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Bureau of International Labor Affairs
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A Toolkit for Responsible Businesses
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Why Seek Stakeholder Engagement?

At this point, you probably do not have all the information you need to set up a successful social compliance system.  For example, how big of a problem is child labor in a particular country or city from which you source?  What services should you provide to a victim of labor trafficking, if one is identified in your supply chain?  Who should you hire to provide training to your key suppliers on social compliance?

Do not try to answer these questions by yourself.  By involving your stakeholders in your system, you will gather more ideas and have a broader range of people with whom to vet issues and solutions.  Stakeholder involvement allows you to gather a variety of perspectives before you commit to a particular approach.  Engaging stakeholders can help you to understand the consequences of certain decisions and actions for specific stakeholders, the varied and changing expectations from stakeholders, and the key issues that surface in your supply chains.  It also provides buy-in, because those who participate in the development of a system will be less likely to criticize it later if they see their ideas integrated into your selected approach and programs.