Engaging stakeholders is an essential task for the success of a project in any given organisation. However, it can be quite challenging. Engaging community members effectively and efficiently takes a good understanding of what your stakeholders expect from you and how well you apply that understanding.
Here, we bring you ways you can engage community members better:
- Mapping: The first step to any engagement strategy is stakeholder mapping. You must identify your stakeholders based on their influence and the impact their involvement has on any given project. This will help you determine the level of engagement you need from them. An online community portal can prove to be extremely helpful in this.
- Promote: When your engagement strategies are working well, it is a good idea to publicise it on various channels that your community members have access to. Also, use this to reach the stakeholders that are usually hard to engage.
- Be Available: Most stakeholders you try to engage will be hard to reach. It is a human tendency to resist change. But don’t let that stop you. Instead, be the spokesperson and support person that your stakeholders can turn to in case of confusion. Make yourself available and approachable to community members so they do not hesitate to ask questions or participate in your engagement strategies.
- Keep It Simple: You might be tempted to go all out in your engagement strategies. It is good to be passionate and aggressive when approaching your stakeholders but you must also understand that they might not be comfortable with your approach or technique of engagement. This is why you should plan your engagement according to the members you are trying to target. If your approach is not bringing the results you hoped for, perhaps it is time to try a simpler approach that they might be familiar with. It is always a good idea to mix ideas and create a plan that works well with all kinds of target audience.
- Encourage Feedback: The best way to engage your stakeholders is by letting them offer feedback and telling them how their feedback has helped in shaping a project. This shows that their opinions matter to you. This also encourages loyalty and commitment of stakeholders towards the organisation. Transparency is key to convincing your stakeholders that they are valued members of the organization.
- Keep Engaging: It is essential to understand that engagement does not only involve the engagement process but what comes after as well. Keep your stakeholders informed of the engagement process and what steps are you planning to take. This will keep them engaged in the long run and instil a feeling of anticipation of what’s coming next.
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