It was so great to welcome a packed room at Generator and many people on Zoom for our social procurement insight event: Why Wellbeing Matters (if you want to win work from Government).
MC:d ably by David Maurice, who coped admirably with the challenges of hosting a hybrid event that switched between multiple locations, our two speakers spoke on two aspects of activity in this area:
Andy Cochrane, Director Beacons - Construction Accord at MBIE, spoke powerfully and insightfully about how the Construction Accord is now leading to exemplar Beacon Projects in the construction sector.
Using the Broader Outcomes as the frame of reference, projects are working to deliver jobs, skills and training, as well as size and capabilities among SMEs in the construction sector, at the same time as working to improve health and wellbeing outcomes for people and more sustainable environmental outcomes.
What really resonated with us from what Andy said was:
The Broader Outcomes are one aspect / entry point into the Government’s social procurement agenda. The language used in the Broader Outcomes - and in the Beacon Projects that are now emerging – shares many similarities with that used by other ministries and agencies.
So, regardless of your sector, when you consider your activity as an organisation you should identify broader outcomes that you might be able to achieve, such as:
Jobs created through your projects – specifying this in the procurement process gives bidders the opportunity to demonstrate how they will create jobs through a project.
Skills and training – this may be a minimum number of apprentices to be employed on the project or career development opportunities for workers, with a focus on Māori and Pasifika and young people.
Building size and capability in SMEs, including regional businesses – Removing barriers to participation for smaller businesses, or encouraging contractors to bring in smaller suppliers who can then develop their business capability for the longer term.
Health and wellbeing of the workforce – establishing a culture of safety and security from the top of the supply chain.
Reducing waste and impact on the environment - through supply chain objectives and project delivery, as well as in how you plan for and then design your asset.
The Beacon projects demonstrate that the Government’s agenda has moved beyond talk and into delivery and outcomes. For anyone who doubts the intent to deliver on this agenda, visit the Beacon Projects online – and you will find how MBIE is creating examples of good practice that it wishes to see as this initiative progresses. The first of these projects is Watercare’s Enterprise Model, and there are more to come.
George Hulbert then provided the audience with a view of Clarity's simple Wellbeing Matrix toolkit to help organisations to adapt and align with the government's social procurement agenda, saying:
One thread runs through all of the government’s communication: it is absolutely focused on leveraging its procurement activities to improve wellbeing throughout Aotearoa. This is not going away, so you need to adapt and align if you want to win work from Government ministries and agencies.
You need to show that your organisation is about more than doing your job. You need to be a net contributor to NZ Inc. in four areas - social, economic, environmental and cultural – if you want to score highly at tender time. We see precise questions on this asked every day in RFPs from government ministries, agencies, councils, council bodies, DHBs and more.
Structure and local examples count. RFPs require detailed evidence of past and current activity in your communities - not woolly promises of future action.
If you want to win work from the single biggest provider of work in New Zealand you need to structure - and provide localised examples of - your work to deliver improved social, economic, cultural and environmental outcomes in your operations, no matter what sort of business you are in.
Our advice: take photos, tell stories, showcase what you do. Then you will already have the evidence you need at tender time.
Are you ready to adapt? It’s easier than you’d think
At Clarity, we often find that companies are actually doing a lot of this already, so you probably are too.
We can help you find out where you sit on the Wellbeing Matrix, then help you to evolve and create a simple plan of action. Then you too can take advantage of the opportunities on offer.
Do contact us if you'd like to meet up and discuss your company's approach to this important area of activity - or if you'd like a link to the webinar.