Read any of the major business publications or websites and you’re bound to find articles on the importance of delegating. It’s one of the most fundamental skills for a successful business owner to have. A simple Internet search finds scores of tips for CEOs and smaller entrepreneurs alike on how to delegate more effectively. Running an association isn’t quite like running a Fortune 500 company, but the concept of delegating tasks works just as well with a board of directors for a homeowners association as it does for a titan of industry or finance.
A Committed Effort
Boards of directors are small teams of volunteers with a lot of work to do. They often need help and that’s where delegating to a committee comes in. A committee is a group of volunteers that focus on a particular issue at hand. They are run as a mini-board, where a chair is elected, topics are discussed and minutes are reported. They take those minutes to the board. How many committees an association has and their responsibilities will vary from property to property, as will the committee size. Most commonly, the larger the association, the more the amount of committees the board will create. Ultimately, it’s the board’s responsibility to create the number and type of committees and help to define their purpose.
Once a board creates a committee and decides its mission, it's time for recruitment. According to Elaine Warga-Murray, managing partner of The Regency Management Group, LLC in Howell, New Jersey, that's when the board's selection process comes into play.
“Committees should be appointed by the board, even if volunteers are solicited,” Warga-Murray says. “The volunteers should be interviewed to identify their agenda and their willingness to participate in accordance with the intent of the committee. The entire community should know what each committee is doing and what they have accomplished. This helps other members understand how they participate and encourages members to want to be a part of a productive group.”
Strong, well-organized committees are a boon to a busy board and manager and offer residents an opportunity to get involved in their community. Aside from the usual suspects—budget, landscape and maintenance committees—committees can also include a communications committee that shares news and events with residents, nominating committee that interviews prospective residents and a neighborhood watch committee that makes sure the property stays safe and protected. While committees, by their nature, exist to assist the board, they also strive to optimize the community experience for all owners.