How to Follow Up After a Board Meeting
Following up is a vital step that pushes the meeting’s momentum forward and encourages progress outside the boardroom.
By Grace Zientarski
A board’s work is not complete when the meeting adjourns. One of the crucial elements that define a successful board meeting is what happens after. Following up is a vital step that pushes the meeting’s momentum forward and encourages progress outside the boardroom.
A follow-up after every meeting ensures your board always functions effectively. It provides necessary details about discussions and assigned tasks. When everyone knows what to accomplish and when, your board will achieve meaningful action and optimal results.
Consider the follow-up tasks as an extension of the meeting. Plan and set time aside to complete them promptly.
Thank Board Members
When the meeting adjourns, thank board members for their time. By showing appreciation, it reinforces a positive connection. Then when sending the follow-up email, reinforce that positive connection yet again by beginning the email with another message of thanks. When genuine gratitude is given quickly it can be powerful and beneficial to the board.
Related: How to Run a Board Meeting
Send Follow-Up Email
The post-meeting email should arrive in board member’s inboxes at least 24 hours after the meeting adjourns. Prompt follow-up emails prevent the information from getting lost in an inbox or forgotten. They provide everyone with the materials to continue the meeting’s progress.
After thanking board members, the follow-up email should include content from the meeting.
Minutes are the official record of what occurred in the boardroom. Review the meeting’s minutes to make sure they are complete and accurate. The minutes should follow the order of the agenda and clearly state the board’s actions with every item. Make any necessary corrections and attach the minutes to the follow-up email.
Highlight Discussion and Action Items
The follow-up email should include a brief recap of the meeting’s discussions and the decisions that came from them. Summarize the key points covered and their conclusions. Then, list the assigned tasks with who is responsible and the completion dates.
Board members can use the recap as a quick reference to understand what they need to accomplish and when. It reinforces everyone’s accountability and guarantees the work will get done.
Utilize electronic surveys to get consistent feedback from board members. After every meeting, attach a brief survey that asks board members to rate their experience. The details will still be fresh in their minds, and the minutes and recap provide a handy reference.
Routine post-meeting surveys should only include three to five questions. Once a year, distribute an in-depth survey to evaluate your board meetings thoroughly. Like the thank you, the survey is another way to show board members you appreciate their time.
Debrief with Board Leadership
About a week after every meeting, board leadership should meet to analyze how the meeting went. The feedback from the survey will provide valuable insight on what worked and what did not. Share the responses from board members and discuss ways to improve the next meeting.
Review the action items and create a plan to track their progress. A board portal allows you to add, assign, and schedule tasks in one place. Board members can stay on track and provide regular status updates on their progress.
Schedule the Next Meeting
When a board meeting ends, preparation for the next one begins. Determine an agreeable time, date, and location for the next meeting. Try to schedule well in advance before calendars start to fill. After making the next meeting announcement, begin the process to prepare for the next meeting.
Related: How to Prepare for a Board Meeting
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