The Importance of Onboarding New Board Members and Simplifying Board Administration.
In advance of recruiting an independent board of directors, the company will need to develop a board of director onboarding program and establish (or refresh) its Director and Officer’s (D&O) insurance policy. Many factors impact the latter and are beyond the scope of this article. Reaching out to a qualified business insurance broker is a good starting point as well as leveraging online resources.
Onboarding programs serve to formally introduce new board members to the company. They require upfront preparation and are important to making a good “first impression,” and ensuring new board members come up to speed as quickly as possible, which is relevant given the investment the company has made to establish the board of directors.
The scope of any onboarding programs is a function of the business complexity. Any program should include a visit to the company’s major operations, personal visits with the management team, an introduction to the company’s products and services, meetings with company auditors, legal counsel, lenders and major investors especially if the last group wasn’t included in the initial interview process. Onboarding materials should be made available online and include board of director guidelines, charter, by-laws, articles of incorporation, the company’s mission statement, historical financial statements, strategic plan, resumes of fellow board members, minutes of recent board of director meetings, board and committee charters, planners and calendars, and industry metrics.