Twice a year we publish the KYSHRM Magazine. The Pre-Conference issue is always highly anticipated as it offers an opportunity to share ideas that support your journey and development as a human resource professional. If you have not already registered to attend the KYSHRM State Conference in Louisville, I highly recommend it. I attend each year, and the value of resources and knowledge available makes it my favorite and most valuable conference. I want to thank the KYSHRM volunteers and the KY Chamber of Commerce staff who make this conference possible.
This past year has been a challenge in HR, and I believe we still have opportunities amidst the chaos that continues to surround us. I often write about why I feel the HR profession plays a critical role in our society today—whether we are working inside our organizations, or volunteering in our communities. Recently, our local SHRM chapter was invited to partner in the development of a program affecting young adults who are trying to prepare for the next step by furthering their education after high school or entering directly into the workforce. What an honor it is when the communities seek our talents to play a key role in the development of the future. Our chapter is not alone in this experience; in fact there are examples across the Commonwealth where local SHRM chapters make great things happen. This would not be possible if we did not have knowledgeable, respected members who understand the rewards of giving.
Two points are critical for success. First, we must continue to grow our knowledge and seek information so others in our organizations know that we know what is next on the horizon. If they are not seeking guidance, we should step forward and offer strategies and viable options to assist companies through the next obstacles. This requires us to know our own skills in HR, and more importantly, to know the businesses in which we operate. How can we make recommendations and offer strategies if we are not educated on the organization’s key indicators or the industry needs?
Second, leaders grow through practice and experience, so it is crucial that we schedule time to mentor and share with each other. This may be the biggest challenge—managing time that is already burgeoning with activities. Stages in our lives come with changes in priorities, and the greatest reward may come from volunteering and giving as we reach out and support others.
I often ask, “What can I do today to make a difference?” Sometimes, my response is personal development, other times it is making an improvement to a process, policy, or procedure. The most gratifying comes from those times I reflect and recognize when others may benefit from something I can give. It may be as simple as knowing how to give sincere encouragement or giving time to someone who needs me to just listen. How would you answer that question? What are we doing today to make a difference and what are we going to tackle tomorrow?
See you at the KYSHRM Conference in Louisville,
Damian Wirth, SPHR
Damian Wirth, MBA, SPHR is the Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resource Officer at Franklin Bank & Trust Company in Franklin, KY. Damian is a recent graduate of WKU’s pMBA, is a member of the Mid-South SHRM Chapter, serves as the Public Relations Chair for KYSHRM, and is the local editor for the KYSHRM Magazine.