Impact of social values on business represented by three factory workers, two of which are shaking hands. They are dressed in high visibility vests and white hard hats.

The Impact of Social Value on your business

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Written by: SafeWorkforce
18th September

What is social value?

Social value is focused on supporting and sustaining:

  • Local economy
  • Local employment opportunities
  • Local environment
  • Local community 

The Social Value Act 2012 means that government and local authorities need to consider the economic, social, and environmental well-being of their communities when tendering goods and services. Even though these rules focus on public authorities, there’s also been a shift in private sector companies prioritising social value initiatives within their own organisations.

The social value advantage for SMEs

When tendering, one of the deciding factors is the amount of social value the bidder can offer the local area, and this is exactly why smaller companies have the competitive edge. 

Don’t forget, as a local company you’re fulfilling a service that larger companies often can’t match.

How does Social Value impact my business? 

You’re hiring locally

Your business is providing employment, training, opportunities, and experience to your local community. By choosing to hire locally, you’re ensuring people stay in their local communities and as a consequence spend their money locally too. 

You’re purchasing locally 

Whether you’re buying from a local independent or a local branch of a national supplier, your business is an integral part of the local economy. By choosing to use local businesses you’re also helping those local businesses to employ local people.

You're environmentally friendly

Smaller, local businesses have a lower carbon footprint due to employees traveling shorter distances to work, with individuals far more likely to choose car sharing, walking or public transport as means of getting to work. 

You’re part of the community

What sets your business apart, is you understand your local community and provide influence that bigger businesses can’t compete with. You probably know your customers personally, therefore they trust you and will more than likely want to support your business rather than a larger corporate firm.

How can Social Value in my business help me stand out from the rest?

We’ve already discussed how smaller businesses have a competitive edge when it comes to social value, but how can your business stand out from your local competitors?

Gain a SSiP accreditation 

Gaining a SafeContractor Accreditation is a great way to stand out, not only does it demonstrate your commitment to creating a safe working environment, but it also provides your business opportunities to win tenders with large clients. SafeContractor works with over 480 companies that are actively looking for local businesses that can demonstrate their safety commitments. Attaining this accreditation could be the difference between you winning that tender or not. 

Prioritise safety

Whilst gaining an accreditation is hugely beneficial to your business, to showcase workplace safety, actually prioritising it needs to be integral to your business culture.

Whether it’s completing and reviewing risk assessments, nominating a competent person, choosing the correct PPE, or improving workplace wellbeing, these are all part of your responsibility to create a safe working environment. 

The HSE issued over 8,000 notices to companies in 2022/23 alongside 216 criminal prosecutions (with a 94% conviction rate) and the only way to avoid a fine is to ensure safety is a priority and not a tick box exercise.

Local opportunities 

For any business, employees are one of their biggest assets, but to get the best out of your team, you also have a commitment to provide opportunities that will help their growth. This can be in the form of upskilling and reskilling or you could provide apprenticeship schemes within the local community. 

Don’t forget, employees that feel empowered in the workplace are more productive so it’s in your best interest to provide growth opportunities.  

Keep-up with training

Training is an integral part of ensuring employees and businesses have an understanding of the work they’re carrying out and acts as a trust signal to hiring clients.  As part of your SafeContractor accreditation, you need to provide an up-to-date training matrix to demonstrate your compliance.

To download our social value resource pack, click here.

Do you need HR or Health and Safety support?

The team of expert consultants at SafeWorkforce are on hand to support you with all your HR and Health and Safety needs. Whether you’re looking for:

  • Specialist guidance from our experts.
  • Supporting you in becoming legal and compliant.
  • A tailored approach that suits your business.

To speak to a member of the team, get in touch on 0333 355 9140 opt.4 or make an enquiry.