Finding Social Value in Your Business: Wellbeing

Welcome to the second of our series of blogs looking at the five social value Themes that the government set out in the Social Value Model

This time, we’re looking at Wellbeing.


Just as in the last blog (on Equal Opportunity), we’ll explore:

  • What kinds of outcomes you can report on to demonstrate social value in your work
  • How you can go about collecting that data
  • How you should be reporting on it 

The Social Value Landscape

But first, let’s recap some essential background:

  • Under PPN06/20, central government contracting authorities must ascribe a weighting of at least 10% to social value considerations in awarding contracts
  • Social value is to be measured in terms of outcomes, not policies or processes – and it has to be project-specific
  • Social value commitments can’t be among the “core deliverables” of a project. For example, in a contract for the supply of employment support for the public, the employment support itself can’t be treated as social value delivered through the contract
  • In submitting bids that include a social value element, contractors must supply a method statement – spelling out how they’ll achieve the promised outcomes and measure progress towards them – and a timed project plan

Check out the first blog in the series for more detail on these points. 

What does the Social Value Model say about Wellbeing?

Although the Social Value Model only presents two Policy Outcomes under the Wellbeing theme, these are very broad and allow for perhaps more innovation and variety in activities than any of the other themes. 

The two Policy Outcomes are:

  1. Improve health and wellbeing
    • By taking action that supports these goals within the contract workforce
    • By influencing suppliers, staff, customers, and communities to support health and wellbeing through delivery of the contract
  2. Improve community integration
    • By collaborating with users and communities in the co-design and delivery of the contract
    • By influencing suppliers etc through the delivery of the contract to support strong, integrated communities

As you can see these are pretty different, so let’s consider each one separately. 

“Improve Health and Wellbeing”: What can your business do?

This includes both physical and mental health, but with health and safety regulations governing risks around the former, a lot of the Social Value Model’s focus is – deservedly – on the latter. 

Public authorities are expected to track and report on:

  • The proportion of suppliers adhering to the 6 standards in the Mental Health At Work Commitment
  • The proportion of suppliers with 500 or more employees that adhere to the enhanced mental health standards set out in Thriving At Work – the Farmer/Stevenson review of 2017

This makes it a lot easier to define and measure social value under this criterion than most of the others. Your first move should be to read and sign up to the 6 standards, and – if appropriate – the Thriving At Work recommendations! There are plenty of other schemes you could look at signing up to in this space, such as the Time To Change employer pledge against mental health discrimination. But of course, social value is all about specific, measurable outcomes, plus how and when they’ll be delivered – so it’s not enough to just sign up to these schemes. 

Measurable outcomes in this space could include:

  • Increasing the number or percentage of suppliers you work with who adhere to those standards – by making it a requirement in your own procurement processes
  • Increasing the number of trained mental health first aiders in your organisation
  • Producing and communicating a mental health at work plan and developing mental health awareness among employees
  • Providing tools and opportunities that promote good physical and mental health – for example, mindfulness classes, work breaks for physical exercise, ensuring that staff can take full lunch breaks, running social activities, etc
  • Auditing and ensuring that recruitment, promotion, and other policies do not discriminate against people with mental health problems

“Improve Community Integration”: What can your business do?

This Policy Outcome is aimed at giving communities affected by the contract works a voice in creating a shared vision for the places where they live and work – as per the Civil Society Strategy of 2018. 


It’s here that most volunteering activities should be accounted for. As long as the activities benefit the affected community, the range is practically limitless:

  • Enabling social mixing between people of different backgrounds
  • Helping to reduce crime
  • Improving the local environment or transport links
  • Reducing loneliness
  • Helping to improve English language proficiency

But this Policy Outcome isn’t just about volunteering. It’s also about giving local people a say and a stake in work that affects them. So measurable outcomes here can also include:

  • Hours spent consulting on projects with local people
  • Hours spent in activities at local educational establishments
  • Hours spent raising awareness within the project supply chain around local issues

This will also usually be the most suitable Theme under which to include corporate donations and fundraising. 

How should you collect and report on Wellbeing Social Value data?

With maximum care and attention to detail! That’s why at Thrive, we use The Impact Evaluation Standard as the underpinning of our social value software module. 

Impact Evaluation Standard Logo

While the Social Value Model is a very high level tool, the IES really breaks social value down:

  • It includes predetermined metrics for 109 different activities 
  • These are closely aligned with but elaborate upon the 52 metrics referred to in the Social Value Model
  • The IES assigns Proxy Values to all of its metrics, enabling companies to ascribe pound values to outcomes
  • Proxy Values are UK-specific, updated annually, and overseen by an independent steering committee, which uses a vast range of authoritative sources

Using a framework like the IES for measuring and assessing your social value work can make a significant difference to how your bids are received. 

But there’s more to success with social value than just metrics, and at Thrive we can also help you with:

  • Communicating your social value messaging throughout your organisation
  • Collating and analysing that data efficiently in one place, making it accessible to all
  • Tailoring metrics and software to your business’s specific needs
  • Presenting data in the form of a compelling narrative, to convey the qualitative aspects of your work just as clearly as the quantitative

Interested to find out more? To arrange a demo of the Thrive platform in action, just click here!