Everything you need to know about stakeholder management
In an increasingly interconnected, virtual world, the importance of a clear strategy underpinning stakeholder management is vital. Who receives information, when they receive it, and how they receive it, has never been so integral to business; companies need to ensure the flow of information in a timely and precise manner to avoid miscommunication in the public sphere.
This article defines stakeholder management, explains why it is essential, and highlights the required skills needed to boost your CV in this area.
A stakeholder is an individual with a vested interest in a company or project; its success or continuation is important to them. Stakeholder management is the interaction with stakeholders and overseeing that relationship for the benefit of your business.
There are many ways to define a stakeholder:
"From a business perspective, stakeholder management is critical to the success and longevity of an account".
Amy Sheppard, Senior Account Manager, The Childcare Company and Impact Futures.
"Stakeholder management is building professional relationships with key contacts, in order to improve their service and, in education, work with them to develop a strong skilled workforce."
Megan Collins, Junior Account Executive, The Childcare Company and Impact Futures.
It's difficult to overestimate the importance of stakeholders to a business; there are several significant ways that expert stakeholder management will benefit you and your organisation:
Influence and value
A stakeholder's negative perception of a business has the potential to cause reputational harm, while a positive and engaged stakeholder will act as a conduit for business success.
"The more you invest in them, the more they will invest in you."
Amy Sheppard, Senior Account Manager, The Childcare Company and Impact Futures
By paying attention to the requirements and desires of clients and "genuinely delivering on those", Megan believes stakeholders will convey their good experience to others. This creates free advertising, with stakeholders acting as brand spokespeople.
It's a career-developing skill
At every stage of a career, stakeholder management is vital to master. Identifying key stakeholders and engaging with them correctly is a required skill at all levels in numerous professions, leading to careers such as Account Manager and Investor Relations Officer.
A candidate who can demonstrate they have stakeholder management skills will stand out in interviews as someone a business can trust to interact on its behalf. If you do not have stakeholder management skills, promotions will not be easy; you have not demonstrated you can be relied upon to undertake interactions which have the potential to make or break a business’s reputation.
Successful stakeholder management demonstrates good communication and organisational skills, alongside a strong grasp of the business's goals. In interviews, candidates will often be asked how they would navigate stakeholder management, as it is crucial to the success of a business and team member performance.
"Working well with stakeholders can increase your profitability, engagement, exposure and reputation all at once."
Megan Collins, Junior Account Executive, The Childcare Company and Impact Futures
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