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stakeholder engagement
5 min read

Stakeholder Engagement: Concept and Overview

Stakeholder engagement is a key element in an organisation's strategic planning.

Stakeholder support is crucial to help any organisation achieve its goals in a sustainable way. And stakeholder engagement is the best approach to unlock that support.

But what is stakeholder engagement?

Here we cover everything there is to know about it. Keep reading or click on a specific section:

What is stakeholder engagement?

Stakeholder engagement consists of communicating and collaborating with the people who have an influence, interest or is impacted by an organisation, its projects, products or services.

This process involves identifying, analysing and prioritising stakeholders in order to plan and implement actions for an effective engagement.

What is a stakeholder engagement plan?

A stakeholder engagement plan is an official document that outlines how to engage stakeholders in a project.

By planning how and when stakeholders will be involved, a stakeholder project team can optimise the positive impact of stakeholders on the project while minimising risks.

How do you engage stakeholders effectively?

  1. Identify your stakeholders;
  2. Encourage stakeholders to communicate with one another as well as with you;
  3. Seek to understand the stakeholders and their points of view;
  4. Listen and ask questions to stakeholders to seek compromises;
  5. Build trust by leading with transparency;
  6. Commit to an engagement schedule;
  7. Communicate with your stakeholders as soon as possible when things change;
  8. Don’t be a dictator;  collaborate with your team and the wider communities;
  9. Set the right expectations from the start;
  10. Show your gratitude for all they do in your project;
    Remember: overcommunicating is better than under-communicating!

What are the four stakeholder types?

  1. Users: People who will use your products or services. They could be your customers or your sales team;
  2. Government: Management boards, and governance groups who have a say in project management;
  3. Influencers: Includes lobby groups and trade unions who have influence in changing the direction of a project;
  4. Providers: Vendors and suppliers who provide goods and services to a project.

What are a few stakeholder examples?

Examples of stakeholders include:

    • directors;
    • employees;
    • creditors;
    • government (and agencies);
    • suppliers;
    • owners in the company (shareholders);
    • unions;
    • suppliers;
    • the community surrounding the business that is impacted by its decisions.


Who else can be a stakeholder?

  1. Investors can be stakeholders, as debtholders and shareholders can also. Shareholders invest capital into the company with the expectation of receiving a return on their investment.
  2. Communities can be stakeholders in larger businesses as they are impacted when a bigger company or council makes major changes.

Who are a company’s most important stakeholders?

  1. Customers:  a company can not survive without them.
  2. Employees: they influence the frontline, dealing directly with customers. 
  3. Shareholders: they own the company, and they influence the ultimate direction of the company.
  4. Vendors, suppliers, and other business partners: as key partners in business, they are essential for the long-term success of an organisation.
  5. The community: The local community and the greater social environment play vital roles as stakeholders in any organisation.

How do you communicate with different stakeholders?

There are several communication channels and tools you can use to engage with different stakeholder types, based on the level of engagement they require:

1. Schedule meetings: Take the initiative to schedule meetings, rather than wait for your stakeholders.

2. Send out weekly or monthly newslettersBe consistent in sending up-to-date information via email.

3. Have online meetings: With hundreds or thousands of stakeholders, online meetings are more practical than meeting in person most of the time.

4. Prioritise offline meetings as well: Make sure you’re also scheduling meetings face-to-face, especially to engage with more out-of-reach stakeholder groups.

5. Deliver project summary reports: Keep your stakeholders up to date with project summaries after a project finishes.

6. Schedule conference calls: If you’re unable to meet online or face to face, get on a call.

7. Meet informally for lunch: It’s one of the best ways to show your stakeholders they’re part of the team.

What's the best way to engage with stakeholders?

Stakeholder engagement, whether internal or external, is critical to the success of a project. They play a vital role in the implementation of an ESG strategy as well as in any strategy your organisation develops for the long term.

If stakeholder engagement is important to your organisation, then considering a proper stakeholder engagement tool is the best option to understand your stakeholders and keep your project on track.

Whether you want to engage with your stakeholders by email, phone, SMS, events or surveys, using an SRM system will enable you to track, analyse and report on all your stakeholder engagement history. It provides you with clarity and the knowledge you need to make informed decisions for your project to thrive. 

You can use other tools for your stakeholder engagement activities, such as Excel spreadsheets or a CRM system. However, those lack several features you need to support a comprehensive stakeholder engagement strategy, including data safety and stakeholder mapping, for example.

Take your stakeholder engagement to the next level

Tractivity stakeholder engagement & management software is an all-in-one management system for stakeholder communication, engagement and reporting.

It is extensively used by a whole range of organisations in the Energy, Utilities, Transport and NHS sectors to manage their stakeholder interactions. Tractivity organises stakeholders, communication and reporting together in one central source for stakeholder management.

With the Tractivity system, you can send branded mailshots, manage events, build surveys, send text messages, generate letters and send both mass and one-to-one emails. This means the business will have no more separate logins to various comms tools, no more different licence subscriptions and a single tool used consistently organisation-wide.

Tractivity reports gather information from the entire project and summarise key activities whenever you need them. It also helps you obtain insights from your stakeholders at any time.

Discover how you can plan your entire stakeholder engagement strategy with ease using Tractivity. Book a free personalised demo with us. 

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