By now any business person should realize that HR professionals are at the forefront of the economic crisis. If HR is not managing layoffs, it is dealing with the extensive updates to HR legislation (COBRA, FMLA, I-9s, Lilly Ledbetter, etc.). While companies are shutting down, downsizing, and reorganizing, HR professionals are being called on to step up to the plate to ensure organizations remain informed and compliant.
We have been asked to the strategic table and found our seat, now we just need to make sure we stay there. How do we do that? Continue to prove our worth to the company - take initiative, go above and beyond, and further our professional development with the most current and updated information available. This is the road to compliance. Right now is a time for HR professionals to continue learning.
When 2008 was coming to a close the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) made it well known that they expected membership and conference attendance to be down from past years. It was believed that some of the first items to get cut from budgets would be professional memberships, training and conferences. I myself do not understand why professional development would be cut - do we not want our workforce to be the most efficient and effective it can be?
Membership retention numbers have yet to be released from SHRM. However, I recently learned that SHRM’s first two conferences of the year were both sold out - which should not be a surprise as they dealt with employment law changes. This makes sense - HR professionals are realizing that these day-to-day fires and problems caused by the economic crisis cannot totally overshadow their focus on recent employment law changes. If you think there is not enough time in the week to devote to reading HR-related articles or enough money for attending professional development activities, your organization may just fall behind and out of compliance. It is time for HR professionals to step up to the plate and take personal measure to ensure they are in the employment law ‘know’.
With this in mind, consider your options. We will be holding our 5th annual HR Tallahassee Conference
on June 11, 2009 in Tallahassee, Florida. The 31st annual HR Florida State Conference
will be held from August 16 - 19, 2009 in Orlando, Florida. The 61st annual SHRM National Conference
will be held from June 28 - July 1, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Explore your options - it’s your time to progress and shine.