Get to know… Christopher Errington!

Christopher Errington has been working in the Australian property sector for more than 20 years and brings extensive leadership, operational management, corporate procurement, and strategic service contract experience to his role as Glad Group’s Chief Operating Officer (COO). 

As our COO, Chris leads and partners closely with all divisions within the Glad Group of companies and ensures our operations and services are aligned to our business purpose and meet our customer expectations.

 

Hello Chris and thank you for taking some time to talk to us!

 

1. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Chris: Outside of work, I love spending time with my family, my partner and I have four amazing boys who really enjoy being outdoors and spending time all together as a family. I thoroughly enjoy playing and coaching football during winter and surfing is my ‘go-to’ sport during summer. As an active family who all love the outdoors, we spend a lot of time together mountain biking in the Royal National Park on weekends – and love heading to Thredbo to explore the winding, mountainous tracks, and trails of the Kosciusko National Park in the warmer months.

 

2. What brought you to the Glad Group?

Chris: I have known Nick Iloski our Executive Chairman and have had a relationship with him for over 20 years now. I have always recognised that Glad Group is a great family-owned business, with high standards of service and great people. With this being said, joining Glad Group was an exciting new chapter in my career and it gave me the opportunity to do something unique but with the same elements from my prior roles.

I was given the opportunity to change the business direction from the past to a new prosperous future – keeping the family culture but growing the business with a fresh strategic, commercial, and corporate lens. I am appreciative that Glad Group has given me the opportunity to not only work with some great people, but to challenge the status quo, influence change, delivering new ways to grow the business – and, building on a solid foundation, really set us up for an exciting future.  

 

3. How would you describe your leadership style?

Chris: I believe leadership is about collaboration, shared goals, and inspiring and growing others to do achieve their best in all that they do. I like to be direct and open with my team by sharing tasks, giving guidance where needed – and importantly, leading by example, making sure everyone knows that we all work together, that we are here to support each other, and that help is always on hand when needed. By guiding people in the same direction, it gives them the confidence to take leadership and responsibility for their own roles, actions, and decisions.

My approach is that there are times when we need to back each other, and there are times when we need to push each other. I believe a good leader means recognising when those times are needed – when to push and when to pull together. As a leader, I ensure I always have a team mindset in play – knowing that we need to lean on each other’s strengths to balance all the skills and capabilities of a very diverse group of smart, clever, and driven high achievers. Maybe it’s from my football coaching experience or being a parent, but I always take time to recognise the positive differences of the teams I work with – knowing that is often these very differences that pull a team together, make it stronger on the field.

 

4. What was the first change you made in the company and why?

Chris: One of the first changes I made when I started at Glad Group was to transition to a “paperless” workplace. We started at each State Office; and this meant that 90 filing cabinets and 14 printers were removed and the journey to cut down paper usage commenced. This was a major step forward in reducing carbon footprint and working towards our environmental, sustainability and carbon neutral goals.

Additionally, we completed an office refresh, delivering improved workspaces for well-being, new equipment and standardised technology for meetings and networking. This, combined with virtual town hall meetings, regular communications, and a shift to an online, shared workplace with Central (our intranet) are all initiatives designed to improve the Glad network of ideas and positive benefits of collaboration.

 

5. What is your long-term strategic vision for the Glad Group?

Chris: My long-term strategic vision for Glad Group is split into two parts.

Part one is to see our smart platform GladConnect deliver enhanced operational insights through near real-time reporting and data analysis. Similarly, GladConnect will be an enabler of innovation, driving new thinking and approaches to how we operate and the benefits of our services to our customers. This is vital to setting us up with a strong foundation for growth and more success in the future.

Part two is to strengthen our position as the partner of choice for customers. This really is an extension of how we combine the technology roadmap we are developing with our extensive operational experience built over 34 years in the property services industry. By ensuring we build collaborative partnership with our customers we become trusted custodians of their assets and guest experiences. This means we are the partner of choice for our customers, driving real and sustainable business growth. Providing a ‘good experience’ is simply not enough anymore – we need to ensure we are set up to deliver a ‘great experience’ in all that we do. Hearing our customers, learning from their feedback, and working in constant open, trusted collaboration is fundamental to partnership – and secures our future.

 

6. What does a typical day in your role look like?

Chris: Like many of us, there is never a ‘typical’ day at work. Everything changes from one day to the next. One of my biggest challenges is balancing a busy work schedule and still being able to respond quickly to everything that can happen in a business of over 2,550 people across Australia and New Zealand. We are a ‘people-first’ business and ensuring I have time to support my team is probably the most important part of my job.

Connecting with and hearing from our customers is a really big part of my day – and that, coupled with working closely with our people, managers, and leaders in the Glad Group of companies, makes the day race by! I try to avoid meetings for meetings sake, but I do work hard to collaborate as a team to ensure we are driving the business forward with a strong focus on financial management, governance, and compliance.

 

7. What is the most rewarding part about your role?

Chris: That’s a very tough question, as I find many facets of my role rewarding, however if I had to narrow it down it would be our people first and foremost. Seeing our people and watching them evolve and grow with the business makes my role exceptionally gratifying. Working together as a team with a shared passion for our business, our people, and our customers.

 

8. As the Chief Operating Officer of the Glad Group, what would you say is the most interesting project you are currently working on?

Chris: What I’m finding incredibly interesting to work on is our new finance system, which is a cloud-based accounting software solution. This new finance system is going to take us from a paper-based system to an automated process across all business areas. We are currently undergoing a real, transformational journey supporting the implementation for our operational teams. This is new to the business, and we will continue to support our people as they adjust to a new way of working.

By automating our system, we will streamline how we process accounts, whilst improving financial reporting and management. This is a huge, transformational project for the Glad Group of companies and touches every area of the business. Over time this platform will make it easier, faster for our customers to interact with our Accounts team and give us greater insight into how we’re performing as a business in near real-time.

 

9. What do you value most about the Glad Group culture and vision?

Chris: I know I work in an environment where our accomplishments are valued, and my well-being is cared for. I believe that company culture is vital to setting a guide of principles and fundamental beliefs that help a team function together and work toward a common business goal. In saying this, Glad Group’s culture and vision is in its autonomy to make change quite quickly – we are agile, smart, and creative. We work hard to support each other and each of us are passionate about our customers and the Glad brand.

 

10. What do you consider the Glad Group’s major strengths are?

Chris: Glad Group have many strengths – one of them being the delivery of exceptional service and care for our customers. We have great partnerships with many customers who often share our passion for community and people.

Our governance and compliance methodology is embedded deeply into our operations. We are committed to ethical principles of business that support the communities, customers, and people we are fortunate to serve.

If you would like to know more about our company strategy, follow us on LinkedIn.

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