Tap into the energy and creativity of internal and external stakeholders.
Often, leaders of organizations are uncertain about how to access the ideas and energy of stakeholders. Stakeholders can be broadly defined as people who are impacted by the organization’s decisions in some way, and they can be found both inside an organization (employees, unions and managers for example), and outside an organization (industry groups, interest groups, the general public to name a few). Leaders may shy away from engaging stakeholders because of the many perceived risks: Raised expectations; unpredictable outcomes; public scrutiny; increased dissent and increased costs.
How do you maximize the potential that stakeholder engagement holds, while minimizing the risks?
Well-managed stakeholder engagement can actually minimize risk to an organization. Such benefits include:
- Stakeholder support/buy-in through the creation of a shared image of the future.
- Access to stakeholder creativity and innovation.
- Important input and perspectives that strengthens your decision making.
- Increased acceptance of decisions made by the organization.
- Increased trust and improved ‘social capital’ – greatly improved relationships that form the foundation to overcome future challenges.
A well-managed stakeholder and community engagement process is:
- Clearly communicated with goals that are understood by stakeholders and linked to the organizations decision making process. Therefore, stakeholders will clearly understand why they are being engaged and what will be done with their input.
- Built on an appreciation of the history and strengths of the people involved so that downward spirals are prevented and managed.
- Meaningfully engaging in a way that stakeholders feel they are important players and contributors within the parameters of what is appropriate.
Employee Engagement – A unique kind of ‘internal’ stakeholder.
Much has been written in recent years about the “lack of employee engagement.” Organizations study and publish reports that tell us that “employees are disengaged” and that the resulting loss of productivity is costing organizations millions of dollars annually.
When clients approach us with this challenge, we encourage them to look at employee engagement as a mystery to be embraced versus a problem to be solved. “What if we were to study this issue from the other side? What might it look like when all employees say they are engaged and inspired by the work that they do?” This alternative view begins a whole new conversation for possibility and begins to get you Return on Energy.