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Rounding with the Board

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CREATE AN ENGAGED BOARD THAT ACHIEVES RESULTS

Why rounding? Rounding is a term that comes from healthcare and reflects the process of making the rounds, or one-on-one connections, with patients. The goal of rounding on board members is to capture important feedback on which to act, including information for reward and recognition and for process improvement.

By regularly conversing with board members about their board role, work and transparently taking action, leaders build trust, nurture relationships with board members, and help members feel valued, which increases resilience and engagement. We recommend executive leaders make time for board rounding throughout the year. Consider scheduling time with a few board members each month, to build relationships that help your organization thrive.

There is a high correlation between engagement results and quality outcomes.

What Do I Ask When Rounding?

  • Opening question to build rapport – “How was your vacation?”
  • What is working well for you as a board member?
  • What could be working better? Do you have what you need to do your job?
  • Is there anything I can do to help?
  • Is there anyone who has been especially helpful to you that I can recognize on your behalf?

How Do I Use the Rounding Protocol?

  • Set a rounding schedule that is maageable and reaches all board members. Leave more challenging board members to last.
  • Validate the process with a rounding log or other tool – Keep track of the conversations.
  • Manage up and reward/recognize individuals the board members mention. Make a call. Send thank you notes. Make a point of saying something when you see the person mentioned. What gets recognized tends to get repeated.
  • Follow up and close the loop. Be forthright about what can be changed and what is not in your control. Check back to see if the change has addressed the issue or concern. Follow-up is essential to building mutual respect and trust.

Commit to Rounding with the Board

  • Who will you round with, as a first step?
  • When will you round with that board member?
  • Take action: Send the meeting invitation or email.

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