19 October, 2022

A social value discovery session: The first step in your organisation’s social value journey

We look at how a social value discovery project could help focus your organisation’s social value goals and what’s involved.  

Social value information and data are invaluable to an organisation in helping demonstrate how corporate social value commitments to tenants and communities are delivered. It helps improve services throughout investment decisions and it drives better outcomes for customers whilst providing more value for money for the organisation.  

We know from working with housing associations in delivering social value for over 10 years, that all areas of the organisation have a role to play in delivering social impact. Often social value contributions are not captured across the whole organisation, and this can result in lost opportunities in researching and understanding social impact and therefore not used to shape future policy, influence change and help inform decision making.  

A housing association may already have social value plans in place with clear targets, or they may be wanting to start out on this journey. A social value discovery session will put the right steps in place to ensure different business objectives maximise social impact of your residents and their communities.   

What’s involved? 

The initial discovery session could be online or face to face, where HACT takes the time to learn about the current organisation by asking some key questions around social value.  

These could include: 

Planning the social value journey is different for every organisation so these questions are tailored to examine key internal and external drivers and priorities. However, by asking important questions like these, we can explore the current understanding and structure of social value currently.  

To explore these key questions, HACT will carry out interviews with key people across the organisation, as well as staff from various departments that could include HR, finance, housing management or tenant representatives. Alongside this, HACT will review any relevant corporate strategies and plans where social value currently plays a key part.  

Following this discovery, the following outputs can be expected: 

How a discovery session helped VIVID take that next step 

VIVID commissioned HACT in July 2020 to undertake a social value discovery exercise and has been working with HACT since then to design a social value framework and deploy this across the organisation. This has ensured social value and impact measurement has become part of organisational culture and day to day delivery.  The discovery exercise assessed the extent to which social value was understood within the organisation and HACT were able to make recommendations to progress VIVID’s social value journey. There was a clear organisational appetite to embrace social value measurement and reporting. With the findings from the discovery session, VIVID chose to continue to develop their social value plans with a long term approach.    

A social value discovery exercise can be carried out within just a few weeks and of course, can be tailored every step of the way. With the insight, recommendations and expertise you gain from a discovery session with HACT you can have the ammunition to maximise your social impact every day across your whole business.  

Get in touch

To learn more about how HACT can help, contact HACT Head of Services Frances Harkin

Contact Frances