Tips for improving board member retention

Tips for improving board member retention

Improving HOA board member retention starts at the beginning.

Recruit board members carefully

When you’re looking for new board members, you should scout carefully. You want to find members who are invested in the association. Look for those community members who genuinely care about the present and future of the HOA.

You also want to look for certain personality traits. Traits such as adaptability, friendliness, a listening ear, an ability to delegate, and a strong work ethic can be a good fit. Consider the role available as well. Make sure the skill sets and personality of the person who fills it mesh well.

Once the new member joins the board, you need to make them feel welcome. It can be easy for newbies to feel like outsiders. Everyone else knows each other and has a good handle on how things work. Try to help newcomers feel involved right away. Let them share their thoughts. And, consider pairing them up with an experienced board member to learn the ropes. Most importantly, ensure that new members are well educated on how the association works and the rules. The more knowledgeable they are on everything, the more confident they will feel moving forward.

Keep your board educated and hire a community manager

Speaking of education, you can help board members do their job well and feel more satisfied in their roles by continuing this knowledge building. Have occasional training sessions and consider inviting guest speakers in to help board members continue to grow and stay up to date on any current issues. One of the ways to keep your board members up to date is to partner with an experienced community management company. At PMI, we show, coach, and teach board members about their legal and fiduciary responsibilities. We can even help them stay informed of any changing laws.

On that note, hiring a community manager can ease the burden of your board members which can help them feel more satisfied. The community manager can tackle more trying tasks allowing the board members to handle the things they enjoy doing.

Encourage team building

Like any good team, a successful HOA board is established on great relationships. Help your board members get to know one another by arranging lunch-ins or dinners. This will allow them to socialize on another level, beyond just regular board meetings.

Another way to build stronger bonds is to arrange personal lunch-ins, where each board member can get some one-on-one time with the president. If offering this, make sure to include each member of the board.

Highlight their achievements

If board members accomplish big things, like running a successful event or coming up with a great idea for the association, make sure to recognize them. You might want to acknowledge them in the newsletter, for example. Also, thank them at the next board meeting.

Show board members you care

Board members notice how you treat them and their peers. When people know their work is appreciated, they’re more likely to stick around longer.

As board members resign from their positions, make sure to send them off with something. For example, you could have a nice framed certificate made, thanking them for all they’ve done for the board.

Keep meetings timely and on schedule

If board members dread going to meetings they’ll be less likely to continue with their responsibilities. That’s why it’s important to make an agenda for meetings and send them out ahead of time so that board members know what to expect. You need to stick to the agenda and try to keep things timely. Assign someone to keep things on task and to move things along if a speaker goes off on a tangent.

Encourage listening

At each board meeting, allow everyone to share their opinion. If someone takes up too much time at the meeting, it’s a good idea to thank them for their opinion but let them know you want to provide room for everyone to share. Listen openly as each board member speaks. Don’t squelch creative thinking.

Watch for burnout

It’s important for jobs to be delegated across the board. No one or two board members should have to do everything. Check in with the board members regularly to ensure no one feels overwhelmed. Does anyone seem anxious, tired, depressed, or run down? These could be signs they’re working too much. Speak with anyone who seems like they could use a little help and ask how you might assist them or delegate some of their work to other members.

There are a lot of things to consider when improving board member retention. But when it comes down to it, it’s about finding the right people to fill the right roles, while keeping them informed and educated. If you’d like help managing your HOA, please connect with us at PMI: https://propertymanagementinc.com/pmi-terminus. We’d love to ease the burden on your board members.