Tips to maintain an enthusiastic board

If you pay close attention to board appointments you are half way to having a healthy, vital board. Naturally, maintaining excellence takes a lot of hard work and commitment.

  1. Undertake an annual board review. Try using a small, confidential survey requesting feedback, ideas, and recommendations for the future. Consider putting in place a committee to manage this process.

  2. Be sure that roles within the board are clearly defined, and that each member is absolutely clear about the organisation's goals, mission and ethics.

  3. Ensure boardroom procedures are effective and efficient. If they don't suit those on the board, change them.

  4. Take plenty of time to recruit board members. The right people ensure a strong and effective board.

  5. Be committed to a diverse and representative board.

  6. Pay attention to the needs and morale of board members: are they satisfied? If not, try job sharing or swap some responsibilities with other board members.

  7. Expect a high standard, and hold people accountable.

  8. Make full use of your board members' skills and expertise.

  9. Ensure that the workload of all board members is comparable: lack of involvement leads to boredom, overwork leads to burnout.

  10. Let the board know of progress in the organisation or excellence among members and staff. Keep the board informed about and interested in the organisation.

  11. Determine an appropriate length of service for your board members (and look to new members rather than simply re-appointing the old).

  12. Recognise board decisions that are successful. People tend to look to the board in a time of crisis, but do not necessarily give it credit in the good times.

  13. Keep the organisation informed of board decisions, and make the board accessible so a great divide does not occur between members/volunteers/workers and the board.

  14. Implement a mechanism to allow members to have their say or to suggest ideas for the organisation.

  15. If a board member leaves prior to the expiry of their term, find out why to ensure that any concerns they may have with the organisation are addressed.

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