Stakeholders as partners
A BT case study

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Page 3: Internal stakeholders

Internal stakeholders are individuals or groups that can be considered part of an organisation. Important internal stakeholders are shareholders and employees.


It is important not to confuse the terms stakeholder and shareholder. Shareholders buy shares in a company and, as such, are part-owners of the business. Shareholders do not get involved in the day-to-day decisions of a company. However, shareholders have the right to vote at a company's annual general meeting. In this way, they have a say on some major issues. For example, shareholders vote to elect the directors to the company and to approve the annual accounts and reports.

1view_06_hero_shotShareholders are very important stakeholders because they put money into the business. They contribute capital to the business and expect to share in the company's profits. BT needs the support of shareholders to provide funds to grow the business. The company therefore maintains close relations with its major shareholders. It will keep shareholders informed about its financial results and its plans for growth.

BT rewards its shareholders by giving them a share of the profits. This is known as a dividend. BT pays dividends twice a year. BT also offers its shareholders other benefits that are available to BT customers. For example, they can apply for a BT credit card and receive discounts on new products and services.

Shareholders have a direct interest in seeing the company become more profitable. BT aims to increase its profits by:

  • growing its business through offering new goods and services to increase sales
  • building the company reputation to win new customers.

A company can also increase its profits by becoming more efficient. It can increase its profit margin by reducing costs. This will allow it to pay higher dividends, improving the return shareholders get on their investment.

One of the ways BT aims to become more efficient is by reducing its energy usage in a variety of ways, such as increased energy efficiency in its data centres, networks and estates to reduce the number of journeys made by its engineers. The company is reducing its carbon footprintmainly through energy savings and investing in renewable energy technologies. For example, it aims to generate 25% of the company’s UK energy needs from renewable sources by 2016.


Employees are one of a company's most important assets. A committed workforce helps a business to achieve its objectives. Employees bring skills such as creativity and problem solving.

To increase the company's core competencies, BT runs programmes to improve the skills of its employees. For example, BT has used Apprenticeship Frameworks to enable more than 7,000 of its employees to gain a job-related qualification in a single year.

School leavers can join BT on an apprenticeship scheme and specialise in customer service, information technology or telecommunications engineering. Apprentices learn transferable skills which set them on the route to a valuable and fulfilling career.

bt-3All employers want a motivated workforce. Dissatisfied or unhappy employees tend not to produce good work and will look for other jobs.

To gain their commitment, BT aims to provide its employees with attractive rewards and good career prospects. It also allows flexible working arrangements. For example, almost 9,500 BT employees currently work from home. This helps some employees achieve a better work-life balanceas well as saving on the costs of travelling to work.

The arrangement also has benefits for BT. It helps the company to attract and retain a diverse workforce. It also reduces the company’s environmental impacts as fewer employees travel to work.

BT | Stakeholders as partners