Are you getting the most from your Board?
Having and using a “Board” for your business is an investment into the future of your business. But if you want the best results - you’ll need to give it the attention it deserves. Here are three easy ways that you can add value to your board and its members to both keep them engaged and give them a little visibility in your organization.
#1: Conduct an Annual Survey - Ask for Feedback
This can be a very simple and informal survey where you ask your board members about their experience serving on your board and whether there is anything that can be improved. Ask questions about the overall performance of the board, the materials, the time and frequency of meetings and also ask them to rate each other. This is their opportunity to give you candid feedback that you can use to improve the structure of the board meetings. It can also help you determine how effective your board is and whether some members need to be added or removed from the group to maintain healthy tension and keep the board from going stale.
You can conduct this survey annually, but will want to make sure you’re surveying board members at least once every three years. You don’t want your board to get bored!
#2: Invite Them to Meetings - Let Them See and Know More
I serve on a number of boards, and personally, I like being invited to participate in strategic planning sessions and brand conferences. These experiences give me a much better understanding of the industry, business and its people, so that I can contribute more fully during board meetings. Another idea is to invite board members to visit a few franchise locations so that they can see the business model in action and get a better feel for what goes into the day-to-day operations.
Sometimes you might want to include your board members, but don’t necessarily want their input during the session. In that case, have them attend your next SWOT analysis or planning session as an observer only. Then, rather than sharing their thoughts during the meeting, they can meet with you privately after the event to discuss their ideas and/or opinions. See if they can contain themselves!
#3: Give Them Some Swag - Who Doesn’t Like Free Stuff?
Generally speaking, board members tend to be underpaid and underappreciated for the work they do. Show your appreciation for the contributions they make to your brand through a simple gift such as a branded jacket, hat or mug. It has the benefit of giving your brand some additional visibility, as well!
A brand I work with sends a box of steaks every Christmas for my contributions to their board, and I can tell you that my whole family appreciates that. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money or require a lot of effort to be effective - your board members will simply appreciate being thought of.
Those three, simple things can help you add value to your existing board. If you’re looking for additional ideas, or would like some help setting up a new board for your business, I’d be happy to chat! Please reach out anytime.