Leadership: Engagement and Communication with Stakeholders
Article Index
Leadership: Engagement and Communication with Stakeholders
1.1 Baldrige Classification of Stakeholders
1.2 Organisational Stakeholders: Who Are They and What Do They Do?
1.3 What Is Stakeholder Engagement?
1.4 Stakeholder Engagement: Five-Step Process
1.5 Six Myths about Communication in an Organisation
1.6 So What Is Power/Interest Stakeholder Analysis?
2.1 Examples of Stakeholder Engagement and Communication Awards
2.2 Digital Impact Awards: Digital Stakeholder Management
2.3 Australasia Stakeholder Engagement and Communications Conference
3.1 Worlds Top 10 IT Service Provider Aligns Corporate Interest with Stakeholders
3.2 Gold Standards Awards Winner for Stakeholder Engagement
3.3 Gold Standards Awards Winner for Corporate Communications
3.4 Digital Impact Awards in Stakeholder Management
3.5 Malcolm Baldrige Award Winner: Charter School of San Diego
3.6 Singapore Quality Award Winner: Immigration and Checkpoints Authority
4.1 Future of Stakeholder Engagement: Transformative Engagement for Inclusive Business
4.2 Communications and Stakeholder Engagement: Global Alliance to Monitor Learning (GAML)
4.3 Views of Senior European Communicators on Stakeholder Engagement
4.4 Organisational Communication
4.5 High-Impact Communicating
4.6 Effective Organisational Communication Has Significant Impact on Employees
4.7 Influence of Learning Organisations on Creativity
4.8 Trends and Insights in Internal Communication
5.1 Improving Stakeholder Communication in Non-Profit Organisations
5.2 Stakeholder Engagement Strategy and Communication Plan
5.3 Stakeholder Communication and Engagement: Groundwater Sustainability Plan
5.4 Stakeholder Engagement Framework: Economic Transformation
5.5 Community Planning Toolkit: Community Engagement
5.6 Customer and Stakeholder Engagement Framework: Ausgrid Power
5.7 Creating Value Through Stakeholder Engagement
5.8 Improving Leadership Communication Strategies
5.9 Communicating During Organisational Change
5.10 The Leadership Communication Model
6.1 Measuring the Effectiveness of Stakeholder Engagement and Partnering
6.2 How to Evaluate Stakeholder Engagement and Consultation
6.3 Toolkit for Evaluation of Communication Activities with Stakeholders
6.4 How to Assess Stakeholders Attitudes
6.5 Self-Assessment on High Performing Partnerships
6.6 How to Set Social Media KPIs for Stakeholder Groups
6.7 Leader Communication Self-Assessment
7. What do business leaders say about about engagement and communication with stakeholders?
8. Conclusion
A stakeholder is an individual or a group that holds a stake or, in other words, an interest in an organisation’s activities. Stakeholders can come from almost every area in which an organisation exists and operates: they can, for example, be employees, suppliers or customers; consumers, unions or legislators; banks, competitors or shareholders. Engaging and communicating with stakeholders is a fundamental ‘must’ for every organisation. Engagement goes beyond a simple exchange of information. Engagement involves listening, learning and collaborating with those who have a legitimate interest in an organisation’s activities, products and services. It is the process through which leaders (from CEOs to managers to team leaders) involve those people who may be affected by the decisions an organisation makes or might influence the implementation of the decisions. Stakeholder communication refers to all forms of communication-formal and informal-that leaders convey to the organisation’s stakeholders. Organisational communication can be considered a subset of the deeper role of stakeholder engagement, in which leaders play a critical role.


In This Report

  1. What does ‘engagement and communication with stakeholders’ mean?
  2. Which organisations have received recognition for engagement and communication with their stakeholders?
  3. How have organisations reached high levels of success through engagement and communication with their stakeholders?
  4. What research has been undertaken into engagement and communication with stakeholders?
  5. What tools and methods are used to achieve high levels of success in engaging and communicating with stakeholders?
  6. How can engagement and communication with stakeholders be measured?
  7. What do business leaders say about engagement and communication with stakeholders?
  8. Conclusion.

The Definition

A stakeholder is an individual or a group that holds a stake or, in other words, an interest in an organisation’s activities. Stakeholders can come from almost every area in which an organisation exists and operates: they can, for example, be employees, suppliers or customers; consumers, unions or legislators; banks, competitors or shareholders. Engaging and communicating with stakeholders is a fundamental ‘must’ for every organisation. Engagement goes beyond a simple exchange of information. Engagement involves listening, learning and collaborating with those who have a legitimate interest in an organisation’s activities, products and services. It is the process through which leaders (from CEOs to managers to team leaders) involve those people who may be affected by the decisions an organisation makes or might influence the implementation of the decisions. Stakeholder communication refers to all forms of communication—formal and informal—that leaders convey to the organisation’s stakeholders. Organisational communication can be considered a subset of the deeper role of stakeholder engagement, in which leaders play a critical role.

The Stage

Some of the most important activities an organisation can undertake relate to engaging and communicating with its stakeholders. The principal aim of any organisation’s engagement and communication process is to connect stakeholders with business strategy, and to demonstrate how it is proactive and responsive to stakeholders’ legitimate concerns.

Not all stakeholders are created equal: when it comes to furthering an organisation’s goals, some are more important than others. In most stakeholder models or maps, there are two key criteria to help identify the significance of stakeholders: stakeholder influence, and stakeholder dependence/interest. This enables engagement plans to be prioritised and targeted to specific stakeholders using appropriate forms of communication. However, leaders would do well to remember that their employees are probably the most important group of stakeholders, and it is important to inspire and motivate them to carry out the organisational mission.

A stakeholder engagement process is essentially about relationship building. Some organisations choose to have clearly defined, articulated policies and governance processes, while others prefer a less formal approach. In either case, there has to be a process to identify needs and to deal with issues, to align these needs and issues with the organisation’s strategy and goals, and to provide feedback and accountability to stakeholders. Stakeholders should feel they are active partners—that their ideas and inputs are understood and acted upon—rather than being passive recipients of a one-way stream of communication.

Finally, organisations need to deliberate on and implement metrics or key performance indicators (KPIs) that will enable them to measure the success of their interactions with stakeholders. This will allow organisations to re-prioritise and re-position themselves in order to maximise the benefits of their stakeholder engagement programmes and activities.

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