Well, why measure anything? There is an oft-quoted phrase from Peter Drucker’s book “The Practice of Management” which is “what gets measured gets managed”. The quote has a number of variants; “if you cannot measure it, you cannot manage it”, “you cannot manage, what you cannot measure” and so on. The point though is valid regardless of how it is stated.
Measuring the true impact of social value is important as it makes sense to ensure that the resources you utilise (money, time, materials, ideas etc) make as big a difference as possible to the individual, group or community you are trying to help.
It is important to know whether the objectives you set out to achieve have, or have not, been achieved, fallen short or been exceeded and that you have captured any unintended negative or positive impacts. Measuring your social value will also help you influence other stakeholders within the business and inform your tender submissions, it will also help to forecast your Social Value impact and to inform your decision making for future projects.
How can you measure social value?
When asked recently someone simply said, “with difficulty!” and this is not altogether without foundation. It is always going to be difficult to measure intangible or subjective things like feelings, such as a reduction in loneliness, increased confidence or happiness. Even when you do successfully measure or approximate them how do you value them? It is difficult but not impossible, and while the techniques for measuring and valuing social value continue to be refined, there is a range of easy to access, free and commercial methodologies, methods and even calculators available.
However, believing that measuring Social Value should be suitable, proportionate, and contextual and fit the particular circumstance, we do not support any one particular method or calculator but instead can support and advise you on which one best suit your needs. We can even carry out the measurement and reporting for you.
Once you examine the very broad and multifarious definitions of Social Value it quickly becomes apparent that Social Value does not mean the same to everyone. By working closely with you and talking you through all of the different options available we will help you to decide which is the best way of measuring the value your Social Value initiatives create.