You need a Stable Board

Your board, like any other area in your organisation will need to replace or add new members; how you go about finding the right person, introducing them and helping them in their role will have an impact on how they do their ‘job’ and how long they’ll stay.

Like any other function in any organisation, a position description should be put together; outlining what the role is. From this you can’t write a person description, what type of person best suits the role – experience, contacts, abilities; what do they have to have?

Once you have done that, it’s time to start looking; your networks are the first place you should start. Ask around, someone knows someone.

And, like any other role you need to:

Introduce them to the organisation, whether this is possible face-to-face or through other means; ensure they are properly introduced.

Induct them into the organisation, explain the role and all expectations; meeting attendance, availability to attend events etc.

Bring them up-to-date, make sure make the time to tell them where things are at, mid-term goals etc; this will help them hit the ground running.

Some organisation team up a mentor, someone who has experience in the functions of the board and organisation; this is something worth considering especially in larger organisations.

Like all other roles in your organisation, you should be conducting reviews; these are an opportunity for two-way feedback on how the board member is doing, what their take on the role is, and what future plans, goals.

Keep all board members active, involved and encouraged to be part of the organisation; if you want to have a high turnover rate anywhere in the organisation, ignore their views, bore them with aimless tasks and ineffective meetings.

How do you manage new board members? Do you follow the above?

See also:

Does your board expect to be paid

Your board and trustees should be working

Are you supported by your board and staff?

Board Meetings – When do You hold them?

Board Meetings – When do You Hold Them?

Having attended many charity board meetings I find myself astounded by what could be a lack of commitment from board members to attend.

Sure, many board members are volunteers and have other commitments, but isn’t their offer to assist a commitment to the cause?

Most board or other charity meetings I attend are either held after normal business hours, nights or weekend, which, yes does cut into people’s personal time, is there a better time for these meetings?

Today I’m off to a board meeting that I’ve suggested be held in the morning rather than the tail-end of the day. There’s a few reasons for this:
  • People attending meetings at the end of the day may not have full focus on the meeting, they could be distracted from what has taken place during their day
  • It’s a kick starter to everyone’s day, people attending will hopefully leave the meeting revved up for a productive day
  • Tiredness, who has their full wits about them at the end of the day – most people want to get home and put their feet up, morning meetings could see a more energised meeting
  • Staff attending the meeting will have the opportunity to (almost immediately) get started on things that may come out of the meeting
All up, I’m hoping that the attendance at the meeting will be higher than normal – I’m aiming for 80% attendance, the last board meeting held at night that I attended had less than 50% attendance. 

When do you hold your board meetings?
What is the attendance like?
Have you ‘canvassed’ board members for a more suitable time?