Let’s face it – the world of business is turning green – we’re now more focused than we ever were on operating as cleanly, sustainability, and community-forward, and it’s become a pivotal point of focus for investors to check the longevity of a company.
That’s where Social Enterprises have the upper hand, as embedding social value is all part of a day’s work.
But, as much as social value should run throughout a social enterprise by default, sometimes it’s not as easy as that, and therefore it’s good to remind ourselves how we can embed social value throughout not just part of our organisation, but within its DNA too.
So, here are 7 ways you can do this right now…
An organisation’s values are not only the shop window of your organisation, but the shelves, the stock, the till, the carrier bags, the absolute everything – that’s why it’s a great place to start.
Embedding social value into your values, therefore, needs to be embedded within the very people who are going to be representing them: your staff.
Make sure your staff know what the organisation’s value are, and are aligned to those values and share the same ethos as the leadership team.
It’s amazing how simple things like language use can really propel you into a certain way of thinking, which is why it’s crucial point for embedding social value.
Start to talk differently about what you do – talk in terms of social value and impact, rather than activities and services.
For example, instead of saying: “We provide healthcare” Try: “We help people to live as independently as possible.”
Or, in replace of “We provide training”, opt for “We enable people to achieve their career aspirations.”
See the difference?
Let me ask you a blunt question…what is the point of having a brilliant set of values and a really effective way of talking, if your staff haven’t got a clue what you’re on about?
Providing social value awareness training to your staff is the only way you’re going to get them on board to join your crusade and make as much impact as you want to – after all – you can’t do it alone!
Providing the training will also allow them to find their own passions for your cause, which is a lovely-jubbly win win!
After the training, you’d be wise to encourage your staff to think independently about their own footprint, and how what they can do will add and enhance the overall goal and achieve more social value for both the company and the community.
Listening to and actively encouraging your staff to contribute their opinions will give them a great sense of purpose and drive, which ultimately plays a huge part in achieving change.
5: Get the board on board
Having the backing of your board is not only great for ensuring everyone’s working towards the same mission, it’s sanity-saving too!
By ensuring everyone’s committed to social value by including social value strategic goals in meetings, you’re more likely to embed it within the DNA of the company.
You’re already aware of how important measuring your social impact is, but why not have metrics to measure the performance linked to social value too – this will keep you on track throughout the year.
7: Talk about it!
Appraisals, reviews, team meetings – talk about your social value as if it’s part of the furniture – only by doing this will you really embed it within your company’s DNA.
And there we have it.
If you’d like to speak about how your company can get a head-start with embedding social value into your DNA, then can I let you in on a little secret? It’s one of my favourite parts of being a Social Impact Consultant, and I’d be more than happy to discuss it with you, either over coffee, or virtually.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll talk.