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Executive Risk

Strategies for Attracting and Retaining Board Members

October 11, 2023

In today’s challenging labor market, it has become increasingly difficult for organizations to attract and retain top talent, especially regarding their board members. Consequently, organizations that lack effective senior leadership teams will be less likely to meet operational demands, accomplish company goals and ensure overall business success. What’s worse, organizations without experienced and trustworthy board members could also face heightened directors and officers (D&O) liability exposures and be more susceptible to costly workplace litigation.

With this in mind, organizations need to take steps to maintain talented senior leadership teams. Here are some valuable board member attraction and retention strategies.

Set clear expectations. It’s best for organizations to carefully assess their key initiatives and determine specific skill sets and qualifications their board members should possess to help contribute to these goals. From there, organizations can create written job descriptions that outline clear responsibilities for their senior leadership teams, thus allowing them to identify their ideal candidates. Some organizations may benefit from establishing a committee of existing board members responsible for recruiting and vetting new senior leaders.

Offer support. Organizations can set new board members up for success by leveraging thorough orientation processes, conducting frequent check-ins and having experienced senior leaders serve as mentors. Additionally, organizations should ensure their board members receive ongoing career development and personal growth opportunities by providing plenty of educational resources and routine training.

Establish a strong culture. Board members are likelier to keep working for a company with a positive culture. As such, organizations should prioritize establishing workplace policies that promote empathy, encouragement, transparency, accountability and inclusivity.

Give feedback and recognition. As board members adjust to their roles, organizations should provide these individuals with regular feedback on their performance and ways they can continue to improve. When senior leaders display significant growth or achieve major initiatives, organizations can formally recognize them through companywide communications and celebrations.

Provide compensation and benefits. Organizations should consider compensating board members for their time and expertise with competitive salaries and benefits packages if possible.

Purchase D&O insurance. This coverage can provide senior leaders with financial protection following managerial decisions that negatively impact their organizations. D&O insurance may cover legal fees, settlements and other costs related to board members’ defense. If organizations don’t have ample D&O insurance programs, it’s unlikely that they will be able to attract and retain senior leaders, given the potential risks involved.

Organizations should consult insurance professionals to discuss their coverage needs. Contact Hylant for additional risk management solutions.

The above information does not constitute advice. Always contact your insurance broker or trusted advisor for insurance-related questions.

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