Mignon Hardie, Executive Director at The FunDza Literacy Trust shares some tips on how to improve board engagement. These 6 tips should go a long way to ensuring that your board stays engaged.
Inspire the board: Tell them the stories and good news; this will help them to remain passionate about the cause.
Manage expectations: Ensure there is a clear understanding on what is required (i.e. pre-reading of board packs, agreed KPIs, action items for discussion, concise but regular communication). Have board roles and duties that are clearly stated and tell them what is expected of them, and what is needed.
Be flexible: Allow other ways for people to be involved rather than being on the board; consider an advisory board structure or other roles (e.g. Ambassadors or Patrons).
Show gratitude and consideration: Give thanks and/or public acclaim; show consideration for their needs; a simple and yet often overlooked example is providing food at board meetings.
Recruit wisely: Choose new members with care, use it as an opportunity to get agreement on expectations.
All things considered, it is important to ensure that your board is adequately inducted and on-board. An engaged board is one that is aware of their roles, and is on board with the direction in which you want the organisation to go.
Source: Adapted from Mignon Hardie’s Advancement Academy Presentation (2015): Effective Relationship Management – An exploration of stewarding multiple stakeholders while managing your board.