How Stockland drives growth through strategy and alignment

A strong focus on people, culture and the way people work have improved innovation in Stockland, according to its group executive & COO, Michael Rosmarin

A strong focus on people, culture and the way people work have improved innovation in Stockland and its ability to stay ahead of increased competition, according to its group executive & COO, Michael Rosmarin.

“We have a collaborative and positive culture, and coupled with an integrated organisational model in which we reinforce collaboration, we get the best of both worlds – people being part of their function and business,” said Rosmarin, who explained that its integrated model has helped to create synergies through collaboration across functions such as HR, sustainability, marketing and risk.

As Australia’s largest diversified property company with real estate assets valued at around $14.8 billion across its growing portfolio, Rosmarin also said Stockland’s competitive advantage is helped through allocating resources to areas identified for areas of growth, such as medium density or controls.

Driving alignment
Discipline and alignment are also key to the process of innovation and collaboration, and Rosmarin said Stockland is very disciplined in how, when and where it develops and how the business is managed.

“This is so important in property where price and location of acquisitions, for example, are so critical,” said Rosmarin.

Alignment helps ensure everyone is working to the same goals – from purpose and vision, to values, objectives and brand, he added.

“We redefined our purpose around four years ago, and when Mark Steinert became MD and CEO, we set a clear vision and revised our values,” he said.

“If you want alignment and for people to be connected, they need to know how things will impact them and what they can do to help achieve that strategy”

“This involved engaging with our people, through workshops and online activities.

“We came up with the values of CARE – community, accountability, respect and excellence. Some people say that community is not a value, but to people at Stockland it is, and is core to who we are and what we do,” he said.

“Once we were clear and confident on our direction and how we were going about it, we worked on the Stockland brand and our brand reputation has increased by 20 per cent over the past year with the work that has been done.”

HR’s role in alignment and communication
HR plays a critical role in maintaining the right culture and improving organisational capability with a view to successfully delivering the strategy and vision of the business.

Rosmarin explained that a key to this process has been providing clarity and alignment through the right structures, processes and communication.

The executive team establishes key objectives for the year (this is not a job description but rather the key initiatives that will “move the needle” of organisational focus), and these are incorporated into an “ExCo tracker”, monitored and discussed each month.

KPIs are shared with business leadership teams through alignment sessions where they agree their key priorities.

These sessions look at alignment both vertically and horizontally so that teams are also aligned.

“Our brand reputation has increased by 20 per cent over the past year with the work that has been done”

“Mark regularly communicates our key messages and priorities, but this is done in a way that ensures clarity across our different businesses and our 1400 people who have different priorities across different functions,” said Rosmarin, who was also Stockland’s former executive GM HR.

“These messages are shared team by team down through the organisation, and leaders help facilitate this so that everyone understands what these priorities mean for them in their roles,” said Rosmarin.

“Ultimately, if you want alignment and for people to be connected, they need to know how things will impact them and what they can do to help achieve that strategy.”

He noted that overall employee engagement is at an all‐time high of 85 per cent across the business (which is above Towers Watson’s global high-performing norm benchmark), while Stockland’s profit has increased by 22 per cent over the same period.

For the full interview with Rosmarin and story on Stockland’s journey of transformation, see the current issue of Inside HR magazine. Image source: Scott Ehler