Board behaviour

A well-run board, both collectively and individually, embraces and demonstrates mutual respect, integrity, openness and accountability.

As the board we understand that our behaviour can have a far-reaching impact and is fundamental to our organisation’s reputation and success. We need to ensure our behaviour is consistent with our organisation’s vision and values. We will do this by:

  • being transparent, open and accountable about how we govern, who we are, and the decisions we make
  • making sure our organisation promotes equality and diversity and embeds ethical standards in the policies, practices and culture of our organisation
  • listening to each other, our beneficiaries, members, employees, volunteers and stakeholders, and respecting the role they each play
  • handling concerns and complaints transparently, constructively and impartially
  • recognising and acknowledging where conflicts of interest may arise
  • creating a constructive board environment where diverse, and at times conflicting views are respected and welcomed, and decisions are reached collectively

Three questions to think about at your next board meeting

  • Is the behaviour of your board enabling and supportive?
  • Is the board open about the decisions it makes and able to explain them?
  • Does the board know what to do, and where to seek support, if you’re faced with difficult board behaviour?

How your board can demonstrate good governance

  1. You can explain your governance processes, eg in your annual report, OSCR returns, on your website.
  2. You have discussed and agreed how you will deal with difficult decisions in a transparent and respectful manner. Your board has adopted and adhere to a suitable Code of Conduct, setting out expected standards and highlighting the importance of majority decision making.
  3. You have a transparent and timely process for making and handling complaints constructively and impartially. You get regular reports on positive and negative feedback and complaints, and see them as an opportunity to learn and improve.
  4. You keep and regularly review a Register of Interests.
  5. You discuss, agree and record what your board regards as conflicts of interest and conflicts of loyalty, both real and perceived. You understand how they can affect your organisation’s performance and reputation.
  6. You recognise, promote and value equality and diversity in the composition of your board, staff, volunteers and beneficiaries.

You can identify key stakeholders with an interest in your organisation’s work, and regularly communicate with them about your organisation’s purposes, values and achievements.

Board Behaviour Resources