HR’s Ability to Have Impact is Real and Vital


SHRM was the voice of HR during both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions and was joined by hundreds of our members in each city. Each day this week, a SHRM member will tell their story about attending the political conventions! 

Attending the Democratic National Convention reminded me that our ability to have impact is real and vital

Standing on the floor of the Democratic National Convention was daunting.  The size of the arena is large, but that’s not what made it formidable.  It was taking in the entire democratic process while history was being made by the first-time nomination by a major political party of a woman to the presidency of the United States.  Regardless as to which side your bread is buttered, standing on that floor was history.

As a member of SHRM, it is our privilege to be a part of history each day.  That’s not trite or cliché, but rather, a healthy and truthful perspective.  We impact the lives of many through our encouragement of productive communication, enforcement of policy and enlargement of skill development.  Our role in advocating for the vibrancy of our people and the protection of our companies hits harder during a presidential election year.  We are reminded that our jobs push an agenda and that we need resources to assist in getting that done.  SHRM helps us with such resources.

Human resources professionals across the country can attest that the division in our country is deep.  Whether it is based upon race, religion, compensation, geography, education, gender or a host of other issues, it is real to the people that make up the US capitalistic economy.  Our challenge is to manage folks in this context but also to lead them into a fuller understanding of their place in the future of our industries. 

Innovation, as a tenet of SHRM’s 21st Century Workplace policy initiative, is vital to our longevity.  It’s not just about Facebook or Google; it’s about workplace flexibility and portability.  It’s about forecasting business growth and technological needs.  It’s about utilizing skill sets in new and deeper ways through healthy business alignment and comprehensive assessment.  HR professionals have a key role in this.

Candidates on both sides of the aisle use words like “reform” and “effectiveness” in their platforms.  And while the context varies, the intention needs to be real.  SHRM offers a way for its members to strategize with their companies in these concepts and establish a path for progress in them.  Our workplaces are in need of leadership in these areas, and we can take up the reigns.

The DNC reminded me that our ability to have impact is real and vital.  Our voices need to be heard, even if our language isn’t as refined as we’d desire it to be.  SHRM stands for us professionally and raises high the banner for competition, fairness and innovation.  And as a kid from Philly watching history unfold, I need a bit of refinement and support from my SHRM family to share the potential of dynamic workplace creativity and practicality. 


John Baldino




The SHRM Blog does not accept solicitation for guest posts.

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