The Benefits of Having Your Staff Join a Board
In this day and age when organisations are flatter and middle-management positions are becoming redundant, it’s difficult to provide your staff with opportunities to lead. One way that clever organisations (such as PwC with their Societal Relevance activities) do this is by encouraging and supporting capable team members onto board positions. And the benefits that are returned to the business go far beyond the boardroom.
From my experience, employers who encourage and support their staff to join a board enjoy the following benefits.
Improved strategic and business acumen
Becoming competent in ‘the business of doing business’ helps your staff to recognise and understand the interdependence of all aspects of business operations. Understanding the link between all of your organisations’ parts enables greater informed decision-making and broader consideration of the impact and requirements of individual, management, and board-level strategic decisions.
Increased corporate governance skills
When staff understand and appreciate what corporate governance is, and how to implement best practice methodologies into an organisation, it ensures personal and organisational compliance and sound business operations. When they bring this approach back to the workplace, it ensures that shareholders, customers, and other important stakeholders, are confident with the business, its leaders, and its management. This assists with greater client/customer retention, referrals, and reputation.
Better understanding of board and business processes and operations
The board environment is full of unusual and highly formulated processes and procedures, all tied in with a good dose of interpersonal politics. Your employee’s experience on a board will help them understand and learn to navigate the board environment leading them to gain a deeper understanding of the difference between strategic and operational matters. These are vital skills for senior staff and staff whom regularly report and interact with the executive and board as part of their ‘day job’.
Confidence is increased through acquiring new knowledge and gaining experience. Employees will find themselves knowing the right questions to ask at meetings, and will contribute and lead discussions with conviction and self-assurance. This Forbes article demonstrates that employers benefit from confident workers because they are more positive contributors, more productive, good motivators, and make great role models.
Further developed leadership and interpersonal skills
Life as a company director involves being a leader within an organisation and in the eyes of its stakeholders. With this comes the need for your employee to be able to form and leverage important relationships with a wide range of individuals, all with their own agenda.
Refining and honing their interpersonal and leadership skills helps your employees to successfully manoeuvre themself, other staff, the organisation, and important stakeholders to achieve its strategic objectives.
Improved decision making
All of the above benefits ultimately lead your staff to be able to make better-informed strategic decisions that you will have confidence and faith in. This improved decision making ability serves employees in all situations faced in their day-to-day work, ensuring that they are consistently working towards achieving the goals of the business, and doing so in a sound and effective manner.
Contributes to your employee retention strategy
Investment into your employees demonstrates to them that they are seen as a valued and important asset to the organisation. Providing time and resources to their training and development builds loyalty in a way that creates tangible returns to your business, first and foremost in lower employee turnover.
Support for employees to join a board can be through giving them time to attend board and/or committee meetings, time to prepare for meetings during work hours, access to organisational assets and people for board-related matters, and investment into director development activities (such as Get on Board workshops and educational events).
Having high-performing employees gives your organisation a strong competitive advantage. This is a vital position to hold in a challenging business climate. Investing into the development of your workforce has become a requirement for all businesses.