Each of us has a responsibility to respect everybody else. It doesn’t matter if we are a part of a big corporate machine, individual members of the public or a player in a team – what we do has an impact on the people surrounding us and we need to be aware of our actions.
Most importantly, we need to be aware of the good we can do for other people. We should focus on outcomes and long term value far more.
As a business that means taking corporate responsibility. In public sector contracts that means adhering to, and often going beyond, the principles of the Social Value Act. But this responsibility must be a constant in everything we do as an organisation and as a team of individuals.
Taking responsibility for our actions is bound up in the vision and values of Tenon FM.
In the UK, our employees often go outside and beyond the terms of a contract or task specification to exceed customer expectations and make a difference to communities affected by our work. But a wider example is to be found in India, where the Tenon Group has adopted a school in Jhajjhar, Haryana, not far from Delhi and renovated buildings adding new classrooms, hall, toilet facilities a water cooler along with a storage tank and water pump and to encourage sports activities, the Tenon team also improved the playing field as well.
There are pockets of this kind of social responsibility across FM, but it should be happening far more and regardless of the nature of the contract and no matter – in theory – if the work is private or public sector.
The legal nudge from the Social Value Act is there for all public work, but why not extend it to private too? After all, every place of work must have a sense of community for it to flourish and be a positive, dynamic environment that encourages productive and innovative behaviour from its employees. That sense of community can only be enhanced by stepping beyond the physical work place and delivering services that enhance the surrounding area and people.
It requires vision. It requires commitment. It stems from a desire to constantly improve and add value. So, to succeed, the concept of social responsibility and social value must be owned centrally and not just left to individual contract managers and account handlers. The impact of social value inside and outside of the business has too much potential to be done on an ad hoc basis. It must be bound up in the vision, values and culture of an organisation. It is too big an opportunity to miss or do half-cocked. The potential for us to develop our own people, then, we can improve what we deliver for our customers, their stakeholders and surrounding communities means that social value must be a core strategic goal – not a tick in a box on a tender specification.