Pro Bono Spotlight: Salima Hemani
National Volunteer Week rolls on and we are proud to recognize another member of our HR Pro Bono Corps. Salima Hemani is a senior Organizational Development and Change Management Executive with over 15 years of management consulting experience as part of top global organizations. She is currently the Senior Director of Organizational Capability at Marriott International, as well as the Owner and Principal Consultant for SZH Consulting LLC, a small, woman-owned company focused on providing management consulting services in the areas of change management, organizational effectiveness, learning and leadership development, process improvement, and program management.
Tell us a little more about your background and how you got involved in the HR Pro Bono Corps.
I believe that part of living a balanced life includes committing time towards the betterment of the society and communities that we live in. Even though I come from the private sector, I have always had great admiration for the work that nonprofits do in making our world a better place, and have been interested in finding ways to support these great organizations beyond just providing financial donations. I was introduced to HR Pro Bono Corps through a colleague of mine when she heard that I was looking for ways to contribute in the community through my skills and expertise in the Human Capital field. HR Pro Bono Corps was the perfect match.
Since joining the HR Pro Bono Corps, what volunteer projects have you worked on?
Since joining, I have worked with the Goodwill Industries of Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Luis Obispo Counties. They are one of the 180+ Goodwills around the world which provide training and education to disadvantaged individuals. As part of their strategic plan to retain and develop their top talent, their Board had asked the HR team to give due attention to the training and development needs of their leadership group. I worked with the HR director and his deputy to define a leadership competency framework for their organization. Based on this framework, we further defined the key functional, technical and management competencies required at various leadership levels, and identified efficient and effective methods through which to build & sustain these in the target population. I also helped them identify cost-effective training resources (such as partnership with local community colleges and other regional Goodwills) that can be aligned with their very specific training needs. In the end, I helped them get on the path towards rolling-out of the training program for the rest of the organization based on the lessons learned from the pilot group, and then built out the other supporting performance management and change management/coaching programs.
What has been the most rewarding part of this experience?
Working on the pro-bono project has been an incredible experience. The satisfaction and sense of fulfillment that I got, from seeing the direct impact of my work in making my nonprofit client organization more effective in delivering their mission of improving the lives of the disadvantaged, is immeasurable. Beyond that, volunteering as part of HR Pro Bono Corps has allowed me to stretch my capabilities by getting the experience of implementing my expertise in the nonprofit industry and formulating solutions that comply and meet the unique needs and challenges of the nonprofit organizations that I don’t necessarily come across in my daily job.
What advice would you give to someone interested in volunteering with the HR Pro Bono Corps?
Pro-bono work provides professionals the opportunity to give back to their communities in a meaningful way. Volunteering with HR Pro Bono Corps is unique because it expects and requires that you bring the same level of professional commitment and due diligence as you would to your regular job. As an HR Pro Bono Corps volunteer, you get the opportunity to work with senior leadership from leading nonprofit organizations, who rely on your subject matter expertise and professionalism as a volunteer to help them with some of their most critical needs in the human capital area.
Do you know of a nonprofit that could benefit from some pro-bono consulting? Or do you have a few hours to apply your skills and experience to help build the capacity of a nonprofit? Learn more about the HR Pro Bono Corps and sign up today!