A Board Evaluation is a method for scrutinising the actions and efficacy of the Board. This helps improve transparency, effectiveness, and accountability of Board Members. It can also highlight areas or practises that need improvement. All of this enables responsible corporate governance and ensures that there are no surprise scandals.
How Do You Perform A Board Evaluation:
It is important not to wait for a crisis before having a Board Evaluation. There needs to be standards that are continuously upheld no matter what. These standards are:
- Clearly defined roles and responsibilities.
- The Chairman and Executive Committee playing active roles.
- A Code of Governance determining corporate governance that is effective for the organisation.
- An outlined strategic vision for the future.
This means that the Board Evaluation will monitor the Board in terms of their roles and their corporate governance performance.
The most effective way to do this is using a combination of employee surveys, peer evaluation and interviews or self-assessments. This will allow you to gain a candid and detailed understanding of how the Board operates.
You should be performing regular but not too frequent Board Evaluations, perhaps once every quarter. You want to make sure that you are engaging your Board Members and encouraging them to reflect rather than it becoming a tedious part of the Board Meeting process.
Before starting a Board Evaluation you should figure out your main scope of investigation. This could be board management, board development, the goals or strategies of the board or the actions of the Board Members on an individual level.
Then, like for any evaluation process, you should carry out the investigation, using appropriate methods. Following this, you should analyse the results and determine the necessary steps for improvement. Finally, you should implement the results and review them in the next evaluation.
What Questions Should You Ask:
In a peer evaluation or self-assessment you need to make sure the questions are not leading or nuanced. Ask yes or no questions. “Does X turn up to every Board Meeting” or “The Board has strategic plans in place for the next two quarters”. They need to be quantifiable facts that are representative of what the Board does.
If you choose to make use of one-on-one interviews during the Board Evaluation process then you need to select a good interviewer. This should be someone impartial, preferably a third party. Using a third party can be useful because it can test your existing evaluation processes. However, it is more important that the interviewer is someone trusted by the Board, knows the organisation intricately, and is practised in conducting these sorts of interviews.
We have another article on employee surveys so please refer to that post for more tips and tricks!
How Can Convene Help You With Your Board Evaluation:
Convene is an award-winning Board Portal, now also available as an integration with Microsoft Teams, designed to streamline your management processes from start-to-finish. We have a built-in Survey feature so you can simply organise the form and automatic reminders will be sent out to all participants.
With Convene’s Survey feature you can also enable Anonymous Responses, to protect the identities of responders and Score Calculations which computes totals and averages for numeric questions. This will come in handy when you analyse results!