategies to help you better engage with other HR professionals from a SHRM community perspective. Making the choice to get involved will absolutely change your career!
- Expand your network. Our success over the next 5 years will be determined by the books we read and people we meet. Your SHRM community will help you in so many ways, but the best part if buy building lifelong friendships!
- Local Education, State Webcasts, National programs. “The capacity to learn is a gift, the ability to learn is a skill, and the wiliness to learn is a choice.” -Brian Herbert. Being part of SHRM community gives you access to ongoing education. Make the choice!
- ASK AN ADVISOR Resource. Do you remember the TV show “Who wants to be a millionaire?” You could poll the audience, ask to eliminate 2 wrong answers, or phone a friend. Being part of SHRM allows you to have the “Phone a friend option that have HR experience and a convenience of LIVE CHAT! You can phone a local friend in HR too!
- SHRM Resource Center (Policy, Job Descriptions) We have seen a lot of change in 2020 including “remote work”, and SHRM gives you access to changes needed during these challenging times.
- Legal Issues and Support… FMLA, Coronavirus laws workplace posters available. Compliance is a key to success when serving HR, and you don’t have to do it alone! Many employment lawyers are local resources too!
- Employee Performance, Workplace Trends and more. SHRM puts the spotlight on key areas to keep you educated and informed.
- SHRM Connect and HRConnect. Got Questions. SHRM Connect can be another source of “Poll the Audience” from a national perspective, and you also have access to HRConnect from a state level when you are part of your local TexasSHRM chapter. Even if you don’t have questions, you can see what others are asking to stay engaged in the latest trends. So much value to be connected here!
- Business solutions (Benchmarking, Compensation, Talent Assessments) When is comes to business planning, SHRM offers business solutions to help you keep other leaders updated “at the table.”
- Advocacy (Download SHRM Advocacy APP Stay active in local state and government legislation and help shape laws in the workplace. It’s policy, not politics!
- Career resources for development (HR Certification, Veterans at work Certificate When I got my certification, I was so excited. Not just because I now could add an acronym to my title, but I could now have different conversations with other business leaders in the workplace and in the community. It’s all about the process!
In 2017, SHRM released a survey that asked HR Professionals that led “departments of one” the most important issues in their workplace… communication, talent acquisition, retention, and engagement all fell below the most important response…which was leadership development!
Being engaged with other HR professionals will elevate your game because you are surrounded by others in your profession to learn and grow with each day. You get to see what great looks like, and not so great. You have accountability partners, and most importantly friends to do career life with outside the workplace. It’s so much more than HR…
Jim Rohn says it best, success is not pursued, it is attracted… If we want more, we must become more and we can do this be investing our time and resources in continuous education and building our networks… Our Local, State, and National SHRM organization is perfect for anyone in business serving people in the workplace and in life! I want to encourage you to make this part of your business plan in 2021. Once you join, get “outside” the workplace and get involved, so you can start growing yourself and your team “inside” the workplace! It’s more than HR… it’s community!
Want to better engage online? Check out #HRCommunity on social media too!
Quote of the Day: “Someday is today.” Steve Gleason
Call to Action: Visit texasshrm.org to find a local chapter near you. Reach out to the local SHRM chapter board and let them know you have just joined and ask the best way to get involved. They would enjoy hearing from you. Also, reach out to SHRM.org to find a chapter across the US… and be part of SHRM national too! Your career is only getting started… I can’t wait to see what’s up ahead for you as a member of the SHRM community!
This has been A Relocation Minute on “better engage with HR professionals” with Bruce Waller, for more information, call