SocialMarks is an action-based benchmarking tool for companies looking to increase their social impact and improve their ESG scores. We start with the notion that there are only so many things a company can do to help improve society. From there, we look at three main categories of investments and activities companies can make and do. Those categories are People, Brand, and Community.
The one that is closest to home is the category of People. Culture is often hard to assess within a company, but it starts with investing in human capital. Investing in human capital ranges from actively seeking a diverse workforce, standing behind an equitable compensation structure, providing training, networking, and other support to increase the value of its people. Some measures are more reflective like employee sentiment and even external customer service ratings.
We breakdown this “People” category along the following lines:
Gender equality: The first measure of diversity in the workforce and company leadership applies to gender. SocialMarks looks at the overall percentage of women in a company, the percentage of women in senior management and on the company’s Board of Directors as well as understanding whether companies publish explicit gender targets to track improvement. We look at this measure first as it can often predict the subsequent metrics and overall effectiveness of the company.
Diversity and Inclusion: After looking at gender measures, SocialMarks reviews the efforts taken to hire and integrate diversity within the company’s ranks. In addition to reported targets and measures, we assess the internal networks to support underrepresented groups within a company like Employee Resource Groups, as well as programs, training, and events provided to employees.
Skills, knowledge, and training: To maintain the value of its Human Capital, companies must invest in those assets through up-skilling, training, and growing the capacity and ability of its people. This utilizes internal measures to understand employee perception of their company, particularly through employee engagement surveys and internal training programs.
External employee measures: Utilizing third-party sources to provide sentiment analysis of a company can show the indirect effectiveness of a company’s efforts. These sources can include Glassdoor ratings, Customer NPS, and Customer Service ratings. When put in the proper mix, these measures fill in the gaps of how a company creates its internal culture and value.