Choosing the Right Board Member for Your Association
Boards are an important part of any association, and choosing the right board members is essential to the success of a board. Some may think that choosing a board member is easy, and it can be, but you need to make sure you have the right practices in place to ensure that you’re not just choosing any board member, but that you’re choosing one that will bring value to the association and the community.
- Assess Current Board: The first step when bringing on a new board member is to assess the current board. Are you bringing on a new member to replace someone or because you don’t have enough resources with the amount of people currently on the board? What requirements are being met and what isn’t? What are the strengths and weaknesses of everyone on the board? Figuring our where your current board stands and how they can improve will go a long way in finding a board member that will really add value.
- Determine Responsibilities: Once you asses the current board, the next step is to figure out exactly what the responsibilities of the new board member will be. If you and the rest of the board aren’t sure what the new member should be doing, how will they know? Make sure that everyone applying for the position and everyone currently on the board is in agreement and understands exactly what will be expected of the new board member.
- Listen to the Nominating Committee: Most boards have a nominating committee, but that doesn’t mean they take their opinions into account when choosing a new board member. It’s always important to listen to opinions before making a final decision. Some members may have insight that others do not and regardless of if the decision made matches that of the opinions of the committee, it’s important to at least reflect on them before choosing a new board member.
- Conduct an Orientation: Just as an orientation is important when starting any new job, it’s also important with new board members. They are entering into an atmosphere that they aren’t familiar with, and it isn’t easy to acclimate without the help of current board members. Give them the opportunity to lean about the way things are run and meet the other members of the board.
- Don’t be Afraid to Do Something Different: Oftentimes board members are chosen based on seniority or experience, but that isn’t always what is best for the association. Every association is different, so doing what every other board does isn’t always in the best interests of the decision. Figure out what you want and then decide who is going to best provide those services.
Board members often come and go, and it’s important to ensure that with so much going on in associations, that you’re going to find the board members that will be able to keep up and bring value to the association- and the only way to do that is to implement practices for choosing the right board member. Remember, being a board member is a job. The actions of the board affect everyone in the community, and thus you don’t want just anyone sitting on that board- you want someone that you can trust to get the job done well and on time. Click here to learn more about choosing the right board member for your association.