The Top 5 reasons why communication and engagement matters
In the midst of a huge project, the requirement to engage stakeholders can sometimes feel like an additional complication or time pressure. It can be tempting to try to find out as much as you can through desktop review.
Many projects realise the greatest benefits by engaging early and widely, integrating community and stakeholder engagement and communications throughout the lifecycle of a project or program. By recognising the value of engagement, you are more likely to maximise the benefits that can be achieved.
Here are five ways that engaging with your community and stakeholders can help you achieve better outcomes:
1. Unleash innovation
By tapping in to new perspectives, collective skills and shared knowledge you will gain insights into risks, benefits, values and priorities you may not have considered, and unlock creative solutions that address the issues.
2. Build community trust and increase your visibility
We all know the power of information, but the clarity of the message can become tangled in delivery, particularly if it is passed on by word of mouth or peer-to-peer via social media. Being in control of your information is vital in a large-scale or change project. That is why transparently sharing accurate, high quality information with well-networked community groups will help to build community trust in your organisation. Research shows that engagement is an important way to build this trust.
3. Improve your stakeholder experience
Involving the community in the engagement process connects your project to people at a personal level, bringing it to life and increasing the likelihood of buy-in to the project outcome. People want to be heard on decisions that affect them day-to-day, and creating this opportunity is an important way for you to learn about the things that matter locally. Your choice of engagement approach can have the additional benefit of increasing stakeholder understanding through shared learning and collaboration.
4. Support rapid change
A collaborative approach creates a commitment to act, with a high level of accountability. Implementing regular reporting loops helps to sustain trust and maintain transparency as you implement an agreed plan of action.
5. Facilitate project success
Whether you engage digitally or face-to-face, or ideally using both methods in combination, the depth of insight you gain will help to ensure the success of your project. You will measure this not only by timely completion and satisfaction within your organisation, but also by approval from those across the wider community who are impacted by the project.
You will have learnings to take from each engagement, enabling you to:
• Make better decisions
• Deliver on time
• Meet your objectives
• Build community and stakeholder support.
An effective engagement strategy is vital to success and a key tool. The KJA team can develop with you and support your project.