June 24, 2024 All Articles

Meet the Speaker: Richard Hoggart, Chief Executive Officer, DSG Finance Group

Richard has been at DSG since 1990 and negotiated an MBO in 1998 effectively refounding the business. Having built the business through several economic and credit cycles, Richard then oversaw the investments from multiple PE partners to bring DSG to the dominant position it now holds in UK motor finance. By putting people, relationships and a positive culture at the centre of his beliefs, Richard has developed a talented management team and succession path, ensuring DSG will endure in the long term.

We are delighted that Richard will be speaking in Manchester this September as part of our Wellbeing at Work Summit UK.

We caught up with him to find out how he’s feeling in the run up to the summit.

Hi Richard, we are thrilled you will be speaking at our Wellbeing at Work Summit UK in September. Our first and most important question is, how are you doing today?

I will be totally honest. I am suffering from conference flu! I was involved in some sessions in the nations biggest annual credit conference down in Newport this week. I got absolutely tons from it including this souvenir. Aside from that I am feeling really positive about the position of our business and where we sit with regards to our people.

As a leader based in the region, what are the main challenges you are facing when it comes to employee wellbeing?

The saying is you can please some of the people all of the time or all of the people some of time…etc… Wellbeing means something different to each individual and as a management team we have to try to be in tune with expectations that definitely change. We have be both consistent and innovative.

What strategies have you seen developing over the past 6 months, both internally and externally, that is moving the dial on wellbeing in the workplace?

We have really invested in the wellbeing team. We try not to have a traditional HR function and focus more on collaborating with groups within the business to help define policy. With over 200 people we get a lot of feedback from our regular colleague voice survey, where we ask a series of blunt questions with complete anonymity. The most recent was an 87% response.

Why is employee wellbeing so important to you personally?

I would say I am a people person, more so I am a relationships person. My career has revolved around strong relationships in my industry. I think this transfers throughout the way I do business and so I am generally interested in people who choose to trust me and the company with their job or career. Talking to everyone in the business is fun. You learn about how to help make people happy in work and therefore hopefully a little more in life.

What are you most looking forward to about the Summit in September?

Just hearing from people who are not in the credit industry. I am too industry insulated.

Tell us, what is your vision for the future workplace, in terms of engagement, health and wellbeing?

If I’m honest we enforce respect, tolerance and professional behaviour firmly. It can be seen as controlling perhaps, but this leads to harmony, a sense of being safe and comfortable in who you are. New people joining assimilate to this very quickly because it is so ingrained now. We have a good but not fantastic mechanism in place for mental health, which will get better. We need to do more to encourage physical health.

What areas do you think employers should be focused on over the next 12 months?

Communication is absolutely everything. Talk, listen, engage and act. Don’t assume you know everything more than the new generations, but certainly use your experience to help them understand they are not uniquely different.

How has your organisation been leading the way?

I don’t think we do. That would be a bold shout. What I do know though is that we are one of only two companies in UK motor finance with B-Corp status. We were awarded this relatively recently and it has really opened our eyes. I work closely with my COO Rob Woollen on this, and he has championed NPS scores which was something I wasn’t familiar with. I never hear of other credit companies reporting internal NPS.

Richard will be speaking in Manchester at the Wellbeing at Work Summit UK which takes place live and in-person in London and Manchester with an additional day of virtual sessions too. Further details on the Summit can be found here.

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