Stakeholder management: Identifying and better understanding (un)known stakeholders in the company
Stakeholder management is not only important for sustainability management, it also protects the company from risks, such as reputational risks, regulatory risks, or business and financial risks. It involves a thorough stakeholder analysis, developing tailored communication approaches (stakeholder dialogue), and fostering productive partnerships. A critical tool here is the stakeholder mapping, which provides a clearer picture of relationship structures and interactions. What exactly are stakeholders?
Stakeholders are individuals, groups or organizations, directly or indirectly influenced by the work of your company, by your products or services but can also themselves influence your company. This is exactly what distinguishes them from target groups, which are more commonly defined in marketing and sales and to whom a company wants to sell products or services to. A target group often represents a subset of stakeholders, defined by common characteristics such as demographics, buying-behaviour or interests. Stakeholders, in turn, can be both internal (inside your organization) and external (outside your organization). Privacy-compliant interactions with these groups can provide important insights and avert potential conflicts.
What is meant by a stakeholder analysis?
Stakeholder analysis aims to identify your organization’s stakeholders, understand their interest and influence on your organization, as well as to evaluate them. This analysis forms the basis for dividing the stakeholders into groups with different informational needs (stakeholder mapping) or for including them in the engagement process as part of the materiality analysis. It is important to note here that stakeholders today expect to have a greater say in decisions than in the past. Even if they are not directly affected, many stakeholders still expect to be informed and to have the opportunity to express their concerns freely and without fear of restrictions. Companies should therefore be well prepared and take advantage of the potential of this development instead of fearing it.
Why is stakeholder management important?
Stakeholder management is a critical component of your company’s success that deals with actively shaping, monitoring and improving relationships with your stakeholders. The complexity and dynamics of stakeholder relationships can mean that not all stakeholders are known, their reactions are not always predictable, or the quality of relationships may not always be optimal.
To address these challenges, cometis has developed a structured approach to stakeholder management. Our approach is based on the established standards of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and AccountAbility. We offer support not only in identifying and analyzing your stakeholders, but also in developing and implementing effective engagement strategies. Our goal is to raise awareness of the importance of stakeholder relationships and help ensure that your company is making the most out of those relationships. With our expert stakeholder management approach, we can help you build and maintain sustainable and positive relationships with your stakeholders.