Corporate Impact Management

Stakeholder Engagement

 

The ways in which one can engage with stakeholders are too numerous to list in detail but popular general approaches include:

  • Polls & Surveys
  • Interviews
  • Focus groups
  • Consultation events

Most of these approaches can be undertaken face-to-face, over the phone, or through digital media. Activities may be delivered directly by a company or by third parties with either a statistically sound sample of individuals from a stakeholder group, or with a small number of ‘representatives’. It’s also important to remember that the relationship over-time is important so historic information can be of value. Where information is scarce or direct engagement is difficult, ‘proxies’ might be used i.e. information from similar stakeholder-groups or situations.

With so many potential choices about how and who to engage it is important to be clear about your purpose in engaging. Considering your needs and resources and those of the stakeholders around you will help you to develop an effective ‘engagement strategy’. This can then be used to guide your efforts over the long-term rather than re-inventing a process whenever it is decided to consult a stakeholder group.

The organisation AccountAbility has developed the internationally recognised AA1000 series of principles-based standards to help organisations become more accountable, responsible and sustainable. These standards include guidance on stakeholder engagement and the AA1000 Stakeholder Engagement Standard (AA1000SES). These documents outline the main activities and principles required for a good quality engagement process.

The key stages in developing an engagement process can be broadly described as:

  • Scoping: clarify the purpose for engaging, what you’re trying to achieve, and who you need to engage with.
  • Planning: profile and map stakeholders, decide engagement methods, agree ground rules and indicators.
  • Preparing: identify risks, secure resources, build capacity and mobilise team.
  • Engaging:  invite, brief and listen to stakeholders; document results and feed into planning; consult with stakeholders around outcomes.
  • Reviewing & improving: Monitor and evaluate engagement; and implement improvements according to lessons learned.

 

 

IN THIS TOPIC:

Overview

Stakeholder Identification

Stakeholder Analysis

>Stakeholder Engagement<

Stakeholder Relationship Management


 

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