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From the CEO: The Power of HR

It is up to HR professionals to guide their companies into the future.

This is the time of year when I like to reflect on the state of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). It is an opportunity to look back on a year of activity, accomplishments and, most important, progress as the world’s largest professional association for HR. Each year, I find myself revisiting a simple but important question: Have we realized the true power of our profession? 

Over the years, SHRM has helped turn an occupation into a profession—from personnel administration to human resource management to people strategy. From a profession, we have transformed into a community dedicated to the best of people management. And in that community lies our power. 

The HR profession is at its best when we come together to share effective practices and collective wisdom, raise the standards of human resource management, and advance HR to its rightful place in leading business. 

Read between the lines of HR Magazine, SHRM’s flagship publication, and you will find that this philosophy guides every issue—and this issue is no exception. For our cover story, “What HR Needs to Know in 2016,” the magazine staff convened nine business experts and HR thought leaders to highlight the most important trends shaping the workplace and the HR profession—and to provide sage advice on how to respond to them. It is such collective wisdom that every member of our profession needs to succeed.

The advice, however, may surprise you. Far from being just a checklist of things to know and do in the next year (think: prepare for regulatory changes, brace for turnover, implement technology solutions, etc.), our forecasters used the SHRM Competency Model to map out how to be your best as an HR professional in 2016 and beyond.

Indeed, HR’s job is to be increasingly forward-looking. We must do more than put out fires and respond to immediate challenges; we must be trend forecasters for our companies. As John Boudreau, research director at the Center for Effective Organizations at the University of Southern California, pointed out, “We must keep thinking beyond our conventional notions of HR’s goals and responsibilities. That’s the only way to ensure that our leaders are poised to tackle the demands of tomorrow’s world.” 

Know that whatever comes your way in 2016 and beyond, you can turn to SHRM as a trusted resource. If it means only one thing to be a member of SHRM, it is that you are never alone in the HR profession. 

Ours is a growing, thriving community dedicated to managing people in the best way at a time when doing so is at the top of every business agenda. That is the power of our profession.

Happy holidays and best wishes for the year ahead.

Henry G. Jackson is the president and CEO of SHRM.


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