Stakeholders are people or groups affected by or influencing an organisation. They play a critical role, whether that is related to employee stakeholders and their motivation, or a customer base and what might impact their buying decisions.
To find success, an organisation must interact, to varying degrees, with a range of stakeholders. This enables an organisation to manage messaging and expectation, and to gain insight into how stakeholders perceive them. A key step in doing this is to map your stakeholders. In doing so, organisations can be much more strategic in their approach – particularly when it comes to corporate governance.
We regularly see successful organisations who have a clear understanding of who their stakeholders are – this applies both internally and externally. Often they have created a stakeholder map which can be a valuable strategic tool.
In mapping stakeholders, Boards and senior leadership can more easily determine how stakeholder behaviour can impact an organisation’s reputation and how Board behaviours can impact stakeholder morale and perception. It can also aid in more effectively breaking down the type of engagement and activities needed for each stakeholder group to ensure effective governance. Examples of such activity could include:
- having grade or seniority-based employee engagement surveys;
- putting in place specific training or education programmes for certain stakeholder groups; or
- amending brand messaging for certain external stakeholder groups to better engage with them.
Stakeholder mapping can have a vast scope and cannot be ignored. Organisations who are not mapping their key and most influential stakeholders will find it much harder to assess the risk that exists across their organisation.
Stakeholder mapping is sometimes referred to as a tool for mapping influence, allowing organisations to see where they should be focusing efforts both at a governance level and at a basic operational level.
To discuss stakeholder mapping in more detail, please contact Matthew Humphrey.