Stakeholders: Key to Creating a Winning Human Capital StrategyBy
Creating a winning strategy for your organization’s human capital is essential to business survival and competitiveness. Yet many companies, in developing their human capital plans, neglect to include an assessment of the stakeholders. This can be the proverbial Achilles heel that causes a plan to fail. I base my assertion on leading edge research suggesting that insufficient consideration of stakeholder influence can increase human capital acquisition and retention costs by 40% or more.
This sin of omission is especially egregious when you consider that identifying critical internal and external stakeholders is not particularly difficult. A simple inventory in the form of a list or chart will quickly reveal a stakeholder network and create a foundation for problem-solving via formulation of tactics and strategies required for an effective human capital management plan and related initiatives. A chart (see example above right) has the distinct advantage of providing a visual reference that is useful in the planning process and in presentations to get buy-in and generate support.
Scope is critical. It should be comprehensive and not leave out critical components. For example, internal stakeholders should include employees, management, shareholders, etc. The external stakeholders landscape must cover prospective candidates, customers and competitors and and other parties.
Take the example of current employees. This stakeholder cohort is an existing human capital asset that can be leveraged to great advantage. With the acquisition costs for new employees being over $100,000 USD in many cases, paying attention to this stakeholder category should be adopted as a best practice in your planning effort.
An example of an external stakeholder is current and prospective candidates for employment. The means of attracting their attention will vary with their target profile, but social media is proving to be a very effective means of reaching out to this population and building sustained relationships.
Stakeholders are key to developing a winning human capital strategy and can provide the companies with a differential advantage in the marketplace.