Improving stakeholder relationships


Internal stakeholders, such as employees, and external stakeholders, such as customers, suppliers or partners, may affect a business in different ways.

BT believes that engaging with and motivating this key stakeholder group improves commitment to the company.  Employees are one of a company’s most important assets.  Their valuable creativity and problem-solving skills help the company to deliver the products and services that keep it competitive and achieve its objectives.

This week, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has urged more companies to offer shares to their employees, saying it will improve productivity and unlock growth.  He said: ‘What many people don’t realise about employee ownership is that it is a hugely underused tool in unlocking growth.  Firms that have engaged employees, who own a chunk of their company, are just as dynamic, just as savvy, as their competitors. In fact, they often perform better.’ (BBC, 16th January 2012)

He told an audience in the City that the government planned to cut red tape and reform the tax system to accommodate employee ownership.  He said, ‘We need more individuals to have a real stake in their firms. More of a John Lewis economy, if you like.’  John Lewis is owned by its employees and distributes its profits between them.

Charlie Mayfield, chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, said greater diversity in the ways companies were owned and run should be welcomed.  He said: ‘Employee ownership can also help fulfil the increasing desire we have for more influence in our work so as to unleash our potential and productivity.’

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