Like any job, people will come and go — either for personal or career reasons. All companies will experience a shift in their employees at one time or another. For an HOA board member, they too, have to experience change in roles and responsibilities. In fact, board members can voluntarily resign or be asked to leave the committee. In this time of transition, there will be a large responsibility put on the HOA president and management company to help new board members transition into new roles and positions. The key question is how and when.
Let’s start by reviewing committees that may experience changes in their roles or responsibilities:
Accounts payable department - An accounts payable team manages payments that the HOA owes to the vendors or other expenses. Other responsibilities that work under this department may include accounts receivable, audits, association tax payments, and pursuing delinquent assessments.
Social Committee - A social committee helps plan community events such as garage sales, block parties, welcome events, holiday socials, and other neighborhood gatherings.
Newsletter Committee - Responsibilities may include: formatting the community newsletter regarding mixers, community events, achievements, updates regarding property changes or guidelines, and important calendar updates.
Social Media Committee - A social media committee can help moderate online homeowner forums, along with adding announcements to community social platforms.
Financial committee - Some responsibilities may include: financial budgets, invoicing, accounting, financial statements, bank reconciliations, insurance policies, reserves, and investments.
Updating roles due to a need to be more efficient
A large part of why a community may need to change its current roles is due to a lack of efficiency. Efficiency is when we produce results with a minimum amount of effort. Due to the many roles that are needed to run an HOA, many communities often find themselves in the scenario of “too many cooks in the kitchen.” Some communities may even find themselves having to create new responsibilities because of the number of people involved — this creates more work and time. In times like this, an HOA must seek to make efficient changes. Being efficient also helps keep costs low and provides more cost-saving efforts, such as automation, to keep the association in good financial standing.
What time of year should a board update their roles
Depending on the HOA and its state, a board will serve until the first election, this includes all subsequent board members that will serve until the annual election. In some states, if a board member's term expires and no one can replace that role, they may still retain the authority to serve on their board of directors.
Updating roles due to digital changes
As HOAs continue to develop and thrive in new technologies, so will the need for the roles that run them. Here are just a few examples of committees that may experience updates in their roles due to technology.
Financial committee - A financial committee often handles your Hoa's accounting and finances. Thanks to advancements in HOA technologies, financial committees can now utilize automated invoicing and financial reports —this allows less time on paperwork and more on efficiency. A committee such as this may also experience a shift in having to minimize their workload from multiple people creating invoices to just one person that can operate an HOA financial software. In fact,a large part of what has helped many HOAs thrive financially is due to the ability to incorporate HOA software that provides financial features and applications that can reduce cost and perform multiple responsibilities such as: collecting dues, sending notices, notifications, community updates, and virtual security.
Social media - Changes in technology may also affect committees such as social media and the community newsletter. Due to new advancements in digital HOA software, committees such as this may see large changes in the way they communicate with their community. For example, digital HOA software allows the opportunity for a committee to utilize digital features through a forum or announcement feature to post updates. This also includes social media integrations that can be accessed on a community website as well.
How to make an easy transition for your staff
Be transparent - In a time of transition, you can never over-communicate. The more transparency there is, the more members will effectively communicate with other members, along with their team. Over-communicating also helps prevent misunderstandings and keeps information top of mind. In addition, transparency also increases engagement and provides clarity.
Board member training guides - An essential part of creating an easy transition is to provide updated training guides — this works to help new members transition into their new roles.
Q&A Communication - Creating a Q&A communication channel is a great way to help members ask questions or provide feedback.
Weekly updates - Providing weekly updates regarding changes in roles works to help ease any anxieties or stress that members may have during their time of transition into new roles or if certain members resign.
Provide direction - The loss of a large role (or close teammate) can highly impact others — especially when that person may have worked alongside you in their role. Waiting for a new position to be filled can be stressful. Not to mention the workload overhaul that you may experience. In this situation, it’s important to provide a sense of direction regarding steps that are being taken to fill the role. This may include any new direction that the president or board may want to take going forward.
Positive morale - When someone of a significant role leaves a position, it can be common to see a shift in team morale. As a board member or manager, here is where leading by example is imperative — to help your team maintain positive morale. It is never encouraged to discuss personal problems or issues that a former member may have left behind. Regardless of why or when someone leaves a role, team members must maintain professional relationships and show appreciation for their efforts to serve on the HOA board. Most importantly, the team must look forward and seek changes for the better of the community.
Best ways to communicate changes
When making large changes to roles and committees, an HOA must consider the most effective way to communicate these changes. One way to do this is by incorporating a virtual chain of communication through a community website or digital voting for those that are being newly elected into a role.
Polls- online polls are a great way to take feedback on concerns and questions. Here is where a board member or manager may vote online through a community portal.
Communications suite - A communication suite such as TownSq provides committees the ability to give real-time updates and maximize productivity with online announcements and engage with users through forums and other tools.
Digital Voting- Digital Voting allows a fair and easy way to elect new board members into their roles for the coming year.
To recap what we discussed above, we see most communities update their roles towards the end of the year before big elections and during budget season. It is important to take what you learned from the previous year, along with key events that may occurred into account when weighing the need for these changes. Don't forget to be open and transparent about these changes, ensuring that all community members are aware and have the opportunity to ask questions. One way to do this is by adopting a communication software that allows you to reach all members of an HOA. To learn more how TownSq's software is helping communities communicate and grow closer together request a demo at the link below.