SHERM’s got bucks…

A recent article in Workforce magazine revealed that the Society for Human Resources Management, or SHRM (pronounced “SHERM”), is a $95M enterprise with — better sit down — almost $170,000,000 in financial reserves! $170M buckos.

That ain’t chump change.

Yet here we are, 2008… and the vast majority of the profession still spends time and emotional energy on why managers can’t do this, why they ‘must’ do that, and telling the shop guys to take down their girlie calendars.

Not that these things don’t have some value. They do. It’s just that, if we’re hanging our hat on compliance, don’t be surprised when we start looking like buggy whips to senior managers.

It may be necessary, but that doesn’t mean it adds value.

Now, with all those benjamins, SHRM could help with the profession’s reputation… why don’t they? I visited SHRM’s message board the other day (infrequently), and someone asked, “Isn’t it senior HR folks’ job to coach and train newbies?”

To that, I responded:

“…isn’t it our job to help coach the newbies…?”

Nope, it’s not.

I may do exactly that a lot of the time, but I do it because I want to — it’s not my responsibility to coach or train them.

Further, if SHRM has expectations that we’ll do that, all the more reasons to have significant, separate resources available for those in a senior capacity…

SHRM obviously has incredible resources. Would like to see those really used to advance and truly *promote* the profession (not the association, necessarily), and for Pete’s sake, either shore up the sometimes-dubious image of our certifications or quit promoting the need.

It seems that the association is more in a revenue-generation mode — ALL the time — and never really in the “support and give-back to the membership” mode.

Maybe just me… but I expect that of a professional association.

And membership growth and financial reserves doth not a successful association make. Seems there should be additional criteria for a not-for-profit, mission-driven organization…

So, SHRM… how about sharing the wealth with the people who made it for you? Do something big and bold for the profession. We need profession leadership, not association growth for growth’s sake…

At least, to my way of thinkin’.



Kevin Berchelmann

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