People Engagement Program for Partners & Executives

The People Engagement Program offers a professional development service for companies wanting to increase engagement & reduce the churn of their people by supporting them to gain a non executive board appointment in addition to their current role – thereby: saving on recruitment costs; increasing productivity & strategic leadership skills and developing new business opportunities.

Line of young people sitting by wall while waiting for their turn for interview

Corporate & Individual Benefits

Individual: √ A full understanding of the board appointment process √ A suite of transferrable skills allowing better relationships with their own board √ better interactions with board level clients √ Developed skills for working with a boards √ career development opportunities √ Board Interview skills √ New board level connections – personal and professional √ Greater strategic awareness.

Employer: Reduced people churn √ Recruitment cost savings √ Professional development output √ Greater staff motivation & engagement √ Outgoing partner/executive support √ Board level connections √ Business development opportunities √ Greater strategic leadership qualities.

People Engagement Program Content

Delivered at your office to groups of 10 in 3 separate individual and group sessions over 3 days.

♦ Session 1: Board Appointment Masterclass & Lunch Presentation (Full Day + Lunch)

The practicalities of gaining a board appointment - not governance training including:

  • Board Appointments Masterclass - How to develop a board appointment – in detail.
  • Lunch Presentation - By a successful NED from your industry. 

♦ Session 2: Board Interactions Role Plays (Full Day)

The skills learnt here provide an insight into the ways boards and board members operate and how to interact with them.

  • Working with the Chair – half day board interactions role play
  • Effect decision making on a board – half day board interactions role play 

♦ Session 3: Mock Interviews & Feedback (1.5 hr. face to face with each participant)

Based upon a chosen ‘board opportunity scenario’ each attendee will:

  • Undertake a full mock interview conducted by an experienced NED and Recruiter.
  • Receive written reports and critical feedback.

♦ Each attendee also receives the following resources

√ A Bespoke Board CV personally written for them √ Board Appointments Resources pack √ The Board Appointments’ book √ the ‘Not for Profit Board Dilemmas’ book √ 12mths access to Australia’s largest list of board vacancies

Engagement & Churn Statistics

A recent study by CultureAmp (2017) found that people in professional services companies (law, accountancy & financial firms) had only a 64% overall Engagement Score. Further they found that 48% thought about looking for another job more than rarely and a massive 42% did not see themselves working for the same company in just 2 years’ time. The costs of churn alone, regardless of type, industry, company, etc. is commonly regarded as at least 20% of that employee's salary or annual wages and top level executive turnover can cost upwards of 200%

The same study found that three drivers in particular improved engagement, improved productivity and reduced churn – thereby saving you time and money - are: 1. Learning and Development: Providing (a) career opportunities; (b) developing new skills; 2. Leadership: Developing high-level leaders who shape & guide a company’s strategy. 3. Social Responsibility: ingrained in the fabric of companies & must be maintained.

What next?

Companies are always looking for creative ways in which their people: can become more engaged with their company. Board appointments have been proven to help your people to: develop professionally (strategic thinking), develop better board level relationships, work more comfortably with board level clients; foster growth in their own careers and; become increasingly satisfied with their contribution to their own organisation.

Recognising that a board appointment is right for your people is not enough. Whilst governance training is valuable it does not drive a board appointment or address key engagement drivers. It is therefore critical that your people understand the challenges of gaining a board appointment but also have the skills and knowledge to make this aspiration a reality.

Enquire about the People Engagement Program by emailing [email protected] we will contact you directly to discuss the right corporate package for your organisation.

What does it take to gain a board appointment?

Harvey Nash’s Board Practice (Non Executive Director Survey) polled the opinions of non-executive directors about how boards are changing, the value of board appointments and how people gain non executive roles they found:

  • Finance, law and audit experience is of high demand but 50%+ companies believe digital, talent management and corporate reputation/brand are issues boards need to address. Yet, less than 1:10 board members have deep expertise in these areas.
  • New non-executives are unprepared for the role. Over 30%+ new board members were surprised by how the board functioned and were unprepared for the time commitments.
  • The influence of the old boys' network may be fading. Two-thirds of respondents weren't known to the organisation before appointment
  • Chairmen were relatively dissatisfied with the talent on offer 6/10 were only 'moderately’ satisfied with the pool of talent they were offered and found that many new non-executives: Were unprepared for the role or could not properly articulate their contribution at board level – making them unappointable.

The study also found that to gain a board appointment:

  • 65% of respondents went through a formal recruitment process
  • 50% of respondents felt that the selection process was becoming more rigorous.

When asked what advice they would give to aspiring non-executives:

  • 40% said 'Be more confident in your skills and abilities',
  • 20% advocated 'more active networking',
  • 12% advised 'Promote yourself internally for appointment onto the executive board'.

This is, of course, standard advice for all aspiring non-executives. Both men and women need help in understanding the journey towards a board appointment and how to get appointed – no easy feat! Even those who are fully aware of how different the executive and non-executive roles are sometimes struggle to make the transition. The study found:

  • 25%+ would have welcomed coaching or training in constructive challenge
  • 17% said training in evidence-based questioning would have been useful,
  • 16% said skills in mentoring and acting as independent counsel would have helped them
  • 11% would have benefited from a greater understanding of team dynamics and how to improve them.

These are critical skills for aspiring and existing non-executives AND they can be taught – through formal programmes and through observation of more experienced colleagues. Our program addresses each of these elements!

Well placed to help

Organisations are working hard to recruit more diverse boards through more rigorous and objective selection and assessment processes, and they are casting their nets more widely to find candidates with the time and commitment for what is an increasingly challenging role. But demand for good people appears to outstrip supply.

However, Professional Service people are well placed to meet this need. Individuals, and the organisations that employ them, need to take responsibility for finding and preparing for non-executive roles as part of their career development plan. Board Direction can help.

Board Direction

Australia’s leading board career development and board vacancy advertising firm. Led by David Schwarz – Australia’s leading board recruitment expert - we help put people on boards. We provide everything required to get a Board or Advisory Board Directorship. Specifically, we offer a suite of training and accountability services and advertise Australia’s largest list of board vacancies.

Find out more

Enquire about the People Engagement Program by emailing [email protected] we will contact you directly to discuss the right corporate package for your organisation.


* study by CultureAmp (2017)  ** employee's salary  *** cost upwards of 200% **** Non Executive Director Survey