Finding Social Value in Your Business: Covid-19 Recovery

Covid-19 Recovery is the final Theme from the Social Value Model that we’re going to look at in this series of blogs. 

In some ways, the social and economic recovery from the pandemic of the last two years ties all the other Themes together:

  • Equal Opportunity: Women, people from BAME backgrounds, and people with disabilities have been disproportionately affected by what has happened across the economy
  • Wellbeing: Physical and particularly mental health in the workplace have come under intense scrutiny, with a recognition that more needs to be done to support wellbeing
  • Tackling Economic inequality: Existing inequalities – between social groups and geographical areas – have been worsened
  • Fighting Climate Change: And with increasing recognition of the dangers of climate change, there is widespread consensus that efforts to build back need to prioritise sustainability

So, on the understanding that there’s a lot of crossover between this and the other four Themes, this final blog will examine how you can maximise the social value your company’s work creates, as well as make sure that none of it goes unreported, when it comes to Covid-19 Recovery. 

What does the Social Value Model say about Covid-19 Recovery?

As of October 2021, the number of people in the UK claiming unemployment benefits was 865,100 higher than in March 2020 – with older and younger workers worst affected. 

At the end of the furlough scheme on 30 September 2021, hundreds of thousands of workers were still laid off and dependent on payments. In spite of the relatively good economic news we’ve seen in recent months, there is still a mountain to climb – and the government has recognised the importance of making the most of its own expenditure in the Social Value Model. 

The Policy Outcome to be advanced under this Theme is to “help local communities to manage and recover from the impact of Covid-19”. 

Social Value Model Covid 19 Recovery

In practice, that is broken down into five Model Award Criteria (MACs) which should feature in relevant tenders for public contracts:

  1. The creation of new employment and training opportunities for those left jobless by Covid
  2. Helping people and communities to recover from the pandemic (especially those who are shielding and other vulnerable people)
  3. Helping business to recover – particularly by adopting new ways of working
  4. Reducing demand on health and care services by promoting the physical and mental wellbeing of contract workforces
  5. Ensuring that workplaces are adapted to help promote Covid-19 recovery (by accommodating remote working, social distancing, sustainable travel, etc)

As you can see, many initiatives that would promote these MACs would also have a positive impact on other Themes. 

For example, ensuring that contracts are advertised widely and openly would potentially support the “Helping businesses to recover” goal here, as well as the “Business Growth and Supply Chain” Policy Outcome detailed under Tackling Economic Inequality. 

How to Target your Efforts at Covid-19 Recovery

As we’ve seen in the previous blogs, social value gains need to be measurable outcomes that are not core deliverables of the contract but extra “value adds” created by your business’ way of delivering the project. 

So when considering the initiatives you might undertake and report on, it can be helpful to think in terms of metrics first. 

These might include:

  • The number of jobs created for people made redundant as a result of Covid
  • Number of hours dedicated to helping job seekers – with mentoring, mock interviews, careers awareness activity, etc
Covid 19 recovery - hiring
  • Number of hours dedicated to Covid recovery community activities, such as volunteering
  • Number of relevant training opportunities created and completed
  • Number of hours spent reviewing and enhancing mental health initiatives in the workplace
  • Number and percentage of people able to work remotely or in a hybrid manner – so as to provide fair access to jobs for vulnerable groups

Once again, the impact of your company’s activities on the supply chain is a major factor. Metrics in this area might include:

  • The number and percentage of suppliers signed up to the Mental Health at Work commitment, to the Good Work Plan, etc
  • The number of startups from affected areas involved in delivering the contract, and the percentage of total spend they represent

Covid-19 Recovery and the Impact Evaluation Standard

The extent of crossover between the other Themes and Covid-19 Recovery can make it tricky to assess, measure, and report on social value gains in this area without “double counting”. 

That’s why – to put in the best possible social value submissions when bidding for public contracts – it’s vital to rely on a robust, widely-recognised framework. 

The Impact Evaluation Standard is the best of those in use at the present time: 

  • It includes predetermined metrics for 109 different activities 
  • These are all aligned with the 52 metrics referred to in the Social Value Model
  • The Impact Evaluation Standard assigns proxy values to all of its metrics, enabling companies to ascribe pound values to their social value outcomes
  • Those proxy values are UK-specific, updated annually, and overseen by an independent steering committee, using a vast range of authoritative sources

Using the Impact Evaluation Standard, it is significantly easier to ascribe activities and outcomes to the most appropriate metrics than with less-specialised frameworks. 

That will put your bids in a strong position when it comes to the “explicit evaluation” and minimum 10% weighting that social value submissions have to be given. 

Using the Impact Evaluation Standardas a basis, Thrive has built a social value software module designed to capture and communicate all of your data in a way that is simpler, easier to use, and more efficient than any available alternative. 

If you’d like to see a demonstration of the Thrive platform, just click here!