As a Human Resources Professional I work in a complex system of employee requirements, business requirements and state and federal laws.
Like many HR professionals I’m tasked with hiring the best talent we can afford, supporting an organization where the best people want to work and where all people, regardless of race, creed or nationality feel welcome.
I am represented by a professional organization called SHRM.
In my early years in the profession SHRM was a godsend – I met great people through local and national conferences, learned a ton about our profession and in return I paid dues so that SHRM could further the HR profession and represent the interests of the profession nationally.
Today, I’m no longer an active member in SHRM, I attend some local chapter events but life happens and I’m no longer as active. And as I read about SHRM President Johnny Taylor and the current administration working together, I’m not exactly compelled to sign back up.
In the last two month’s Johnny has enthusiastically worked with the current administration to promise training for HR and advocated that all employers require HR professionals to have SHRM certification.
I don’t have an issue with SHRM advocating for workforce development, or even for their own certification, but I take issue with SHRM aligning themselves with the current administration.
This is Not Politics As Usual
Today SHRM finds itself in an uncomfortable place:
- They represent a majority female profession but feel compelled to make nice with an administration led by a man who is less-than supportive of women.
- They represent a group of professionals tasked with creating environments where all are welcome to do their best work but the current administration is actively reducing enforcement of civil rights.
Faced with the same situation, some of us might decide to restrain our interactions with such an administration. Perhaps work behind the scenes with those more friendly to a profession that is tasked with building inclusive organizations.
Taking a look at the fork in the road, they chose to move forward in support of an administration that is openly hostile to many of the people that make up our businesses and our customers.
I get it. SHRM is doing things as they have always done them: lobby, shake hands, support the current administration regardless of the party and move along with collecting our dues.
But this time, it’s different.
People are fed up with the status quo. Lobbying. Grinning and bearing it. All of that business-as-usual crap? People are done with it. They are sick of it. The #metoo and #timesup movements are illustrations of how done we are with the “business as usual” model.
For a long time, we have been looking to our government, our representatives and our CEO’s to fix the entrenched problems we see in our communities. We put a lot of faith in those institutions. We think “they” have the answers and will operate in our best interests but they don’t operate in our best interest.
And we are left disappointed.
I am disappointed. I am disappointed that our government is the best government money can buy. I’m disappointed that SHRM, along with many other companies, is aligning itself with this administration.
But I’m not disappointed when I see my fellow HR pro’s speak up against supporting this administration.
I’m not disappointed when I see people all over the country speaking up and stepping up.
We need more of that in all aspects of our lives.
If you don’t like the system change it:
Speak up for change in your organization(s)
If “business as usual” is no longer acceptable do something to change “business as usual.”
Nothing is too big to fail. Nothing is too big to change course. Nothing is indestructible.