Board best practice - responding to the Covid-19 crisis
Date: 01 May 2020
Author: Imogen Sanders, Senior Consultant at Perrett Laver
Covid-19 poses challenges for boards across the sector, with many volunteer Directors facing crises in their own work and personal lives, whilst concurrently being more required than ever by their organisations. The rapidity of change can make it difficult to keep apace and, as such, we have pulled together a few quick tips with a view to offering some indicative guidance and considerations for boards that, regardless of your unique challenges, may offer some focus and perspective:
- The buck stops with the Board. Be clear and open with your Executive or management team about the required level of reporting and dialogue as you step up the necessary scrutiny. With ultimate legal responsibility, you will need to monitor, assess, direct quickly, and review risk registers more regularly than usual, without adding undue pressure or stress. You will need to be prepared to demonstrate this accountability to your wider stakeholder groups, such as your membership or possibly corporate partners. For publicly funded organisations this will include the Government, via your investing body. Chairs may also want to liaise with their fellow non-executives to ensure that they understand the additional time commitment that may be needed and source their availability.
- You may wish to consider your Board’s composition and ensure that you have the appropriate expertise and resource in place to provide the necessary check and challenge as this crisis evolves. See our upcoming blogs for more on this. Structural engagement and use of councils and subcommittees should also be included in this review. As mentioned above, more time may be needed from your non-executives, hence it's worth considering if you have due capacity and availability.
- Review and ensure health and safety policies are up to date. You have a responsibility to protect employee wellbeing as well as wider society. Keeping abreast of govern