Association Evolution

From member to director, D. Zachary Misko shares the things that have changed and the others that have stayed the same.
By D. Zachary Misko
Some interesting facts about the number 10: The Korean alphabet has 10 vowels; Virginia is the 10th state to enter the Union; and the metric system is based on the number 10. The modern gift for the 10th anniversary is diamonds. Speaking of anniversaries, this year marks the 10th anniversary of SharedXpertise’s managing ownership of HRO Today.Ten years ago in 2007, I was on the other side of the coin: Instead of being global vice president and executive director of SharedXpertise, I was an active member of the then Human Resource Outsourcing Association (HROA) and a customer of HRO Today. I was involved with the board and co-chaired a special interest group (SIG), focused on research and publications for the association. I attended and spoke at the HRO World Forum and RPO Summits and would occasionally have an article or advertisement in the magazine. So how has the association evolved?

Today, the board of advisors has grown to a global team of 40 HR executives who are appointed to provide leadership and direction and to help drive growth and member engagement within the association, now aptly named the HRO Today Services and Technology Association to align with our magazine.

While we no longer have SIGs, we now have committees that meet monthly to discuss membership, standards and practices, professional development, and programming. Although 10 years ago, we might have hosted a handful of webinars for our members each year, we now provide more than 40 webinars annually. Referred to as thought leadership councils (TLCs), these are the perfect platform for learning and development opportunities for our members. Plus, today’s technology allows members to decide if they want to dial-in on a specific date and at a specific time, because all TLCs are recorded and available on demand.

While we have many new and improved features and benefits, in some cases, what goes around comes around. We have brought back the member directory that houses company and member profiles. These were eliminated several years ago. Based on member requests and the opportunity to improve and promote networking within the association, they have returned and are receiving positive feedback and increased utilization.

In a time where virtual workers and online communication tends to dominate, it is interesting that the face-to-face and in-person team collaboration and work model has once again won the interest of the board of advisors. Ten years ago, the board met during conference events annually, although primarily utilized conference calls to connect and meet. Today, the board of advisors in North America and EMEA meet in person quarterly. Although fiduciary responsibilities and using “Roberts Rules of Order” to put a motion on the table and second that motion are no longer prevalent in our meetings, we now spend our time focused on thought leadership, setting standards and practices, and building an association model of benefits to meet the needs of our global members.

Over the last 10 years we also realized that people have changed. The fundamental concepts of HR have not changed, but social media has moved to the forefront of many activities, collaboration and the increased utilization of partnerships is more important than ever, and work simply demands more from its employees. The association continually to adapt and be more relevant to how people work and live. Podcasts will be launched in June that provide our members with easy-to-use, 10-minute sessions that share thought leadership, case studies, and best practices. Although we still utilize print advertising to promote the association, we now combine this with the use of video testimonials, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, bitlys, links, and blogs.

Many things have changed, but others remain tried-and-true. The Baker’s Dozen Customer Satisfaction Ratings is one of our most recognizable brands within HRO Today. For the first time since the Baker’s Dozen inception, the expertise of our association members is leveraged through focus groups that meet each year to review, discuss, and provide input on the survey questionnaires. This has been a great opportunity to ensure the surveys continue to provide the high level of feedback and information important for HR practitioners to make informed decisions about their HR services and technology partners.

It has been an outstanding experience to be a part of the HRO Today group, gaining satisfaction every day not only as our membership grows in numbers, but also as the quality of conversations and member engagement advances our industry and serves the association audience.

I am looking forward to what the next 10 years have in store for us, from a company perspective as well as an association the supports the HR industry overall. The two affinity groups, for chief HR officers and talent acquisition leaders, that are launching in the next few months, will definitely be flagships driving future success. The need for like-minded individuals to have an opportunity to learn, collaborate, and be a part of setting the best and next practices for our industry is something most HR executives will not want to miss out on.

And that is what SharedXpertise is all about: delivering services that meet the future needs of HR. We can only imagine what the next 10 years will bring.

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