Is There Hope IN HR? Musings from #SHRM15

I had no expectations when I walked into SHRM15 this year. There were a few realities I knew would happen. I knew it would be hot in Vegas. I knew it would be cold inside the conference center. I knew it would be a crazy, busy place with over 15,000 attendees. I knew I would see social friends who I have been fortunate enough to meet online and move those relationships into a real life connection that I am deeply grateful for. We talk every day on social media but only see each other once or twice a year so I knew this would be special. I knew I would eat too much and be in a constant state of tired energy.

But that’s about all I knew.

I was a bit anxious when I walked in yesterday about what else I would find. There has been so much buzz that circulates in and out of the HR space about whether HR is relevant. People asking if we need HR. Does HR really make a difference? Is it necessary anymore?

Is there any hope for HR?

After attending sessions yesterday, eavesdropping on conversations from people sitting in the rooms and having my own conversations with fellow HR pro’s and recruiters I can tell you with no reservation that there is in fact, hope for HR. There are people moving this profession forward. It is necessary. It is still relevant and if you think HR isn’t on the cutting edge I have several examples that can prove you wrong.

My bigger question this week and maybe even a concern is whether there is any hope IN HR. In the people itself, do they have hope? Are they hopeful that the work they are doing makes a difference. Are they hopeful that their career is on the trajectory they want it to be and will continue down a meaningful path? Are they hopeful that their leaders see their value and appreciate it?

I’m not so sure.

This morning Mika Brzezinski from Morning Joe gave a keynote speech. One of her main points focused on knowing your value. I am in the complete mindset that we as HR professionals do not know our value. If we do know it, we either aren’t confident enough or don’t know how to articulate it to others. Trust me when I say I include myself in those sentences. If we don’t know and can’t articulate our value, how can we ever have hope in ourselves and our profession?

I don’t have the answer. I need to do my own gut check on the level of hope I have in HR – not in our abilities, but in our desire and willingness to be more bold and proud of who we are and what we are capable of accomplishing.

So I’m going to leave this question open. If you are at the SHRM conference in Vegas tell me what you think? Is there hope in HR? Do we as HR professionals have hope in ourselves and our profession? Tell me what you think or what you are hearing from others?

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