How to Manage Stakeholders for a Successful Business
Businesses are striving to build dynasties and have different success stories along the way; however, they achieve this when they meet the expectations of their stakeholders. Stakeholders are those who have interests undertaken by a company or an organization.
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Stakeholders can include the customers, sponsors, employees, management, government, and society as well. These stakeholders have the potential to exert a positive or negative influence on the project deliverables and the success of a business. Stakeholder management is determinant for the suitable growth of businesses. The success of a company is driven by its employees and alongside customers, identifying impacts on the levels of service provided and customer satisfaction, thus improving the company’s performance.
Ways to manage stakeholders in a Business.
1. Identify your stakeholder
The first key step is to be able to know the kind of people that will be involved in the project this could be done by sitting with your internal project team and identifying the key people while putting into consideration their key characteristics and interests. Conduct interviews with key stakeholders that you want to be involved in your project so that they can fully understand what you are doing and the benefits of your project, look into a list of stakeholders you have worked with before, support from powerful stakeholders helps your project to be successful.
2. Categorize your stakeholders.
It is crucial to separate the different stakeholders that you are working with, this could be based on;
Power interest – stakeholders can be categorized according to the power they have either within or outside the project so that you can design communication for each group differently. Stakeholders with high power interest are communicated differently to those with low power interest in the project. This helps to avoid over-sharing or under-sharing of information in a business.
3. Execute a communication plan.
When managing stakeholders during an ongoing project constant communication is key to the success of running the project. Keep the stakeholders informed, send regular project status updates, hold project meetings once in a while, answer questions when there is a need to. Regular communication is often appreciated, most stakeholders want clarity as the projects are ongoing.
Benefits of stakeholder management to businesses.
Businesses that have actively managed positive relationships with their stakeholders have been able to achieve business intelligence.
1. Quality products and services.
Understanding the stakeholders’ interests and concerns mostly the consumer and product standardization and qualification institutions leads to ideas for the project at hand thus quality products and services offered by the business.
2. Right investment on time.
Constant communication and feedback with the stakeholders help a business management activities in the project with a time-bound and work on things that have the greatest value.
3. Improved reputation.
Good management of the stakeholders equals a good reputation for your business. The good relationship that you maintain builds a positive reputation for your business.
4. Make better decisions.
Stakeholder Management Systems are fundamental to sustainable management processes. The corporate intelligence provided by the system yields a better understanding of organizational positioning, thus enhanced responsiveness in the short term, and more informed strategic planning in the long term.
5. Sound stakeholder management can increase sales and market valuation.
If your company engages in strong stakeholder relationship management practices, this can pay off with reputational gains that support sales and share price increases. Firms that treat their stakeholders will have the potential to increase their market valuation by 40% to 80% compared to companies with average or weak relationships.
6. Stakeholder engagement helps your company address global sustainability challenges.
Good relations and strategic partnerships help your company and your stakeholders address critical global challenges that impact local societies and create stable and sustainable operating environments. Global Goal 17 addresses the importance of stakeholder engagement and multi-stakeholder partnerships–-including public-private and civil society alliances.
7. Stakeholder engagement is key to quality impact reporting.
Whether you’re a small or a large company, the elaboration of sustainability reports to demonstrate progress and setbacks around the social impacts your company creates should be an important element of your communications strategies. And to elaborate on those reports, it’s important to actively involve communities, civil society groups, local authorities, and other stakeholders present in your organization’s areas of influence. Your company’s stakeholders should participate in all cycles of the sustainability reporting process, from the definition of material topics or priority management issues to the evaluation of the quality of previous reports.
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Businesses do not exist as no man’s island, a number of stakeholders play part in the existence and success of the business, it is very crucial to main good relationships with the stakeholders involved in your business for the effective success of the business and sustainability in the market.
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