At First Financial, we know it’s our people who make our business what it is. If it hadn’t been for the work they do and the commitment they show, we’d never have made it to our 25-year milestone.

As Sir Richard Branson once said, “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.” And that’s something we wholeheartedly agree with. So in the latest blog in our 25 years of passion, quality and service series, we’re sharing our tips for building a top team and an enviable environment where everyone can learn and grow.


1. Quality is key

Quality is one of our core values – and for us, it means creating an environment where everyone is encouraged to learn and grow. It doesn’t matter how old you are or how many years you’ve clocked up in the business, there’s always room to learn something new or develop your skills. And the more you invest in your people, the more they’ll invest in your business.


2. Encourage bravery

Show your people that it’s ok to step up and handle work they’ve never done before – there’s always a first time for everything. Just give support as they learn each new task or role, and you’ll see their confidence grow with each new step. And then onto the next…


3. Build an open and honest culture

Never be afraid to put your hand up and admit you don’t know or understand something – even with a client. It’s much better to go away and find out what you need to know, then go back with the right information, rather than try to bluff your way through. It will build credibility and let clients know they can trust everything you’re telling them.


4. Grow your team

Your people are the most valuable resource you have, so nurture and support them to build their skills and progress through your organisation. Work hard to understand what they need to learn and then invest in training to help them do a great job. We also encourage and pay for our team to take further qualifications – because it looks as good for us as it does for them.


5. Keep learning

There’s always something new to learn. That’s why at First Financial, we’re really proud of our skills matrix. Everyone, including our directors, regularly fills in an open skills assessment. It covers everything, from how to answer the phone or turn off the alarm to sourcing a residential mortgage. We all score our knowledge from 1-5 and can see where we need to learn more – aiming for a 10% knowledge increase every 6 months.

As our back-office systems evolve, we make sure the team knows how to get the best out of these technologies to improve efficiency. Recently this has included in-house workshops on our upgraded Microsoft Office package and training in FinPlan to optimise the client journey with us. Efficiencies in the business mean the team are more efficient too, which always means a better result for our clients.


Want to know more?

If you found this interesting, you might also want to read the previous article in this series, called Why you need to go the extra mile. Or, for advice about all kinds of mortgages, property finance, life and critical illness cover, get in touch.