Why did you go into Human Resources? What about HR attracted you? For me, I wanted to make a difference. That has always been the most rewarding part of my job. Many of you will say that you want to have a “seat at the table.” What about having a seat at the table with the Department of Labor? What about having a seat at the table in a Congressional hearing? Sound like a way to make a difference and represent our profession? Join the SHRM Advocacy Team.
Why did I join the A-Team? SHRM gave us the opportunity to have a voice, and I took it. I started out by following the links to the e-mails and completing the templates on the SHRM website to contact my Representative on key issues. From there, I joined the SHRM A-Team. Last year, prior to the start of the Annual Conference in Orlando, the DOL held two listening sessions with SHRM members, including many from the SHRM A-Team. It was fascinating to hear the questions they asked us and to get a glimpse into where the possible changes to the law were headed. My organization had a vested interest into the possible changes, and I was fortunate to have a seat at that table.
I stayed in touch and remained active with the A-Team. However, it wasn’t until this summer that I fully became an advocate. The House Education and Workforce Subcommittee on Workforce Protections was interested in hearing testimony from a SHRM member on the need for FLSA modernizations, and as a member of the SHRM A-Team as well as a participant in the DOL listening sessions, my name had come up. It was never a question of whether or not I wanted to participate. This is what we dream of, right? We actually get to go and TALK to Congress? Sign me up.
To say that it was the coolest day of my career is an understatement. While it was the most nerve-wracking experience, it was also a great honor to represent our society of hard working Human Resource professionals. Kelly Hastings, Lisa Horn, and I spent the entire afternoon prior to the hearing going over my testimony and fine tuning each word to make sure that we made the most of my five minutes. Nothing compares, however, to the outpouring of support that I received from Steve Browne and my Ohio SHRM members. That was just one of the many days that I was proud to be a SHRM member.