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6 min read

Stakeholder Engagement: Answering Your Most Common Questions

Effective stakeholder engagement begins with a stakeholder management plan.

How you strategise with project managers will determine how well you’re able to communicate with all stakeholders. 

Here we’ll answer your most common questions regarding stakeholder engagement. 

What is a stakeholder management plan?

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

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

How do you manage project stakeholders?

Stakeholder Project Management includes identifying stakeholders, analysing their impact and expectations, developing plans to collaborate with the stakeholders and administering the process.

Consistent communication is expected throughout the stakeholder project management process. 

How do you engage stakeholders effectively?

  1. Identify stakeholders quickly.
  2. Encourage stakeholders to communicate with one another as well as 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 honour and committing to an engagement schedule
  6. Communicate with your stakeholders as soon as possible when things change.
  7. Don’t be a dictator; collaborate with your team and the wider communities.
  8. Set the right expectations from the start.
  9. Show your gratitude for all they do in your project.
  10. Remember that overcommunicating is better than under communicating!

What are the four types of stakeholders?

  1. Users: People who will use your products. They could be your customers or your sales team. 
  2. Government: Management Boards, 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.

Who else can be a stakeholder?

  1. Investors can also be stakeholders, as debtholders and shareholders.
    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.

What are some examples of stakeholders?

A few 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 are a company’s most important stakeholders?

  1. Customers: as 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 in 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?

1. Schedule meetings: Take the initiative to schedule meetings, rather than 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.

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.

The benefits of a stakeholder engagement software

As you may know, stakeholder engagement sits at the heart of every project that you work on, and whether internal or external, is critical to your business succeeding.

If stakeholder engagement matters to you, stakeholder management software should be something that will interest you.

Tractivity stakeholder 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 for 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 licence subscriptions with different expiry dates and a single tool used consistently organisation-wide.

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

Discover how to take your stakeholder engagement to the next level

A demonstration of Tractivity is quick and straightforward to set up. Click here to book in for a personalised demo.