Board development

Just like employees, board members need inductions, job specifications, regular appraisals and training to perform to the best of their ability.  Succession plans should be put in place to ensure a smooth transition and ensure there is never a vacuum at the top.

The recruitment process for board members should be open and transparent.  Job specifications should include a list of competencies and each board member should undergo an annual performance appraisal.   All appraisals should be qualitatively assessed to ensure objectivity and impartiality.

The collective performance of the board should also be reviewed, preferably by an independent expert, to evaluate how effectively the board leads the organisation.  The process should lead to development and training plans for individual members and the board as a whole.

Board evaluations

A successful business depends on good leadership. When boards are also leaders, it can be felt throughout the entire organisation. Good leadership results in employee retention, high morale and sustainable success. Bridgehouse Company Secretaries offers board evaluation, training and skills audit services to help you achieve this.

When boards lead, rather than manage or dictate, employees feel that they matter, that every job within the company is important. Leaders ask questions in order to understand the challenges that their staff face. When conversations are opened up, communication improves and staff are better able to develop. It is important to distinguish the role of leadership from that of management as it involves a different and altogether more visionary set of skills.

Board evaluations assess both individual director performance and how well the board works together. We can provide a tailor-made board evaluation or an ‘off the shelf’ solution. These performance reviews result in a set of collective and individual targets to ensure that the board operates with maximum efficiency and effectiveness, together with learning and development plans for your directors.

We can work with your organisation to develop a questionnaire to be used for the evaluation of the board and its members. The questionnaires are usually circulated electronically to all board members, with results collated into a report that is discussed with the chair and then with the board.

We can also offer an in-depth evaluation that takes the form of one-to-one meetings with directors, board meeting observation and an assessment of board culture, behaviour and dynamics. This can also be combined with a self-evaluation where board members rate themselves and the board as a team against best practice. Bridgehouse Company Secretaries can act as a facilitator to organise the in-depth evaluation and ensure confidentiality of individual responses.

Board skills audit

A board evaluation is sometimes combined with a skills audit to identify any skills gaps and make pragmatic recommendations to rectify them.  It is important that the board has the right skills to deliver your organisation’s strategy. It is best practice for the Board to agree a list of skills and experience it considers necessary for the board.  A skills audit can then be conducted to assess the skills of existing board members and identify any skills gaps that need to be filled through proper succession planning and recruitment. In carrying out the skills audit, we can produce a report to the board that shows the gaps against the optimal board composition and make suggestions to improve and strengthen the board.

Director training

It is important for directors to stay relevant and up-to-date on a variety of topics in order to ensure they can make the right decisions for their organisation. Following the board evaluation process, it is usual to identify any training and development needs for board members and these can be delivered in either a formal training session specifically organised for the board or informal sessions just before board meetings. We can deliver training to directors that covers a wide variety of topics.

Bridgehouse Company Secretaries has extensive experience providing board development services to organisations spanning the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.

To find out more about any of our board support and development services and discuss how we can help with your specific requirements, please contact us.