As organizations began to worry about the sustainable growth of the business (thinking not only of its results, but also of the environment that surrounds it), stakeholders have stepped in for good. “Stakeholder” is nothing more than a term to define people or groups that can be influenced by a company’s project or process, or influence them.
Organizations concerned with their survival on the market in the long run must implement good practices to relate to that kind of public. In this post you will see 4 tips to manage your company’s stakeholders.
Hit the target
Our first tip is to properly identify the stakeholders. For this, the entrepreneur needs to know that they can have high or low levels of power and interest to his business. In one hand are stakeholders with high power and high interest: they are probably their ventures’ investors or sponsors. Yet customers are those who have high interest, but low power: although they do not act directly on your business, they can influence it based on demand for products and services.
On the other hand are stakeholders with high power, but low interest: they are generally those managers and partners that can interfere or support the company’s initiatives in any way, with no power need. And finally, those with low power and low interest: even though they can be monitored only from distance, these stakeholders also need to be informed about the majority of the shares’ status.
Know the expectations
Many of the issues related to managing stakeholders come from the misalignment of expectations between the parties. So our second tip is to promote a constant alignment between investors, customers, suppliers, partners, employees, civil society, media and other publics that may have any influence on the business.
This should be done through open, transparent and constant communication, in which the initiatives’ objectives are properly disclosed to all.
Stakeholders should always be actively involved in your company’s processes and projects as much in advance as possible. This should be done through requests for feedback, comments and suggestions, for example. Although some of this feedback is not used in practice, it shows that your company is open to dialogue.
Work on communication
Managing stakeholders necessarily needs good communication. Therefore, in addition to identifying the key audiences (as we saw in the first topic), you still need to define a specific communication strategy for each public, the frequency of disclosures and the message format.
In this moment, keep in mind that each stakeholder profile demands a different level of information, which requires the production of customized, familiar targeted messages for each one of them. Although the relationship with stakeholders can be enhanced with these tips, it is up to the entrepreneurs and managers to develop their knowledge and skills in leadership to become able to negotiate with their public with more property, keeping them always involved in business objectives.