Archive for the ‘Illinois SHRM’ Category

A Truckload of Thank Yous

August 29, 2011

Well, it’s come and gone. I hope that most all attendees at the 12th annual Illinois SHRM Conference (ILSHRM11) had the amazing time I had. We had a record crowd, cutting edge speakers and very intense but invaluable networking and I hope a little fun. I sit here trying to write a thank you post but have so many to thank I don’t know where to start and if I can keep it the length of a post and not a book, because it would not be hard to do.

First let me start with our keynotes, pre-conference speaker and our emcee. Our opening keynote, Ryan Estes, kicked us off with a very motivating and moving presentation that set the tone for the entire conference. Talent Anarchy (Jason Lauritsen and Joe Gerstandt) did what many keynoters fail to do and that is took the tough after lunch spot and they OWNED it. Testify. China Gorman gave our final keynote as only China can, informative, entertaining and classy. As I said in introducing China, when I took on ILSHRM11, I had a short list of 3 keynoters I wanted and I was blessed enough to get all three, China being top of that list. Whew. Jessica Miller-Merrell came in and led our first ever pre-conference session and did everything I thought she would do and more. And what can I say about our first ever conference emcee, Charlie Judy, but WOW. (Already got him committed to ILSHRM12).

Next, I have to thank our concurrent presenters. I wish I could list all 30 of them but space does not allow it (we run into that book length problem). The only complaint I have heard so far is that we didn’t have bigger concurrent break out rooms (we are working on that). They engaged, entertained and educated all of you. If you attended one (or five) great session, I encourage you to reach out to the speaker and connect with them to thank them and network. They are easily findable on the internet and if not, let us know; we will try and hook you up.

Next, our Social Media folks who came in and shared the conference with the world in ways I never thought possible. The number of over 3.8 million internet impressions just staggers me. Thank you Robin, Geoff, Maren, Kristi, Bryan, William, Jennifer, Dwane, Mike, Jessica, Jason S, Jason L, Joe, China and Charlie.

Thank you to the staff at NIU, Drury Lane, MCS and Chris Martin Public Relations for support and your hard work.

Thank you to our exhibitors and sponsors. You help make this amazing event possible. Please check out the list on our web site. Special thanks to our conference sponsor, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Illinois. They have been unbelievable in their support in the last few years.

Thanks to the SHRM staff at ILSHRM. Martha and Kristine, you support us all year long so thank you for sharing two days with us, I know how busy you are. Kattie from HRCI, it was so great to meet in person and thanks to your team for sponsoring our first tweet up and the ILSHRM All Access video recaps. Curtis, thanks. Without your interest last year, our social media reach would not be anything compared to what it is.

Thank you to all of our Illinois SHRM Board and volunteers. You made this years’ event run as smooth as glass due to all your effort and work. Special thanks go to our officers (Donna, Amy and Marianne), our District Directors (Karen, Lenore, Janeane, Melissa, Connie and especially Pattie), our technology team of Rachel and Dave. Thanks to all the chapter members and SHRM members who pitched into help. Extra special thanks to Sabrina Baker, our exhibitor and sponsor chair and Cathy Plouzek, my Co-Director. You all are super heroes in my book.

Last but not least, thanks to each and every attendee who came and participated. Your energy, enthusiasm and excitement made ILSHRM11 a huge success.

See you at the Drury Lane on August 6-7, 2012.


SHRM – Is there value in membership?

August 26, 2010

I’ve had this conversation with several friends who represent opinions on both side of the issue.  The only thing I can say for sure is that it does for me.

First the question on national membership:

The current $160 annual cost (don’t be surprised if it goes up, it has been at that level for years) is less than other organizations which serve the HR profession.  ASTD is at least $200 and World at Work is higher for a year (especially if you are a first time member).  I tend to look at the $160 versus what it would cost to replace some of the services I get from SHRM.  By using the web site or calling the Knowledge Center on a question, if I can avoid consulting a lawyer for just a half-hour, it’s a draw.  If it saves me from talking to a consultant for an hour, that’s a year paid for.

Membership can be a  huge time savings for HR pros which can translate into cost savings for their organizations.  Based on 2009 salary averages (from SHRM’s survey of December), if it saves a typical HR Director level person 4 hours of scrambling to find information which is  found in one place on the SHRM web site, immediate payback.  For an HR generalist, it takes about 6 1/2 hours to break even.  Either one of these arguments should help in justifying to yourself or your organization the cost of SHRM’s annual dues.

On to local chapter membership:

This one is a little tougher to quantify based on the myriad of dues, membership fees, meal costs, etc. that exist on the chapter level.  In Illinois, we have 20 chapters and probably 20 different dues structures.  The local chapters need to make sure they are delivering value to their members for the price of joining.  Members need to be surveyed to make sure that their needs are being met.  Are they getting good educational opportunities on HR topics of interest?  Is there a sufficient chance to network with other professionals at events to increase connections within the local HR community?  Do they need to have fancy served meals (or meals at all), are the meeting times attractive?  In these tough economic times (at least in Illinois), all those things need to be addressed if SHRM chapters are going to hold on to their membership or have any chance of increasing membership.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not drunk on SHRM kool-aid.  The national organization and the local chapters have plenty of opportunity to increase their value and improve membership services.  Those issues will definitely be discussed in this space as time goes on.

I would love to  hear from my readers (are  you out there?) what you think on this issue.  Does SHRM currently have value or what areas do you think they need to improve to make that financial outlay worth it, both on the national and local level?  I would be happy to take any and all ideas and make sure they get to the proper folks for consideration (can’t guarantee implementation).

Well, your thoughts?