A company’s stakeholders are what makes it a company. From investors to employees, it’s essential to keep the people who believe in your business satisfied and motivated to keep supporting it.
Stakeholders come in many forms and it’s up to the leaders of a business to make sure they’re all satisfied. Below, eight members of Business Journals Leadership Trust discuss specific ways for leaders to ensure their business’s many stakeholders are satisfied with the company’s performance.
1. Communicate clearly and align strategies.
Clear communication will always be the one specific way leaders can ensure overall stakeholder satisfaction. Understand their expectations clearly and align your strategies accordingly, ask for constructive feedback regularly, submit regular key performance indicators (KPI) reports, maintain transparency by being honest with stakeholders every step of the way and create more engagement opportunities. – Sanjay Jupudi, Qentelli
2. Ask them for direct feedback.
One specific way that leaders can ensure that their stakeholders are satisfied is by asking. There are a lot of people who are too busy to give feedback, but if every time you get off the phone with a client you ask for their feedback, you will get the information that you need. – Mackenzie Toland, A New Leaf Therapeutic Services PLLC
3. Ensure they understand your direction.
Ensuring the stakeholders have a general understanding and approval for the strategic direction of the business is key. Then align the key performance indicators to strategic direction. The positive KPIs will translate to the organization’s success, which would have inherent buy-in from the stakeholders due to the approval on the frontend of the strategic direction. – Jay Toland, A New Leaf Therapeutic Services PLLC
4. Leverage human-centered design thinking.
Start out by knowing exactly who all the internal and external stakeholders are. You’ll be surprised how key stakeholders can be overlooked. Then do an exercise with the stakeholders (or surrogates) in which they tell you why they need a team or your business to “deliver” and how they measure success. From there, as needed, bring human-centered design thinking into stakeholder engagements. – Kim Baker, Vivid Performance Group
5. Ensure year-over-year growth, performance.
Year-over-year growth and performance are key to ensure stakeholders satisfaction. So is the company ensuring it is performing with a competitive advantage, proven by its growth. – Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, Hawthorne Advertising
6. Be clear on what success looks like for all.
Be clear on what success looks like for everyone. Eliminate assumptions. Establish clarity on the goals, objectives and outcomes that everyone is hoping to achieve from the very beginning. – Jack Smith, Fortuna Business Management Consulting
7. Involve them in company operations.
Keep them involved in the pulse of the company. A solid way to do this is to provide weekly updates to the stakeholders listing the wins, good news, goals met and progress toward future goals. These people are very busy, so make it a bite-sized bulleted list that’s easy for them to digest. Having this level of touch will keep them engaged with your plans and progress toward your goals. – Christopher Tompkins, The Go! Agency
8. Report key accomplishments regularly.
People worry when they don’t know what is happening. One awesome tool to address that is what we call “5-in-5s.” Team members take five minutes to submit their five accomplishments for the week. Managers then take the highlights and blast them out to the entire company as to what is going on for their team. This one small (free) approach has created unbelievable communication for our clients. – Gary Braun, Pivotal Advisors, LLC