Why energy supplier SSE measures ‘return on inclusion’

Is measuring 'return on inclusion' the best way to value difference and diversity? SSE reassess its approach for the next three years.

For every £1 invested by energy supplier, SSE, there was a £4.52 ROI for gender diversity initiatives undertaken between 2014 and 2017.

This according to a targeted programme carried out by Equal Approach, a global inclusion specialist. Equal Approach’s ‘Return on Inclusion’ (ROI) exercise for SSE calculated the financial value generated in its investment in inclusion and diversity initiatives over three years.

By refocusing its inclusion and diversity strategy for the next three years, SSE predicts future ROI for each pound invested to reach up to £15 in value.

“For SSE, an inclusive and diverse organisation is essential to our human capital strategy and meeting the looming skills gap expected to impact the energy industry in the early 2020s. Our future commercial success genuinely depends upon the actions we take now to attract, develop and retain a workforce that can provide the skills and talent we need,” John Stewart, SSE’s director of human resources, said.

“SSE’s inclusion and diversity strategy for 2014 to 2017 centred on three core elements, ‘IN, ON, UP’: Encouraging women IN to the business; Supporting women to stay ON at SSE; and Helping women progress UP in the organisation.”

Equal Approach’s analysis shows these actions delivered significant financial value for SSE, but according to Stewart, SSE is committed to going further to create a truly inclusive culture right across the organisation – one that celebrates difference in every sense.

“This means we need to move from focusing on actions linked to specific individual characteristics, like gender, to actually embedding real inclusion throughout the organisation. Our new inclusion strategy for 2017 to 2020 is an important next step for SSE – one that challenges us to focus on fewer, more important factors using an evidence-based approach that drives real change,” he adds. “We believe that this will ensure SSE grows from strength to strength to meet the challenges of the future.”

SSE’s new ‘IN, ON, UP’ strategy

• IN: Candidate attraction and recruitment
• ON: Retention of talent and managing leavers to maintain positive brand exposure
• ON: Embedding inclusive values throughout the organisation
• ON: Mentoring, networks and partnerships and;
• UP: Progression, promotion and creating opportunities.

“SSE now has a significant opportunity to embed the principles of inclusion and diversity throughout its business and create a truly inclusive culture over the next three years,” adds Dawn Milman-Hurst, CEO of Equal Approach.

“Achievement of this offers substantial commercial benefits for the organisation, and would confirm SSE as an industry leader in this area that others aspire to emulate. I look forward to seeing SSE implement their new Inclusion Strategy and the business benefits gained as a result.”

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda was Editor for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2016 to 2018.

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