As a business, you may be looking to bid for public sector contracts. If this is the case, then it’s important that you understand what social value is and how to show your commitment to it.
The social value model has been something which every central government contract needs since January 2021, when the UK government made it a mandatory procedure as part of procurement reforms.
If you want to win any public sector contracts, you’ll need to have a strong social value strategy in place.
In this article, we’re going to detail what social value is and how you can go about demonstrating your commitment to it through your business’ actions.
What Is Social Value?
Social value is the additional social, economic, and environmental benefits generated from something (usually public sector) intervention.
It considers the impact that something has on people’s lives, including:
For example, a new school built in an area of high social deprivation would have a positive social value. This is because it would provide employment opportunities during the construction phase. But it will also improve social mobility and education outcomes in the long term.
The social value model entails everything from tackling climate change to providing equal opportunity – it’s about improving society.
As a business, you should always look for ways to add social value. This could be anything from working with local charities to helping those in need invest in green energy solutions.
You must think about the social value of your actions before making any decisions, as this will ensure that you are having a positive impact on society.
Why do businesses need to focus on it?
As we mentioned above, the social value model is now a mandatory requirement for all central government contracts.
If you want to win any public sector contracts, you’ll need to have a strong social value strategy in place. But social value is not just something businesses should focus on if they want to win public sector contracts.
It’s also something businesses should focus on because it’s the right thing to do. As a business, you have a duty to society to ensure that you have a positive social, economic, and environmental impact.
Focusing on social value is a great way to ensure that you meet this responsibility. It’s also a great way to differentiate your business from your competitors.
Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of social and environmental issues, and they want to do business with companies that share their values.
Focusing on social value will help you appeal to these consumers and win their loyalty.
How can you prove your commitment to social value in your business dealings?
There are many ways to show your commitment to social value in your business dealings. One way is to ensure that you are always looking for ways to add social value. Another is to be transparent about the social value of your actions. This means being open and honest about your business dealings’ social, economic, and environmental impact.
It also means communicating this information to your stakeholders clearly and concisely. Finally, you should always be looking for ways to improve the social value of your actions.
Creating one for your organisation
Creating a social value strategy is not as difficult as it may seem. The first step is to identify the social, economic, and environmental issues that are most relevant to your business. You can then start to think about how you can address these issues through your actions.
Once you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve, you can start to put together a plan of action. This plan should detail how you will achieve your social value objectives and what resources you will need to do so.
Additionally, consider looking for opportunities such as:
- Creating jobs
- Paying living wage
- Supporting younger generations
- Investing in renewable resources
- Offer educational programs
Are there any common pitfalls that businesses should avoid?
There are a few common pitfalls that businesses should avoid regarding social value.
One of these is failing to communicate the social value of your actions to your stakeholders.
You must take the time to explain why you are taking action on social, economic, and environmental issues.
If you don’t, your stakeholders may not understand the importance of what you are doing, and they may not support your efforts.
Another common pitfall is failing to measure the social value of your actions.
It’s important to track the social, economic, and environmental impact of your actions to show your stakeholders that you have a positive impact.
If you don’t measure the social value of your actions, you won’t be able to show your stakeholders that what you are doing is making a difference.
Finally, businesses should avoid taking action on social, economic, and environmental issues simply because they think it will make them look good.
The social value of your actions should be genuine, and it should be something that you are passionate about.
If you’re not genuinely committed to social value, your stakeholders will see through your efforts, and they will not support you.
Best practices from other businesses
There are a few best practices that other businesses have found to be useful for social value.
One of these is involving employees in social value initiatives. This can help ensure that your employees are engaged with your social value efforts and understand the importance of what you are doing.
Another best practice is to partner with social value organisations. This can help amplify your social value efforts, and it can also help build your reputation as a social value leader.
Finally, businesses should focus on creating long-term social value rather than short-term gains.
This means taking actions that will have a lasting impact on social, economic, and environmental issues. It can be difficult to think long-term when under pressure to deliver results, but it’s important to remember that social value is a marathon, not a sprint.
This plan should detail how you will achieve your social value objectives and what resources you will need to do so.
If you’re not sure where to start, there are plenty of social value consultants who can help you develop a social value strategy tailored to your specific needs.
Are you looking for ways to grow your business in the public sector? Book a meeting with Cadence today!