It’s a great compliment to be selected to serve as a board member for your community association, but it’s also a big responsibility. From meetings to budgeting, the role of a board member is extremely robust, and when just a handful of people are the designated decision makers for an entire community, it can be easy to get tired of fulfilling the never-ending duties of the role. We asked a few of our community management experts to share their advice on how to avoid board burnout. Read on for their tips and tricks.
- Engage your management team.
“The first thing that comes to mind for avoiding board burnout is to engage the management team that you have hired to help you. Sometimes board members seem to want to do everything themselves instead of leaning on the management team for advice, information and direction.”
-Paul Petrulis, ARM®, CPM® Candidate, Business Development Manager, Associa Gulf Coast
- Create committees.
“If you’re a board member dealing with burnout, you should try to engage the community by creating committees that can help draft policies or work on various projects. This allows others to get involved without the pressure of being on the board while reducing the board’s workload. For example, if the board needs a new landscaper, they can appoint a committee to develop landscaping specifications and interview companies that management has vetted through the vendor approval process. Committees can also fight apathy by organizing events like National Night Out or a social for getting to know your neighbors, giving the association a way to build a sense of community and get people to meet each other.”
-Kelly Zibell, PCAM®, PMP, Senior Vice President of Operations, Associa Northern California
- Make learning fun.
“Volunteer councils do well when they are actively engaged in their communities and work together as a cohesive team. Our experience shows that one way council members can do that is by keeping themselves informed through Associa’s educational resources, like the Living Better Blog as well as our ebooks and webinars. Additionally, doing so helps councils feel happier and more accomplished at the end of the fiscal year. If you make learning fun by taking advantage of interesting resources, you can prevent board burnout.”
-Laszlo Antal, Business Development, Associa British Columbia
- Switch up your schedule and stay connected with TownSq.
“Your board should change to bi-monthly meetings if your governing documents allow for that. Much can be done between monthly meetings with good, duly adopted board policies in place. Also, encourage residents to place inquiries into TownSq for tracking purposes and added convenience for the board.”
-Wendy Bucknum, Vice President Business Development, Associa PCM
- Get informed from the beginning and prioritize tasks.
“I suggest holding a board orientation so board members understand the scope of their role and how to best partner with management. I’ve also found it beneficial to over-communicate with boards until they realize that they’ve got this and can then relax into the role. Lastly, have a prioritized action list to focus on a realistic amount of work to be done - no more than three tasks at a time.”
-Lisa Dial Triplett, CCAM, CMCA®, Vice President of Management Services, Associa Northern California