One of the best events that SHRM hosts each year is one that not all members have the opportunity to attend: SHRM’s Volunteer Leaders’ Summit (VLS.) It’s a conference for volunteer leaders focused on providing information to help volunteers run state councils and chapters to achieve their goals.
To give you some perspective, SHRM has 51 state councils and 575 local chapters that are managed by 6,000 volunteers. While attendance at this event is more than 850, the information will be shared with thousands.
I haven’t attended a VLS for several years and I’m very excited to be attending this one. It will be interesting to see how the organization has grown and developed. It will also be interesting to see what topics SHRM volunteer leaders are talking about. The information shared at this event has a direct bearing on my role as a human resources professional.
During the conference, volunteer leaders will visit Capitol Hill and talk with their Congressional Representatives about legislation impacting business. The sessions will cover everything from engaging volunteers to developing a marketing plan. While the content will be focused on running the chapter, the information can be applied to our (paying) jobs.
When I was the state council director for Florida, we had an operating budget larger than most of the budgets I had managed in Corporate America. In fact, thinking about it, when I was chapter president of HRABC, we had an operating budget larger than most of my department budgets. The reason I’m bringing it up is because I don’t know that I could have gotten that experience just anywhere. SHRM gave me that experience.
As a volunteer leader, directing a chapter or state council, you have the opportunity to run a small business. We talk about human resources needing to learn business acumen and getting a seat at the table. Well, here’s a chance. You will be involved in strategic planning, sales and marketing, communications, finance, customer service, and much more.
That’s one of the reasons I’m excited about attending SHRM’s Volunteer Summit. It’s an opportunity to take a 3-day business course and give back to my profession at the same time. If you want to learn more about how volunteer leadership can benefit your career, be sure to watch the #SHRMLead hashtag on Twitter and reach out to your local chapter. You can find contact information for every SHRM chapter here.