Your board may already be accustomed to electronic meetings, but in case you are unfamiliar or want to learn how to more efficiently run remote board meetings, keep reading for some useful tips!
Given the uncertainty surrounding the current pandemic, and as a precautionary measure, many events and meetings have been canceled or postponed to accommodate increasing federal guidelines discouraging physical contact.
As a board member, navigating these times is not an easy task, but it is not unmanageable.
- Find a platform that works for your board. Several web conferencing resources exist online (and, fortunately, many of them are free). Consider the dynamic of your group and try out different options to find the right fit for everyone. Whether your board chooses Skype, Google Hangouts, Zoom (what our friends at Spectrum Association Management are using), Microsoft Teams, Miro, or even just a telephonic conference call, association business can be discussed from the comfort and safety of each board member’s home! For more ideas, visit this list of other top-rated platforms.
- Maintain a routine sense of normalcy. It may feel a little overwhelming having to switch gears so abruptly in how your board conducts meetings. Thus, it is important to instigate routine and carry over habits from in-person meetings. Create and share an agenda, determine objectives, establish a meeting schedule and time limits, and try to discuss business as usual. The platform for the meeting has changed, but the meeting content does not necessarily have to.
- Use this time to strengthen connections and build on skills. Make time before the meeting to have a personal discussion. How is everyone doing? What helpful resources have everyone read recently? Connect with one another and nurture collaboration between members now more than ever. Additionally, your board can assign weekly, monthly, or quarterly lessons to reinforce board training, using a program such as Boardline Academy. Allot time to discuss what each member has learned and come together to plan how to implement new practices or encourage current effective habits.
- Communication is vital. Keeping homeowners in the loop provides a sense of comfort and encourages them to engage more. Continue to send meeting reminders and share meeting minutes via email and/or on the association website. Invite them to learn the electronic meeting platforms with you and listen to their input. Perhaps a homeowner works from home often and they know a platform that would most benefit the entire association.
- Lean on your support system. Your management company and legal counsel are always here to help, especially in times such as this. They can provide assistance and resources to alleviate the challenges that accompany the transition to meeting remotely. Find some resources for homeowners here.
For further information, check out Harvard Business Review’s article on virtual meetings here.
As always, we encourage you to familiarize yourself with local rules for legally running a remote HOA board meeting.
In the age of physical distancing, connection and routine remain important. Remote meetings can seem strange at first, especially if your board is used to in-person meetings, but practice makes perfect! Your board will be pros in no time, and may even consider utilizing remote meetings intermittent with in-person meetings when group contact restrictions are lifted.
Stay safe and make the most of your remote meetings!