Winning At Onboarding

Panelists at the "Building Better Boards" committee series shared tips to help new directors become productive board members.

Byron Loflin, CEO, Center for Board Excellence; Emily Peterson Alva, Director, Amneal Pharmaceuticals; Jake Amsbary, Vice President and Secretary, Walgreens Boots Alliance; and Merrie Frankel, Director, Agree Realty

 

Encourage immersion in business information. Prepare and provide a binder of board materials and minutes, strategic plans, public disclosures, analyst reports, articles—any company and industry background that will help a director prepare to take part in high-level decision-making.

Educate them on the role. First-time directors, in particular, may need a primer on the expectations, responsibilities and the processes of directorship in general, as well as their peers’ expectations of them on the board.

Help them make the rounds. Site visits, plant tours, meeting business operators—expose new directors to firsthand, in-person experiences engaging with the company’s assets and people.

Make introductions. Arrange conversations with senior executives, such as the CFO, CLO and CHRO, as well as fellow directors, particularly committee chairs, to help bring them up to speed.

Match him or her with a mentor. Choose a long-tenured, high performing board member and charge him or her with serving as a guide during the onboarding process.