Want to improve business performance? Look to your stakeholders. They can tell you plenty about the areas where your organization could be doing a better job.
Of course, it takes more than simply listening to create change. In order to turn actionable insights into concrete improvements you’ll need to properly capture, document, and analyze this feedback. Fortunately, there’s a tool that can help you do just that: a stakeholder relationship management system (SRM). Let’s take a look at how an SRM can improve operations, and which businesses should be using one
Concrete areas to improve business performance
Ensuring Business Continuity
Using an SRM helps organizations establish a lasting corporate memory. That means that when a member of your team leaves, vital information doesn’t leave with them, or end up lost in their inbox or computer files. Maintaining well-documented historical records makes it easier to integrate new hires, or to bring replacement staff up to speed when someone is out on parental or sick leave.
Centralizing Stakeholder Data
A stakeholder relationship management system centralizes all of your stakeholder data – including contact information, details of your communications (whether these take place online, in person, by phone, etc.), and even a stakeholder’s position on certain issues or topics – in a single location.
Centralizing this data helps organizations bridge communication gaps between departments and with external partners over the life of a project (for example, during the siting, construction, and maintenance phases of an infrastructure project). All information is protected by passwords and readily available on a need-to-know basis, determined by user access rights.
Managing Regulatory Compliance and Litigation
Lack of information can hinder decision making, jeopardize compliance, and expose an organization to legal risks. If past audits have identified gaps in your data, an SRM system will help you clearly demonstrate improvements and efforts to mitigate external risks to regulatory committees. The powerful reporting and analytics tools included in an SRM make it easy to access and retrieve information to prove due diligence, in detail as specific as who said what, to whom, and when. This degree of instant recall is extremely helpful in the event of litigation, but also for supporting public affairs and government relations strategies.
Modernizing Working Methods
An SRM helps organizations improve productivity by automating tedious manual tasks and standardizing work methods. Without standard tools and procedures, each person on a team may end up doing things their own way. An SRM helps teams implement structured methods and routines that keep efforts aligned, including the creation of tasks and reminders to keep everyone on target. SRM users are happy to say ‘goodbye’ to juggling multiple files and data entry methods, and management appreciates being able to accurately set and measure KPIs.
Working with professional, fit-for-purpose tools shows stakeholders that you are invested in engaging with them with full traceability and accountability. Taking voice-to-text notes with your smartphone during a meeting and being able to instantly call up details of previous conversations shows stakeholders you care about understanding, recording and addressing their concerns. So will taking a photo of an issue and adding it to the stakeholder’s record with a specific task to follow up by a certain date. Stakeholders know the difference between vague promises and concrete actions. Demonstrating that you take their concerns seriously and that you’re prepared to follow through helps you earn their trust and increase their willingness to engage.
Protecting business reputation
Organizations that implement a fit-for-purpose stakeholder management tool are better able to capture and manage stakeholder grievances, and ensure that the history of stakeholder issues remains accessible. This greatly reduces the risk of defaulting on commitments you’ve made and putting your reputation with key stakeholders on the line. It also makes it easier for managers and key decision makers to identify hot spots or emerging issues before they escalate into complaints (or make their way into the news, or go viral on social media).
When should organization be using a stakeholder relationship management system?
An SRM system is a good fit for organizations that:
- Have many stakeholders or a large staff managing engagement activities.
- Want to create a structured corporate memory to bring insights to operations.
- Can benefit from visualizations tools that let them see the geographic location of stakeholders on a map– particularly helpful when starting a project or developing large, distributed assets.
- Need or want to report on corporate and social responsibility, such as community engagement, social impact, sustainability reports, environmental and social governance, etc.
- Must comply with regulations & requirements relating to stakeholder relations.
If any of the situations mentioned above apply to your organization, an SRM can be a game changer. Get in touch with one of our experts to learn more about how Borealis stakeholder management software could help you boost business productivity.