The onboarding process for new board members includes orientation and indoctrination into a company’s business and culture so they feel prepared for their first board meeting. But the journey shouldn’t end there. Onboarding is a process that should encourage ongoing education and foster long-term engagement. Here’s how to design a successful continuing education program.
Create opportunities for knowledge sharing.
Most director orientation programs include face-to-face meetings with key executives and business unit managers. While those initial meetings are helpful, continue to bring executives and board members together to foster alignment between the company and the board. Individualize these meetings to each board member based on their skillsets, experiences and interests.
Rotate committee assignments.
Assigning directors to committees is an excellent way to expand board member knowledge about the company and allows them to share their input on different areas of the business. For example, board members assigned to the audit committee learn key enterprise risks, financial conditions, how management relationships function within the company and individual business unit operations.
As you rotate board members through committees, provide them with an orientation of the committee’s mandate, charters and principals.
Offer opportunities to broaden and expand directors’ knowledge base.
Every board member faces a learning curve about their responsibilities as well as the company’s business strategy, risks, operating environment and recent financial performance. A board portal, like Nasdaq Boardvantage, gives directors access to these documents securely and confidentially. Encourage board members to spend time on the portal.
In addition to the information each needs to fulfill their responsibilities, board members have different interests based on experience, goals and skills. Use the board portal to customize the information and news you send out.
To learn more about how ongoing education and engagement impacts board productivity, helps spark creative and innovative ideas, and positively impacts the success of the overall business, download our white paper on Onboarding New Directors: Beyond the Board Manual.