In December 2018, AICD members were invited to participate in the survey, with a total of 612 respondents taking part. The spread across sectors was evenly balanced, with 55% from listed and private entities, and the balance from the public and Not-for-Profit (NFP) sectors.
Of the respondents, 87% were aged 45 and over, and this is reflective of AICD membership and the average age profile of the director community.
The results showed directors predominantly consider customers and clients as the most critical stakeholders, with 360 of the 612 respondents rating them as the ‘most significant’ stakeholder (i.e. rating them a “9”) with respect to maintaining the relevance and viability of their organisations.
This was closely followed by employees, with 234 respondents rating them as ‘most significant’ for the same criteria. Both elements achieved an overall average score of 8 out of 9.Shareholders & Institutional Investors, Government & Regulators and the local community were behind, averaging a rating of 6 out of 9.
Comments from directors highlighted several critical factors for building stakeholder engagement, such as delivering on the strategy and objectives, quality of service to customers, and meeting stakeholder targets and expectations. However, in the end it is customer engagement, culture, and how these factors are communicated, that will build integrity, trust and brand value.