top of page

Fairness: At the heart of keeping your Stakeholders close

Most businesses pride themselves on being customer-driven. Others see their employees as their prime partner and prioritize their engagement and growth. Startups and cash-hungry companies tend to focus on investor relations.

The truth is, all these stakeholder groups - and more - are interlocking parts of the business vista. Organizations have to deliver value to each stakeholder group - to move from value maximization to value-based stakeholder relationships.

Responsible, conscientious businesses that deal fairly with each stakeholder create a momentum of trust across all stakeholder groups. A lack of fairness, on the other hand, impacts beyond a single stakeholder interaction or category.

Nothing is truly sealed from the rest of the world.

A company that works with recruitment partners who are exploitative towards aspiring candidates will face a drop-off in interest from the best talent. Candidates find more optimal opportunities and talk to people in their new jobs; and word gets around.

Similarly, when middle management is abusive towards team members in their internal communications, it doesn’t remain internal. It just takes one video of an executive lambasting a team to leak out and go viral for business reputations to be shaken to their foundations.

Some self-styled ‘serial entrepreneurs’ move from industry to industry, counting on their slick presentation style and the advantage of a new business area, perhaps a new geography, to conceal a less than stellar track record. They may garner multiple starts in multiple businesses, but in our connected times, the inevitable undoing can happen within a matter of months rather than decades or years.

Promises Vs Actions

Well-chosen words have their place but people look for more than rhetoric. 92% of business leaders, 92% of consumers and 94% of employees agree that organizations have a responsibility to build trust. The reality, though, is average levels of trust have actually been on a slight downward trend between 2022 and 2023, and executives continue to vastly overestimate how much customers and employees trust them.

The writing on the wall is clear: there is a trust gap in the world of business. How do you bridge this gap? The answer is: with actions, not words. With fair dealings towards all stakeholders.

Fairness builds trust

Research has pointed out that 60% of the reasons why stakeholders opt out are due to experiences and perceptions that make them feel they don’t matter, driving home the importance of fairness. Perception is a lens with which we look at reality, thus both aren’t distanced.

Fair experiences are not just the foundation but also key driver of trust as this is what matters most across stakeholder sets. Fair experiences, is embedded in inclusion, transparency, consistency upholding dignity, equitable outcomes thereby delivering value as promised.

With strong trust capital, built on fair experiences, you can nurture stakeholder relationships for them to be co-creators in your journey and forge lasting partnership for shared success. The key here is the ability to consistently deliver fair experiences, across the stakeholder journey.

Connect with us to find out more about measuring and delivering Fair Stakeholder Experiences, FSx, the foundation of creating shared value.


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page