Three fast tips for online stakeholder engagement.

Today I want to give you my three fast tips for online stakeholder engagement.

I’ve been doing lots of online stakeholder engagement work lately and  I’ve learned some valuable things that I want to share with you now, specifically in regard to running online workshops.

Tip 1 – Encourage responsibility

The first thing to do is to keep participants ‘above the line’.

This is about really encouraging them to give ideas that are future focused; thinking about where the opportunities are in relation to the issue and what’s possible.

Taking this positive approach will help them to be solutions focused, rather than going back to what happened in the past and the things they didn’t like.

Tip 2 – Maintain equity of input

The second one is about making sure there’s equity in input. I know that sounds like a Facilitation 101 but it’s really important in the online space.

You can use tools like Zoom breakout rooms, so people have the chance for that more intimate conversation where they get the chance to be heard.

Other options include Group Map, which is an online engagement tool for people to provide their input individually in real-time during an online stakeholder engagement process. You can use ones like Google Docs as well.

I also make sure that I’m checking in with individuals as much as I can just to get at least one idea from them as we go around.

This gives them the feeling of participation and being heard – highlighting that this is actually a worthwhile exercise for them.

Tip 3 – Report rapidly

Make sure you have your own workshop reporting template set up and ready to go.

This will help you to get the data from the workshop process a workshop report and get it out to your participants as quick as possible.

I aim for a 24 hour turnaround as a really good sweet spot to aim for.

Use this as an opportunity to check if they’ve got any further input to provide and to make sure that you’ve captured their views accurately.

You’re going to get lots of points for doing this, as people have more faith in the process because they can see the transparency and that the information is actually going to be used. So there’s a tangibility about it, which adds lots of value.

Summary

Some of this may sound pretty basic to you, which is good. My encouragement to you is to implement  these tips and use them as a checklist as you prepare for your next online stakeholder engagement workshop.

  1. Encourage participants to stay ‘above the line’
  2. Ensure equity of input
  3. Turn around your that report as quick as you can.

If you’ve got any other questions, feel free to get in touch, I’m happy to help!

Online Stakeholder Engagement

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Andrew Huffer

Andrew Huffer has over 25 years experience in working with organisations, businesses, managers and communities and at a state, national and international level. He designs and delivers specialist engagement processes, with a focus on facilitating open decision making processes and skill development of clients. He has delivered presentations and workshops at a number of state, national and international conferences.

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