The term stakeholder refers to the employees and customers of a business. Studies show that transformations are highly likely to succeed when they involve influential stakeholders. Therefore, stakeholder engagement is indispensable for the success of any business enterprise.
Learning how to collaborate with stakeholders enables you to identify their specific needs. As a result, this improves your overall relationship and shapes the objectives of your project. Here are five strategies you can employ to enhance stakeholder engagement.
- Email and Newsletter
An email is a popular tool for stakeholder engagement. Some benefits of emails include immediate delivery of information and easier management of initiatives. Explicitly, emails provide proof of sending and help you monitor engagement.
A good email strategy is to use a weekly digest to inform your stakeholders about crucial information from the week. For example, the weekly digest may include news of the week, top-level project plans, and budget updates. Likewise, you can use newsletters to maintain regular contact with stakeholders. Like emails, newsletters can contain important updates, news, and significant information. These tools make decision-making easier for businesses.
- Email Automation
After creating emails and newsletters, the next step is to automate them. Email automation is a smart time-saving strategy. Set up daily updates that your stakeholders will receive through an RSS feed.
Moreover, email automation allows you to customize emails with dynamic content. Consequently, you can send specific information to certain stakeholders. You can customize emails by using visually appealing templates. Visual presentations make it easy for stakeholders to digest information.
A rule of thumb is to make email communications easy to read. Ensure the content is informative but, at the same time, avoid excessive technical jargon or buzzwords. Lastly, use headers and bold important words and titles.
- Digital Signage
Studies show that 90% of the information that passes to the brain is visual. Thus, digital signage is one of the most effective ways to communicate with your stakeholders.
Digital signage implies displaying technologies like LCD monitors, LED walls, and projection to display specific information. These displays are applicable for web pages, directions, videos, marketing messages, restaurant menus, and digital images. Therefore, digital signage works in different settings, including churches, restaurants, retail stores, academic buildings, and corporate spaces.
An excellent example of how digital signage can help improve stakeholder management is in a donor project. A digital donor wall allows your business to encourage increased giving while recognizing the top donors. You can employ this digital display to keep your stakeholders in the loop regarding a donor project. This involves sharing how much you have raised and how close you are to meeting the company’s goals.
- Online Presentations
Another way to engage stakeholders is through presentations. You can use physical presentations like infographics or online presentations. However, it’s worth noting that visual information has a recall rate of 83%. Therefore, using online video presentations is an innovative communication strategy. Many businesses use video presentation software providers to communicate with their stakeholders.
When creating video forums, ensure you designate a time for Q&A. Indeed, stakeholders appreciate it when you value their input. After completing your presentation, save the slides and distribute them to your stakeholders through podcasts so they can go through them in their free time.
An ideal stakeholder communication plan is to schedule video calls every week. The calls should provide a summary of your project and provide updates. Also, weekly video calls are efficient for addressing obstacles quickly. Similarly, for personal conversations with stakeholders, schedule daily one-on-one video calls to address their personal concerns.
- Project Summary Report
One of the conventional methods of project management is through project summary reports. To create a project summary report, you must perform a stakeholder analysis. With this in mind, create a stakeholder map.
As a result, you can deliver these reports to each contributor. Hence, each report is unique and valuable because it addresses each stakeholder’s specific needs. Creating stakeholder-specific reports can take its toll on the project lead. Alternatively, you can create a weekly top-level highlight summary report of the project. This report will provide details of the project events of the week.
One of the benefits of project summary reports is that it improves stakeholder relationships because key stakeholders follow the project’s current development. This helps them identify red flags and take remedial action immediately. Reports also allow stakeholders to monitor costs and manage the budget effectively.
Wrapping It Up
Stakeholder engagement is crucial for the success of any business. Enterprises that take the input of their team members for granted usually face numerous management problems. These include miscommunication, failure to achieve set goals, and a low employee retention rate.
However, keeping stakeholders on the same page makes it easier to achieve your organization’s goals, improve productivity, and maximize profits. The key to successfully engaging with internal and external stakeholders is to use effective communication tools that ensure everyone is up-to-date and involved with the ups and downs of your business.