Laing+Simmons competes on culture via world-first ‘Workability Index’

August 27, 2020 |
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Laing+Simmons has become Australia’s first real estate company or franchisor to open itself up to independent scrutiny on its organisational culture, by signing up to the world’s first external and quantifiable measure of culture, the Workability Index.

Created by ‘culture tech’ analytics and management company, TWI, the Index is the only existing public, standardised, quantitative, and research-based measurement of workplace culture, defined across 10 dimensions: Risk Culture, Trust, Engagement, Future Workforce, Advocacy, Community, Wellbeing, Leadership, Organisational, and Inclusion.

Laing+Simmons rolled it out to 300+ of its team members from 45 offices, achieving a total score of 862 out of 1,000 (compared to the Index average of 643), and above-average scores on all 10 dimensions.

It now plans to use this independent proof of exceptional organisational culture as a powerful brand differentiator, to help attract and recruit more talented agents and new offices across its ever-expanding network, says Laing+Simmons Head of Network Growth, Travis Wentriro.

“We have consistently emphasised the Laing+Simmons culture as our point of difference, so it made sense for us to walk the talk and ensure our people-first focus was resonating,” said Mr. Wentriro.

“Our partnership with TWI formalises our intention to lead on people and culture, and make culture a measurable quality that truly differentiates us. We know in welcoming new offices to the network, and new people to our teams, that culture is a major reason people want to join the Laing+Simmons family.

“Now we have an evidence-based tool to demonstrate its strength and the results are pleasing. Across all dimensions of culture measured by the Workability Index, we’ve outperformed the benchmark and proven our people and our offices are happy members of our family,” concluded Mr. Wentriro.

Roy Morgan research shows just 7 per cent of Australians rated real estate agents as ‘high’ on ethics and honesty, beating only car salesmen at 4 per cent.

This highlights the value in Laing+Simmons seeking to disrupt the traditional way real estate agents market themselves, and the overall real estate narrative, says TWI co-founder and CEO, Sunil Vohra.

“After spending years working in large corporates like IAG and Rio Tinto, Mr Vohra and his co-founder of TWI observed the way ‘culture’ was addressed in a superficial and subjective manner, compared to the standardised and vigorous treatment applied to financial results.

“Internal measures of culture were managed by people incentivised to inflate results, and were used to justify raises, bonuses, and pats on the back, as opposed to affecting any genuine change.

“By applying an independent, research-based approach to the typically-unmeasured area of culture, companies like Laing+Simmons are truly putting their money where their mouth is and creating a market-leading position by competing on culture,” said Mr Vohra.

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