Before you totally dismiss today’s article because of the word “politics” in the title . . . I hope you will hear me out.
I know none of us enjoys getting up in the morning and hearing that the U.S. government is still shut down. That being said, we can’t simply tune it out. Our current representatives – meaning both Democrats and Republicans – are proposing new laws every single day. Some of those bills impact our work and organizations. As human resources professionals, we need to continue to monitor the legislative landscape to make sure that we stay current with what’s happening in Washington, D.C.
If you haven’t heard about it already, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is hosting a live webcast on Friday, February 1, 2019 from 1-3p Eastern on the “State of the Workplace”. The session will talk about the current legislative landscape. As human resources professionals, we need to stay on top of what’s happening so we can advise our organizations. You can view the full agenda and register on the SHRM website.
Another SHRM resource that I use on a regular basis is their Policy Action Center. This site allows me to stay on top of federal and state issues. I can also write my legislators from the site (SHRM has pre-written letters that you can customize).
Speaking of writing your legislator, I’m still a fan of Resistbot, a chatbot that allows you to send messages to your Senator, Representative, and Governor about issues that are important to you. Don’t let the word “resist” deter you from using this communication tool. It’s very easy to use and great when you have a short message that you would like to convey.
Countable is another site that allows you to write your legislator. I especially like their daily updates that tell me what legislation is up for vote in Congress. It will also tell me how my legislators voted on bills.
And if you’re saying to yourself, “Sharlyn, I know I should be paying more attention to politics, but I just can’t even…” I get it. Check out this Lifehacker article from last year. I think it’s still relevant today. “How to Stay Politically Active When Everything is Overwhelming”
One last thing I want to share when it comes to today’s politics. Personally, I’ve found that the way the message is presented is important. No different than in the business world. The way we hear about a new idea or a proposal can impact the way we process it. Over the past couple of years, I’ve become a fan of “The Skimm”. It’s an electronic newsletter that covers politics – both nationally and globally. It also has a little pop culture. One feature I like very much about The Skimm are their guides. So, if I haven’t been paying attention to an issue then all of a sudden I’m saying to myself, “I need to read up on this.” The Skimm helps me get up to date with very casual, conversation writing.
I’m not here to tell anyone their politics. But I am saying “Don’t stop being involved.” We need legislative advocacy in areas that impact our personal and professional lives. So, find the websites, newsletters, chatbots, etc. that give you the information you need to stay informed and help you voice concerns. I think it’s very exciting to have so many new and interesting ways to stay connected with politics.13
Peter Weddle says
Thanks for this important message, Sharlyn. Absolutely, it’s important for HR professionals to keep an eye on legislation that will affect the workplace and workforce. However, It’s equally as important to focus on what’s not being legislated and has the potential to be just as impactful (and I would argue, more). I address this situation in my blog post, The New AI … Artificial Ignorance. You’ll find it here: http://circa2118.com/margin-notes/
Sharlyn Lauby says
Hi Peter. Thanks for the comment. I agree – sometimes the things we don’t do say more about us than the things we do.