Objectives, possibilities & impact
Whether members, full-time employees or simply interested parties – associations and member organisations must cover a wide variety of interests and demands while always providing relevant information to the right people. At the same time work must keep pace with digitalisation, even if some members are less accustomed to digital work. Stakeholder Engagement platforms enable associations to meet these new challenges: Involving all stakeholders comprehensively and creating active participation in association life.
Why do you need Stakeholder Engagement?
Successful member organisations have a wide array of stakeholders that need to be involved. These stakeholders range from members over employees to partners and external experts. Many member organisations are finding it difficult to reform old structures in favour of new, digital ways of connecting and getting work done. But what might have been viewed critically just a few years ago, can no longer be ignored. Stakeholders in the association are used to fast access to information and opportunities for discussion and networking. Sustainable member organisations prioritise member engagement and activation by creating a central digital home for their members: The Member Platform.
Stakeholder Engagement ensures the involvement of all stakeholders, not only the actively participating members in committees or working groups. Indirectly interested members and stakeholders also have the opportunity to participate and get involved.
Low member participation rates make more and more associations ask themselves one central question:
How well do you represent the interests of our industry or profession, if only a minute part of your members actively participate?
What makes this change necessary?
Counteracting the lack of commitment with selective participation
It is fundamentally more difficult to win volunteers for long-term commitment than for short-term commitments. Volunteers are rarely willing to invest as much time as they were just a few years ago. Stakeholder Engagement enables association members to get involved in specific issues without having to make a long-term commitment to honorary positions. A long-term commitment of these individuals then grows out of the regular participation and a series of micro-involvements.
Easier and more engaging collaboration
Changes within organisations aren’t easy. Many member organisations are still stuck with old structures and working models. This often frustrates members because it is time-consuming to actively participate in committee work. Finding the most current information or quickly adding a small but important aspect takes too much time, and so participation dwindles. One of the biggest barriers here is the focus of many associations on attendance dates, such as meetings and events. But members aren’t full time employees at the member organisation. They have their own demanding jobs and challenges and need to be able to participate in easier and less time-consuming ways that are more compatible with their other occupations.
Why emails and chats reduce participation rates
Emails and chats are used for communication, facilitating decision-making and for archiving knowledge. This makes collaboration very difficult for two types of members:
- New members have no concise starting point on their journey to becoming a valued and actively participating member.
- Members with less time on their hands can’t quickly get up to speed on the current state of affairs because this would mean sifting through hundreds of emails or chat messages.
Using a Stakeholder Engagement Platform changes your dynamic. They create a digital home for your members. This is the central place to quickly access the most current information and understand what the next steps are. Gone are the days of patching various emails or chat messages together to comprehend the overall picture.
Associations are losing their core value: Networking and expertise
Social Networks like LinkedIn and Twitter are successfully garnering not only the attention of marketeers. More and more members are exchanging innovative ideas and making valuable suggestions to industry colleagues outside the associations’ networking offerings. This negatively impacts event attendance and undermines the value perception of the association.
The use of state-of-the-art methods, such as a stakeholder engagement platform, not only makes collaboration within the association more attractive for all stakeholders. It also creates a community platform with a wide variety of tools to share experiences and interests and enter into dialog with other stakeholders. If the association does not provide a platform to share such input in a usable way, the association regularly misses out on networked knowledge and lots of potential.
Keep knowledge within the association and create irreplaceable added value for stakeholders
Associations form a living and valuable network of knowledge, expertise, and experience. But this knowledge is difficult for members to access and remains largely unused. Due to ever-increasing turnover and the growing challenge of getting members to share, the real expertise within the association remains hidden. Stakeholder engagement platforms enable access to the association’s knowledge with just a few clicks: Whether on a smartphone, tablet or computer, the results, experiences, and expertise are instantly and conveniently accessible and usable at any time and in any place. Members benefit from this knowledge and can multiply the association’s talking points more effectively to the outside world.
What can a Stakeholder Engagement Platform do?
Associations can only achieve their goals with the right (usable) know-how and knowledge of how to overcome new and demanding challenges. With effective Stakeholder Engagement, the basic conditions are in place for sharing knowledge and constantly gaining new ideas and expertise.
Only with opportunities for exchange and feedback, as well as more networking can a sense of togetherness be developed within the association. So far, this has been achieved primarily on the basis of meetings, even if only a fraction of the members participate. Future-oriented associations know that this purely offline exchange is too little in a digital society. Proximity between individual association members and the associations’ concerns is essential for success. Stakeholder Engagement ensures that the wellbeing of members in the organisation is not neglected, thus strengthening member loyalty.
The Features of a Stakeholder Engagement Platform facilitate and accelerate collaboration within the association. These can specifically to the success of the association and help master the challenges that lie along the way.
What the Stakeholder Engagement Platform has done for our clients
Dr. Alexander Grube
VCI (German Chemical Industry Association)
“Many project teams and work groups have intensified their communication And information exchange. The integration of our offices in Berlin and Brussels into the communication at the headquarters in Frankfurt has been considerably improved . They are quickly integrated and more involved in the flow of information. The communication in the committees is also increasing step by step.”
DStGB (German Association of Towns and Municipalities)
“More experts are involved in decisions and contribute their opinions via the platform than ever before. Recurring questions have decreased due to the conservation of knowledge in the groups.”
GdW (German Housing Industry)
“We wanted to bring transparency to processes and involve our policy group members in the work without technical and time barriers.”
Dr. Ansgar Klein
Federal Network for Civic Engagement
“With tixxt, it is now easier to create a digital workspace even for smaller projects and to facilitate new work contexts.”
DBwV (German Armed Forces Association)
“The system allows users to grow one step at a time. Those who want to use the system intensively use it intensively in their area of responsibility. Others can act in a waiting and observing manner. The system allows users to move at their own speeds.”
GdW (German Housing Industry)
“With tixxt we makequicker decisions, have better informed committee members, and comprehensible processes and communication when drafting statements.”
Which benefits can you expect?
Increase participation rates by lowering barriers of entry
A wide variety of stakeholders within the association need to collaborate, ranging from direct committee members to those indirectly interested in the association’s work. Despite differing requirements and prerequisites – whether in terms of time or content – your stakeholder engagement platform must facilitate the participation of all your stakeholders. Make it easy for your stakeholders to express opinions, to participate and get involved on a selective or a permanent basis. Transparent and timely communication on the platform ensures that stakeholders do not miss the opportunity to voice their own concerns about an issue.
Find new ways to attract new members
The expertise, experience and knowledge of the industry in your back pocket. Your stakeholder engagement platform creates an additional benefit for existing and potential new members. It also increases your reach and perception by energising your existing members and increasing your reach and impact in politics, business and society. Your increased level of interactivity will also make your association more attractive for the needs and ways of digital natives and younger potential members.
Energise your association’s culture and increase loyalty
Share successes and appraisal for jobs well done. Help your members become more successful and credit where credit is due. By increasing your participation rates and energising your members your association can build a new culture that increases loyalty and appreciation for your work.
Comprehensive involvement of all stakeholders
Depending on their personal interests, both directly and indirectly involved stakeholders are included in the association’s day-to-day activities. Discussions and documents can be made available only to specific circles or to all interested parties to generate more coverage or obtain further input. Members are able to gain deeper insights into the various topics within the association. On the other hand the association gains a new, important presence in the everyday life of its members without overwhelming members with irrelevant topics.
Increase the agility of the association
Through quick overviews, a central source of truth, fast polling and quicker communication channels, your stakeholder engagement platform increases agility and innovative work within the association. Your association will react faster and more concisely to changes and make appropriate adjustments.
Enable and facilitate innovation
Augment your formalised work and policy groups with less formalised structures to promote the exchange of expertise and ideas. Create new opportunities for feedback and coordination and enable faster access to your valuable resources.
Vast opportunities for participation increase motivation
A stakeholder engagement platform gives all stakeholders individual opportunities to participate in the association’s day-to-day activities. Even low-threshold options such as participating in surveys and liking posts create new input and connections in the internal platform and in everyday association life. Stakeholders are more engaged by this simple handling and the possibility to adjust the intensity of participation to individual needs. All stakeholders are free to decide when, where and how they want to participate without the association having to manage multiple channels and tools.
Make it fit for all
Many tools and methods of work lock out stakeholders depending on their level of digitalisation. Make sure every stakeholder can choose their preferred channel, be it a web app, emails or mobile apps. A state-of-the-art platform will automatically make all information available on all channels. This ensures that no one is left behind or has to be forced into a new mode of work in order to participate.
Centralising all communication and milestones in your digital home creates a single source of truth. This not only helps members quickly gain an overview of the current state of affairs. It also makes all steps, decisions and milestones of previous work results easily accessible. This transparency strengthens trust among your members.
Over 80 Associations & Member Organisations trust tixxt to activate their members, to engage their members, increase impact, create new value and to boost agility.
Are you interested in the challenges and successes of other organisations?
Then let one of our experts help you discover how your organisation can use tixxt.