OnBoard Deep Dive Workshop: New Board Member Orientations

Jenni Washington
  • Edited

Workshop Takeaways

Orientation Programs – past and present

  • As with business meetings, orientations are now virtual. Consider how you will introduce OnBoard as well as ensure new members are ready to participate in their sessions using your video conferencing solution.
  • Moving away from printed books to digital materials brings a cost savings and assists with change management so you can finally wean those last few members from paper for good!
  • Meetings have increased in number. Where you may have onboarded new members the morning before the first business meeting for the fiscal year, you may need to hold you orientation earlier so new members can participate in committee meetings and start adding value more quickly.
  • Virtual meeting fatigue is real. Half or full-day orientations won’t cut-it. Break your program into more digestible, bite-sized sessions with pre-readings and pre-recorded content so time together is spent wisely.

Ways to use OnBoard to support your program goals

  • If you’re just starting out, include a New Board Member Orientation folder in your Resources. Create sub-folders to house materials by session/topic. In addition to presentations and other documents, include links to important pages on your website, a group photo of the current members and other event photos as well as links to overview videos from cabinet members.
  • Take your program up a notch by building the orientation schedule in the Calendar as you would for a meeting agenda. Upload files and remember you can add clickable hyperlinks to the description field of a section. Removing section numbering is great for calling out breaks or informational items that are not really part of the program’s agenda. Don’t forget about the section details field that can be used for the date or the start time of an item and the presenter fields.
  • If you are a member of AGB, one of your benefits is access to their new member online orientation. Incorporate this into your schedule and have new members complete the modules for a thorough overview of governance fundamentals.
  • Send post-orientation surveys (which can be linked to the agenda)

The future of orientation programs

  • Pair returning members (mentors) with new members (mentees)
  • Plan for flexibility of in-person or virtual sessions
  • Flipped orientations - offer recorded messages and presentations

Opportunities to continue the discussion and plan for the future

  • Connect with your OnBoard contact - we can help you leverage the capabilities of OnBoard!
  • Request to be connected with another higher education customer!

Shared Resource: PNWU Orientation and Trustee Mentoring Program Overview

OnBoard Contact Information:




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