Six Tips to Make Stakeholder Management Even Better
Every business-owner who works with stakeholders knows how important it is to treat them right. The thing is, you can keep yourself so busy that you almost forget about good stakeholder relationship management and how important it is to your organization. This is why it’s good to know ahead of time exactly what to do so that your stakeholders feel involved in your business practices. Not to worry, though, because below are a handful of things you can do to make sure your stakeholders never feel left out in the cold.
1. Honesty Is the Best Policy
You’re likely already an honest person, but it’s especially important to be honest with your shareholders at all times, even when you’re delivering news that they don’t want to hear. Whenever you plan projects, you should let them in on the basic details, if not more. Provide them with visual aids and the documents they need to learn exactly what your business is doing with its time and money, and always be as transparent as possible with them.
2. Communicate With Them on a Regular Basis
If your stakeholders only hear from you occasionally, they might assume something bad is happening with the business. This doesn’t mean you have to contact them daily, but regular communication is important. This is the basis of any successful stakeholder relationship management program, and remember to contact them a little more often whenever you have an important project in the works. Stakeholders want to feel well-informed at all times, and communication is the key to making this happen.
3. Give Your Stakeholders Several Ways to Provide You With Their Input
Stakeholders are busy, too, so they need multiple ways to get in contact with you. Of course, this is much easier now that we have the Internet. Sending them surveys that encourage feedback is a good idea, and you’ll want to remember the older stakeholders who may not be tech-savvy. There’s nothing wrong with sending out a hard copy of a feedback form now and then. Whatever you do, make it super-easy for your stakeholders to get in touch with you whenever they wish.
4. Make Yourself a Schedule of When You’re Going to Communicate With Your Stakeholders
If you can, make a schedule of when you’d like to communicate with your stakeholders, and either write it down on paper or make a digital reminder list. This way, you’ll know exactly when you contacted them, what you discussed with them, and any other important information you need to remember. Once you see the schedule in writing or on a digital calendar, it’s much easier to keep track of when and how often you communicate with them.
5. Contact Them in Person in the Beginning
A huge advantage of good stakeholder relationship management is the first impression you make. Every time a new project is begun, contact the stakeholders with a phone call instead of an email. After the initial communication, emails are acceptable. But the first time you discuss a major project with them, it should always be done in person. They’ll appreciate this more than you know.
6. Be Flexible With Your Plans and Goals
Remember that life is unpredictable, so if you need to alter or change your goals and plans, go ahead and do so – then let your stakeholders know this is what you did. You can’t assume that just because your plans are starting to come together that something won’t come along later on and cause you to change those plans. Do what you have to do to stay on top of things, even if it occasionally means a change of plans.