One way to do this is to conduct a stakeholder analysis as you move through the various project management stages.
I am going to take you through the steps for carrying out a successful stakeholder analysis.
What is the purpose of a stakeholder analysis?
A stakeholder analysis exercise allows you to find out what key stakeholders think about a particular project – in this case, a new or updated recognition program.
You can learn what their understanding is about the project. Find out how committed they are to the program and with moving ahead. You will hear about any concerns or needs they want to be addressed. In the end, the goal of a stakeholder analysis is to gain each stakeholder’s cooperation and commitment.
How do you know who your stakeholders are?
The first step is identifying who your stakeholders are.
Who has been involved before in employee recognition initiatives? Who should you target to be involved for the good of getting a recognition program approved? Are there particular individuals or groups you should engage?
There are different types of stakeholders as well. Some people will be required from the technical side of things, like Information Technology. Financial input is required because of the investment being considered. And, of course, Human Resource representation will be essential, as they often have to manage recognition programs.
Don’t forget employee feedback too. This could come through surveys and focus groups at various stages of the project planning.
Make sure to prioritize your stakeholders so you get all the feedback you can from the pertinent people.
Profiling your stakeholders
Each person or group will be looking at your recognition programs from a different vantage point. Some will look at the economic feasibility of going ahead. Others will be evaluating the business impact of a recognition program. There will always be at least one leader wondering about the ROI.
As the project manager for your recognition program, you will likely need to conduct face-to-face interviews with all key stakeholders. Your goal is to identify each stakeholder’s expectations for a successful recognition program.
Armed with this information you can refine your objectives or justify why you want to proceed in a specific direction. By gaining a list of personal or group member insights from each stakeholder you can better plan how to address their proposed needs and concerns.
To help you conduct your stakeholder analysis I have created a Recognition Program Stakeholder Analysis Matrix for you.
The Recognition Program Stakeholder Analysis Matrix is divided up under the following sections. The first page also provides an example of what you might write down in the various sections.
Stakeholder Name and Position: This allows you to write down the more obvious key player’s names and positions. You will likely write down additional names of individuals that your identified stakeholders might recommend to you.
Contact Information: It’s always good to have these details at your fingertips. People might tell you when best to contact them and when they don’t like to be disturbed.
Impact: How much do you think this recognition program will impact each stakeholder? You can indicate broadly by assigning a low, medium or high value. Write down the level you think the recognition program will impact a person. Then review and revise your rating after you’ve met with them.
Influence: Similar to the Impact section, you will assign a low, medium, or high designation for how much influence you feel the stakeholder has over the approval and usage of the recognition programs. It’s good to analyze the pattern of high, medium and low indications across all the stakeholders so you know what you’re up against.
Unique Facts: What is important to each stakeholder about the planned recognition program versus anyone else? Are their unique facts or information you want to notate? Some tidbits of information you will glean from your interviews could be gems in addressing identified needs and concerns.
Expectations: Learn what each stakeholder wants the company’s recognition program to be able to produce. Do you see some ways they can contribute to the planning of the recognition program? How would their expertise affect the approval or usage of the projected recognition program? Find out what they expect from the program.
Concerns: It’s important to anticipate any concerns ahead of time. Addressing concerns while your recognition program is in the project stage is the ideal time. Ask each stakeholder what they want you to address in your planning and designing of the program. Is there anything about this stakeholder that would cause them to block approving the program? How well will they use the program after it is successfully implemented? What advice or recommendations would they suggest to you?
Plan: These are your notes for planning what you need to do to manage each of the expectations and concerns of the respective stakeholder. This is your relationship development plan. Did they ask you for some kind of an update? And when? From your knowledge and experience, what does each stakeholder need from you? How often do they want to hear back from you? Your goal is to gain, and maintain, their personal commitment to supporting the recognition program.
The Recognition Program Stakeholder Analysis Matrix is one of many tools we will be designing for you to use in your managing of recognition practices and programs.
Reflective Question: Which type/category of stakeholders has been the most helpful to you in supporting employee recognition programs?
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