Agree to communication terms.
Most of us know that it can be difficult to recruit new members to the executive committee. After all, it is a voluntary role, generally without remuneration and our time is precious. In addition, it can be a ‘thank-less’ job with owners being highly critical of the management of their investment.
So once you’ve convinced someone to join the executive committee, how do you develop them into effective members and retain them in the future?
Clarify roles, responsibilities and expectations immediately.
Following the election of office bearers at the executive committee meeting immediately following the Annual General Meeting (AGM), clarify the roles, responsibilities and expectations of all members.
Note: Clarify the responsibilities of the Strata Manager so that you set and manage the executive committee’s expectations.
- Schedule in advance the executive committee meetings to be held throughout the next 12 months.
- Review current action items and establish goals for the next 12 months.
- Appoint sub-committees where appropriate.
For example: The manner in which the Strata Manager will communicate with the executive committee via email and the manner in which members will communicate with each other at meetings.
- Establish housekeeping rules.
For example: Nominated representative for direction. Invoice approval criteria.
Note: Ensure the minutes accurately reflect the agreed terms.
Reiterate when and where necessary throughout the year the agreed terms. There is no point in establishing these terms if the
executive committee is going to fall back into ineffective management techniques.
Integration of new members to the team
Appoint at least one existing executive committee member to ‘buddy’ with a new member. They can mentor the new member through their first term so they may seek clarification of their responsibilities, the regulations or meeting structure. This will ensure the new-comer feels included and will be more likely to actively participate.
This is particularly relevant to larger schemes whereby it may be necessary to tour the building to provide an explanation of the activities currently in hand with regards to repairs and maintenance of common property and the location of facilities such as the telecommunications room, roof access, etc.
Encourage new executive committee members to undertake the free on-line training offered by Strata Community Australia.
Working parties and sub-committees
The establishment of sub-committees can result in executive committees achieving greater results as these groups can focus and
work through various problems more efficiently and then report back to the executive committee as a whole to provide status updates or seek clarification.
Access to information
Ensure all members receive relevant information with sufficient time to review prior to meetings. This way they can assess the information, raise questions for further information and be prepared with an opinion prior to the meeting.
Ineffective meetings will not encourage members to nominate for further terms. Refer to the fact sheet ‘Effective Meetings’ that presents recommendations in greater detail.
This is where it is useful to have established guidelines at the beginning of the term agreeing to rules of communication, such as how members shall address each other at meetings. Refer to the factsheet ‘Effective Meetings’ that presents recommendations in greater detail.
Utilise paper meetings
Make greater use of paper meetings for resolving and minuting minor decisions. Don’t exhaust executive committee members with face-to-face meetings if it is not necessary to engage in discussion as a group.
Rotation of office bearers
This is only a possibility if there are multiple executive committee members that hold the appropriate skill level to perform the role of chairperson, secretary and treasurer. If there are, then it is important to allow others to assume these roles from time to time so that individuals don’t adopt permanent ownership of the role. This may encourage resentment from other executive committee members.
The executive committee should take time out as a team to interact on a personal level. Having a genuine relationship with colleagues often makes it easier to manage when difficult discussions take place. It is harder to cast those opposed to your point of view as your enemy when you know something about their family, work or values.
Ensure that achievements are recognised by the group so that individuals feel appreciated for the work they are doing. Unappreciated and they will be less likely to volunteer in future years.
Similarly, if a member retires from the executive committee, formally recognise their contribution. Appreciated and recognised.
Similarly, if a member retires from the executive committee, formally recognise their contribution. Appreciated and recognised owners will continue to be a supporter of future executive committees and in addition, their services may be required again in the future.
Disclaimer: The content of this fact sheet is intended as a guide only and cannot be relied upon for legal advice. Readers should make and rely on their own enquiries regarding all aspects of the material.
City Strata disclaims any liability for negligence or otherwise in any way connected with this fact sheet.