Preventing Board Burnout: How to Keep Volunteers Happy and Engaged
Serving on an HOA board comes with a lot of responsibility. Board members must balance their time with their home and work obligations. Many board members willingly volunteer for the task and they are eager to contribute to the good of the cause. That enthusiasm and passion can quickly disappear when they start to feel overwhelmed and unappreciated. Watching for signs of board burnout and implementing strategies to prevent it is crucial for board success.
Warning Signs of Board Burnout
There are signs that a board volunteer is on the verge of burnout. Staying alert to the warning signs can help you to address the problem as soon as possible. Quick action is best for avoiding the burnout from spreading to the other board members. Here are a few examples of signs a board member feels tired and uncommitted to the cause:
- They seem detached. Once actively engaged, the board member no longer contributes to meeting discussions or begins missing meetings.
- They are negative. Some board members may develop negative attitudes due to a lack of progress. They begin to have a defeatist attitude about everyone and everything.
- They appear overwhelmed. There's so much to do that they don't do any of it, choosing instead to push their assignments off onto others.
Recognizing and addressing volunteer burnout is essential to keep a board thriving and successful. By catching the warning signs early, you can develop strategies for turning morale around. Address the issues early so that you can find the right solution for improving their morale before it rubs off on others.
Tips for Avoiding Board Burnout
HOA board members serve an important role in the governance of your community. Simply finding people willing to serve and to share their expertise is often challenging. Once you do secure a great board, you want the board members to thrive by putting the tools in place to avoid burnout. A few ideas for doing so include:
Be upfront about what's expected—Sometimes a board member may burnout due to the fact that they didn't know how much work the position entailed. By providing advice for serving on your board, community members who volunteer will know what to expect before they commit.
Listen to their needs—Communication is key when working with volunteers. Letting board members know that you are willing to listen to their concerns can help alleviate any feelings of frustration.
Incorporate awards and recognition—Most board members serve without expecting any formal recognition. Recognizing a board member for their contribution to a particular project can result in just the right amount of positivity they need to continue serving.
Form committees—Spreading work projects out over several committees can benefit everyone. It not only makes projects more manageable but it can better utilize the talents of board members by assigning them to specific tasks.
Hire a manager—Board members can breathe easier when they know they have a professional staff member to help them. A professional property manager can provide the guidance they need to concentrate on their duties instead of trying to manage everything at once.
At RealManage, we understand how difficult it is to prevent board burnout. We also understand the importance of volunteers to the good of the community. As a professional and experienced property management company, we can help make your board feel more supported and less stressed.
A successful board is essential for creating a community that is engaging and that attracts new members. If your HOA board is struggling with burnout, contact us today.