Get Your Newly Elected Board Member up to Speed
As exciting as getting new board members is with all the opportunities it presents, it can be difficult to get them up to speed with everything that is happening. Just as with other jobs, you can't expect to put someone in a brand new position and for them to just know exactly what to do and what not to do without any prior training. Just as each organization is different, each community association is different and it takes time to get new board members informed of everything they need to know to get the job done properly.
Here is a list of 5 tips for getting newly elected board members ready to serve:
- Schedule an orientation meeting: Once a new board member has been elected, the first thing to do is schedule an orientation meeting. What you go over will vary depending on the community association, but the point is basically to get the new board member up to speed. Figure out who needs to be present for what conversations and map out what you will go over.
- Introduce new board members to others: This one may seem obvious but it's important to give the new board member a chance to meet the other board members. This can be done during the orientation meeting or you can schedule some sort of welcoming event. A newly elected board member will perform better in a situation where he or she is comfortable with the people they are working with and feels as though they are part of a team effort.
- Go over all rules and regulations: This part can be extensive, but it's important to go over all the rules and regulations concerning the community and the board. To truly be valuable, the board member needs to understand what can and cannot be done by anyone associated with the community.
- Discuss the past, present and future: While the new board member may not need to know that a leak was fixed 6 months ago, they may need to know if someone was recently robbed or if there have been multiple complaints about the gate to the pool. Things that have happened in the past affect decisions that you make in the future, so it's important to go over everything that the board member may need to know from past problems to current predicaments and future projects.
- Check in: Once the board member begins to serve, make sure you check-in to see that they are comfortable in their position and have everything they need to get the job done. Ensure that they aren't afraid to ask questions and that they understand what is expected of them and how to meet those expectations.
A newly elected board member means new potential opportunities for the community association as long as the board member is ready to serve. He or she may bring ideas you have never thought of or have a solution to a problem you didn't even know you had, but in order to reach their full potential in their position, they have to know what they are getting themselves into. It's your responsibility to help them get settled in and ensure that they have everything they need to bring value to the board and the community association they are serving.