Once you’ve weighed the pros and cons of including employees on your organization’s board of directors, you can explore how to approach this undertaking. Below are some steps you can take.
Solicit Feedback from Everyone
Before including employees on your organization’s board of directors, it’s important to ask them if they’re interested in being represented and what they want to see done, as well as what responsibilities they’re willing to own.
It’s also important to assess the current board of director’s concerns, too. All leadership teams and workers should be solicited for feedback equally so that diverse perspectives across an organization can be considered when forming a newly structured board.
Research Other Organizations’ Experiences
When forming a board of directors with employee representation, research other organizations’ experiences with employees on their boards, even if those organizations are abroad.
If possible, learn more about what they did that went right, challenges they faced, etc., as well as why they wanted employee representation.
Rely on Experts
As you organize your new board of directors with employee representation, rely on experts like organizational psychologists and change management professionals to help your board members and employees build respectful relationships and policies so that contention doesn’t brew across your organization.
Such experts can help you learn more about how to build trust among individuals across your organization, as well as how to roll out the plan and execution of your new board. Outside experts can also help you establish a more fair and unbiased view that different parties in your organization might be more willing to consider.
Remain as Transparent as Possible
At all times, it is important to remain as transparent as possible with your employees and leadership teams, whether they’re going to serve on your board of directors or not. Employees should know your organization’s intentions for forming a new board, how it’s planning to create the new board, etc. Otherwise, contention and mistrust will become prevalent before the new board of directors is even officially established.
Establish and Share a Clear Policy and Mission
It’s imperative that your organization establish a clear policy and procedure for how board members will be selected or elected, what their responsibilities are, how they will be held accountable, etc. This policy should be shared with everyone across your organization.
It’s also important that board members decide on a common vision and mission as they meet and debate decisions that will move a company forward so that stalemates and contention aren’t as prevalent. In addition, it’s vital that clear policies for how confidentiality will be maintained and respected be established.
Overall, as you begin to include employees on your organization’s board of directors, it’s important to maintain trust with all parties involved and contemplate doing the things mentioned above.