As the U.S. and the world contend with the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), on behalf of the entire SHRM team, I send heartfelt thoughts to all those affected around the globe and in the HR community.
I want you to know we take our responsibility to you, our 300,000+ members, and the workplaces you serve, very seriously. In moments such as this, we believe it is our role and duty to lead the HR community as your committed partner guiding you through these uncertain times.
This is why we have created the SHRM COVID-19 resource center. SHRM staff is working diligently to bring you, our valued members, the latest, creditable, SHRM-developed and curated, information on this evolving situation through webinars, toolkits and several other resources for members. In fact, due to your overwhelming interest and feedback on SHRM’s U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) webinar (over 40,000 people registered for this SHRM exclusive event), we have just agreed to have monthly virtual convenings with the CDC so you hear directly from the country’s top public health and disease experts about the latest on COVID-19. We are doing this because it’s important to me that we equip our members with the most reliable and current information to fulfill your vital roles during these dynamic circumstances.
Some of you have inquired about our efforts to help ensure the broader community of business leaders and non-SHRM members have access to the latest information about the workplace and COVID-19. Rest assured, we have stood up a special hub page that non-SHRM members can use to help them navigate these challenging times. In addition, we provide non-members access to a limited number of SHRM-created articles every month on our website.
Let me be clear, though, while we are proud to be able to help guide and refer anyone needing help during this crisis, we are 100% committed to ensuring all members of the SHRM Community have ready access to the absolute best and latest information and tools to do your jobs exceptionally. This is the essence of the SHRM membership value.
As we continue to maintain regular operations serving the hundreds of thousands of leaders around the world who are turning to SHRM for guidance, I want to share that we are also taking the necessary steps to ensure the safety of our employees through an organization-wide telework schedule.
We have also been an active voice in the halls of the U.S. Congress on behalf of the HR community as lawmakers work to bring forward sweeping legislation to provide relief to businesses and workers in the wake of COVID-19. Just Wednesday, President Trump signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, a COVID-19 aid package that includes important changes to paid-leave policy for many organizations throughout the country.
In light of COVID-19, many of you have asked the status of SHRM’s upcoming conferences. I’d like to personally share with you the actions SHRM is taking on this front.
For weeks now, our team has been working with public health officials and venues to make an informed decision regarding our 2020 conferences. Our deliberations are based on the latest science and our ability to safely provide the HR community the excellent event and professional development experiences you’ve come to expect from SHRM.
It was through this lens that we decided to postpone our Advocacy@Work conference until fall 2020, and it is why today we have announced our Talent Conference & Exposition, scheduled for April 20-22, will transition to a fully virtual event.
With the SHRM20 Annual Conference & Exposition several months away, we remain hopeful we will hold this event as scheduled on June 28 – July 1, observing the fullest precautions.
We will continue to monitor the latest developments surrounding COVID-19 and will make future adjustments as warranted, notifying registrants accordingly. Please know the health and well-being of our members and conference attendees are always our top priority.
These are unprecedented and unsettling times for everyone. And uncertainty can certainly fuel anxiety and stress. As you navigate this crisis with your colleagues and your families, I encourage each of you to take care of yourself, mind and body, as you also care for those around you. We will get through this together, stronger than ever as an HR community.
Thank you for your support and commitment to foster better workplaces during this trying time, and for the privilege to lead this amazing and critical organization.
Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP
SHRM President & CEO