The State of America’s Boards [Free Research Report]

Board Engagement ReportHow can boards better understand their expectations, the impact of engagement levels and challenges faced in 2015?

To answer this question, we surveyed nearly 300 board members, executives and board administrators to uncover the current state of America’s boards and create the 2015 Board Engagement Report.

Our second annual report provides valuable insight on factors that have the strongest influence on board member satisfaction, engagement and longevity.

Below, we highlight a few key findings.

Board Meeting Attendance and Structure

Meetings are the core of board member participation. Board and committee meetings are crucial to host strategic discussions, facilitate voting, build relationships with fellow members, and reconnect with the organizational mission.

Overall, board member meeting attendance is high. More than three-fourths (81%) of board members attended 76% – 100% of board and committee meetings over the past twelve months. Attendance and overall satisfaction are likely intertwined. When respondents attended more than 75% of board and committee meetings, 80% were satisfied. Approximately half of respondents cited being satisfied when they attended 75% or less of the meetings.

Although meeting attendance is crucial, this is not the only aspect that makes meetings effective. Board and committee meetings must also be well organized and properly structured to keep members engaged. Fortunately, the majority of board members agree that their meetings are well run. Ninety percent of respondents believe that the majority of their board meetings are focused, productive and adhere to an agenda.

Talent and Strategic Influence

Board members often join boards to nurture professional development, commit to a cause, boost networking capabilities and so much more. But what keeps members satisfied throughout their journey? Survey results found that talent plays a large role in influencing board member satisfaction.

If respondents did not believe their skills and talents were being effectively used by their organization, only 32% were satisfied with their contributions, whereas when they were effectively utilized, 83% were satisfied.

When board members felt they had a major or moderate impact on their organization’s strategic decisions, 78% were satisfied with their contributions. Comparatively, when respondents felt they have little-to-no impact, only half of respondents were satisfied.

When board’s talents and contributions are utilized and valued, overall satisfaction level is higher.

Technology Utilization

Board portal technology can be directly correlated to increased clarity of expectations and responsibilities, higher attendance, better access to meeting materials and resources, utilized member talent and open communication.

Respondents that use a board portal are more likely to be satisfied with their contributions (79%) than non-users (70%). Eighty-eight percent of professionals felt meeting information and resources were more organized and accessible than non-portal users (58%).

Want to learn more about the current state of America’s boards? Download our free report, The 2015 Board Engagement Report.


How does your organization compare to the current state of board engagement?