July 15, 2016

5 Ways to Engage Internal Information Governance Program Stakeholders

3 minute read

We all know organizational productivity will rise and compliance risk will decrease if you’re able to improve your information governance program. But somehow the message isn’t getting through.

The answer, as you well know, is not to repeat your arguments. The answer most likely lies in your relationship with the rest of the business. Improve that and your employees could soon be working as part of the improved information governance program. No more searching endlessly for documents or constantly putting the organization at risk.

Here are five tips for building those bridges.

1. Know where they’re coming from

Empathy is the first step. Being able to demonstrate a complete understanding of what everyone is trying to achieve will go a long way. People want technology for what it can do, not for its own sake. How does what you’re proposing tie into business goals, strategy, and pain points?

2. Be honest about how they see you

Time for some honest self-evaluation. How do your colleagues view your past performance? It doesn’t matter whether they’re right or wrong — perception trumps reality. If you’re not trusted, step two is going to have to be building trust.

Perhaps you need to shoot for some small wins first to demonstrate credibility, or you might have to admit past mistakes and be willing to talk about what you’ve done to improve.


Read More: 3 Keys to Information Governance Program Success


3. Bring your team with you

In every interaction, every member of the records team is either building or eroding the perception of the information governance program.

Work with the team to make sure they understand the objectives, the stakes, and their role in presenting your case. If someone in the elevator asks why something is a good idea, make sure everyone on your team has enough information to answer regardless of whether it’s in their area of expertise.

4. Commit

Probably no one likes having to “sell” themselves internally. They feel their accomplishments are self-evident, and their expertise is such that their say-so should be enough.

Tough luck. If you want internal buy-in, you have to be selling.

5. Apply this simple test to every message

Whenever you’re talking about what you want to get done, ask yourself whether you’re talking about the benefits or the features. A feature of a new information governance program might be a detailed file plan or legal hold capability. That’s less compelling than:

  • Saying an employee will save three to four hours a week in what is currently time lost searching for a record, or
  • They can rest assured their important records are being properly managed

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