Four tools to help you show the value of employing and training people with barriers to employment


Social enterprises that provide meaningful work and training to people with barriers to employment create significant community value.  They are also complex business to run! In working with many such enterprises over the years, I've seen how managers strive to both create meaning social impact and build successful businesses, often in an environment where they have complex relationships and demands (to funders and 'parent' non profits) that wouldn't exist for a comparable small business. There is a compelling need to build systems early on that can provide clarity around what success looks like in multiple dimensions and which makes it easier to communicate value to attract more investment and support. 


These demands set the stage for Demonstrating Value's development. While DV's framework and tools aren't limited to employment-based social enterprises, there are a number of resources that are specifically geared to this type of enterprise.  In this blog I want to share the resources on the DV Resources page that wcan make tracking and showing the value of supportive employment a little easier.


Beyond the main DV Workbook that outlines the process for developing a Performance Snapshot, there are 4  tools developed by DV that are specific to Supportive Employment:


Showing the Value of Supportive Employment  (Webpage Guide)   Access Here

This short guide presents approaches to monitoring and assessing the mission-related impacts of providing training and employment opportunities to individuals who face barriers to employment. Rather than present a list of indicators, we present different methodologies for assessing your efforts and impact that can be applied to different types of projects (and budgets!), and links to those resources.   Approaches to measurement in this area are organized around the following questions that social enterprises typically want to know and show:

  1. Who do you employ?  How do they progress? If they leave, where do they go?
  2. What support do you provide? Is it effective?

  3. Are employees developing useful and transferable skills?

  4. Are employees improving their well-being?

  5. Do employees have greater access to shelter?

  6. Are employees more economically secure?

  7. Are employees developing positive and reinforcing relationships and supports (Social Capital)?

  8. Are employees healthier?


Supportive Employment Positions Tracking Tool (Excel Worksheet) Access Here

This workbook is designed to track and summarize the number and nature of the job positions that your direct to those employees with barriers to employment. It includes tracking how these employees are progressing over time in the enterprise and if they leave, where they go.

The tool tracks information relating to: 

  • Date of hire
  • Whether the hire is 'targetted' or not  (targetted in terms of hiring somebody with barriers to employment)
  • Employment challenges of new hires
  • Employment progression
  • Last day worked
  • Reasons for leaving
  • Comments


Employment Support Tracking Tool (Excel Worksheet) Access Here

This MS Excel workbook tracks the particular supports that you provide to employees to help them succeed.  It may be of interest to social enterprises that wish to gain a picture of the time and resources used to support employees, and the particular issues that come up and strategies used to address them.


Sustainable Livelihoods Assessment Tool (Excel Worksheet) Access Here

Sustainable Livelihoods is a holistic approach to looking at poverty reduction by supporting participants to build on their strengths. This entails building a range of assets: social connections, access to supports and services, income, meaningful work, active learning and skill development.  While the the process of change has been facilitated by the social enterprise, employees  themselves are responsible for their own change.  This workbook introduces the framework in more detail and provides a simple form to track asset and livelihood development for employees.



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