The Process of Holding Virtual Meetings Within SACCOs
The COVID-19 pandemic engulfing the world and the resulting restrictions on gatherings of people has thrown into disarray arrangements for general meetings of Saccos in Kenya. The reasons for this are the restrictions on gatherings of more than 20 people, the need for social distancing, curtailed movement, and the current lock-down in specific counties. This means that the traditional method of holding general meetings at a venue is impracticable for the time being hence the introduction of virtual meetings.
Matters to Consider When Holding Virtual Meetings
For virtual meetings engagement and dialogue are key, ensure that all attendees have an opportunity to speak up, share their thoughts, or even ask questions. There are a number of factors to consider for it to be productive and they are as follows;
- The number of participants to attend the meeting (Virtual or Hybrid Meeting).
- The level of access to technology by all the participants.
- The bandwidth needed, Affordability/cost of the technology.
- Sound and visual quality of the technology.
- Purchase/Use the right technology.
- Use of End to End Encryption; Passwords and ID; Attendee Vetting etc.
Preparation of Virtual Meetings
Company secretaries take on increasing duties and responsibilities becoming key individuals within Saccos. They are influential individuals who function as advisors to the board directors and as managers on matters of governance and other important issues. Here are some of the obligations company secretaries must adhere to when preparing for virtual meetings and are as follows;
- To set up a virtual link to facilitate the Annual General Meeting.
- To conduct a dry run of the meeting with the board of directors in preparation to the meeting to confirm the order of business at the meeting, documents to be projected at the meeting and order of presenters.
- To guide on preparation of the notice, agenda and meeting papers to be shared with the delegates,
- To harmonize meeting papers to be projected during the meeting.
- To facilitate reminders with respect to the meeting attendees.
- To generate registration reports ahead of the meeting.
- To prepare and share the rules of conduct during the meeting with the attendees.
- To train the attendees on conduct of the meeting, use of equipment (i.e., laptops, smart phones), chats, voting, and participation.
- To confirm disbursement of data bundles to all attendees to facilitate the meeting.
During the meeting:
- To host the virtual meeting on our meeting platform.
- To verify, admit and register the attendees that have joined the virtual meeting.
- To facilitate screen sharing of various documents to be projected during the meeting.
- To assist the Chairman to co-ordinate the meeting and speakers during the meeting.
- To facilitate and verify voting/polls to be conducted at the meeting.
- To facilitate the meeting in line with the statutory regulations governing Saccos.
- To monitor the attendance and assist in maintaining the register of the attendees at the meeting.
- To coordinate the meeting group chats and capture all comments/reactions raised by members.
- To inspect the voters, register and confirm the details of the members entitled to vote at the meeting.
- To co-ordinate the election during the meeting, issue a token to members to facilitate voting and ensure that members eligible to vote casts their vote.
- To verify the election results and submit a report on the same.
- Taking minutes of the proceedings of the meeting.
After the meeting:
- To generate meeting attendance reports after the meeting.
- To issue a poll report for verification and communicate resolutions passed at the meeting.
- To secure the meeting recording for records and auditing purposes.
- To compile minutes and action items of the meeting and sending a draft of the same for review.
- Compilation of final minutes and action items to be approved at the next Meeting.
HOW WE CAN HELP
As Imperial Registrars, we shall be pleased to assist Saccos in ensuring that virtual meetings are well prepared and conducted for the effective functioning of the Sacco. Kindly get in touchwith us for further assistance on the above. (firstname.lastname@example.org)