This section is an attempted to demonstrate why organisations should examine their current approach to building and presenting Society Results.
We want to convey the message that Society Results are applicable to all organisations, it is an inclusive aspect of organisational activity – everyone can have an impact and everyone can make the difference.
In the first part, we explain the importance of the Society Results, how they become tangible and how to communicate these Results. At the bottom of the page, you will find the “Assessment sheet” to help you assessing if your indicators are good in terms of understanding and predicting the Society Results.
Nowadays, whilst financial performance continues to be a vital factor, other parameters such as the focus on Customer Value, Employee Satisfaction, Strategy Deployment, Supplier Performance and Partnership and Alliance Success Rates are also important Performance Indicators. Some organisations have gone much further than this, they have extended their definition of Excellence to an examination of the extent to which they conduct their business ethically and co-exist in harmony with different groups in Society.
Customers and potential customers can, and do, chose. Price is not the only determinant - an organisation’s stance on social and environmental issues can carry significant weight in the mind of the consumer and can have a dramatic impact on the bottom line. Legal Responsibilities are increasing too, so the organisations need to adapt their performance in order to obey the law.
Environmental policies bring real benefit to shareholder value. Your organisation will benefit from recycling, supporting the local community, involve your people in local activities, donate de-commissioned assets, create employment in the area, etc.
There are also situations where social responsibility actions have its origins in the need for an organisation to stop a crisis arising, limit the damage already caused, or protect the organisation’s reputation. No organisation is immune from potential conflict and problems with their societal responsibilities.
Excellent organisations design and manage processes and systems that enable them to understand, monitor and assess their engagement with Society Stakeholders. Collecting and analysing Society Results is a crucial part of the way they operate.
By the term "Society", we are referring to any individual or group that is impacted on by your existence, apart from when they are in the role of customer, supplier, partner or staff member. This means that when a customer or a member of staff is in the building, the impact of your relationship with them is measured under Customer Results or People Results or Business Results (Criterion 9). However, when they are at home, sitting in their favourite chair watching the television, these people become members of Society, living within communities that may, or may not, be impacted by your organisation. “Society” is also the environmental world within which the organisation inhabits. In this sense, the definition includes the flora and fauna surrounding an organisation’s place of work. There is an “Internal Society” too, which is inside the organisation, between different employees.
Practical experience has taught us that when organisations start to use the EFQM Excellence Model, they find Society Results very challenging if they have not developed a strategy for managing their relationships with the different groups in Society. To develop that strategy, you need to follow a process following the steps suggested below:
Making your approach to Society and the environment an explicit part of your Strategy conveys a powerful message to all of your Stakeholders. But one significant difference between Excellent organisations and other is the degree to which Society strategies are made tangible and relevant to everyone involved.
Experience shows that organisations undertaking Self-Assessment often find themselves with low scores in the area of Criterion 8 because even though they perceive themselves to be “environmentally friendly” and “society aware”, they have never quantified their efforts and have only a general sense and a set of assumptions about the impact they are having. Some organisations take the attitude that measurement is not important, but Excellent organisations apply the same rigour to their relationships with Society Stakeholders that they apply to other Stakeholder groups.
The EFQM Excellence Model separates Society Results into two distinctive groups of measurements: Society’s Perception of the organisation (obtained, for example, from surveys, reports, public meetings, public representatives, governmental authorities) and Performance Indicators, such as quantity, frequency, volume or weight, measured by the organisation. There are two main ways of collecting data in relation to Society’s Perception : - Direct canvassing, usually via surveys commissioned (survey measures are often called laggin indicators because they happen “after event” - Indirect collection, benefiting from data collected by other parties.
These measures are the internal ones used by the organisation in order to monitor, understand, predict and improve the performance of the organisation and to predict perceptions of its external customers. Performance measures are usually linked with volume, frequency, time and weight. Organisations often find that it takes little effort to install a measurement system in relation to their activities. Perception Measures and Performance Indicators quantify efforts and help organisations to understand the degree to which policies are being deployed and efforts are justified. Bringing a measurement culture to your Societal and Environmental activities will enable you to focus your improvement efforts and determine accurately if you are part of the problem or the solution!
The Excellence of the Result is determined by the degree to which an organisation can demonstrate trends, targets and comparisons (numerically) with clear references to causes and the presentation of a set of results that corresponds to the range of activities and the size and nature of the organisations.
Managing your communication processes as well as your content will enable you to use your Society Results as a way of building even better relationships with your Stakeholders and reinforcing the concepts of win-win.
What goes in Criterion 8? Click here to find it out!
Click here to access the Society Results Assessment Sheet. This Assessment Sheet is in PDF format, you can fill it in as a form, save it or print it.