More and more, organizations are realizing the value of board portals. However, just having a board portal is not enough to enhance processes. Boards must optimally use the technology to garner the most out of it—but how?
To find out, we surveyed board members from across the nation to collect the top tricks they use to get the most out of their board portals.
1. Set Yourself Up for Success
Setting yourself up for success is all about preparation—from researching options to implementation. This begins with securing internal buy-in for the technology by building a proposal that articulates organizational benefits (cost savings, advantages, etc.).
Successful preparation also includes proper vendor evaluations. Don’t settle for the first vendor that comes along. Pick a solution that is easy to use for both you and your board.
Pro tip: Don’t just pick a vendor based on portal features. Also look for quality training and support. For more on how to pick the right vendor, download our free resource: The Board Portal Purchasing Guide.
2. Encourage Participation and Engagement
Participation among members during board meetings is vital to a productive discourse. The same is true when using a board portal; the more board members participate, the more useful the software becomes.
That said, participation could easily be garnered through:
- Open communication. Frequent and open communication promotes organizational transparency and is key to creating a culture of participation.
- Promoting inclusion. Tailor tasks and conversations to board member’s personal and professional lives to make the work more relevant to each member.
- Educating board members on core business units. The better board members understand the organization, the more confident they will be voicing opinions.
- Leading by example. The more you participate and openly communicate, the more likely it’ll be for other board members to do the same.
Pro tip: Ease of use plays a big role in encouraging participation. A more intuitive portal interface is less intimidating for board members to actively use.
3. Be Consistent in Portal Use and Board Management
For ongoing board portal management, consistency matters. This includes being consistent with naming documents, addressing members and timing when materials go live—i.e. meeting agendas.
Consistency in the use of your organization’s portal helps keep the system organized and efficiently run. It also sets expectation levels for members.
With this in mind, consider how training, rollout and continued board management play a role. Standards should be set from the get go to set a precedent for future use.
Pro tip: During implementation, create a document that details communication processes, document file name mechanisms and overall board portal use best practices.
How do you ensure your board is getting the most out of its portal? Share your tips in the comments below!
Find more advice on board management from board members like you in our recent report: Board Management Tips and Tricks: A Community Curated Guide.