Why this is important
Monitoring the social performance, or social return, of a social enterprise is key when making sure that the social enterprise is achieving what it was set up to achieve. It is also an important way of showing your stakeholders that you are achieving what they want you to achieve and thereby strengthening your relationship with them. Stakeholders might be board members, sponsors, funders, customers, members, staff members or volunteers.
Throughout this unit, social performance can be read to include environmental performance. Alternatively, Unit LG5 Assess the environmental impact of your business which deals solely with environmental impact can be used alongside this unit.
Who might do this
You might do this if you are;
· running or managing a social enterprise; or
· working with a social enterprise as an adviser or consultant
What it involves
Monitoring the social performance of a social enterprise involves:
- making sure the social objectives are right;
developing new social objectives if necessary;
- making sure there is no conflict between social and commercial objectives;
- deciding how to measure social performance;
- setting up systems to measure social performance;
- identifying people with the skills required to measure social performance
- collecting and analysing data on social performance;
- preparing reports on your findings; and
- deciding how to improve social performance in the future.
Other units that link closely with this
BD3 Plan where your business is going
BD4 Carry out a review of the business
BD5 Carry out your plans for the business
EE1 Achieve your goals for the business
LG5 Assess the environmental impact of your business
What you need to do
a Review the social enterprise’s purpose, vision and values.
b Identify possible areas where the social enterprise could develop new social objectives.
c Encourage stakeholders to feedback on, help to develop and support social objectives, social performance targets, reports on social performance and plans to improve social performance.
d Identify how to judge that the social enterprise is meeting its social objectives and how the social enterprise’s activities can help achieve the social objectives.
e Identify any possible conflicts of interest between the social objectives and commercial objectives and how commercial activities can be changed so that the social enterprise can achieve its social objectives.
f Assess the commercial costs and benefits of trying to achieve the social enterprise’s social objectives.
g Identify the different skills needed to monitor social performance and who has them within or external to the organisation.
h Prepare audited reports on social performance for stakeholders.
i Set up a system to regularly measure social performance, making sure that it will check that the information is accurate.
j Find the reasons for any difference between social performance targets and actual social performance and decide how to improve social performance in the future.
Find out how the improvements will affect the organisational and business plans.