innovation skills training

How to Design a Better Committee Experience

The work of Committees brings value to an organization; they allow dedicated groups of people to use their passion and expertise to contribute to specific initiatives.

Designing a Better Committee Experience

how to design a better committee experience
While many organizations rely on Committees to get work done, they don’t always bring desired results.  Why is that? Through our work with Committees, here are three observations we have made over the years:
  • Often, Committees are made up of volunteers or those doing committee work off the side of their desk.
  • Members have joined a committee because they are driven by their passion for the committee goals, and possess background or knowledge of the subject matter
  • Running a Committee requires a host of skills including management, administration, budgeting—skills that volunteer participants may not necessarily possess.

If committees aren’t well-thought-out and supported, they won’t function well. If committees don’t function well, members will not have a good experience. And if members don’t have a good experience working as part of a committee—they won’t return.

Through observation of working with organizations running committees, the top issues facing committees are:

  1. Lack of clarity on the objectives they are trying to meet
  2. Lack of understanding on how decisions are made
  3. Not enough support or resources to keep the committee functioning

What happens if poorly designed committees are not supported?

improve organizations committee experience

If Committees are left unsupported:

1. Committees struggle to determine how to work together; too much time is spent sorting out ‘who does what.’

2. Meeting time is sucked up, figuring out how to execute the plan. 

3. Committee members become disenchanted with the work, quickly becoming unfulfilling and a time-waster.

4. The committee experiences turnover and more time-wasting, bringing a new team back on track.

It’s not a great situation, to be sure. It’s hard enough to find people with extra passion to spend on a side project, and if we lose them to boredom, frustration, or being unfulfilled—that’s unacceptable.

Committees: There is hope and the answer is fairly simple

how to improve companies committee experience

We work with a client who performs a great deal of work through their participatory committees; the members are made up of people who contribute their time because they believe in the work of their committee.

Here is our challenge when tasked with helping committees function:

How can we design a better committee experience to meet the committee objectives, and those participating on committees enjoy their time and learn valuable skills?

Let’s address our findings and get back on the right path, shall we?

Top IssuesStrategies to Correct
Lack of clarity on the objectives the members are trying to meetAn objective or statement of goals is one option. But are they SMART? Help the committee set goals that are easy to understand and work towards
Lack of understanding of how decisions are madeSet roles and rresponsibilities early. Determine how decisions are made and follow a process
Not enough support to resources to keep the committee functioningCommittees need to do an honest inventory of the skills required to do the work, and identify the gaps. What is needed? What help do you require?
We all need someone to check in on us and see how we’re doing. Initiate support calls for committees to identify stumbling blocks, and provide help

We help Committees: 

  • organize themselves so it’s clear what they are all marching towards
  • provide tools and templates to support the work they do so they’re not starting from scratch
  • offer support as needed from the early days of planning, through to carrying out the work, and debriefing progress made
  • help identify next steps and roadblocks so that we may clear the path to continued success

Here’s is what a well-designed committee experience can look like:

design better committee experience
how to improve committee experience
Committees struggle to determine how to work together, too much time is spent sorting out ‘who does what.’
Committees get help determining how they will work together and have clear roles.
Meeting time is sucked up figuring out how to execute the plan.
The valuable time together is spent on planning and executing work.
Committee members become disenchanted with the work which has quickly become unfulfilling and a time-waster.Meeting time is used effectively because they have templates for agendas, action plans, and next steps.

Committee experiences turnover and more time-wasting bringing a new team back on track.
Committee members see progress, get help when needed, and momentum carries on to the next set of goals.
Need help designing a better committee experience?

Does your organization involve the use of Committees? Let us help design, organize and provide support so that Committee members can LOVE their work and achieve more than they ever thought possible. Contact us today.