Because serving on an association board is voluntary, it is not uncommon for board members to have full lives and careers outside of their community. Therefore, one of the most important things a board can do is hold efficient and productive board meetings to make the best use of time.
Board meetings should be meaningful and well-organized, and we at SpectrumAM want to help you make this happen! For your consideration, we offer the following tips:
Prepare Ahead of Time
Time is a precious commodity, and it’s rare that the board has enough time to accomplish everything that needs to be done in one meeting. Boards can maximize accuracy, efficiency, and productivity by using the prior meeting’s agenda as a template for the next meeting; review past agenda items and meeting minutes as a launching point for the next upcoming meeting.
To achieve board meeting objectives, be sure all pertinent topics that need to be covered are laid out. Remember to prepare any relevant materials in advance.
Create a Structured Agenda and Stick to It
Create and utilize a well-organized agenda that includes old and new business, committee reports, action items, a treasurer’s report, and specified time for open homeowner forum. Each agenda item should have an assigned time frame that is adhered to.
During the meeting, committee chairs should only discuss high level topics and/or items that need a vote from the board. It is not always necessary for each chairperson from every committee to speak at every meeting.
Invite homeowners to attend and speak during an allotted time during the meeting (either at the beginning or end of the meeting), but limit time to 2-3 minutes per person. It’s also a good idea to ask homeowners to submit questions, comments, or concerns in advance of the meeting in order to ensure that they can be addressed properly during the meeting.
Start and End on Time
An HOA should be run like a business, despite the nonprofit status and volunteer “employees”. Board meetings should have a clear and direct purpose; again, stick to the agenda at all times in order to avoid derailment. If items are incomplete when time is up, table them for future meetings.
At the end of the board meeting, action items should be reviewed and agreed upon in order to clarify each board member’s expected role and responsibilities. By sending an email to fellow board members, you can remind them of action items to keep things moving forward.
Leading a meeting takes skill and leadership, clear expectations, and organization. By following the tips above, your board can operate like a well-oiled machine!