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In 2021, our second year of living with the COVID-19 pandemic, business executives and policymakers urgently sought HR’s leadership, thrusting HR professionals onto the front lines to serve as corporate first responders. Many of us returned to the office, only to face further challenges such as COVID-19 variants, vaccine mandates, racial inequity, a mental health crisis and the Great Resignation.
HR professionals rose to the occasion, courageously leading their organizations to rebuild and discover innovative and strategic ways to adapt to today’s changing work landscape.
About the 2021 Campaign
Our Now More Than Ever campaign cast HR professionals in the spotlight, highlighting the value HR brings, in partnership with SHRM, while meeting the challenges of today’s workplace.
The campaign featured two national TV commercials and shared resources tailored to our 6 distinct audience segments. With SHRM as their partner, our members have been able to leverage education, professional development, and tools to meet the needs of the modern and ever-changing workplace.
Throughout the year, SHRM supported our 300,000+ members and partners by:
Throughout 2021, SHRM’s efforts continued to
elevate the HR profession and garner significant attention from national media. SHRM data was featured in
1800+ media interviews globally resulting in
47.5 billion impressions and
$439 million in earned media value.
Now more than ever, HR plays a vital role as workplaces enact transformational change, innovate, and evolve to build a world of work that works for all.
In 2021, we expanded our Together Forward @Work campaign, which aims to elevate HR’s role in addressing racial inequity in the workplace, with a focus on turning words into action.
Vice President of Global Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging, LinkedIn
Vice President, Human Resources and Global Chief Diversity Officer at Boston Scientific
SHRM-SCP, Professor of Practice in Human Resource Management, The Pennsylvania State University
Group President, Lifecycle Solutions and Chief Administrative Officer, Deere & Company
Associate Professor, Rice University
Vice President of Human Resources at Installed Building Products
President KPMG Foundation and The PhD Project (Ret.) Member, President’s Board of Advisors on HBCUs
Chief People & Culture Officer, ManpowerGroup
Director, Human Resources, Business Ops and Strategy, WSA Distributing, Inc.
President & Chief Executive Officer of SHRM
Chief Knowledge Officer, SHRM
Senior Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer for Albermarle Corporation and Chair of SHRM Board of Directors
SHRM continues to elevate HR by serving as the premier voice for all things work by activating our audience-centric business model, bolstering membership, and amplifying the SHRM brand.
In a banner year for SHRM, in 2021 we achieved our highest recorded revenue, a record-high membership renewal rate, our highest recorded membership (307,630 members), and our highest number of certificants, at 120,038 (active) and 167,000 (active plus retired).
SHRM also grew participation: Chapter Dual Membership release programs increased by 300%, increasing to 88 chapters. We also continued our focus on training Volunteer Leaders and supported our 556 chapters and 51 state councils.
In 2021 SHRM refreshed and relaunched the emerging professional segment to feature new student-centric content and messaging and reimagined member benefits.
As a result of these brand enhancements to the student segment, SHRM saw 4,000 new student members in the first 90 days of the Pursue Your Purpose launch. The campaign led to a 200% increase in student applications for SHRM certification exam.
SHRM and the SHRM Foundation also launched new mentorship experiences, featuring three different types of program options to get HR students workplace ready.
SHRM Education’s newest product line, the People Manager Qualification (PMQ), reached thousands of new leaders: In 2021 SHRM sold 2,000+ PMQ seats.
The Inclusive Workplace Culture Specialty Credential gives HR professionals the strategies and tools needed to successfully shift organizational culture.
Complaints require careful attention from HR professionals including when and how to engage. This credential empowers members to effectively and accurately operate in their roles as investigators.
Debuting at No. 3 on The Wall Street Journal’s bestsellers list, RESET: A Leader’s Guide to Work in an Age of Upheaval, written by President and CEO Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP, has been featured in dozens of national and international news and business magazines, on podcasts and other outlets. It quickly became the must-read practical roadmap for leaders around the world.
All author proceeds benefit the SHRM Foundation, which is committed to empowering HR as a social force for change.
In 2021, SHRM adapted our signature conferences to fit the changing times. In the spring of 2021, SHRM held two conferences, the SHRM Workplace Policy Conference 2021 and our first-ever Employment Law & Compliance Conference.
Our first-ever Employment Law & Compliance Conference 2021 was a fully virtual event. This event helped attendees gain insights and provide tools and resources to successfully anticipate and navigate employment laws, stay compliant and mitigate legal risks.
The SHRM Workplace Policy Conference 2021 featured 11 policymakers, including Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Chair Charlotte Burrows and resulted in 234 meetings between SHRM members and congressional offices.
SHRM made history by hosting our first-ever hybrid events. Attendees chose either in-person or virtual experiences at the SHRM Annual Conference & Expo 2021, the SHRM Talent Conference & Expo 2021 and INCLUSION 2021. These three events convened a total of more than 18,000 participants.
In 2021, SHRM’s marquee annual event was organized around the theme “Now More Than Ever.” The conference was designed to help HR leaders confidently lead their businesses and their people to reinvent, reprioritize and reimagine work, workers, and the workplace.
SHRM21, hosted in Las Vegas over 4 days, boasted 11 different attendee tracks, 175+ sessions, and 11,500+ virtual and in-person attendees.
The conference also featured engaging mainstage speakers like Michael Phelps speaking on mental health and wellness, Chipotle’s CEO Brian Niccol and its chief diversity, inclusion and people officer Marissa Andrada, and Life is Good co-founder Bert Jacobs, networking opportunities, professional programming and interactive sessions with live chats and Q&A.
At SHRM21, SHRM Head of Government Affairs, Chief of Staff, and Corporate Secretary Emily M. Dickens led a listening session featuring EEOC Chair Charlotte Burrows and Commissioner Keith Sonderling, who discussed future commission priorities and took questions from in-person and virtual attendees. This provided a phenomenal opportunity for our members to receive access to and interact directly with EEOC commissioners.
In 2021, SHRM rebranded its workplace innovation lab and venture capital arm as SHRMLabs.
SHRMLabs pioneered the inaugural Better Workplaces Challenge Cup, the first-ever pitch competition that gave HR practitioners a direct say in the technologies relevant in the workplace today. The 2021 competition featured more than 150 workplace tech startups as contest participants, 26 chapter leaders and volunteers serving as judges, and 25 virtual events nationwide. The competition culminated with the Better Workplaces Challenge Cup Finals hosted at SHRM21.
The SHRM Foundation’s top strategic priorities in 2021 included:
Mental health and wellness in the workplace emerged as one of the most critical social and economic issues of our day. In 2021, SHRM Foundation championed workplace mental health and wellness, collaborating with diverse partners to pioneer new solutions.
The SHRM Foundation hosted the first-ever Workplace Mental Health Summit in 2021, leading the movement to destigmatize and support mental health and wellness in the workplace.
The SHRM Foundation partnered with Psych Hub to develop the Workplace Mental Health Ally Certificate, an online learning program featuring eight multimedia courses covering common mental health conditions and delivering evidence-based training.
In 2021, the SHRM Foundation established the Tharseo Awards, an annual gala to honor forward-thinking business leaders who serve as visionaries, innovators, and change makers for their leadership by creating and strengthening the vital connection between employees and company purpose.
The SHRM Foundation continued building awareness about the value of untapped talent in 2021. SHRM Foundation supports veterans, military spouses and caregivers, individuals aged 60+, workers with a disability, individuals with a criminal record, and opportunity youth through many initiatives. SHRM Foundation programs include:
In 2021, the SHRM Foundation awarded the next generation of HR professionals:
The SHRM Foundation appreciates your partnership and collaboration as we advance positive social change and build a world of work that works for all.
The SHRM Foundation is grateful to all of our generous supporters and donors.
In 2021, SHRM launched the SHRM Executive Network (EN), an dynamic group of HR leaders at the intersection of people and business, starting with the announcement of a new SHRM Executive Council. The SHRM Executive Council’s efforts equip members of the SHRM Executive Network with a competitive advantage through access to thought leadership, proprietary resources and global industry executives.
In 2021, SHRM Enterprise Solutions gave organizations the opportunity to leverage SHRM's unparalleled expertise, development tools and member resources by ensuring their entire HR Departments had access to SHRM’s benefits – not just individual HR practitioners. In 2021, SHRM doubled our number of SHRM Enterprise Members.
In 2021, SHRM Government Affairs built bridges across the political spectrum, partnering with leaders and policymakers aligned with SHRM’s vision of building better workplaces for a better world.
SHRM focused on six key policy areas driving our efforts to promote meaningful workplace policy solutions:
SHRM Government Affairs supported SHRM members on the state and federal level. In a major state-level achievement for SHRM Government Affairs, SHRM achieved bipartisan outreach from California legislators seeking SHRM support for priority legislation impacting student loan assistance, veterans hiring preference, and flexibility for telework.
By engaging with the Biden administration and conducting a survey of SHRM member reactions to President Biden’s vaccine mandate announcement, SHRM ensured the perspectives of HR professionals and business executives were considered as the administration finalized rules to enact a COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
SHRM President and CEO Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP, testified before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) at a hearing on the effects of COVID-19 on workers, employers’ difficulties navigating potential employment discrimination issues, and future challenges the pandemic may present for employees and employers.
SHRM Chief of Staff, Head of Government Affairs and Corporate Secretary Emily M. Dickens joined the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Diversity and Inclusion to discuss pay equity issues and effective compensation practices.
SHRM Foundation President Wendi Safstrom appeared before the House Education and Labor Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Investment to tout the Getting Talent Back to Work initiative’s success and share insights on how the workforce development system can better serve employers and job seekers.
In 2021, SHRM piloted a new webinar series, SHRM Global Talent Webcast Series, to bring our audience the insights and latest developments in the world of immigration and global mobility. The series attracted more than 1,150 attendees representing over 1,000 organizations, with audiences in 20+ countries and all 50 states, plus Washington, D.C., Guam and Puerto Rico.
In 2021, SHRM provided leadership to the global community on our evolving workplaces and demonstrated ways we can cultivate better workplaces for a better world.
SHRM India, MENA and APAC hosted six cutting-edge international conferences featuring 20,000+ attendees from 40+ countries and 7,000+ participating organizations.
SHRM India launched our first-ever large virtual conference in the Asia-Pacific region, SHRM NxT APAC 2021, with representation from 21+ APAC countries, 800+ participants, and 60+ speakers.
Global flagship events included SHRM India’s virtual SHRM Tech 21 and SHRM India’s Annual Conference, held virtually in December 2021, which dovetailed with SHRM’s 2021 Now More Than Ever theme.
This conference saw 900+ attendees from 12+ countries in the Middle East and featured a strategic partnership launch between SHRM and Saudi Arabia’s Institute of Public Administration.
SHRM signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Saudi Arabia's Institute of Public Administration, further strengthening SHRM's presence in the Middle East.
As we continue to navigate the ever-changing world of work, HR professionals must recognize that each action we take contains the potential to set off a chain reaction. Our individual and collective actions have the power to Cause the Effect we want to see in the workplace, reshape workplace policies and company culture, and transform the future of work.
Heading into the future, SHRM will continue providing world-class customer service and resources to our partners and members so that, together, we can build new and better workplace cultures of belonging, drive social and economic improvements in the workplace, and foster mutually beneficial work environments that maximize human potential for all.