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Volunteering Benefits Personally and Professionally – Plus It Helps Organizations with Succession!

    Quarterly Blog by Deb Schultz- GPHR, SPHR & LASHRM Past President

    Succession planning helps an organization ensure its continued effective performance through leadership continuity.  We all know that relative to our organizations and as part of our critical role in HR, right?  So too, it’s a driver for organizations such as our LASHRM Chapter as we count on those already involved to grow in involvement, and we count on emerging leaders to do just that – emerge to get involved – so we can keep our thriving chapter strong, continue to grow our membership, and further develop the involvement of our members!

    Consider the benefits, whether personal or professional, to involvement through volunteering:

    • Learn or develop a new skill – Continue adding to your repertoire!  There is no reason for any of us to stop adding to our knowledge base, and it’s never too late, or too early, to learn new skills.  Volunteering can be the perfect vehicle to develop a new skill; for example, planning and implementing a fundraising event can develop goal setting, planning, communicating, networking and budgeting skills.
    • Foster new ideas – An effective leader is a good facilitator who makes it easy and comfortable for others to share new ideas, and for departments, teams or boards to actively consider, discuss, study and determine next steps in detail.  Being a good steward of new ideas can help your organization remain vibrant, dynamic and ever evolving.
    • Boost your career options – Does your organization source and value candidates with volunteering experience?  If not, perhaps we should provide and encourage that consideration.  If you, or someone you are coaching, are considering a career change, volunteering is the perfect way to explore new fields and to learn new skills.  Expand your portfolio!
    • Differentiate you and your resume – Set yourself apart from the crowd!  Volunteering says a great deal about your character, drive and dedication.  Think of how these accomplishments demonstrate initiative, personal ambition, the ability to work hard and leadership skills!
    • Engage in new experiences – What a brilliant way to embrace new life experiences!  Volunteering is a way to gain real world experience through hands-on work – whether mailing flyers to create awareness, establishing a professional development opportunity, building a new home, contributing professional business attire, or skydiving to raise funds for a charity!
    • Meet a diverse range of people – What better way to gain exposure to people from all backgrounds and walks of life!  On-point and ongoing development of our interpersonal skills can only be enriched and inspired through experiencing things other than our ‘norm.’
    • Explore new interests and hobbies – Looking for an escape?  Sometimes we get locked in our routines and overwhelmed by the ‘rat-race’ that is our work life.  Talk about balance?  Volunteering can offer just that through allowing each of us to find new interests & hobbies – relaxing and energizing at the same time! Volunteering can lead you to something you never even thought about – explore and expand your horizons!
    • Be part of your community – We sometimes take for granted the community in which we work and/or live.  Focus on ultimately helping others and having an impact on people’s wellbeing – personally and professionally.  Return to your community some of the benefits you have gained through business or professional and personal experiences
    • Grow from social networking – Meet many interesting and diverse people that can have an impact on your life, in one way or another, and keep in mind that social contacts could very well be the key to career opportunity for you or those you know.
    • Drive the health benefits of volunteering – For example, research suggests that an improved sense of well-being and higher self-esteem may lower certain health risks associated with depression and anxiety.  Volunteering can give you the self-confidence through exploring, developing or enhancing current or new skills that will reflect on all aspects of your life.
    • Send a signal to complete the picture of you – People are interested and pay attention to the life outside the environment in which they have direct contact with you. Volunteering offers, reflects and supports an even more complete picture of you.  Plus, it provides direct and candid examples of your commitment, dedication and interests.  Help people to know what you are passionate about, and shine your light for others to be inspired!

    And if you need ‘business case’ backing – consider just some of the value in transferable skills and development time:

    • Employees gain exposure and experience in disciplines or activities their job in your organization might not otherwise afford them - skills which they need and/or want to further develop, or quite frankly, an evaluative barometer upon which to gauge what to/what not to do, i.e. evaluation process, hiring and other employment process essentials, budgeting, relationship building, training, mentoring, retaining – and the opportunity list builds.
    • The organization benefits from career development and training via a cost-effective tool
    • The organization gains from an even more energized, educated and well-rounded employee base in addition to one in which there might be less turnover, and as a result, more positive team dynamics
    • The organization benefits from exhibiting its interest in motivating, respecting, recognizing achievements and increasing the productivity of employees
    • The communities gain because corporate participation in volunteerism builds healthy communities and healthy communities that enhance business opportunities!

    Yes, volunteerism is one of the richest forms of education and career development enhancing corporate involvement, leadership skills on a personal and professional level, and succession or business continuity.  Combined, this can all lead your organization, non-profit affiliation or SHRM chapter to greater success!  Join in – and give our LASHRM leadership succession a lift!

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