BEST PRACTICEElite AgentFEATURE INTERVIEWS

Camaraderie, team spirit and morale: James Tostevin

Director of Marshall White, James Tostevin describes the team's family-like culture, the ongoing success of the business and their onboarding strategy for new team members.

Describe the culture in your business?
The camaraderie, team spirit and morale we have, given the size of our company, is truly exceptional.

We describe ourselves as all being part of the Marshall White family.  

The willingness, enthusiasm and time devoted by more experienced people at Marshall White to those who are less experienced, new to the company or others wanting to get to the next level in their career, is exemplary and inspiring.

Increasing the knowledge base and fast-tracking the success of countless team members has profoundly impacted our ability to be one of the preeminent companies in the industry.  

The active participation, enjoyment, and fun shared at company functions, including the annual awards night, Christmas party, family day, golf day, ski trip, and ten pin bowling nights, have also nurtured and fostered an unbeatable culture.  

What impact does culture have on your business’s success?
Without an excellent culture, Marshall White would not be the company it is today.

Success is intoxicating, and team members seeking to match and emulate the feats of those around them can only be beneficial for the ongoing success of our organisation and its stakeholders.  

What do you do day-to-day to maintain a positive culture in your business? 
Everything from acknowledging every team member’s birthday with a group text to recognising five, 10, 20 and 25 years service with Marshall White.

Those individuals’ loyalty and achievements are highlighted at company functions or meetings, and lunches are also held with the team members and the Marshall White board to celebrate their milestones.

Our quarterly company meeting and weekly sales meetings on Zoom ensure everyone feels part of our company, especially given our sales team numbers more than 100 people across six offices.

Bonuses and longer than standard annual leave also help to maintain and enhance a positive culture.  

How do you approach teaching your business’s culture to newcomers? 
The passport program, a form of induction to Marshall White, has been instrumental in new team members being exposed to the agency’s standards.

Very simply, participation at company functions and meetings provide a first-hand sense of what the company proudly declares as being one of the key things that set us apart from other companies we compete against.  

Explain a time internal culture felt ‘off track’ and how you corrected it? 
There was a period at one of our most successful and sizeable offices where there wasn’t sufficient depth in our management structure.

Far too much was left to one individual, and that person faced a monumental task to keep everyone happy, especially as it coincided with the challenging period after the Royal Banking Commission.

The impact was a meaningful loss of team members, mainly from sales, over 12 months.  

Once we recognised the issue, we put a different level of management support in place.

We asked all team members to highlight the positive aspects of being part of Marshall White but, importantly, we also asked them where we needed to improve to ensure people were willing to be part of the company long-term.

We ensure our team feel being part of Marshall White is the pinnacle of their career, that it’s treated as exactly that, and that they don’t view it as just a job in the industry. 

Show More

Kylie Dulhunty

Kylie Dulhunty is the Deputy Editor at Elite Agent.