Business with Purpose – Servus Credit Union
an interview with Vern Albush, Director of CSR at Servus
Servus Credit Union took business with purpose to a whole new level as they reshaped their mission over the last year. Servus is now doing business with a “noble purpose”, described by author Lisa Earle Mcleod as a purpose that is both aspirational and practical. According to an article written by Mcleod, to be effective a Noble Purpose must:
Describe the impact you have (and wish to have) on customers
Provide a lens for decision-making
Promote product and service innovation
Translate into behaviours
Servus has strived to “do more” since its inception in 2008 from the merger of three credit unions. In 2009, Servus adopted as set of values driven by employees. In 2010, the vision to “build a better world one member at a time” was adopted. The vision and original mission statement served them well but the mission statement lacked connection to the vision. In 2012, they launched their formal social responsibility strategy.In 2015, the CSR department was challenged to find a purpose or cause for the credit union; one that was specific about what they were standing for or against in order to rally the organisation in terms of donations, volunteerism, advocacy and their own supply chain. Initially the CSR group came up with financial literacy and, with further thinking applied from the Brand team, refined this to focus on what they were already good at – making people “financially fit”. This soon became part of a larger discussion at Servus.
At the same time, Servus’s CEO, Garth Warner, asked the Chief Brand Officer to reshape the vision and mission at Servus. Specifically, Warner was looking for a more precise statement of our mission as he wanted to see Servus and its employees in service for something bigger then themselves as they sought to carry out the established vision to “build a better world one member at a time.” The work to find a social purpose and the work to reframe the credit union’s mission collided and resulted in a Noble Purpose: Shaping Member Financial Fitness. When asked what would change, CSR Director, Vern Albush, said it was more about employee change versus changes in what the CSR department would support and how they would promote and communicate. It’s an opportunity to focus on empathy and authenticity in the financial services industry we we support members and partners to become financially fit.From committed leaders to enabled managers to engaged employees, Servus is seeking to live out its noble purpose.
Vision: Servus Credit Union builds a better world – one member at a time.
Noble Purpose: Shaping Member Financial Fitness
CSR Commitment: Our co-operative, member focused approach to financial services fosters resilient and prosperous communities.
Values: Community, Fairness, Integrity, Investing in Our People, Life/Work Balance, Member Service, Teamwork
“Profit is not the purpose of business, rather the test of its validity.”
– Peter Drucker