If I had £1 for every time someone told me that engaging with staff or the public was waste of time, I would have a lot more time to write blogs! And I do recognise that most businesses and individuals do not see the value in properly consulting with their clients, their staff or other stakeholders for many of the changes they undertake. But I also know that a lot of change does not transform well, and ultimately would have been more successful had the key people been engaged in the process.
Here are 4 of the common misconceptions I hear about engagement:
1.It is just a tick box exercise
Yes, it is true that many contracts and applications require certain tasks to be undertaken and paperwork to be completed, and consultation is often a part of that. However, whatever information is gained through the engagement process, will provide strong support for making the change. Data, knowledge and information are fundamental in every business wanting to implement something new or different, and therefore extremely valuable.
2.It won’t provide valuable feedback and may prolong the process
The adage ‘two heads are better than one’ is applicable here. Companies often do not engage for fear of receiving potentially negative feedback that may delay any implementation. However, by engaging with those who will be affected by the change, it is much more likely that more practical and important information is offered that may help the process to be more effective and successful in the long term. Think of the programme “Back to the Floor”; without seeing it from the perspective of others, it can be hard to make the best decisions.
3.The ability to reach enough relevant people is too hard a task
In the 21st century, engaging with the right people is even easier, and can be undertaken at speed. Face to face engagement has its place in any process; some things are simply done better and more in depth face to face, and allows for discussion, debate and brainstorming. However, online engagement is another really effective resource. I would suggest an overall engagement strategy that combines the unique strengths of both face to face and online engagement, in order to maximise reach and return.
The most expensive thing to any business is making the wrong decisions. It wastes time and money and causes many other problems. Engagement and Consultation are 100% about investing in the future; using a professional company to support you in the transformation process will be a priceless investment.
If fear of engagement is stopping your business from moving forward effectively, then give us a call today so we can help you to make the changes you need.