Welcome to the final blog in our series, 25 years of passion, quality and service, celebrating a quarter of a century since First Financial was established. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading them – and if you missed any, they’re still available to read here. So dip in when you have a few minutes to spare.
To wind up, we’re going right back to the beginning. To the core values that were so important to us when we set up the business and still inform everything we do today.
Passionate – We are passionately committed to delivering our clients’ vision.
Quality – Delivering quality in everything we do.
Trustworthy – In the advice we give to our clients and each other.
Respectful – To ourselves and one another.
Having a set of values that underpin the way we work has been incredibly important for us. They run through everything we do and act as a reminder of who we are as a business. How we want to behave, the level of service we pledge to provide – and how we want to be viewed by our clients and employees.
If we had to give one piece of advice to anyone setting up a business, it would be this. Know your values right from day one, then make sure everyone in your organisation lives, breathes and acts on them. If everything you do revolves around them, you probably won’t go far wrong.
It’s a team thing
Our values are incredibly helpful to us when we’re hiring new talent for our team. Because they’re so central to our business, we talk about them at interviews and only take on people we can see share them. We learnt early on that values are more important than skills or experience at the start, because it’s something you can’t teach. And if they’re the right fit, we can support them to learn how to do most other things.
Once people join our team, the values are still at the heart of their day-to-day role. We talk about them in the new starter induction welcome pack, they’re present in our processes and procedures, and they feature heavily in our appraisals and performance reviews. And of course, our values are evident every time we work with a client, or with each other.
Core Value Champions
Every month, we name one employee who we feel has embraced our culture and lived our values in their work. It’s decided by a committee – and is less about business and more about demonstrating a commitment to the way we work. The team has really engaged with it and look forward to seeing who is awarded this great accolade each month.
Last year, we were delighted that Tom won Core Value Champion of the Year, earning himself a long weekend to New York. It was an incredible achievement as Tom joined us less than two years ago as an apprentice. He totally embodied our core values in everything he did. The whole team were delighted for him – and will certainly be stepping up their efforts to try to take his ‘crown’ next year.
Leading from the front
So for us, our values have been a guiding influence at every stage of our business. But you can’t just lay them out and hope everyone will follow. Directors must lead by example, demonstrating how they work in action with a “do as I do” approach. It’s about building a whole culture that people can think, feel and experience. If you can do that, you’ll have a business that is still going strong, even 25 years down the line.
Want to know more?
At First Financial, we’ve helped generations of families and businesses find their way through all kinds of mortgages, property finance, life and critical illness cover. If it can be done, we’ll find a way. So get in touch.