September 19, 2014
Hopefully, SHRM members and fellow HR professionals across the country have read some of the wonderful and impactful blog pieces your fellow peers shared over the course of this week’s A-Team Blog Week. If you haven’t read the blogs on this site, you really should. What an impact face-to-face meetings with lawmakers and their staffs can have on the workplace, and on those who engage! And what a mark the A-Team left in their congressional districts and states during the recent month-long August congressional recess. SHRM also hosted several state councils and area chapters in Washington, DC, this September as part of the SHRM Day Inside the Beltway program. What a blast everyone had meeting with their lawmakers and staff just steps away from our Nation’s Capital.
Georgia SHRM members on Capitol Hill in September
I know, meeting with an honest-to-goodness Member of Congress sounds incredibly intimidating. But as I always try to assure potential advocates: these lawmakers are your neighbors. Their kids go to your local elementary school; they shop at the same grocery stores; and many owned or worked for local businesses before running for office. However, while lawmakers try their best to live and breathe their district, they rarely approach legislative matters in Washington from an HR perspective. In fact, only ONE member of Congress has a background in HR. Not sure who? It’s Sen. Michael Enzi (R-WY), a former SHRM member. That means that, while we have one champion in Congress who looks at workplace issues through the lens of an HR practitioner, we have 534 lawmakers to educate about how workplace policy proposals will impact your organizations….
That’s why, in this critical midterm election year, SHRM is encouraging our 7,600-member A-Team (along with the entire SHRM membership) to continue building relationships with members of Congress and candidates to help educate these public officials and move the HR profession forward. These August recess blogs showed that - whether you serve in a leadership position on your state council; your are involved with your local chapter’s efforts; you want to better protect your company and workplace; or you have concerns with the legislative agenda as an individual voter – serving as a resource for HR issues to your elected member of Congress is a win/win. While various members of Congress – at the federal, state or local level – may or may not support the HR perspective on certain workplace issues, sharing your views as a constituent is always held in high regard by those elected to serve you. And 9 times out of 10, that office will now look to you as a resource when issues addressing the workplace come before Congress.
As the rapidly growing embodiment of SHRM’s advocacy efforts, working constantly to maintain an ongoing dialogue with congressional leaders, the A-Team engages with lawmakers throughout the year – not just during August recess. As we near Election Day (November 4, 2014), I encourage you all to consider joining with SHRM’s A-Team if you are not already part of the network. Visit www.advocacy.shrm.org to find all the tools you need to be an educated and confident advocate. In particular, we will be offering the information you need to become aware of your respective races and candidates, your state’s voter registration deadlines, and where you can cast your vote this fall.
Whatever your experience level in advocacy efforts, SHRM’s A-Team provides all the support and resources you would need to share their perspective on how best to address the issues confronting both employees and employers. Now more than ever, HR leaders need to use your voice to help protect and advance the workplace. Thanks for your support, and if you’d like more information on SHRM’s A-Team or how you can get involved today, please email me at Meredith.Nethercutt@shrm.org.
Senior Associate, Member Advocacy
Society for Human Resource Management
Kelly Hastings (SHRM), Jenni Stone (HR Tampa) and Meredith Nethercutt (SHRM)
To visit the SHRM Advocacy Team blog page, please click here.
To visit the SHRM Policy Action Center, please click here.