Inspire your team and advance change with a proactive, agile engagement strategy
You’re engaged — congratulations! 🥂🎉👏
What’s next? The act of engagement, or being engaged, evokes images of smiling faces, connection and dreams of a harmonious future state.
The engagement chapter is often short changed as it is celebrated and embraced as a transitory, finite state. Similarly, workplace engagement often gets treated as an unpopular afterthought. The truth is that a thoughtful engagement strategy holds tangible value with wide-ranging ROI:
- Advance organizational change
- Empower your team
- Improve talent retention
- Strengthen workplace culture
- Boost trust, collaboration and process innovation
- Identify innovative solutions
When done right, engagement should be fun!
It should organically complement all organization processes. Not only does this ensure your team remains well-informed and connected, two-way stakeholder engagement also gives everyone an active voice in decision making: Co-creation and ownership in broader strategy is critical for change adoption and workplace satisfaction.
A well-crafted change communications narrative is the first step to open conversation — then actively solicit, share back and take action on the feedback you receive. Nothing kills morale faster than feeling ignored.
Your effective engagement campaign will merge ground-up inclusivity with top-down leadership support to be sure you’re amplifying a collective melody of voices throughout your organization. This requires a paradigm shift that includes and empowers your entire team: Nothing for them, without them should be the mantra as engagement is elevated as a strategic priority.
Stakeholder engagement is not a checklist item. It’s a perpetual conversation and opportunity to learn with and from the collective wisdom of your team. It has the potential to advance change, boost morale, enhance collaboration and so much more.
Successful stakeholder engagement is as easy as 1-2-3
- Identify any and all parties potentially impacted by change, i.e. stakeholders. This is your target audience and that list should be as comprehensive and segmented as possible, from executive sponsors to mailroom clerks. Even when change is positive, it can still create anxiety (resistance) that needs to be managed.
- Build iterative engagement into all phases of your communications plan. Use your segmented audience list to share targeted, stage-matched messaging that maximizes relevance for each recipient. Get creative with your content and delivery using a variety of touchpoints — i.e., 1:1’s, table tents, pulse surveys, etc.: “Cut Through the Clutter – 5 Tips for Creating Successful Communications.”
- Keep two-way communication channels open throughout the change journey. Engagement is a never-ending commitment. Even after your change campaign is formally complete, it’s important to continue to gather feedback to learn what is working and what’s not. Anticipate regressions and late adopters, and continue to connect. Share back what you hear and let your team know when you’ve taken action.
You see the benefits and strategy behind stakeholder engagement, but knowing what you need to do is only half the battle.
The reality is that you and everyone on your team are likely completely underwater. You’re not alone: State of Internal Communications’ 2022 survey confirms what we already knew: “50% of internal communicators don’t feel that they’re adequately staffed to handle their organization’s needs.”
The good news is that we’re here to help!
Bred corporate, gone agency, Pivot’s team has the experience, resources and support that you need to create, finetune and execute your engagement strategy. With our #BetterIsPossible, solutions-based mindset you can reap the rewards of your own stakeholder engagement strategy.
About the Author
Brandy Chetsas, Senior Change Management Consultant
A purpose-driven communicator and strategist, Brandy leverages more than 20 years of corporate and non-profit experience to advance clarity and connection, ethical leadership, culture enhancement, change adoption and talent experience. She works closely with executive leadership teams to define and deliver on KPIs to measure results, adjust as needed and share that progress with the broader team. Brandy uses her wide-ranging expertise to unify diverse stakeholders, identify shared values and work toward a collective goal.