Do you know who are the stakeholders in your organization?

Maybe the term stakeholders doesn’t ring a bell, but if you are interested in the company you manage or work for optimizing its strategies and methodology, it is a word that should start ringing a bell right away. 

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The dictionary defines them in two main ways. On the one hand, we understand stakeholders like shareholders, i.e. people who have invested part of their money in acquiring part of the ownership of a company: we call this ownership, to keep it simple, shares. 

On the other hand, stakeholders are defined at a more general level: any interested party. This means that we call stakeholders anyone who may have an interest or involvement, of any kind, in a given company. In other words, they are interested to some extent (or very much so) in the excellent performance of the company. 

As you can see, a company’s stakeholder group is very broad and diverse in terms of its characteristics, needs, interests, commitment to the company and its mission, and level of authority or decision-making over the organization. It is therefore a heterogeneous group that includes both the different “owners” of the company (the shareholders) and other groups. 

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stakeholders

Who are the stakeholders?

From this perspective, we could say that the most relevant stakeholders for an organization, would be two: 

Target audience: those external customers on whom you want to have an impact. That is, to make them buy.

Internal customers: this group includes all the company’s employees, from the most junior worker to the CEO, including, of course, all the official shareholders. 

External and internal customers: are they the only stakeholders?

Perhaps considering all of humanity as part of the stakeholders of a given company is a bit of an exaggeration. However, the idea of “society”, at least the one closest to the company’s environment, could be taken into consideration. 

Therefore, in addition to the main target of consumers and employees who are part of the company’s workforce, a second line of fire must be taken into account when classifying a company’s stakeholders. 

On this secondary but also relevant level, we cannot forget to include the universe of potential and credible internal and external customers: those who do not yet know the company, do not buy its products, or do not use its services, but who could do so if the right relationship is established with them. They are not directly influenced by the company’s actions, although that may change as soon as they are brought into the spotlight. 

This group includes many people: employees’ social and family environment and direct external customers, possible lobbies that have an influence on the company’s development, direct and indirect competitors (with their respective publics, i.e. their universes of stakeholders) who should never be left out of sight…

What we must not overlook about stakeholders

Stakeholders gain advantages and disadvantages of different kinds from the company’s successes and failures, or from the actions it implements. We must start from the idea that stakeholders are affected by what the company does. Even at a relatively unconscious level, they have an opinion and an image of the brand, the product, and the company’s culture. They are also involved at a financial, emotional, or purely commercial level. Although we tend to focus on the impact they receive from the company, it should be remembered that stakeholders also have an impact on the company: the channel of influence and communication between an organization and its stakeholders is always multidirectional. 

Try to reflect on these three questions whenever you consider improving your relationship with your stakeholders

1. What level of influence, decision-making, or authority do the different stakeholders have in our company?

2. What actions are carried out to locate, involve, engage and care for them?

3. Is there coherence or alignment between the different interests of the different stakeholders in your company?

Given that at times our reflection is not enough, it is not unreasonable to have the help of those who know the best. 

stakeholders

Ifeel has designed an emotional well-being program for companies, designed by its team of expert psychologists to help companies enhance the relationship with their different stakeholder groups and align them in their strategy of sustainable productivity development

Thanks to this partnership, HR managers can receive personalized, data-driven advice on how to get the most out of all the people who have an interest, involvement, and impact on the life of the company to take the best care of them. 

On the other hand, ifeel‘s emotional well-being program for companies offers employees a mental health care service structured at different levels depending on what they need at any given time. This means they can access various mental health care tools with ifeel‘s app. On the second level, they can receive emotional support through a chat with one of our platform’s registered psychologists. If continuous support is needed they can access the third level of the program: online psychological therapy with a psychologist specialized in cases such as theirs. 

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