Minimize Board Member Conflict
Many people today are eager to get involved in their local communities. One place they tend to start is at home, volunteering for their own community association (HOA or Condo Owners associations). For some volunteers, they see it as an extension of what they do everyday, as is the case for treasurers who may work as CPAs or bookkeepers during the day. For other HOA board volunteers, they view their voluntary service as part of their overall commitment to their neighborhood and the prosperity of the community. Whatever the individual’s reasons for becoming involved, keeping board members engaged long term is essential to the continuity and longevity of the HOA. Here are 3 easy ways to reduce and deal with HOA board resignations.
Address Problems Head On
Often when there is conflict within the board either personal or project related, people tend to keep their emotions to themselves and this can create feelings of animosity and anger for many. To help avoid hard feelings and sudden resignation, as you on board new members, be sure to put safeguards in place regarding resignation. These safeguards may include: bringing in a third party that may help mediate issues, creating a committee to handle the concern or developing a method for hearing the problem from both parties involved. Remember, at the end of the day, everyone needs to coexist in the same community. Avoiding the issues will only lead to further fracturing in the board which leads to infighting and doesn’t promote the best situation for the homeowners.
As new members come on-board, put methods in place to handle resignations. Providing an onboarding process to new members makes them aware of what the appropriate steps are regarding resignation procedures. These types of information sessions help avoid the possibility that someone will just stop showing up. If you do have to resign, here are tips for leaving on good terms. Some examples of how to safeguard against sudden resignations include requiring a letter of resignation 2-4 weeks before the resignation takes effect, mandating that any projects the board member is engaged in either be completed or handed off to another board member with the proper background and instruction or possibly the requirement that the board member be responsible for finding their replacement. However you plan to handle the board members resignation, a slow exit provides the individual time for pause, reflection and reconsideration.
Reward Your Board Members
One of the most common reasons for board members to resign is burnout. Burnout occurs when a board member feels that they are underappreciated or giving more than realistically possible. Here are a few tips to prevent burnout. First, create committees to help tackle large projects. This helps relieve the feeling of being overwhelmed by a volunteer project. Next, be sure there is budget set aside to help mitigate a problem that requires professional intervention. Finally, if a board member feels that the project or responsibility delegate to them is outside their swim lane, put methods in place to find the right person to tackle the problem. When a board member feels their concerns are being acknowledged and supported, there is a greater likelihood that they will remain on the board. Don’t forget to reward your board members with certificates of appreciation, complimentary passes to events for friends and family or with a celebratory meal. Everyone deserves recognition for hard work.