Business is building relationships.
Relationship management, and in particular stakeholder engagement are now vital to the success of a wide range of organisations, their activities and projects. The question ‘are you engaging your stakeholders?’ is now ‘what is your stakeholder engagement strategy?’, and ‘what is the best system to manage engagement?’.
Gone are the days of spreadsheets and Post-it notes. Welcome to the future where strategic stakeholder management is your competitive advantage.
To help explain the importance of engaging stakeholders, in collaboration with stakeholder engagement professional John Steyntjes, we’ve put together a list of 10 reasons why implementing a Stakeholder Management System can benefit your organisation.
What is a Stakeholder Management System?
A Stakeholder Management System is a software tool that builds a stakeholder relationship knowledgebase across your organisation, capturing a complete history of every interaction with your stakeholders.
“The introduction of a great stakeholder management system, like Consultation Manager, took our Stakeholder Engagement performance to a new level. It significantly improved the effectiveness and efficiency of our engagement with stakeholders, communities and our key business customers.”
Why not use a CRM?
A CRM is typically a sales tool that follows a customer from the prospecting stages through to sales and after-sales servicing. A Stakeholder Management System is an engagement tool, focussing on building long-term effective partnerships with stakeholders to minimise risk and protect your company and projects, as opposed to making sales.
10 benefits of a Stakeholder Management System
1. Build better relationships
Early engagement with stakeholders begets genuine relationships characterised by trust, mutual understanding and cooperation. Better relationships lead to better outcomes for communities, stakeholders and environment and enhances the credibility of your organisation.
2. Paint a rich picture of your stakeholders
Good stakeholder management systems have the capacity to profile and segment your stakeholders multi-dimensionally, linking them to events, employees, teams, issues, locations, projects and so on. It’s like a history book for your stakeholders as well as a window into what the future might hold, allowing you to predict outcomes.
3. Be the early bird, get that worm
In today’s world of instant-everything, one less-than-positive Tweet or Facebook post has the potential to go viral and derail a project before you’re even out of bed in the morning. A stakeholder management system enables you to effectively manage this social risk, identifying issues as well as opportunities early on, so you can nip them in the bud.
4. Service significant stakeholders
Prioritising stakeholders by level of influence allows time resources to be dedicated accordingly. For the Water Corporation, this means that lower level stakeholders are kept engaged using email; hands-on-interaction increases according to the status and position of the stakeholder and their ability to influence decisions impacting the organisation’s business goals.
5. Put resources where they’re needed
If you can map where your stakeholders are and what they are talking about, then you have a better case for getting resources and attention where it’s needed, when it’s needed.
6. Protect your reputation
Like an insurance policy for your brand and reputation, a Stakeholder Management System enables you to manage your corporate reputation and third party advocacy, as well as media coverage.
7. Make better decisions
Stakeholder Management Systems are fundamental to sustainable management processes. The corporate intelligence provided by the system yields a better understanding of organisational positioning, and thus enhanced responsiveness in the short term, and more informed strategic planning in the long term.
8. Report intelligently
As a central repository for every detail and interaction, a Stakeholder Management System can quickly produce data and reports all at the touch of a button. This allows you to see how ‘real’ issues are, providing data and support for your engagement and decision making processes.
9. Jump the approvals queue
Having a transparent history of interactions with your stakeholders facilitates a clearer and faster passage through regulatory approval processes.
10. Stress less and cover yourself
Answer questions you are asked, when asked. Save time and be more responsive.
Learn how other organisations manage their stakeholder and community engagement data. Download the free information sheet for your industry.
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