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Board Member Onboarding

Best practices on new board member onboarding.

ORANGE COUNTY: New Board Member Orientation Experience

SUMMARY: The chapter designed and developed a total of 26 microlearning modules to onboard new board members. The topics were determined by interviewing current and incoming board members. The modules were grouped into four sections to be completed in sequential order by incoming board members. However, navigation was left open so any board member could easily access a specific topic if they needed a refresher on ATD and/or chapter knowledge. The onboarding delivered through microlearning will help the chapter reduce meeting times by 50 percent and the cost of year-end meetings by 75 percent, while increasing the effectiveness of arriving at strategic conclusions by 90 percent and board member onboarding engagement and socialization by 95 percent.

YEAR: 2021

BATON ROUGE: Board Buddies

SUMMARY: The 2020 executive board had an equal mix of new board members and returning board members. The president paired board members and allowed the board buddies to connect, ask questions, and have an extra support system. The partnership between board members developed an additional level of support for new board members and helped create a cohesive executive board.

YEAR: 2020

DETROIT CHAPTER: Respect and Professionalism Policy and Protocol

SUMMARY: To serve as a guide for communications, behavior, and interactions among the board, the chapter developed a respect and professionalism policy and a virtual meetings protocol. The chapter’s work established a written policy that defines and describes respectful behavior expected of all board members and volunteers; described examples of disrespectful and unacceptable behavior; explained expectations of board members during board meetings, when conducting board business, and when handling written communications for board and chapter business; stated the ground rules and the protocol applicable to virtual board meetings; and provided a structured format for achieving efficiency and effectiveness in chapter leadership/operations. The documentation resulted in a more respectful atmosphere during board meetings, prevented a loss of 20 percent of board members due to other board members’ behaviors, and increased participation of the board by 30 percent.

YEAR: 2020


CENTRAL NEW YORK CHAPTER: Leadership Team Onboarding—On Your Own

SUMMARY: In need of strong onboarding for new chapter leaders, Central New York developed an asynchronous PowerPoint approach to be reviewed by new leaders on their own time. The deck requires about 20 to 30 minutes for review and includes slide notes to guide the learner through an overview of the chapter’s mission, history, membership base, key programs and related activities, and roles. The approach was supplemented with one-on-one meetings with the managing director to discuss each board member’s role, responsibilities, and expectations. As a result, the chapter achieved 100 percent participation and created a stronger leadership team.

YEAR: 2018

METRO DC CHAPTER: New Director Orientation

SUMMARY: To address the challenge of having to onboard new board members in a relatively short time, the chapter developed a formal board orientation. The program helped ensure that all board directors received consistent messaging about the chapter culture, norms, expectations, and that they could sufficiently navigate within the chapter's critical software applications.

YEAR: 2014

CENTRAL IOWA CHAPTER: Team Building

SUMMARY: This Central Iowa event was an opportunity for the entire board to learn about each other on a personal basis, meet the new board members, have fun, and learn a little more about the operational side of the board to jump start and energize all to get a head start with the 2011 year.

YEAR: 2011

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