SHRM – Not Sexy, But I’d Settle for Interesting…

Jessica Lee Jessica Lee, Leadership

The SHRM National Convention is right around the corner with Lionel Richie performing on Tuesday night…

I’ve let my SHRM membership lapse, and truthfully I’m not sure if there’s any reason to belongShrm anymore. I mean, what do I get out of SHRM that I can’t get from my colleagues, folks on the web, or other free resources? No disrespect to SHRM, really, because that would be like dissing my grade school teachers. They certainly helped me tremendously when I first started out in HR. But after a while, their monthly HR Magazine started stacking up, once I realized some of the content was dated… or dare I say it, boring.

I have a short attention span and I need to be engaged, and oh yeah, I wouldn’t mind some inspiration, people! Yes, sometimes I need a little sumpthin’ sumpthin’ to get me a bit more energized about being an HR pro.

SHRM is in need of a major makeover and some rebranding. What’s scary though is that they actually have those efforts underway. Yep, they’ve been hard at work at an evolution. But is anyone feeling re-energized yet? Is the new logo doing anything for ya?

According to an article in Workforce (full disclosure, a sponsor of this blog and at times a competitor to SHRM), SHRM took in $95.5 million in revenue in 2006. They also ended that same year with $138.3 million in their asset reserves. That’s a lot of money! Doesn’t it make you wonder what they are doing with your dues? And isn’t that an ample amount of cash to do a little sumpthin’ sumpthin’ about the resources they provide, let alone their image?

No doubt SHRM definitely has value for those just entering the world of HR – when you are learning about different practices within the human resources function and need to master the fundamentals related to employment law and whatnot. But sadly, the institution of SHRM just doesn’t have any appeal, particularly for those HR yearlings who likely turn to it the most. It still feels old, stuffy and boring (read: unsexy). SHRM needs to find a way to appeal to the next generation of HR pros through progressive, cutting edge and fresh means – otherwise, how else are we going to help foster HR-rockstar mentalities in the uninitiated?

Stay the same and I caution us all that we’re going to continue cloning personnel drones who spit employment law as being the bible for our each and every action… or maybe worse for SHRM, someone else with a fresh approach to the HR profession is going to start taking those $160 dues from them one member at a time.

Bring sexy back (or to) the HR profession!