Each year, SHRM State Directors elect a regional representative to join the Membership Advisory Council (“MAC”) and to be a liaison between the SHRM members and the Board of Directors. The MAC meets in person with the Board to discuss issues that affect our membership. I was reminded recently that the MAC members hold the highest volunteer roles at SHRM. Why do we do it? To explain, let’s talk about a fruit and a nut.
The fruit is the passion fruit. Is “passion” too strong of a word for volunteering with SHRM? I don’t think so. Not only do we feel this passion ourselves, but we see and hear it when we speak to members. When people are passionate about something, they tend to make it known. As a MAC, I have received phone calls or attended meetings where people are upset or concerned about an initiative or a lost opportunity with regards to SHRM or their local chapters. It’s not always easy to be a part of these conversations. But then I realize – thank goodness they are upset! They care! And, just as importantly, they know that the SHRM Board and staff members want to know what’s going on. That leads me to the nut.
The nut is the pecan. Why? We have a GREAT DIVIDE in this country. Not politics. Not religion. But it is how to pronounce the word “pecan.” I’m from the South, and it is pronounced PEEcan. My husband is from Texas, and he pronounces it paKAHN. It is such an issue in my house that one Christmas, Bill actually gave me a huge package which turned out to be an (unused) chamber pot full of unshelled pecans. “I gave you a PEE can full of paKAHNS!” he said.
As SHRM members, we are all exposed to people who pronounce things differently AND who may come to an issue with a different perspective. That’s ok. Actually, it is encouraged. Each Spring and Fall, the MAC pushes the envelope even further by sending out a survey to members on specific issues to find out their opinions. * Take the survey. Share your thoughts. Rest assured the information is compiled and used in our Board reports.
So even with fruits and nuts, words can be empty if they are not backed up by results: The election process and term of the MAC was recently changed. The “Fortune Forty” initiative regarding chapters who were not quite meeting their affiliate numbers was put on hold. SHRM Special Expertise Panels were recently reintroduced. All of these ideas came from MAC recommendations to the Board. All of these ideas…CAME FROM YOU. Thank you for being passionate. Thank you for sharing your thoughts in your own special language. Thank you for volunteering.
*The 2017 Spring SHRM MAC Survey is now LIVE for your input. Please complete it and ask your fellow SHRM members to do the same. The deadline is May 5 so please complete it asap! Go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MACSpr2017.