Your board meets regularly. Maybe they sign loan approvals or give advice. Do they do anything else for you? What about growing your organization? It's time to amp up expectations.

Whether you’re working with a governing board or an advisory board, here are a few simple steps to spark more engagement from your board of directors and boost your business development program.

1. job descriptions

Pull out the board job description. Does it clearly articulate the roles and responsibilities of your board? Does it include helping you and your staff grow the business? If not, it’s time to update and get all your board members to sign it as an agreement of service.

When they sign, it’s official. It’s sticky. It’s real.

2. business lead development

The reason you have a board, in addition to governance or advice, is to help your organization grow and prosper. As paid board members, they have an obligation to serve you. As customers or investors (if they don’t already bank with you, they should!), they have vested interest in your success. This means they need to be part of your business development team.

As business people, investors and influentials in the community, they should be priming your business development list with names of individuals, businesses and organizations that are likely prospects to do business with you.

In addition, if you have a prospect that you’re trying to reach and a board member has a personal connection, ask for an introduction. At a minimum, your board connections can give you intelligence about a prospect’s wants, needs and hot buttons. This will help you tailor your approach to the prospect.

3. follow through

Make sure that you follow up on any leads that your board gives you. If they’ve given your name to a prospect, make good on promises to contact the lead. It’s not just your reputation, but your board members’ reputations. They’ll be more forthcoming with leads if they know that you help to make them look good to colleagues and friends in the community.

4. thank you

Make your mother proud. And cultivate deeper trust and partnership with your board simply by thanking them when they help you build the business. Don’t wait until the annual meeting to give a blanket thank-you to the whole board. Make sure your board members know that you appreciate them all year long. Acknowledge the leads and intelligence they share with you. Write them thank you notes. Update your board in meetings about the impact their help is having on the bottom line. Thanking individuals at board meetings for lead generation will incentivize non-performing board members to step up their games.

When all members are on board with your business development plan, your credit union or bank’s efforts will be electric.

For more on building a better advisory board for your bank, watch our 5-minute video: 3 Steps to Stronger Advisory Boards. If you need some extra help energizing your board members, please call Martha Bartlett Piland direct at 785.969.6302. Let's talk!