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We help to develop a stakeholder engagement plan from scratch or be a third-party facilitator. We are experts in stakeholder engagement standards and best practices consulting. We have a practical, pragmatic approach to build sustainable stakeholders’ relationships.
A typical consulting flow goes this way:
STEP 1: PLANNING
STEP 2: IDENTIFICATION OF THE STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT AND DISENGAGEMENT AREAS
STEP 3: GOAL SETTING
STEP 4: ENGAGEMENT
STEP 5: REVIEW AND RESPONSE
We can help you with one or all of the above-mentioned steps in a stakeholder engagement strategy. Contact us to discuss your situation. Click here.
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Stakeholder Management Consulting
‘Stakeholders’ of a business are defined as the individual or group of people who have an impact or will be impacted by a business. Stakeholders can either be internal (employees, investors, shareholders) or external (suppliers, creditors, customers) to an organization. In larger organizations it can extend to include government, communities and trade associations too. They are the first ones to be affected by a business performance either positively or negatively.
There are a lot of people involved internally and externally in running a business and managing them effectively will result in positive outcomes that benefits everyone. Managing stakeholders by building healthy relationships and keeping them engaged to bring success to a business is known as ‘stakeholder management’. Is it essential to keep them onboard from the inception to completion of a project/business. The success of the business depends directly or indirectly upon them.
Internal stakeholders are the ones on whom the functioning of the business relies on. They operate the business. Unsatisfied employees will work poorly in turn affecting the overall performance of the company. While the external stakeholders affect the business indirectly. For instance, a change in consumer’s buying habits will affect the business. Therefore, a good stakeholder management strategy is the key to a business’s future.
Developing stakeholder management strategy
We must aim to prioritize building a good relationship with stakeholders through consistent and regular communication to build a positive experience. In some projects, one stakeholder might be more important than another while some might demand more attention. The primary purpose is to align everyone’s interests and benefits to accomplish collective goals. To develop a good stakeholder management strategy, you need to plan-
- How will you communicate to your stakeholders? You have to plan out how much time you will spend on communicating to your stakeholders. If your project requires a lot of input, stakeholder communication will be needed. They need to have a clear understanding on the mission and goals of the company and how it will benefit them. Communication channels and methods to reach out to stakeholders should be well planned.
- The size and complexity of your project, people to be involved, time taken in previous projects to achieve similar milestones and time required to complete.
- The amount of help you will require. This could include advice and expert
opinions, resources, sponsorships, finances, etc to ensure quality results and timely completion.
Stakeholder engagement is a process of keeping your stakeholders hooked to your project throughout and understanding them better by communicating with them and prioritising them.
Stakeholder engagement begins by analyzing who your company stakeholders are. And accordingly they are classified into their influence and interest levels. Once you have thorough details of where they stand, you can start prioritising them as per your project or business needs. In some projects one stakeholder might be more influential than another and hence hold more importance to the business. While this might not always be the case as stakeholder engagement is a continuous process and stakeholders interests would keep changing.
Key principles in establishing stakeholder engagement-
Identify stakeholders interests and gather understanding of their expectations. Communicating often and sharing information clearly like the purpose, risks and challenges involved is crucial to stakeholder’s engagement.
Advanced and proper planning and stakeholder strategy before engaging the stakeholders can bring excellent results. Taking simple and timely steps to avoid anticipated hazardous events can improve project performance and delivery.
- Build good relations
Building good relations across all stakeholder levels bring reliability and confidence in the project, minimizes conflicts and uncertainties and eases decision making.
- Take responsibility
Stakeholder management responsibility is not just a one person or a team’s job. It requires everyone’s efforts to understand what their role is and follow the right way to communicate and keep the stakeholders engaged.
A good stakeholder engagement plan provides clarity to everyone involved on what their responsibility is and what is expected of them.
Challenges with stakeholders
Success is subjective and means different things to different people. Similarly, it is significant to understand what are the expectations of the stakeholders and what success means to them in terms of your business. Every stakeholder’s interest may not always be the same and sometimes they may be in direct conflict with the other group of people. For example- the shareholders may want an increase in profits to maximize shareholders value while the unavoidable labor costs are keeping the company under tight cost control, which upsets their other group of stakeholders; their employees.
So the conflicts between various stakeholders interests will always be contrasting. The most efficient company is that which successfully manages the disparity in interests and expectations of its stakeholders and delivers its best.