Although boardrooms are filled with successful business leaders, they’re still comprised of human beings who will occasionally falter. General disengagement is one of the most common struggles that boards—particularly nonprofit boards—will face. It’s not a death sentence, though; a disengaged board is not beyond repair! In fact, here are some tips for reviving your boardroom and getting on the path towards a high-functioning and involved leadership team.
- Set clear goals.
Many leaders are deadline-oriented and need extremely clear objectives in order to know how much effort they need to exert to meet or surpass expectations. Don’t be afraid to set high goals, so your board members feel the push to excel.
- Make communication easy.
Paper-based board management is a practice of the past. With innovative board software, communication between board members as well as from administrators is simplified. This efficiency makes it easier for directors to stay engaged outside of meeting times. They can check in with committees, vote on issues at hand, and stay on top of their board meeting schedule—all on one digital platform.
- Help them understand your organization’s needs.
Oftentimes, organizations want to paint a very pretty picture for board members, which can lead to an overly optimistic outlook and can ultimately hinder growth. Don’t be afraid to tell your board members, “This is how we’re struggling…and this is how we need you to help us succeed instead.”
- Show them their impact.
In a nonprofit setting especially, board members need to see how their efforts are impacting positive change. While for profit boards have the benefit of data and figures to see whether their company is prospering, nonprofits often show growth and achievement in different ways. If your board members help your org with a fundraising event, give them a meaningful example of how those dollars are making an impact by introducing them to someone who has benefitted from your org’s services.
- Provide thoughtful orientation.
When new board members join your team, don’t miss the opportunity for an extremely thorough orientation. Help them understand all the inner workings of your organization and how board members have helped guide the org to success in the past. It’s important to set a standard and show directors that you want to better it!