All organisations have a responsibility to help create a prosperous future, flourishing communities, and a thriving planet. With an effective Social Value strategy, you can meet this responsibility and prove that you are doing so.
But what does an effective Social Value strategy look like? Social Value Portal has created a dedicated Social Value Success Factors model, underpinned by our years of experience supporting our members, as well as our recent survey of 700+ Social Value stakeholders.
In our Success Factors Toolkit, we take a deep dive into the details of this framework. Here, we’ll be providing some snapshots of our findings, and an introduction to the model.
Why Social Value matters for everyone
Over the past decade, a series of legislative steps have embedded Social Value into UK procurement. It’s no surprise, then, that Social Value is already a strategic priority for many organisations.
Turning to the results of our survey, a substantial 76% of respondents said Social Value was very or extremely important. And, as detailed in the full report, large proportions said it was critical for a range of specific functions, such as compliance, competitive advantage, staff engagement, attracting investors, and winning bids.
Social Value isn’t just a ‘flash in the pan’ either. Our research suggests that it will become a bigger priority moving forward, with 82% expecting their organisations to spend more time supporting Social Value over the coming three years.
Using the Social Value Success Factors Model
But while Social Value is a key area with huge promise, many organisations struggle with forming and executing a comprehensive plan.
So, what underpins a successful Social Value strategy? Our Social Value Success Factors Model brings together the six key, interrelated components:
With a focus on these Social Value Success Factors, you will be able to get your journey off on the right track and direct your attention and resource toward the most impactful areas.
Here’s how each one contributes to a holistic strategy:
Creating a Social Value culture means educating and gaining widespread buy-in across your entire organisation. Get this right, and you can reshape your organisation’s approach and its ways of working.
But embedding Social Value in your organisation’s culture entails a mindset shift: embracing a broader definition of value, one which encompasses benefits to people, place, and planet.
Strong and consistent governance will provide direction to your Social Value strategy and execution. Many organisations are already pursuing this, with 59% of our respondents confirming that they had a Social Value or CSR-focused executive.
But while top-down direction matters, enabling your teams to identify opportunities and show initiative is the next step. This means creating and maintaining engagement, showcasing successes, and promoting opportunities to get involved.
If you want to track your Social Value progress and demonstrate results to your other stakeholders, then measuring your activities and their results is a must. It will lend credibility to your strategy and enable continuous improvement.
An important foundational step is to decide which metrics you need to monitor. Your measures should be aligned to a recognised framework, like the Social Value TOM System, to your organisation’s goals, and to local community needs.
Your levers are the key resources and actions available to you; essentially, the enablers of your Social Value activities and tactics.
Different organisations will have different levers, but there are some which we see as being essential across the board. For instance, collaboration with partner organisations will increase your reach and impact. For maximal results, it is also necessary to fully activate your workforce and internal resources, while driving continuous learning through upskilling and training.
Minimum 10% weightings for Social Value are now mandated in government contracts – and many contracts feature much higher weightings. This means that, for organisations looking to secure contracts with the public sector, integration of Social Value into bids is non-negotiable.
Yet our survey found that a quarter of respondents were not confident their organisations could create competitive Social Value bids in response to tenders. Our Win more Bids guide outlines ‘6 steps to pro’ for organisations looking for work from the public sector.
As Social Value Portal’s CEO Guy Battle recently discussed on The Procurement Podcast, supply chains spend is a massive area of opportunity for Social Value delivery.
But our research uncovered significant frustration with the way suppliers and procurers communicate and collaborate – in fact, only 25% said they were satisfied.
Tapping into the full Social Value potential of the procurement space will require suppliers and procurers to work together effectively, prioritising clear communication, constructive feedback, and continuous evaluation.
Start building your Social Value journey
With so much to consider when it comes to Social Value, it can be hard to know where to begin. Our Social Value Success Factors Toolkit will give you the insights you need to align your goals and tactics for maximum impact.
With the right commitment to building the essential foundations and embedding them in the heart of your organisation, successful Social Value delivery is within your reach. Starting from a measured baseline, strive to learn, collaborate, share and continuously improve, and you will drive meaningful results.
Claire Ollington, Customer Success Director, Social Value Portal
Start exploring this invaluable resource today: Social Value Success Factors Toolkit.
Social Value Portal’s experts are available help you with every step of your journey. To discuss how we can support your goals, just book a discovery call.