Many organisations develop Community Engagement Strategies or Stakeholder Engagement Strategies because they believe it is the best way to manage, track and assess their stakeholder engagement. However, these Strategies are largely very high level without providing employees consistent direction nor enabling your stakeholders to anticipate what to expect during a consultative process.
What is of more value to organisations is developing a Stakeholder Engagement Matrix – this will drive organisational consistency and productivity. Outlined below are the key differences between Stakeholder Engagement Strategies and Matrixes, and why Matrixes are the more effective choice.
What is a Stakeholder Engagement Strategy?
When an organisation takes up a project or makes certain decisions, there are parties (or stakeholder groups) that these actions will affect (positively or negatively), resulting in an interest in the development, implementation and outcomes.
Managing these stakeholder interactions, including the frequency and method of communication, is what a Stakeholder Engagement Strategy is designed for at a very high level.
What is a Stakeholder Engagement Matrix, and why is it more effective?
A Stakeholder Engagement Matrix provides employees with a guide to the structure of engagement processes for stakeholder analysis, stakeholder level of influence, communication channels, engagement methods (including recommended online engagement tools), reporting, and legislative requirements based on project type and impact.
It also provides stakeholders with a concise roadmap of their level of influence and opportunities, based on project type and impact. An Engagement Matrix is a much more streamlined way of managing stakeholder communications and expectations, providing all interested parties with detailed information in an easily readable format.
Tips for creating an effective Stakeholder Engagement Matrix
- Develop an organisation-wide Engagement Matrix, which enables internal criteria evaluation and consistency across the organisation. Over time, your stakeholders will be able to anticipate the level of engagement based on the nature of the project
- When new team members come on board, they have a clear assessment tool available, reducing the administrative burden and enabling them to develop the communications and engagement strategy for their project(s) within the organisation’s agreed framework
- Desktop reviews of previous projects and their engagement methodology – understanding what has and hasn’t worked
- Develop an internal reference group to set the parameters for each project type and to ensure all elements of the business are represented in the decision making
- Determine the risks and the opportunities of engagement for each project type
- Establish an assessment criteria for each project type against metrics
- Stakeholder identification and analysis
- Cost of delivering engagement plan as a % of total project $
- Political and reputational impact for the organisation
- Strategic importance for the organisation
- Operational impact for the organisation
- Financial impact for organisation/shareholders/investors
- Develop a generic Communications and Engagement Plan template from the agreed Engagement Matrix
- Within the template, provide preferred methodology and measurement for each component of the consultative process.
Easily streamline your Stakeholder Engagement Management with Engagement Hub’s fully-integrated software
A well-developed Stakeholder Engagement Matrix provides your organisation with the flexibility necessary to easily adapt during the consultation process and throughout the entire project. Fluid and less-rigid approaches to engagement allow your company to be more reflective of your stakeholders and their level of influence and decision-making.
A Stakeholder Engagement Matrix developed with Engagement Hub’s software allows for a mutually beneficial experience for all relevant stakeholders. Start small and build confidence with your stakeholders, celebrating those who are good contributors (which is easily measurable and assessed with our program), and enables you to close the communication loop at each stage, by reporting back to the stakeholders and advising them of the outcomes.
To find out more about how Engagement Hub can reduce the burden on your administration, helping you to effectively manage Stakeholder Engagement through a fully-developed Engagement Matrix, contact our Organisation Ambassadors today.