Monday, August 13, 2012

SHRM, Schock and Relationships

Either we have some pretty smart cookies doing our bidding for us out at the Mothership on Duke street, or they are scamming us big time - at least based upon my findings.  The crew at SHRM Government Affairs have been working diligently to get their members (you and me and anybody else reading this) to become more active in government affairs.  One thing they do every year at the SHRM Leadership Conference is called Lobby Day.  This is where they very quickly and efficiently teach members who to go Capitol Hill how to become advocates for SHRM and HR issues.  It's fairly easy and not all that intimidating. I did  it last year.

Now part of the effort is to introduce legislators to SHRM members. Another part, bigger picture is to  have these SHRM members build relationships with their elected officials.  Last year on my trip, I did get to meet with my U.S. Representative Aaron Schock (R-Peoria, IL).  He seemed like an articulate, congenial, intelligent young man - wise beyond his 31 years.

Last November when I met with him as part of Lobby Day, I extended him an invitation to, "stop by and see us if you are in the neighborhood."   Really it just seemed like the cordial thing to do. Quite frankly I viewed it like inviting someone to the party that you are almost certain will not show up. Well in late July I got a call from one of the Congressman's staffers asking if he could come by and see our operation on August 9. What...he's want to take me up on this- really. Uhmm... we would love to have the Congressman come by, to see what we do, see and hear about some of our challenges and left unsaid build our relationship.

U.S. Representative Aaron Schock (left) touring our food plant. 
On the appointed day Representative Schock dropped in met our Company President, CFO and toured our facility.  I work in manufacturing so I had the gentleman who runs that department tour with Represtative Schock.  It was quick tour.

Nonetheless, we did get to discuss with Representative Schock some issues that our Company was facing, and put faces with names.  As the discussions wrapped up, I suggested to his Chief of Staff that I was a pretty sharp HR guy and would love to be included in any discussion that they were having on legislative matters that involved Human Resources.  She said she would be happy to contact me about those issues.

So there it is.  Once you get the relationship started the SHRM formula seems to be working.  I wonder if all those Government Affairs people at SHRM are really super smart and earning an honest living, or that if very few SHRM members have actually taken the time and made the effort to build a relationship with an elected official, in an effort to advocate for Human Resources/SHRM and business related matters.

The true answer is this; Mr. Aitken, Ms. Horn, Mr. Layman, and Mr. Lusk all do one heck of a job for SHRM and their members and it is because of their planning and forethought, I have had this opportunity to develop a relationship with my elected official. So thanks guys!   I Hope that I have the good fortune to attend SHRM Lobby Day 2012.

-Dave Ryan Director of Social Media ISC SHRM