When it comes to assessing progress and outcomes within your organization, having well-defined levels of engagement is paramount. These distinct classifications help eliminate any ambiguity and provide a clear framework for measuring success in collaboration with stakeholders. Establishing boundaries between these engagement tiers allows for tracking movement between them, ensuring that you can effectively evaluate and report on your achievements.
Erich Schuttauf, the Executive Director of the American Association for Nude Recreation, aptly points out, “People engage at different levels, influenced by factors such as age, stage of life, or the time they can dedicate to a cause. Understanding this variability is particularly valuable in corporate or association settings.”
As you embark on tailoring engagement levels that suit your organization, consider assigning numerical values, such as one to five, with five signifying the highest level of engagement. Alternatively, you can employ descriptive terms to delineate these levels, which can be as follows:
- Unaware: This marks the lowest level of stakeholder engagement. Unaware stakeholders lack knowledge about the project and remain oblivious to its potential impacts.
- Resistant: At this level, stakeholders are aware of the project’s existence and potential consequences. However, they exhibit resistance to change or hesitation to actively participate.
- Neutral: Neutral stakeholders possess awareness of the project but do not align themselves with either support or resistance; they remain on the sidelines, observing without taking a stance.
- Supportive: Stakeholders categorized as supportive are not only cognizant of the project and its potential consequences but also express a willingness to embrace change and contribute towards the project’s success in whatever capacity they can.
- Leading: The highest tier of engagement, leading stakeholders are fully immersed in the project. They possess comprehensive knowledge about the project and its impacts and are actively engaged, playing a pivotal role in ensuring the project’s triumph.
Once you have established these distinct engagement levels tailored to your organization’s unique needs, it is essential to outline the criteria for transitioning between each level and the corresponding indicators of such transitions. Furthermore, define what success entails within each engagement tier, thereby creating a comprehensive roadmap for measuring and reporting on your organization’s progress.