Board members are people who, first and foremost, work for the organization’s good, not out of self-interest. Therefore, they want to see that their presence brings results. Stakeholders also need to feel that the time and money they invest in the organization – they invest in a fair and transparent company. These characteristics constitute good governance; such board meetings are productive and effective. Boards of directors should ensure that they make appropriate decisions, taking into account the views of everyone involved. To make this possible, you must measure the effectiveness of your board.
The effectiveness of a board meeting is everyone’s responsibility
It is not enough for a board member to give his opinion. He must understand that he is just as responsible for governance as the secretary and any other board member. To carry out proper management, board members should strive to develop and develop the company, ensure maximum transparency and find accurate ways to measure their work. To do this, they are actively assisted by special professional tools with which it is easy to assess their performance and identify their weaknesses. An assessment of their performance is a very important procedure, which should be performed at least once a year. While most commercial organizations adhere to these rules, non-profit organizations neglect this procedure almost half the time, despite all the benefits it brings. It can be difficult for the chairman of the board to begin the evaluation process because they need the support of everyone involved. However, once the board realizes the value of conducting a performance review, the process does not take long.
How do you begin the board evaluation process?
First, you must decide on a date for your organization’s performance self-assessment meeting and send invitations to all attendees. It’s important to remember that every organization has different needs, so the issues that need to be considered will vary for everyone. Still, to prepare carefully for the meeting, it can be helpful to look at a couple of questionnaires that other companies have used and choose common questions to consider. This will make it easier for you to continue the list and add additional questions that are more specific to your board. Some of the most common questions are:
- Why does this company exist?
- How can the board help with advancing the organization’s mission?
Topic areas for evaluation
Moving away from the general questions of evaluating board effectiveness, board members should consider narrower aspects of their operations, such as:
- Strategic planning
One common mistake the board makes is that they don’t pay attention to strategic planning and instead focus more on report analysis and fundraising. The panel will understand the importance of strategic planning in their operations by conducting performance reviews.
- Conflict of Interest
The board should have a conflict of interest policy; if you don’t have one, you need to create one urgently. The questions in the conflict of interest policy document should be written as transparently as possible to create an atmosphere of sincerity in which the board can calmly discuss those situations that might lead to a conflict of interest.
Diverse boards tend to make better decisions, so the committee should evaluate itself as its members come from diverse backgrounds. Once you raise awareness of your diversity, you will be better able to interact with each other.
- Executive Director Assessment
In most cases, executive directors who undergo annual evaluations have higher job satisfaction.