Introducing our new People & Culture Champions, Alisha and Miles

We have a unique and progressive approach to culture that helps our people work together, drive Vanti as a business, and make it a happy, passionate and supportive place to work. 

Culture at Vanti isn’t about beer fridges, work socials, or big team away days. Although we do love those things and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with them. 

One informal but useful definition of workplace culture is ‘the way we do things round here‘. But how do Vanti people go about their day to day, manage their interactions with each other, and how does this contribute to an effective, agile, and collaborative team? 

So, in a nutshell, what is the Vanti culture? 

Ask anyone at Vanti why they love working here and you’ll hear ‘it’s because of the people and the culture’. But it’s a challenging concept to explain. What is ‘the Vanti way’?  

We believe in learning about every Vanti person’s needs and supporting them so they can get stuck into their role and collaborate effectively within their team. This is crucial to perform our complex role in designing, deploying, and supporting ‘smart’ buildings. Thinking longer-term, investing in culture like this helps Vanti to grow as a business, year after year. 

Words such as trusting, and nurturing go a long way to depicting Vanti’s culture and what it’s like working here. Extensive time is dedicated towards it, from establishing the tiny little day to day processes all the way to the long-term tasks. 

We’re not perfect yet but we believe our culture is incredibly special and unique. As we bring more people onboard, retaining it will become a huge challenge. 

Undertaking this task is not one, but two new humans as People & Culture Champions!  

Introducing Alisha Cohen and Miles Tilley 

Alisha, Miles, before we start, icebreaker! Give us two random facts about yourselves 

A: I change my hair loads! Colour, style, length, anything, you name it. I also do floristry with my mum, despite having the worst allergies!   

M: I love country music (especially Dolly Parton, of course!) and I’m obsessed with meme culture. 

Some interesting responses there! Before Vanti, what were you up to and what are some of your proudest moments in your career?  

A: Prior to joining Vanti, I was Head of People at Click Travel and a large part of that role was to focus on the culture of the business as it grew. I’m proud of my contribution to Click being in the Sunday Times Top 100 Best Places to Work for the 3 years I was there, my work on improving the ratio of female to male employees (last reported as 64% female to 36% male), as well as increasing the number of BAME employees in the business.   

M: I’d been in a very similar role to Alisha, but for a company called Glide. Whilst there, I saw it go through two private equity investment cycles, become part of a group, and have its headcount double in size. It was amazing to see it go through that growth (where investors are focused on growing net income) but still manage to maintain the agility of a small business.  

What initially drew you to the role?  

A: For me it was the job advert. I’d never seen something so raw, open, and honest before. I loved the variety of responsibilities and it felt like there was so much scope to get involved in a lot of different projects.   

M: It was the same for me too! The challenges that were being talked about felt really familiar to me because I’d been through them in my previous role. I knew straight away that I wanted to be part of the team because it was clear there is bags of passion and excitement.  

And how has it lived up to those expectations? How have you found your first few weeks at Vanti?  

A: It has very much lived up to expectations. There has been completely open and honest communications, the fortnightly ‘all-hands calls’ are very informative and are excellent at keeping everyone in the loop. There are already lots of projects for Team People in the pipeline so 2021 is looking exciting.  

M: I was right about the bags of passion and excitement! Vanti’s already got an amazing, supportive, and open culture but it feels like it’s about to go through another really exciting phase! I know it’s going to be challenging, but the commitment demonstrated by every individual is truly inspiring.  

A huge part of your role is focusing entirely on the Vanti culture – what do you see the Vanti culture as?  

A:  The ‘Book of Me’ stood out immediately. When a new person joins, they complete their profile which tells everyone their preferred ways of working, communication and when they’re most productive. There are no right or wrong answers, and everyone takes it into account – it just makes the working environment so much more pleasant and considered.  

M: For me, it’s the realisation that we are all people. A lot of companies say they treat their employees as people, but don’t really do anything different to demonstrate it. At Vanti, every meeting starts with a ‘check-in’ where everyone gives a quick update with where they are mentally and physically – good or bad. I’d never done that before and it almost felt a little uncomfortable at first, but you quickly realise that it means you can go into that meeting being your whole self. You’re not trying to hide anything, and it helps set really clear expectations and boundaries. It’s so refreshing. 

Thanks so much for catching up with me Alisha, Miles. Really looking forward to seeing your work on helping the Vanti culture become even stronger. 

Do you want to be part of an organisation that truly cares for its people? Get in touch!