Planning the workload

A useful tool for board effectiveness is an annual work plan which provides directors with an outline of the year ahead. A work plan lets directors know what their commitments for the year will be and ensures adequate attention is given to various board functions which might otherwise be deferred or overlooked.

Expectations

The chair is expected to initiate the work plan in collaboration with the CEO and company secretary.

What should a work plan include?

The board’s work plan might include:

  • meeting dates for the year, including their locations
  • matters to be considered at each meeting
  • approval of periodic, quarterly and half yearly accounts, reports to shareholders and public announcements
  • reviews of actual vs planned performance
  • receipt of certificates of compliance from management
  • CEO performance and remuneration review
  • full review of operating environment
  • review of the strategic plan, business plan and mission statement
  • approval of the annual budget and annual report
  • declaration of recommendation of dividends
  • review of audit requirements
  • review of board committee terms of reference
  • board and individual director evaluations
  • review of directors’ remuneration
  • review of remuneration policies and practices in general including superannuation and share purchase plans
  • review of risk assessment policies and controls and compliance
  • review of shareholder, customer and supplier relations
  • dates and nature management presentations during the year and the personnel involved
  • particulars of guests invited to meetings during the year
  • details of any retreats and functions
  • contact details of staff who distribute board papers, arrange travel, deal with director fees and expenses, and are secretarial staff for senior management.

As adapted from the Governance Essentials course resource kit.