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A day in the life of a purpose-led business

Brokers / 12th February

Last year every employee at Premium Credit contributed to the refreshing of our purpose and values through an engagement process that lasted five months. But why is purpose receiving so much attention? What does something so simple do for a business and the people working in it? And how does our purpose not just become another marketing strapline?

Simply put, purpose is your ‘why’. The answer to this simple question is the core of any successful business. It is not the preserve of the board or the strategy team, it is part of every role and every colleague. Jonathan Davidson, FCA Executive Director explains that “The purpose of a firm sits at the heart of its business model, strategy and culture. Unhealthy cultures and purpose have been at the root cause of too many mis-selling and other conduct scandals in financial services. I want to see strong leadership creating purposeful cultures where it is safe to speak up and diversity is encouraged and listened to.”

At Premium Credit, purpose is the true north that determines our strategy. And for us, a clearly communicated sense of ‘purpose’ acts as the underlying link between a healthy culture, the right business model and good outcomes for our customers and partners. By putting the customer at the heart of what we do ensures we operate a compliant business model and can provide us with a competitive advantage. And the way we articulate our purpose is a lever to achieving a high performing culture that links our purpose, values and strategy.

By running a companywide programme that listened to every voice and allowed enough time to build on each contribution we gave each person equal voice in the ‘why’ we really got out of bed each day, and in doing so, equal ownership for our purpose. This empowerment is helping create a cultural shift of standing together and focusing on a common outcome.

This shift in culture is reflected in the increased collaboration between departments and evidenced in our employee engagement survey, which showed a 23% point increase in our engagement score. In a purpose-led organisation, the mundane task suddenly has meaning, and out of this comes something hugely valuable to our customers.

Similarly, our revised values, the ‘how’, reflect the words of our people and not just the leaders. These values underpin our purpose and hold colleagues to account through the appraisal process. But we also host quarterly awards to celebrate and reward colleagues who have lived the values and gone the extra mile. This cultivates a sense that individuals can effect positive change and directly contribute to the growth of the business.

Our purpose helps us make daily business decisions, from strategic direction through to the way we communicate at an individual level. As ambassadors of purpose, all teams continually demonstrate the connection to our purpose in the initiatives we are running and the decisions that are made, which fundamentally builds trust throughout the organisation. We constantly ask ourselves how each action aligns to our purpose. By living and breathing our purpose, it allows difficult decisions to be answered far more easily, which ultimately, positively impacts the support we can give our community. We’re still a work in progress, and learning new ways to improve everyday, but we believe that the work to uncover our purpose has been an amazing journey that will help us grow.

We proudly support our community of customers and partners in creating opportunities through convenient payments.