As a trusted partner to Central Government, CGI are recognised for our ability to deliver complex mission critical systems. These vital systems and services make a positive impact on citizens, and therefore society. But in the era of the Social Value Act, more specifically PPN06/20, social value obligations have created another aspect in which to deliver that positive impact in society.

Contractual commitments, both technical and social value deliverables require expertise, commitment, and dedication of our employees to deliver to the best of our ability. But with social value where the connection to impact is more immediate and direct, we can be challenged in ways in which we are unfamiliar in our day-jobs. This often means that employee engagement, knowledge of local communities and passion in bringing these commitments to life cannot be overstated.

As such, the true success in delivering social value commitments in central government contracts not only hinges on meeting these contractual obligations but also on harnessing a true sense of purpose and pride among the same individuals responsible for delivering crucial services.

Central government suppliers deliver a diverse array of services all of which directly impact the lives of citizens. Employees of suppliers engaged in delivering essential services to central government are not just executing tasks; they are contributing to the well-being and progress of society. At CGI, we have worked hard to create an environment that allows them to see the broader significance of their work and to know how critical the work they deliver is – manifested during Covid when so many of them were considered “key workers”.  The social value aspects of central government contracts, while often entirely different from the day-to-day delivery, rely on the same commitment but with an additional component of passion for the wellbeing of our communities.

In an era of a proliferation of social value reporting metrics, whilst KPIs must and will remain critical, we must also consider programmes and commitments that resonate with the passion and experience of our workforce. Recognising and celebrating the accomplishments of community programmes, providing new opportunities for skills development, and fostering a culture that encourages innovation can go a long way in making individuals feel valued and connected to the larger purpose. And bringing this experience back into their own personal lives and communities can create understanding and lasting change.

The sweet spot in central government contracts lies in the ability to blend the practicalities of contractual commitments with the intangible but potent force of employee passion. Central in this is a steadfast focus on what needs to be done but also on why it matters and the resulting impact. This dual focus not only enhances the effectiveness of service delivery but also contributes to a more engaged and motivated workforce.

The vital role of purpose and passion was highlighted to us following a recent visit to HMP Wandsworth by one of our members for a Christmas family day, hosted by The Prison Advice & Care Trust (PACT), a charity supporting prisoners and their families at every stage of the criminal justice process. By supporting Operation Elf, a PACT initiative, CGI provided Christmas gifts to children with incarcerated parents, delivering a positive impact on both prisoners and their families. One of our members went along to see how some of the gifts were received. A first-time visit to a prison with security procedures can be daunting and the success and impact of the event highlighted the importance of genuine dedication from company members. Witnessing the uplifting impact of PACT and Operation Elf firsthand shows how purpose-driven initiatives introduced by the personal passion of employees, plays a crucial role in supporting societal challenges and contributing to social value and in this recent example, creating meaningful experiences for both prisoners and their families.

In conclusion, the delicate balance between contractual commitments and employee passion is the key to unleashing the bigger role of social value. By recognising the significance of each task in the larger societal context and fostering a culture that values and nourishes employee passion and knowledge of community needs, government suppliers can not only meet their obligations but also create a workforce that is truly dedicated to the well-being of the citizens they serve. It is in this delicate balance that the true potential of central government contracts is realised, making a lasting impact on communities and societies at large.

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