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Build an Effective Stakeholder Management Strategy

Stop guessing about stakeholders’ needs and priorities; invite regular feedback to increase trust and strategic collaboration across the organization.

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  • Jill Saverine, Head of Human Resources,
  • Linda Haft, HR Manager, Magnolia River
  • Rose Solis, VP of Human Resources, Bentley Mills, Inc.
  • Jan Grant, Learning Consultant, WorkSafeNB
  • Jim Macdonald, Director of Human Resources, Brescia University College
  • Schelley Michell-Nunn, VP of Human Resources, City of Ithaca
  • Karen Raitz, Director of Corporate Services, AltaGas
  • Nicole Diffenderfer, Director, Human Resources, The Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland
  • Jodi Lieberman, Chief Human Resources Officer, Capreit
  • Ilia Maor, Senior Manager, Info-Tech Research Group
  • Beth Collins Kelly, HR Manager, Info-Tech Research Group
  • Heather LoPresti, L&D, Content Specialist, Info-Tech Research Group

Your Challenge

  • HR and stakeholders may have false perceptions of each other; stakeholders may be unaware of HR’s projects, and HR may be in the dark about what matters most to stakeholders.
  • It can be intimidating to ask for stakeholders’ perceptions of HR and to hear critical feedback. HR may also be unsure of how to respond to feedback.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Stop guessing about stakeholders' perceptions; invite feedback to build strong relationships and identify where to focus improvements going forward. This will set a proactive, open tone for communication with stakeholders across the organization.
  • Adopt a collaborative approach to working with stakeholders; regularly ask “how can HR support you?” to ensure that people strategy is integrated with organizational strategy.

Impact and Result

  • Strong relationships with stakeholders start with open communication; invite stakeholder feedback to get a clear understanding of stakeholders’ needs, priorities, and concerns.
    • Use McLean & Company’s HR Stakeholder Management Survey, a low-effort, high-impact diagnostic that gives you a quick and accurate snapshot of stakeholder relationships across the organization.
  • Identify, analyze, and prioritize your stakeholders to understand the method and level of effort required in communicating with each of them.
  • Hold ongoing group and one-on-one meetings with stakeholders to stay up to date.
  • Demonstrate HR’s value to the organization by actively collaborating with stakeholders, integrating people strategy with broader organizational strategy, and regularly inviting executive input on HR’s strategic priorities.

Research & Tools

2. Prioritize stakeholders and prepare to communicate

Prioritize stakeholders, review strategies for communication, and identify stakeholder social styles.

3. Meet with stakeholders and identify strategic priorities

Meet with stakeholders to discuss survey results and invite feedback, then discuss with the HR team to draft an action plan.

4. Develop a stakeholder management strategy

Prioritize actions, track metrics, and create stakeholder communication plan.

Guided Implementations

This guided implementation is a five call advisory process.

Guided Implementation #1 - Assess current stakeholder relationships

Call #1 - Review stakeholder survey results and the assessment of HR/stakeholder relationships across the organization.

Guided Implementation #2 - Prioritize stakeholders and prepare to communicate

Call #1 - Discuss and review the communication strategy according to stakeholders' level of influence, interest, and support, and stakeholders' role(s) in relation to HR.

Guided Implementation #3 - Meet with stakeholders and identify strategic priorities

Call #1 - Discuss the approach to meeting with stakeholders to share survey results (i.e. who you will meet with first).
Call #2 - Walk through and finalize the action plan.

Guided Implementation #4 - Develop a stakeholder management strategy

Call #1 - Discuss and gain input on the stakeholder management strategy.

Onsite Workshop

Discuss This Workshop

Book Your Workshop

Onsite workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Prioritize Stakeholders and Prepare to Communicate

The Purpose

  • Determine which stakeholders will be a priority to build relationships with.
  • Prepare for effective communication.
  • Tailor communication strategy to stakeholder roles.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Priority stakeholders identified.
  • Effective communication plan developed.
  • Communication strategy tailored.




Prioritize stakeholders.

  • Prioritized stakeholders according to their roles in relation to HR.

Identify the social styles of prioritized stakeholders.

  • Identified stakeholder social styles.

Prepare to communicate effectively with stakeholders across the organization.

  • Created strategies to communicate effectively with different stakeholder groups.

Module 2: Identify Strategic Priorities

The Purpose

  • Create an initial action plan to present to stakeholders.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Initial action plan created.




Draft an initial action plan.

  • Drafted an initial action plan.

Module 3: Develop a Stakeholder Management Strategy

The Purpose

  • Identify ways to ensure building stakeholder relationships becomes an ongoing process.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Determined how to create an ongoing process for stakeholder relationships and management within the organization.




Develop a strategy to maintain your stakeholder management strategy.

  • Created an ongoing stakeholder management strategy.