Stakeholders’ engagement panel in pandemic times

Stakeholders panel is an excellent tool if you are working on your sustainability strategy, materiality matrix, or preparing to tackle a particular challenge.

There are dozens of channels and tools to engage with your stakeholders. However, mapping them and designing the right feedback loops remains a challenge for many organizations. In some situations, though, stakeholder panels are still the best solution. An open and honest discussion with a neutral moderator exposes issues that none of the surveys would. A stakeholder panel is an excellent tool if you are working on your sustainability strategy, materiality matrix, or preparing to tackle a particular challenge. But how to handle them right or review the company’s annual corporate responsibility report when face-to-face meetings are not permitted? And even if allowed, attending them might be inconvenient for some stakeholders. Here are a few tips from Inspired’s experience on how to lead a successful virtual stakeholder panel.

Positives

  • An opportunity to engage stakeholders who are located in remote areas or in different locations.
  • It is easier to engage high-profile stakeholders as virtual meetings are more time-efficient.
  • The organizational costs are lower.

Negatives

  • Non-verbal communication between attendees is limited.
  • Most people got used to virtual meetings in a corporate setting, but there are still groups that do not feel comfortable in videocalls.
  • More sessions are needed.
  • The networking possibilities are limited – many attendees mentioned networking as an additional benefit of live panels.

Best practices

  • Smaller is better – to encourage two-way conversation online, limit the number of attendees to max. ten persons per session.
  • Make it visually engaging – support the session with tools that will replace traditional sticky notes and whiteboards.
  • Make your attendees comfortable – ask everyone to turn on their camera, explain the program you are using and add call etiquette.
  • Best practices apply – follow all AA1000SES standard rules and best communication practices as usual.
  • Include everyone – make sure that the technology you are using is accessible also for people with disabilities.

And remember: Two heads are better than one!

Would you like to discuss this article? Contact the author:

Marta Lesiewska

Marta Lesiewska

Would you like to discuss this article?Contact the author:

Marta Lesiewska
Marta Lesiewska

Related Articles