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14th March 2017

HR Issues – Stepping up to the Board

Career development does not all have to be achieved in its entirety through an employee’s primary role.  With some careful consideration, an employee at a mid to senior level in an organisation, could gain a vast amount of employment and leadership skills to foster their development, through no cost at all to the company.  Put quite simply, they could become a Board Trustee.

Boards of many organisations, particularly charitable ones, have been crying out for the input of qualified, experienced and keen individuals to help them forge ahead, for a long time.  With few resources, these organisations can struggle to attract and retain good Board members.  Furthermore, the traditional make-up of Boards with semi-retired expert individuals is no longer diverse enough to support modern business frameworks.  Regulators and workforces present a multitude of demands for Boards today and thus a wider mix of experiences, backgrounds and subject expertise is now required.

Once a Board of Management recognises this and identifies the need for particular skills-sets and/or increased diversity of its make-up, it normally now advertises and recruits in a method similar to a standard recruitment exercise.

Once an individual has attained a good professional standing in their field and explored their career options at their current level and in their current employment, many express a desire to seek further fulfilment whilst continuing in their current position, either by ‘giving something back’ or developing further managerial skills.  Often there can be a lack of opportunity or budget to fulfil these ambitions in their current role and thus the attraction of gaining these elsewhere is understandable.  In this way, they can provide a good match for Trustee opportunities.

But what about potential issues as surely there could be some?  Like many aspects, it will require communication, consideration and some monitoring.  The employee’s priority must always be their main role and thus any additional commitment should be subject to the organisation’s approval. Similar to the take-up of second jobs, any Trustee work should not impact upon their ‘day job’ and not be in conflict with the work the organisation provides.  Thus, some roles may find opportunities to be more restrictive than others but in general, a collaborative approach should allow good arrangements to be made for many employees and an up-skilled and business-savvy individual to emerge which can only serve their existing establishment well.

If you have any questions on any of the issues raised in the above article, please contact Wendy Meiklejohn.

14th March 2017