Effective Ways For Leaders To Keep Stakeholders In The Loop
Stakeholders are the heart of every business. From customers and employees to shareholders and investors, these are the people who provide your business with the practical and financial support it needs to thrive.
In return for their loyalty and support, stakeholders expect to be kept in the loop and look forward to seeing the company grow, so it’s crucial for leaders to work out a system that keeps their stakeholders informed of the most important company news.
Here, professionals from Forbes Coaches Council discuss how they would help a client who is an entrepreneurial or executive leader figure out a system to communicate more effectively with all of their stakeholders.
1. Build A Flexible, Multi-Method Reporting System
Do preliminary research about each of the stakeholders to have a clear idea about their personality type and identify the best way to connect with them. Then, meet each one individually to build rapport and explore the ways in which they prefer to be informed and updated about any activity. Next, build a flexible reporting system that includes most of the preferred methods. – Karim Amri, HUMANA CANADA CONSULTANCY
2. Ask About Preferences And Create A Change Management Plan
Survey stakeholders to determine how they like to receive updates. Design a marketing plan for change management, and design and evaluate a communication system that incorporates the highest, most feasible preferences. Also, review communications to ensure that they are brief and impactful. – Natasha Charles, Intuitive Coaching w/ Natasha Charles
3. Determine Stakeholders’ Roles Using The RACI Matrix
One of my favorite exercises is to list out all key stakeholders and meet with them to determine their role using the RACI matrix. This way, you can determine how frequently and at what level of detail you should transmit info to groups of stakeholders. Once you do that, then you can determine the best methods of communication—email, Slack, Zoom, calls, texts and so on—based on their preferences. – Karan Rhodes, Shockingly Different Leadership (SDL)
4. Schedule Recurring Meetings To Stay Accessible
If you can book a recurring meeting—one-on-one or in a small group—at least monthly to keep people informed, that is more than many executive leaders do today. Consistent accessibility breeds stability, so try not to move this meeting too much. The peace of mind it brings to know that you are accessible and available monthly to provide insight and guidance can make all the difference. Don’t do it by proxy. – John M. O’Connor, Career Pro Inc.
5. Focus On The Needs Of Both The Leader And The Stakeholders
You cannot dictate the leader’s preferences to the stakeholders, nor vice versa. Help the leader define how they best engage and communicate and engage directly with stakeholders to understand how they want to be communicated with. Make it a collaborative and flexible process that can change as needed in the future. – Tonya Echols, Vigere
6. Create A ‘Stakeholder Matrix’ To Specify Communication Goals
As a first step, cluster and describe all relevant stakeholders with the help of a so-called “stakeholder matrix.” The second step is to specify communication objectives, content (breadth and depth), cadence and means based on their pre-identified needs and requirements. In the third and final step, ensure you have an audit process in place to regularly review and optimize your communication model. – Andreas von der Heydt, Andreas Von Der Heydt Coaching & Consulting
7. Set Up Private Social Media Channels
Setting up private social media channels (via Slack channels, Meta profiles or LinkedIn groups, for example) guarantees that no information is lost and no individual privacy is violated. With a selection of random messages, it creates a sense of autonomy in terms of when and how they want to be informed. Up-to-date information needs to be available in one place so stakeholders can be accountable for staying in the loop. – Csaba Toth, ICQ Global
8. Make A Member Of The Leader’s Team Responsible
Having someone on the leader’s team who is directly responsible for communication is a key factor in ensuring everyone is kept informed. While the messages come from leadership, their delivery can and should happen across multiple mediums, media and channels. Much of that can be automated, but it still needs oversight. It’s also important to have a feedback loop where information has a two-way flow. – Kathi Laughman, The Mackenzie Circle LLC…[Read more at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2022/02/03/effective-ways-for-leaders-to-keep-stakeholders-in-the-loop/?sh=1fc0a22e7132]