People Engagement Program: Reducing Churn and Increasing Engagement Through Board Appointments

The People Engagement Program (PEP) offers a professional development offering 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

Increasing Engagement & Reducing Churn

A typical professional services firm has just a 65% people engagement score resulting in churn that reduces expertise - costing time & money. As such, companies are searching for creative ways in which their people more engaged, both with their work and organisation.

Board appointments support career growth and engagement whilst also increasing an employee’s own contribution and satisfaction level. Further, those who have board appointments have been proven to be better strategic thinkers, have more board level relationships and work more comfortably with board level clients; foster growth in their own careers and; become increasingly satisfied with their contribution to their own organisation. However, recognising the benefits of board appointments for your people is not enough and governance training does not automatically drive a board appointment or address key engagement drivers.

According to a recent survey*, 51% of employees would take another job if offered. Another study** of people in professional service companies including law, accountancy and finance found the following disturbing statistics:

  • Employees only had a 64% overall engagement score
  • 48% of responders thought about looking for another job ‘more than rarely’
  • A massive 42% did not see themselves working for the same company in 2 years’ time

This means reduced output and staff churn - the costs of churn alone (regardless of type, industry, company, etc) is commonly regarded as:

  • at least 20% of an employee’s salary or annual wages
  • Up to 200% of salary for top level executive turnover

The same study found that three drivers particularly improved employee engagement and productivity, while reducing employee churn, thus saving time and money. They were:

  1. Learning and Development: Providing (a) career opportunities; (b) developing new skills
  2. Leadership - developing high-level leaders who can shape and guide a company’s strategy.
  3. Social Responsibility: ingrained now into the fabric of most companies and needs now to be maintained.

‘Individual employees and their employers need to take responsibility for the finding of, and preparing for, non-executive Board roles as part of a career development plan’

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].

Corporate & Individual Benefits

It is critical that your people not only understand the challenges of gaining a Board appointment, but have the skills and knowledge to make their aspiration a reality. The People Engagement Program does both and offers significant benefits to both Employers and People

Individual: √ A full understanding of the Board appointment process  √ New board level connections – personal and professional  √ Stronger relationships with their own company’s Board  √ Better interactions with Board level clients  √ Board interview & application skills  √ Greater strategic perspective

Employer: √ Reduced churn - greater people retention √ Recruitment time & cost savings  √ Greater staff motivation and engagement  √ Professional development output  √ Expanded Board level networks and connections  √ Partner/executive outplacement support  √ New business development opportunities

People Engagement Program Content

Specifically, the PEP offers 3 distinct elements all of which are delivered at your workplace.

Day 1: Board Appointment Masterclass and Lunch Presentation (Full Day + Lunch)

Unlike anything else, utilising decades of board recruitment experience this session lays bare the board recruitment process and what it takes to gain a board appointment.  

  • Board Search Masterclass - ‘How to find, gain and fast track a Board appointment’.
  • Lunch Presentation - By a successful NED from your industry.

Day 2: Board Interaction Role Play (2 x ½ Day sessions)

The skills taught here provide a practical insight into the way that Boards and Board members operate & how to interact with them. Invaluable learnings for potential board members.

  • Working with the Chair – the politics of board relationships.
  • How to affect decision making on a board – the subtleties of board decision making.

Day 3: Mock board Interviews and feedback (1.5 hr. face to face with each participant)

A board interview is unlike an executive interview. Any potential board member should be prepared for it. Each interview is based on a chosen ‘Board opportunity’ scenario, each attendee will:

  • an individual & confidential full mock interview - conducted by an experienced NED Recruiter
  • written reports and critical feedback

Each attendee also receives the following resources

√ A Bespoke Board CV, personally written for them;  √ The Board Appointments’ book; √ The ‘Not for Profit Board Dilemmas’ book; √ 12 months access to Australia’s largest list of board vacancies and; the Board Search Resources pack containing advice and templates required to gain a board appointment.

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.


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