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Understanding and engaging key stakeholders

Enhancing the satisfaction of key stakeholders, including customers, employees, shareholders, suppliers and other strategic partners

In the Adapting to the changing business environment, it was determined that the majority of stakeholders of an organisation operate in its micro-environment. In order to be able to engage the key stakeholder groups as diverse as a part-time employee and a major investment bank, it is important to determine on which level of the hierarchy these stakeholders are engaged with the organisation.

Definition of an organisational stakeholder – an individual or group which can influence, or be affected by the outcomes achieved by an organisation, and have enforceable claims on an organisation’s performance.

The three primary stakeholder groups can be broadly divided into groups that are predominantly involved in its capital (debt & equity) structure, are involved with the product as either a consumer, supplier or host community and the final group consists of the organisational stakeholders, usually the employees. 

The benefits of engagement have been introduced in the Adapting to the changing business environment and Strategic planning in changing times sections, and are discussed in greater detail in the Using experiences to differentiate your organisation.  Memorable experiences such as positive engagement have consistently been found to be very strong sources of differentiation, and because creating such positive experiences reliable is very difficult, ultimately this may form the basis of a powerful competitive advantage.


How can Activated Logic help?

Understanding the different objectives of all organisational stakeholders is essential in ensuring management can address any competing interests effectively and in the greater interests of the organisation.

Engaging capital market stakeholders
Shareholders and banks are the main sources of capital for business organisations, the common distinguishing feature however is that shareholders typically hold equity in the organisation, and banks generally hold debt, although some banks, particularly investment banks will hold some equity, generally in larger publicly listed companies. 

Activated Logic is experienced in the corporate communications space with significant experience in the full suite of communication requirements ranging from preparing short-form prospectuses for equity raisings, detailed prospectuses intended for IPO, through to preparing investor newsletters, research reports, website and promotional material. 

Engaging organisational stakeholders
It is important to accurately and efficiently convey the organisations beliefs and objectives to all of an organisations direct stakeholders including not only employees and middle-management, but also contractors and other key stakeholders which are pivotal to the success of the organisation.

An organisation can only grow as fast as its people can grow, therefore it is in an organisations ultimate interest to provide a stimulating place of work that is productive and in doing so meeting the objectives of the organisation through its workforce.

Engaging product market stakeholders
At first it may not be immediately obvious how the engagement requirements for host governments, suppliers and product end-users are related, however upon closer examination it is clear that all of these stakeholders meeting their own objectives is dependent on the satisfaction of the end-user, the customer.

Just as customer engagement is dependent on delivering value and satisfaction to the consumer, suppliers expect the maximum sustainable price for their goods and services, and a successful business provides jobs and taxes for host communities and their governments.  This process is discussed further in The consumer-centric marketing process.

It is important to continue to exceed the expectations of the customer base, as it is the purchasing process which is the reason the organisation is in business in the first place.  It is ultimately in the best interests of both the organisational and capital market stakeholders to continue to put the interests of the customer first. 

“For us, our most important stakeholder is not our shareholders, it is our customers. We’re in business to serve the needs and desires of our core customer base”.
John Mackey
Whole Foods CEO

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