18 Jul Our Top Tips For Delivering On Social Value Requirements
Whatever your business or industry, you want to provide the best possible service to your clients. Delivering social value is now a key part of this process, but many businesses still do not fully understand what it is or how they can best provide it.
Below, we take a look at what social value requirements are, and how to work with clients to ensure that you deliver outcomes that will benefit them, the overall community, and your own business.
What Is Social Value In Tendering?
Social value commitments became law with The Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012. Under the law, organisations within the public sector are now required to consider whether suppliers will deliver social value when carrying out work, and therefore help to enhance the local area in which they’re working.
Social value refers to the benefits that certain groups of people – or residents of a particular area – will receive as a result of work taking place in the neighbourhood. For example, if completing certain types of project within a community may improve the area in either social, environmental, or economic terms, then social value will have been delivered.
If your services will contribute any of these benefits to the wider community, then they could be considered to provide social value.
What Are The Benefits Of Providing Social Value?
Providing social value has several aims, but all of them include the improvement of an area or the intention to help people. This might involve encouraging the economic growth of an area, creating new jobs and delivering skills training, or improving the local infrastructure.
Newer objectives include supporting economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as tackling climate change and implementing environmentally-friendly policies.
How Can YOU Deliver On Social Value?
Merely demonstrating an awareness of social value is not enough! You must also make certain commitments to provide social value – and more importantly – be able to deliver what you promise. Read on to discover our tips on how to do this.
Know Who You Are Working With
Do your research on your client and know exactly what values their business already emphasises. Do they have a specific charity that they support, or a particular social or environmental agenda they pursue? Perhaps they are keen to foster economic growth in their local community, or have adopted a carbon neutral policy.
It is important to know which values are at the core of their business, so that you can amplify them and tailor these principles to the particular requirements of the work put out for tender.
Making tangible, measurable commitments to social value is a great way to ensure that you are always on track to deliver on your promises. For example, provide targets that you want to meet by certain deadlines. Specify what factors you want to help grow or reduce over time — and by how much — then regularly review your progress to make sure you’re on track.
Any way that you can help to make your commitments more tangible and measurable is a great way to ensure effectiveness and accountability — as well as to inspire trust from the client.
Ambitious goals are often exciting, but it is more important to be able to deliver on what you have promised!
Your commitment, for example, must be achievable within your budget and timeframe, so always consult with your client and agree on targets that would be genuinely valuable for them — and realistic for you.
Know What Is Required Of You
Being clear on the specific social value requirements is also key. Communicate with your client and identify exactly what it is that they expect from you. This way, you can clarify your goals from the outset and create contingency plans in case part of the original proposal becomes unfeasible.
Once you are clear on what is required, you can then focus your efforts on delivering the exact outcomes that the client will expect.
For example, if they are keen to benefit their community by offering jobs to the local population, then make this your priority, and do not focus excessively on the other ways in which your work may benefit the area.
Personalise Your Offering
See if you can find a way to stand out from the crowd!
The chances are, some of your competitors for a job will have created similar social value proposals to you, so how can you provide the client with those extra little flourishes of value that will give you the edge?
Perhaps the skills training you provide to local residents could be delivered by your own team of industry specialists, for example, or maybe any raw materials used for the project being bid on could be purchased from local suppliers – thereby helping to support a number of businesses in the community.