Giving trustees time to learn about the organisation and key information will help them become an effective member of the board more quickly.
Supporting a new trustee
Consider offering the new trustee a ‘buddy’ – an existing board member who can mentor them through the first few months.
They should also be given an information pack of key documents containing:
- the governing documents
- your strategy
- latest annual report and accounts
- a calendar of board and committee meetings
- minutes of previous year’s board meetings
- a list of current trustees plus short biographies
- organisational structure and senior staff biographies
- background history of the organisation
- up-to-date organisational strategy/operating plans
- policy documents including:
- expenses policy
- conflict of interest declaration
- volunteering policy
- summary of funding and projects
- outline of main relationships with other organisations
- information about trustee training and development
- useful resources such as The Code of Good Governance and The Essential Trustee.
It’s also useful to include examples of your marketing literature, business cards and any publications you have issued recently.
After the appointment, review your recruitment process. What worked well and what could have worked better? What will you change next time?
After three to six months you should also review how your new trustee is settling into their role and how well the new board is working. Ask your new trustee for feedback on the induction process and whether they feel this is this right role for them. Then evaluate if there are changes that are needed on the board overall, and whether the skills and experience of each trustee are being used effectively.