Culture Playbook with Hannah Gill

Hannah Gill, Director at The Property Collective, was at Elite Retreat to talk with real estate professionals about the important role of culture in agency success.

As a seasoned and award-winning property management expert, Hannah understands the reality of real estate: you get out what you put in.

Hannah is also a Telstra Business Woman of the Year alum and President of the REIACT, with a reputation as an accomplished industry speaker and consultant. She is renowned for her work in helping agencies create and live meaningful culture playbooks.

The grass is greener where you water it.

— Neil Barringham

So, what’s a culture playbook you may ask?

Hannah explained that a culture playbook outlines the expectations and behaviours based on a company's underpinning values. It is akin to a procedures manual but focuses on the team's cultural practices, offering clarity and a roadmap for team members to understand what is expected of them. The playbook serves as a guiding force for how things are done, and decisions made, and it should be consistently reinforced throughout the organisation.

During the Culture Playbook workshop session at Elite Retreat, Hannah provided tools and strategies for building a culture playbook that empowers teams and helps them clearly articulate their points of difference to customers. She helped us define our business and personal values in a way that creates impact in our teams, drives our rewards systems, and assists in recruiting new talent.

Hannah emphasised the need for culture to create a sustainable business. Despite what people may think, culture is a tangible thing that people can live and breathe in a business. She shared the Neil Barringham quote, “the grass is greener where you water it”.


How can businesses retain and develop staff?

Hannah’s session offered some important frameworks for thinking about culture and people, including the Jack Welch Performance-Values Matrix for building a winning team.

By measuring employees on how they perform and whether they are a values match for your company values, managers can identify the stars who are high-performing and are a good match for agency values.

To retain our great property management teams, it’s essential to develop, promote, and reward these stars.


Building strong relationships to support high performance

Hannah also introduced the Relationship Pyramid and asked the room to reflect on the relationships in our businesses.

The pyramid is divided into five levels, with the top three being classified as "safe" relationships that involve minimal personal disclosure, while the bottom two involve personal disclosure and sharing of emotions.

Building strong relationships at the bottom of the pyramid can lead to a culture of high performance within a property management team, as colleagues are better able to communicate and provide genuine feedback to each other.


What does success look like?

Finally, Hannah asked us to consider what success looked like as leaders, and to determine what we stand for and what we won’t tolerate.

With a strong culture playbook in place, it becomes possible to address behaviours that are not aligned with our values and recognise team members who exemplify them.

This approach can lead to great client experiences, retention of high performing team members, and attracts new talent to the business.

Culture Playbook takeaways

  • Build a culture playbook that empowers the team and clearly articulates points of difference
  • Define business and personal values to create impact in teams, drive rewards systems, and assist in recruiting new talent
  • Understand why people stay with current businesses and how to support them, help them avoid burnout, and grow within the agencies
  • Measure employees on how they perform and whether they are a values match for the company values using the Jack Welch Performance-Values Matrix
  • Reflect on the relationships in the business and build strong relationships at the bottom of the Relationship Pyramid to lead to a culture of high performance
  • Call out behaviour that does not align with your culture playbook and reward team members who align with it
  • Provide resources, training, and support to perform roles and align pathways and promotions to culture, customer experience, and high performance
  • Follow Hannah Gill on Instagram @_hannahgill