The Art of Stakeholder Management: 5 Tips for L&D Success

Kyle Rober
Kyle Rober
Training Specialist

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Picture this: you’re standing in the middle of a bustling corporate office, trying to juggle the needs of multiple stakeholders while attempting to keep your Learning & Development (L&D) project on track. It’s a daunting task, and it’s one that requires a keen understanding of the art of stakeholder management. But what if we told you that you don’t have to manage them all? In this blog post, we’ll explore five stakeholder management tips, starting with the counterintuitive notion that sometimes, less is more.

Tip 1: You don’t have to manage every stakeholder

Identify your key stakeholders

Before you dive headfirst into the world of stakeholder management, it’s crucial to identify the key players who can significantly impact the success of your L&D project. These individuals might include project sponsors, L&D leaders, or subject matter experts. By focusing your efforts on building strong relationships with these essential stakeholders, you’ll be better equipped to keep your project on track and avoid getting bogged down in the minutiae of managing everyone’s expectations.

Tip 2: Develop strong communication channels

Effective stakeholder management relies on open and transparent communication. Establish regular check-ins with your key stakeholders to provide updates on project progress, address any concerns, and gather valuable input. Use a variety of communication channels, such as email, phone calls, and in-person meetings, to ensure that you’re catering to each stakeholder’s preferred communication style.

Tip 3: Prioritize stakeholder needs and expectations

Not all stakeholder needs are created equal. While it’s essential to understand and address the concerns of each key stakeholder, it’s equally important to prioritize these needs based on factors such as urgency, impact on the project, and alignment with the project’s overall objectives. As one L&D professional puts it, “It’s all about finding the right balance between addressing stakeholder concerns and maintaining project momentum.”

Tip 4: Be prepared to negotiate and compromise

Stakeholder management is an art, not a science. Inevitably, you’ll encounter situations where stakeholder demands conflict or seem unreasonable. In these cases, it’s crucial to approach the situation with a spirit of negotiation and compromise. Listen carefully to stakeholder concerns, explore alternative solutions, and be prepared to give a little in order to maintain the overall project integrity.

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Tip 5: Leverage external expertise to support stakeholder management

One of the most effective ways to manage stakeholders is by leveraging external expertise. By partnering with a platform like Learnexus, you can quickly and easily find and hire freelancers with highly specific skills and experience in L&D, who can help you navigate complex stakeholder relationships and maintain project momentum. In addition to offering an average cost saving of 47%, Learnexus eliminates procurement issues with a single master services agreement (MSA), saving managers time and making their lives easier.