Better Survey Tools Available with Board Portals

Confidential evaluations are invaluable to directors committed to better governance. Boards that require consensus on important decisions have an obligation to hear dissenting opinions, but often members are reluctant to offer criticisms on the group’s performance. Directors have to confront their organization’s challenges and work toward their vision with determination. That means members should be encouraged, by confidential means, to express their criticisms. Less experienced members frequently stay quiet, especially when their criticism has to do with a more experienced peer or chairperson. Board portals with built-in survey tools are a great way to elicit honest opinions, especially from less senior members who aren’t confident that their observations will lead to action.


Good governance means finding the best procedures for an organization’s governing body to plan and act. Annual evaluations are an occasion to review best practices, discuss issues for the coming year, and reflect on performance from the past 12 months. Experienced directors are not perfect, and despite their leadership roles, they often do not work with other members in any outside capacity. Administrators should focus performance evaluations on how the group works together. The goal of the annual evaluation is to find ways to improve the dynamic between trustees and the procedures for distributing materials and conducting meetings. Cloud-based applications allow administrators to create questionnaires in-platform, making it easy to record and summarize the results. Stakeholders expect insight into the process. Thoughtful, tough questions are the best way to get frank answers, but only if they are confidential.

Directors need to confront disagreements with dialogue before they can move onto action items. The board portal from Aprio records surveys, key disagreements, and resolutions. Administrators summarize an ongoing dialogue on board performance from one issue to the next. They also distribute survey notes to members for review to ensure that everyone agrees. Directors build on previous consensus building conversations to improve their performance and govern better.

Trustees rely on survey tools to deliver better governance. In order to build consensus, directors must define the problem, determine their options for progress, find where they agree, and talk through their disagreements. Platform-integrated survey tools make this process easier. If your organization needs to find a better way to self-review, you can find out more about the features available from cloud-based portals at

Board portals can also make in-depth CEO evaluation easier. It’s no longer enough to measure a CEO based solely on financial benchmarks. Reviews can be effective tools for identifying issues before they become critical. Many executives express a desire for more comprehensive end-of-year reviews. Better board feedback means more eyes on the company, taking input from management, and analyzing strategy. Much of the groundwork can be accomplished between meetings with board portal software. Software designers at Aprio have included tools for digital rights management that can also keep CEO reviews private. It’s time to rethink the way you evaluate trustee performance; upgrade to a cloud-based platform to guarantee confidentiality and get your directors talking

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