Board Orientation Best Practices: Strategies for Onboarding New Trustees Effectively

Most health care boards offer an orientation program for new trustees, often taking place at a special meeting where these trustees are introduced to the organization’s mission, strategic priorities, and the basic expectations for trustees.  But the real ramp-up period for new trustees extends far beyond a single session.  New members typically proceed along a months’-long journey to get fully up-to-speed.  Too often, that journey is entirely self-directed with little conscious input from the governance committee, the board chair, or senior staff, and involves many false starts and detours.  Worse still, few organizations take the time to re-orient the full board when new members join, which can create barriers to team formation and make the hard work of governing that much more challenging.

This webinar recording offers a different approach to new member orientation.  You’ll hear about a set of action steps that can help your organization develop a conscious, ongoing orientation process – one that helps the entire board form a high-functioning team much faster as each new trustee comes on.  The session reviews ways hospital boards can leverage resources and tools including:

-   Rethinking the role of the Nominations and Governance Committee

-   Using technology tools to help front-load the on-boarding process

-   Providing easy early “wins” for new trustees that help promote bonding and team formation

-   Strategies for involving current board members and those rotating off the board, as well as those who are on-boarding

You’ll learn that in each phase of the cycle, taking a few simple steps can save a world of trouble down the road, and gain the tools you can use to develop your board and build engagement among trustees.


Dottie Schindlinger is the Governance Technology Evangelist and a founding team member of BoardEffect, where she promotes the intersection of governance and technology as a leading expert in the field.  Dottie researches governance trends and writes and speaks for a variety of publications and organizations.  Her career has included roles as varied as program development with the Pennsylvania Humanities Council, Director of Training & Education for the Nonprofit Center at La Salle University, and Associate Faculty of La Salle’s Communication Department, where she taught Public Speaking to incoming first-year students.  Dottie currently serves on the boards of the Alice Paul Institute and the Alliance for Board Effectiveness.