By Beth Gilbert
Working on the board of a community association requires a lot of extra time and effort for homeowners. For newcomers joining the board, all of these tasks can seem rather daunting, especially if they don’t have a clearly defined outline of their duties. Getting them up to speed requires additional time from your existing board members, leading to bottlenecks in approvals and tasks. Not to mention, being bogged down by busywork can make the volunteer position less appealing and more frustrating, which can increase future board member churn.
Luckily, there are ways you can streamline and modernize the training process for new board members. Here are four ways you can use to get new board members up to speed quickly:
1. Put Mobile Technology to Work
Today’s homeowners expect to do everything from their phone, and carrying out board member duties is no exception. One way you can make life easier on new board members is to offer an online portal that is accessible via a mobile app, so they can quickly and efficiently track projects, approve invoices, and more from anywhere on any device. This enables them to complete tasks faster and more efficiently, making their board member position easier to manage with the other aspects of their life, such as work, family, and hobbies.
2. Transition to a Paperless System
If you’re still relying on paper and pen to facilitate board member tasks, now is an excellent time to consider going paperless and moving all of your documentation to a digital system. By storing your documents online, you can make it easy for all board members to access important information within minutes, rather than hunting down paperwork in the office. Digitally storing documents is also more secure than paper documents because you never have to risk losing or misplacing anything when it’s all under one digital system. And what’s best, you know that the entire board is on the same page with the ability to access the most up-to-date version by providing a single source of the truth in an online repository.
3. Embrace Online Workflows
When new board members have detailed workflows with step-by-step guidance on how to complete a given task, they feel less overwhelmed and more confident in their job. Using an intuitive community association management software with workflows built-in for each role and process, you can help new board members get up to speed quickly and ensure each task is done correctly every time.
4. Boost Communication
Clear lines of communication are essential for any community association’s success, but they’re especially important when training new board members. Provide ways for board members to communicate the way they prefer most, digitally via text message, email, or in-app message through an online portal. This will increase transparency and reduce the potential for error in that new board members can quickly reach out if anything is unclear or if they have questions regarding a certain workflow. Mobile communication tools also enable you to alert the entire board of any updates or changes.
Getting new board members up to speed takes time and effort; however, if you have the right tools at your disposal and follow the suggestions above, you can ensure new board members can efficiently complete the duties expected of them, stay engaged, and are satisfied with their position in the community association. Invest in a comprehensive training and onboarding process now, and your community will reap the benefits in the future. Learn more about how AppFolio’s community association management software can help board members govern with ease.
Beth Gilbert is the Sr. Director of the Community Association Market at AppFolio and its all-in-one association management software. Beth brings over 15 years of product experience to AppFolio and is currently responsible for developing the vision and strategy for the association market. She is passionate about building relationships with customers to learn about new ways to partner in the success of their businesses. You can read Beth’s articles in various association management publications, and join her in webinars where she is often joined by industry experts to discuss a variety of topics.