The idea for a day of celebration was conceived by the Missouri State Council of SHRM, an affiliate of the Society for Human Resource Management, the fifth largest professional association in the world. Missouri SHRM is honored to serve over 5,000 HR professionals in the state. The Missouri State Council of SHRM saw a need to recognize and highlight the contributions of the human resource professionals in business and industry in Missouri. It became official when Governor Jay Nixon signed a proclamation creating Missouri HR Day, with the first celebration on May 3, 2013.
To fully appreciate the contributions of HR in today’s dynamic marketplace, let’s take a historic look at the evolution of the profession. The Industrial Revolution of the early 1900’s brought about labor relations issues and people were viewed as interchangeable parts. With WWI and civil service priorities in the 1920’s, workers’ rights and processes became more formalized. WWII in the 1940’s brought about personnel administration and human resources processes began to evolve. New challenges arose in the 1960’s as civil rights and compliance requirements were implemented. With the emergence of mergers and acquisitions in the 1980’s, and a fast-changing world, personnel was a dying term. The profession was changing from compliance and record-keeping to evolving into human relations and human capital. At the start of this century, organizations became focused on organizational effectiveness, human capital issues and many shifted transactional functions to outsourcing to increase productivity and profitability. Recent years have shifted the focus even more to competing in the global economy (with a global workforce) and implementing many forms of e-enabled technology throughout all aspects of the organization.
As businesses have had to evolve, so has the human resources profession. Businesses look to their HR departments to be experts in strategic planning, organizational development and effectiveness, HR technology systems, workforce development, employee relations, employment law, talent management, payroll, compensation and employee benefits. In addition, they are expected to understand all aspects of the organization’s business and the financial impact HR has on the company’s success.
With so much at stake, increasing awareness and understanding of the vital role HR professionals have in the success of business, industry and government was the motivation behind Missouri HR Day.
Last year’s Missouri HR Day was celebrated by the 10 local Missouri SHRM chapters and by SHRM members not affiliated with a local chapter. The Missouri State Council commissioned logos from art students at Drury University in Springfield to brand the initiative and volunteer leaders across the state championed the event and created innovative programming and activities.
Traditional and social media outlets were utilized to inform business, industry and government about the accomplishments of HR professionals and press releases were sent to 280 media outlets. Chapter presidents increased awareness by initiating activities in their local communities. A number of groups, businesses and individuals requested copies of the Governor’s proclamation to post at their worksites.
Many members created workplace recognition programs, including t-shirts for HR staff at the Visiting Nurses Association in Kansas City, an ice cream social for 35 HR professionals at the University of Missouri-Columbia, and a challenge to Sedalia employers to “Take HR to Lunch”. The Central Missouri chapter celebrated with a veterans hiring initiative by holding a ribbon cutting ceremony with the Chamber of Commerce, and commercials which ran on local radio. The Joplin area chapter received recognition from television station KSN 16 and “Show Me the Ozarks” magazine. In St. Charles, Lewis & Clark Chapter members volunteered at a community college hiring fair that attracted over 800 individuals.
Missouri HR Day provides opportunities for celebrating individuals and the HR profession. By laying this foundation, Missouri HR Day will continue to foster increased awareness of HR professionals’ contribution to business, industry, government and our communities. Please join us in recognizing and appreciating all those involved in the HR profession on May 2, 2014 – Missouri HR Day!
For more information about Missouri HR Day or Missouri SHRM visit www.mo-shrm.org.