Every organisation depends on its stakeholders for success. Members, customers, and employees are the linchpins of either failure or long-term success. As core components of any winning strategy for long-term achievement, organisations must communicate regularly and effectively with their stakeholders. It is simpler now than ever to find creative and convenient ways to engage with stakeholders. Whether to inform them of a policy change or to introduce a new product, adding digital communication tools to your stakeholder engagement strategy can help.
Understanding the importance of involving stakeholders in an organisation is only the first step in the process. Developing an effective stakeholder engagement strategy that embraces the methods and means of connecting and spells out the terms by which communication occurs is key to developing a winning approach.
It is imperative to note that not all stakeholder groups are of equal importance to an organisation. Knowing when, how, and to whom to send communications is vital to any engagement plan. Some stakeholders may require immediate notification about a change or situation affecting the organisation, whilst others who are less impacted or not involved at all do not need access to the same information.
Let us take, for instance, a company that is planning to launch a satellite location. It would be best to relate their plans to employees and shareholders straightaway since they would be the most affected stakeholders. An announcement of the extended location could wait to be communicated with customers until much closer to the opening date for the new location. A properly devised stakeholder engagement strategy can, amongst other things, help an organisation prioritise its stakeholders and determine which communications tools are best for each group.
Realising the influence and power stakeholders have over an organisation is necessary when creating a stakeholder engagement strategy. Stakeholders can influence issues of importance to an organisation, so having a plan in place for stakeholder engagement is a must. An effective approach can attract more customers, formulate policy improvements, and help drive innovation for new products and services. Leaving out this fundamental component will hinder any organisation’s plans for growth.
The easiest part of stakeholder engagement is acknowledging that it is necessary. Knowing that and devising an effective stakeholder engagement strategy are two different things. There are several steps an organisation can take to ensure they are on the right path to developing a plan that fits both their sector and their goals for future growth.
Most organisations have an existing list of stakeholders to which they refer when needed. Whilst it is good to have a register like this on hand, it is worth the time and effort to research other potential stakeholders who may bring value to your brand. Using social media monitoring tools is a great way to identify new stakeholders to pursue. These tools can alert organisations to ‘mentions’ about their products or services on social media and provide details on potential targets for engagement.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines a stakeholder as “a person or company that is involved in a particular organisation, project, system, etc., especially because they have invested money in it.” Using this definition, it is possible to identify and classify internal and external stakeholders. We recommend grouping them into four categories:
Creating a stakeholder engagement matrix is an essential tool when mapping out stakeholders. It should include several rows, with each row representative of a group/classification of stakeholders (low interest, low influence, etc.). Columns can then indicate the level of engagement and should be based on the needs, expectations, interests, and potential impact of the stakeholders in each group.
An organisation without a clearly defined purpose is like a ship without a rudder. Once a mission and vision are established, the best course for stakeholder engagement becomes apparent. Achievements for stakeholder engagement depend on the sector, your organisation’s individual goals for growth, and your work culture. Establishing a clear purpose is useful for:
Identifying the best tools for collaborating, consulting, and communicating with stakeholders is the next crucial step in the process. EonX’s suite of loyalty, engagement, and payments platforms are the perfect solution to meet digital communications needs. Our platforms are tailored to suit the individual needs of organisations to ensure a stakeholder engagement strategy is built into the infrastructure of the platform.
Ready to take the next steps in choosing the best delivery methods to complement your stakeholder engagement strategy? Our team of specialists at EonX is at the ready to answer any questions and to help organisations select the best digital platform to suit their individual needs.
Get in touch today and work with our strategists to build your most effective stakeholder engagement strategy.