Stakeholders may come from a range of environments, local to global and effective stakeholder engagement process can help save both time and resources.
STEP 1: Identify stakeholders
Make a list of all stakeholders. This step requires research; assembling a group of subject-matter experts from the organization and externally will ensure that stakeholders are suitably listed and their relevance understood.
STEP 2: Prioritize stakeholders for engagement
It is not practical, and usually not necessary, to engage with all stakeholder groups to the same extent all of the time. Being strategic and clear about with whom you are engaging and why can help save both time and resources. To understand this, it is useful to segment the stakeholders into a ‘Stakeholder Prioritization Matrix’.
- Draw a quadrant using two axes
- Assign the elements “interest” to the x-axis and “influence” to the y-axis
- Analyze and discuss within the expert group in which quadrant each stakeholder belongs
- Plot the stakeholders on the grid.
The chart in Step 3 indicates the outcome of engagement for stakeholders within each quadrant. When plotting stakeholders on the matrix, consider their current ‘influence’ and the opportunity for more, aiming not to plot influence based only on current ‘power/control’ factors.
STEP 4: Analyze stakeholder stance
- Draw a four-column table
- Assign “Stakeholder”, and “In favor”, “Neutral”, “Opposed” (in relation to involvement and engagement in the CSR program) to each column
- List principal stakeholders (based on prioritization exercise) in the first column
- Select their likely position relating to investment and delivery of the CSR program
- Insert the desired movement to help identify activities required for engagement.
STEP 5: Write a stakeholder engagement plan
After the above exercise, the team can utilize the information developed and, with input from the stakeholders, create a stakeholder engagement plan. Stakeholders will be selected from the prioritizing process and the theme will be informed through analysis of stakeholders’ stance.
Photo: Thanks to chuttersnap for sharing their work on Unsplash.