The other day I shared my certification secret and for those close to me, they know it was hard. It’s a very personal story that I don’t share with people. I’m pretty insecure about it, so when SHRM broke the news that there was a new certification around the corner I had a lot of questions. I still have a lot of questions.
I’m a volunteer leader in my local chapter and I have been for years. I love being involved in my local chapter. I view it as a necessity for me to be involved in order to better understand the HR profession and my work. Being a volunteer leader does not mean serving SHRM, it means serving our members and people sometimes forget that. When SHRM rolled out an announcement that its volunteer leaders were not ready for, volunteer leaders got their feelings hurt, mainly because most of us were not consulted of such a huge change. In fact, it was the first that many of us heard of it. I think there is a HUGE lesson for us HR professionals in this announcement blunder, right? Hang with me.
We get so frustrated with our people when we change the slightest thing and they go nuts. Whether its moving your open enrollment system to completely online when that hasn’t been done before or someone changed the brand of coffee in the break room we just don’t get why everyone loses their minds? For the sake of their HR department can’t they just suck it up and move on? No. And now you know why. For the same reason that you aren’t the example of an agent of change. RIGHT NOW. Us butt-hurt HR professionals are justifying our five stages by the fact that we weren’t consulted, we weren’t in the know, our opinion wasn’t valued, but we know from our own experience that we can NOT get feedback from every single person that a change is going to affect in our organizations. What makes you think SHRM can do that? We are muddying our own message to our employees and organizations by our visible reaction to the SHRM certification announcement. What I’m seeing now is that some of the stuff we were angry about, isn’t true (at least not anymore). We won’t have to give up our current certification, we don’t have to pick a side, we won’t have to pay to take ANOTHER test in the first year (if you’re currently certified) and so on.
SHRM and HRCI both have acknowledged three things 1) neither are going anywhere 2) they both work to serve the HR profession 3) they are both a work in progress. So what does that mean for my plan of action? It means in January I will become SHRM-CP certified in addition to maintaining my PHR certification. It means I’m going to choose to hold both certifications and gather recert credits for them until we see where this ends up. Dial down the drama and take a step back. It’s like a word problem in math, you can cross out all the information you don’t need to consider (i.e. the jabs the two organizations publicly took at each other) and look at the facts you need to solve your problem. If you were planning on taking the PHR/SPHR this fall, still do-you’ll basically get a 2-for-1. If you have a certification director, keep ’em! If you don’t care either way, then don’t pretend like you do. Chapters can support re-certification credits for both (yes I know it’s going to end up costing more money, lets wait and talk about this when we know how much money). If you’re a volunteer leader, serve your members as usual (but please don’t use scare tactics, just stick to factual information). All I’m saying is it’s the beginning of something new, we can’t tell where it’s going to end up yet so calm down and put on the face of an agent for change. Worse things have happened ya know…