Social value is often siloed off within organisations. There’s a general consensus that social value is important. And it’s dealt with on a daily basis by procurement teams and purpose managers. But other teams can struggle to grasp the role they play.
To become a truly sustainable, responsible organisation, every employee should be engaged with your efforts. Social value should be felt through the day-to-day running of your organisation. This is how you get everyone on board and maximise the impact of initiatives. It takes a village to build a socially valuable business, not a select few teams.
Most of your employees would like to make a difference. We’re sure of that. Many might already be contributing to their local communities in various ways. It’s now up to you to bring everyone onto the same page. To get your staff involved and unlock their passion for the greater good.
Here are 4 ways to engage your employees with your social value.
Embed social value across your organisation
When social value is a part of the very fabric of your organisation, it’s harder for staff to be not care about your efforts. It isn’t a short mission statement or online declaration that’s there to look good. It’s something that underpins every single aspect of your organisation. Staff should be reminded on a daily basis of your ongoing commitment to make a difference.
Why not start by creating a social value statement? Set out your intentions, key themes, and any short- and long-term goals. Share this with your entire workforce. Refer back to it during meetings. Find ways to embed these themes and goals into the daily tasks of all employees – not just those tackling social value directly.
Share your statement externally too. For one, it’ll mean any new hires already know where you stand, helping to grow your culture of socially engaged staff. But by building credibility outside of the business, you also draw a sense of pride out of current staff.
💡 Top tip: Social value is an abstract concept. While many of your employees will want to have a positive impact, the nitty gritty of what social value actually means can be a huge barrier to entry. If this is the case, you’ll want to first invest in educating your employees about the basics of social value. A one-off seminar might be all that’s needed to break down the walls and improve understanding.
Show your commitment
It’s not unusual for staff to be sceptical about their organisation’s intentions. Are you committing to social value because it’s the right thing to do? Or because it’s good business? One way to overcome this is to lead by example.
Your actions speak louder than words.
Don’t just communicate your company’s values and priorities. Show how you’re making them a reality. Demonstrate to staff that you’re not just paying lip service. That their engagement with your social value will have a real, tangible impact on the issues you’re tackling.
Give your staff a say
Everyone has different passions. While one employee might be passionate about homelessness, another might care about LGBTQ+ causes. And while you can’t cater to everyone’s individual preferences, you can give your employees some say in where time and resources go.
It’s as simple as asking employees what causes mean the most to them. Or providing a list of charities and non-profits they can log volunteer hours with. You could even create a poll to uncover the top 5 popular causes to donate to.
The more you invite staff to get involved in the creation of social value, the more engaged they’ll be. Think of your workforce as a group of change agents just waiting for the invitation to make a start. The goal is to create a safe space for your employees’ creativity and passion to thrive. After seeing one of their own ideas come to life, employees will get a stronger sense of purpose and belief in their ability to bring about change.
Social value shouldn’t be all work and no play. To encourage long-term engagement, you’ll need to know when to celebrate the wins – no matter how small.
Employees want to feel like they’re playing a part and that you’re acknowledging them for it. It helps to reinforce their commitment and justifies their hard work. Whether it’s hitting a target three months early, securing a new charity partnership, or winning an award for your organisation’s CSR, learn to celebrate progress.
This can also encourage some healthy competition. Seeing a certain team or staff member being celebrated subconsciously makes everyone else want to do better. Competition pushes people to get creative and work together to solve problems. And this will create a breeding ground for innovative new ideas.
💡 Top tip: Gamification elements like activity leaderboards, progress charts, and awards can all be brilliant ways of encouraging competition. We all love that feeling of achievement.
After boosting employee engagement with social value, you’ll soon find productivity, retention, and satisfaction going up too. We all want our professional life to have a higher purpose. And inviting your staff onto your social value journey gives them exactly this.
Impact helps you visualise the outcomes of your initiatives on one easy-to-access platform. Our real-time dashboards allow you and your staff to draw a direct line between your efforts and outcomes. To find out more, schedule a demo or get in touch with the team on 0161 532 4752.