A board of directors’ work is always ongoing and unfortunately there’s no time to slow down for the benefit of new recruits, but there are a number of ways administrators can speed up the onboarding process, especially if they already use board meeting software, also known as portals. Portals streamline the process of distributing board packages and make it easier for directors to communicate with each other on important documents from their laptops and tablets. Portals have made it easier to realize what most good directors and executives have known for years: the most important work happens in between meetings.
Board meeting software extends the reach of the Annual General Meeting and gives your directors the power to be more responsive to new materials and issues. For example, platforms like Aprio allow users to collaboratively annotate materials and vote on motions electronically, so directors who are absent on business or who live remotely don’t pose such a challenge to urgent votes. Up-to-the-minute communication makes your meetings more effective and makes it easier for new members to catch up on an organization’s strengths, values, and current challenges.
How to Introduce New Directors:
1- Explain your communication system:
As an administrator, you should walk new recruits through your communication system, including the schedule for reviewing documents, completing educational requirements, and how they will be notified when updated board package documents are made available. It helps everyone, not just new members, when your communication system is simple and efficient; with the Aprio system, members are notified by email anytime new documents are made available or anytime a new event is scheduled. The notifications include a link back into the portal which requires password access, meaning directors have the advantage of convenient access combined with security.
2- Reduce overload:
Information overload can leave new directors wondering why they’ve decided to devote their already-limited time to work as a director; rather than an exhaustive review of the upcoming package, introduce them to the portal and let them access it on their own. Administrators can track activity logs and make sure they haven’t missed any important document. A portal also effectively organizes archive material such as meeting minutes, putting past information at a new recruit’s fingertips.
3- Provide training:
Comprehensive training is the single most important thing you can do to bring a new director up to speed; once they’re comfortable using the portal, they’ll devour packages in no time at all. You can find more tips for training new directors at Aprio.net, but one of the essentials is one-on-one training from your portal and ongoing customer support.
As more organizations recognize the importance of diversity in the boardroom, many are finding younger recruits who may not have any experience doing this kind of work. Finding the right people to make a great board isn’t easy, so when you do find them, you want to make sure you bring them up to speed and give them the tools they need to give the organization their unique insight and skills.
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