Between disagreeing residents, unending topics to discuss, and chatty board members, the idea of a short board meeting can seem like something out of myths and legends. However, far from being impossible, a board meeting that is under one hour can be achievable by taking a few simple steps. Here are a few tips to keeping your HOA board meeting under one hour.
Change the Time of Your Meeting
Members of the board typically meet in the evening hours after everyone is off work. Although this is in an attempt to help working members to maintain a consistent attendance, this is generally the time of day that is least conducive to effective decision-making. Board members may be tired at the end of a long day, or thinking about getting home to their families. See if you can find a time during daylight hours or on a weekend during which everyone can be in attendance.
Prepare and Send Out a Detailed Itinerary
One of the most crucial, but often overlooked, ways to shorten meetings is to send out a detailed itinerary far in advance. By so doing you will prepare the entire board for what will be discussed and decided in the next meeting. This will help to prevent unnecessary departures from planned discussions.
Establish a Strict Schedule
Establish a strict working schedule that will help to keep your board on track. Announce to the board that the schedule will be followed and that you will move on as soon as the time given to each topic has ended. It is a good idea to remind board members that the purpose of these meetings is to decide important topics, not to have lengthy discussions about them.
Plan Large Topics With Discretion
Planning too many large or important topics in one meeting can lead to lengthy gatherings. Be sure that you disperse these hot topics among several meetings, keeping each within the correct length.
Encourage the President or Manager in Their Role
The president of the board or the Community Association Manager have a very important role in keeping the meetings on task and controlling members of the board. If you have a tentative leader, encourage them to step up in their role and redirect conversations that have become unhelpful. Consider electing members to these positions who demand respect and have a talent for reigning in discussions.
Make Sure Someone is Taking Minutes
Keeping an accurate account of each meeting is helpful for keeping them short. Making these minutes readily available to members of the board and other homeowners can help to fill them in on the topics discussed to avoid unnecessary reiterations during upcoming meetings. Be sure that a regular member is assigned to the task, whether the secretary or someone else, and make certain that they are in attendance before proceeding.
Keeping meetings short is an attainable and worthy goal. Shorter meetings leave more time for board members to be with their families and will encourage them to be more involved with the community. Follow these tips to achieve meetings that are under one hour.