A Culture of Connection: How Vendavo Built a People-Focused Work Environment

Vendavo blends authentic connections and communal traditions to create a space where employees flourish.

Written by Lucas Dean
Published on Nov. 21, 2023
A Culture of Connection: How Vendavo Built a People-Focused Work Environment
Vendavo
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Company culture is more than foosball tables or stocked snack shelves. At some companies, buzzwords or hot trends seem to overshadow substance. 

But company culture is not a mere checkbox at Vendavo. It’s a living, breathing environment that places its people firmly at its heart. This is no serendipitous occurrence; it is the culmination of deliberate actions and thoughtful practices.  

As Associate People and Culture Business Partner Johanna Andersson shared, “I have learned that through having a collaborative, vibrant and fun culture, people can connect at such a greater level — which can only help us accomplish our company objectives.” 

A closer look into Vendavo’s methods reveals the mechanics and soul of their culture. An intricate blend of collaboration, tradition and engaged leadership creates a work community where individuals can thrive. 

 

Embracing Human Connections

While the world increasingly migrates to screens and virtual spaces, Vendavo swims against the current in its commitment to in-person collaboration. 

Their global hubs aren’t mere workspaces but centers for cultivating human connections. The Stockholm office, which Andersson calls home, symbolizes this commitment. While many laud the virtues of remote work, the organic, face-to-face interactions Vendavo promotes would be impossible to replicate in a virtual setting.  

“One of our company values is ‘Celebration of Community,’ which means we enjoy coming together to learn, share, contribute and have fun. Our office allows us to do that,” said Andersson.

 

“We enjoy coming together to learn, share, contribute and have fun. Our office allows us to do that.”

 

People-Driven Practices and Traditions

Vendavo recognizes that its team members are not mere components of a corporate machine — they make it what it is and will become. This sentiment reverberates in their everyday practices, from celebrating cultural nuances to indulging in team activities. 

Every tradition, big or small, serves a strategic purpose in strengthening bonds. For instance, the company’s annual Summer Celebration consists of an evening boat cruise, an all-you-can-eat shrimp buffet and — most importantly — genuine camaraderie. 

“It’s not all about the shrimp, though,” said Andersson. “It’s a time for us to come together for a night where it’s just us on a boat, with beautiful scenery, great food and live music.” 

 

Andersson cuts a ribbon at an event as colleagues celebrate behind her.
Vendavo

 

Leadership and Cultural Evolution

Culture tends to be a top-down affair in many companies. 

At Vendavo, leadership is not just advocating but exemplifying. Leadership “walks the talk,” fostering a deep-rooted sense of belonging and ownership amongst employees. 

Not everyone was interested in a blood donation event, for instance, but one leader showed up, enthusiastically ready to go. For Andersson, the low participation rate didn’t overshadow a broader lesson. 

“It was just the two of us, but it showed people that leaders, too, can prioritize culture-driven events. This signals to other team members that it indeed is important to carve out time and energy to support the culture,” said Andersson. 

Furthermore, Vendavo’s culture transcends scripted narrative. It has blossomed organically, shaped by its diverse workforce. 

Andersson pointed out, “Our people are part of creating the culture. Everyone comes with ideas and takes ownership of the culture.”

 

“Our people are part of creating the culture. Everyone comes with ideas and takes ownership of the culture.”

 

Unified Diversity 

Every year, Vendavo’s Velocity Kickoff Event serves as a testament to the company’s dedication to its workforce. Central to this event is an award ceremony celebrating outstanding employee contributions. 

Last year was particularly notable, as 40 percent of Vendavo’s Stockholm team earned awards, subsequently earning them the moniker of the “dream team.” This achievement is all the more noteworthy considering the team’s diverse roles, spanning from product management and IT to marketing and people and culture teams. 

“Our employee experiences are very different, yet our ability to support one another in our day-to-day work and continuously find ways to grow stronger as a team show that true team focus brings success,” Andersson explained. 

More than accolades, these awards reflect Vendavo’s commitment to recognizing and nurturing the diverse talents that drive the company’s success — and the significance of a cohesive team that upholds shared ideals.

The Velocity Kickoff Event encapsulates Vendavo’s ethos: fostering a culture that values individual accomplishments and collective collaboration.

“Our culture has happened organically, as we are a team with representation from many departments, nationalities and ages” said Andersson. “It has been built on wanting to spend time in the office with each other and truly caring about growing as a team,”

With the “dream team” as an embodiment of this principle, Vendavo continues to demonstrate the power of unity and the remarkable outcomes it can yield.

 

Colleagues chat and make coffee in the office kitchen.
Vendavo

 

Engaging Team Members 

The narrative of Vendavo underscores a fundamental truth: Culture isn’t just constructed; it’s nurtured. 

Through fostering genuine interactions, celebrating shared moments and emphasizing participative leadership, Vendavo has carved a workplace where every individual feels intrinsically valued.

“One of our key ambitions is to be a Destination Employer, and we’re closer to achieving that goal because we focus on our people’s day-to-day engagement,” said Andersson.

At Vendavo, the destination is not an impersonal Zoom room or isolated cubicle. It is a collaborative physical space where celebrating things like Cinnamon Bun Day or simply stopping by a coworker’s desk to ask for help are cherished norms.

 

 

Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Images provided by Vendavo

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