We are currently developing an interactive online session for the 2020 Better Boards Conference. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the conference will run for the first time in a digital format, creating a Governance Weekend for directors and CEOs on the 25-26 July. Our Managing Director, Zac Zahner, will be presenting ‘The Missing Link in Strategy—Director Recruitment’. Zac will discuss and provide attendees with:
- Insights into conducting a skills analysis considering the organisation’s strategy;
- A template for reviewing the board’s knowledge, skills and experience;
- Tips and hints on director recruitment for NFPs.
Now that the world has moved to video conferencing whether it is Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype, Microsoft Teams, GoToMeeting or any other service, there are several things you can do prior to the meeting to make sure it is as successful as it can be.
- Keep your software up to date to remove the chances of compatibility issues between you and the host.
- Confirm that your audio and video systems are working correctly prior to the meeting, many of the applications have a test feature you can use.
- Have a trial run to test any of the features you may wish to use during your meeting (breakout rooms, screen sharing, polls, etc.).
- Test the quality of your microphone and webcam, many of the included webcam and microphones that come with a system are of poor quality and may be distracting to participants—perhaps consider purchasing higher quality hardware.
- Disable any VPNs you may have active, this may slow down your connection to the server and reduce the quality of your meeting.
- Ask others in your household to be considerate with your connection’s bandwidth while you’re in the meeting.
- Ensure you are dressed appropriately for the call.
- While in the meeting, be sure you mute yourself when not talking to minimise background noise.
The Effective Governance Weekly Wrap: With us now being well into the ‘Working from Home’ routine and our team doing their part to #stayhome and #flattenthecurve, we have been very active with our clients and presenting professional development training sessions and board review workshops. So, what has our Team been up to this week? We are in the midst of finalising the reporting for a comprehensive Board review of an APRA-regulated entity. The review involved an online questionnaire and individual director and senior management interviews using digital technology in accordance with the current COVID-19 restrictions. The review also featured a comprehensive governance documentation review. The outcomes off the review will be delivered in two reports, one on the board and chair review and the other on the documentation review. These reports will be presented to directors via Zoom at the end of next month, so the Board can discuss the recommendations from these reports and plan next steps based on the agreements reached at the meeting. Another one of eG’s senior advisors has been undertaking a variety of work over the past few weeks:
- A review of governance documentation for a large not-for-profit organisation;
- A board and chair review for a religious organisation;
- Board paper writing training for a large not-for-profit organisation;
- Training for a group of auditors on how to identify red flags associated with conduct risk and how to have what could be difficult conversations to draw this information to the attention of the organisation;
- Company secretarial support services for a large not-for-profit organisation
By Cate Jolley Had we been asked in Christmas 2019 whether our organisations could function with the majority of employees working remotely from home, many may have answered differently from what we now know is achievable. The combined efforts of purposeful leadership, skilled senior management and loyal employees (with a rapid uptake of technology), have showcased how business can be done differently. As organisations pivot their strategic planning further to prepare for post COVID-19 business, greater innovation is likely to be seen.
The Effective Governance Weekly Wrap: During extraordinary times that none of us ever thought we’d experience in our lifetime; we have seen not only a major shift in our everyday life, but in the way that we run our business and interact with our clients. Our full team is now working remotely, and our Advisors have been conducting numerous governance professional development training courses and Board review workshops to our clients via Zoom.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) has created many issues for Australian boards that must be dealt with in the coming months including the legal requirement to have an annual general meeting (AGM).With the need for social distancing and the advice from the various level of government not to travel, how does an organisation—both Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) entities and incorporated associations—conduct an AGM?
As with the rest of the world, Australian boards are turning to online video conferencing to conduct their meetings virtually in this age of social distancing. With this relatively new frontier, there may be several inherent risks to conducting meetings online, including trolls ‘Zoombombing’ unsuspecting meetings providing an unwanted distraction, and malicious actors secretly accessing your webcam and audio without your permission. Today, we have seven tips to assist your board in being more secure using Zoom:
By Melissa Grundy, Senior Advisor, Effective Governance If ever there were times challenging enough for boards to be considering the financial lifeline that is safe harbour from insolvent trading, these are they. On a daily basis we are reading news of businesses having to shut down and lay off employees and seeing footage of lengthy Centrelink queues. Boards are working harder than ever to govern their organisations in incredibly uncertain times.
We are in the process of dealing with our response to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Like a number of organisations, Effective Governance has recently made a decision to have some of its staff working from home. Effective Governance staff regularly work remotely in providing governance services to our clients. In managing our response to COVID-19 you can be assured we will be providing our full suite of leading practice services to all of our clients, as normal. Our infrastructure and systems fully support our entire team working in such a way.
Employee records and privacy: employer ordered to pay $60,000 compensation for breach of employee privacy
By Andrew Tobin and Hayden Delaney
- An Australian employer was recently ordered, along with other remedial measures, to pay $60,000 compensation (including for ‘aggravated damages’) to 14 employees and former employees for breaching their privacy.
- The decision of the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) on 28 May 2019 ('QF' & Others and Spotless Group Limited (Privacy)  AICmr 20 (28 May 2019)), highlights the risks for employers associated with improper handling of employee records and provides some useful insights into managing and containing those risks.
- In short, the employer might have avoided liability; much of the formal dispute resolution process, and; the associated adverse publicity, through:
- in the terms and conditions of employment offered to the employees concerned.