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From getting input on community athletic fields to securing freedom to operate for the shale gas industry, stakeholder engagement is a term appearing in the news on a daily basis.
In the business world, consulting firm Deloitte recognizes stakeholder engagement as a critical way for companies to connect to their business strategies and demonstrate how they are responsive to the legitimate needs and concerns of key stakeholders. So why is stakeholder engagement such a popular topic?
In our new, free white paper, Authentic Stakeholder Engagement: Essential to Strengthening Reputation and Managing Risk, we explore how listening and having ongoing, open dialogue with those impacted by the decisions and actions of an organization helps build a positive reputation.
If reputation management is comprised of creating influencer engagement strategies that deepen understanding, build trust and mitigate risk, then reputation can be managed when we pay attention to our stakeholders. Our reputation is at risk when we do not deliver on stakeholder expectations.
Stakeholders want and need to trust the companies, industries and organizations that impact them. In fact, they are making buying decisions based on whether or not organizations have a positive influence on society and the environment. Ultimately, a company’s reputation can have a significant impact on its bottom line.
There are three key steps in helping to build a positive reputation through stakeholder engagement:
- Know who your stakeholders are. Inventory the groups and individuals that are impacted by your organization or that could have an impact on your business. Then, prioritize them to determine where best to invest your resources.
- Understand your stakeholders’ needs and expectations. A genuine and organized approach to understanding people’s perceptions and their values results in invaluable insights for an organization, informing leaders’ decisions.
- Make stakeholder engagement an ongoing practice. With a continuous plan in place, stakeholder engagement becomes a natural practice, helping to identify issues and mitigate risk.
At the end of the day, an organization is best positioned to achieve a positive reputation when it consistently lives its purpose, its values are evident in its decisions and actions, and it seeks to continually adapt based on meeting the needs and expectations of its stakeholders.
To learn more about how to engage your stakeholders, read our white paper Authentic Stakeholder Engagement: Essential to Strengthening Reputation and Managing Risk.