At the heart of VGW’s dynamic and ever-evolving landscape, Yvette Mandanas, VGW’s Chief People Officer, is shaping a people-centric culture that thrives on collaboration and inclusivity.
With nearly two decades of experience in human resources across various industries, Yvette joined VGW in January 2022 and brings a wealth of expertise. She’s also a mother of two teenage girls, Adriana and Gabriela, managing the balance of work and family like many at VGW.
Leading Global Teams
In her role, she leads global teams in Organisational Development and Performance, Remuneration and Benefits, People Partnering, People Operations, Talent Acquisition, and Workplace Experience. With VGW’s ever-expanding reach, she embraces the diversity and uniqueness of the company’s global workforce, spanning 21 countries and more than 1400 employees.
“The people I have the privilege of working with each day, within the various teams and locations, is what makes it most enjoyable at VGW. We have such a diverse group of people, even more so as we have scaled. That’s a lot of people, different personalities, backgrounds and experiences to learn from,” Yvette says.
A Role Filled With Opportunities for Impact
When speaking about her role, she says what she loves most is the variety where no day is ever the same, and the impact it brings.
“I really enjoy the variety of it, and the huge opportunities for my team and I to provide a great amount of business value, and to help drive VGW’s sustainable growth,” Yvette says.
“By implementing the systems, processes, frameworks and programs to support our global teams to be even more successful, and to build happy, engaged and productive teams delivering really great experiences for our players whether directly or indirectly.”
VGW’s New Values: A Moral Compass
When it came to redefining VGW’s company values, Yvette says it was important that they be a true reflection of the business and its people.
“I am so proud of how we arrived at our new values, using a bottom-up approach and hearing from our people all around the world on their lived experience of working here and the behaviours and culture they thought we needed to propel our strategy forward.”
She notes that the core values that emerged, including: our players come first, we are powered by passion, we do what’s right, and together we win, serve as VGW’s moral compass, guiding the company’s culture, decisions and commitment to our players.
“I see these playing out every day at VGW at all levels and locations within the company.”
Yvette’s Advice on Becoming a Leader in a Dynamic Industry
For those looking to pursue leadership roles in the fast-paced technology industry, Yvette highlights three key aspects that helped propel her career.
Curiosity: “Curiosity has to be on the list of qualities to develop if someone wants to become a leader in an industry like ours. In such a fast-paced, ever-evolving industry, that keenness to learn, the genuine desire to understand the people, the history, the context and the internal and external environments, and having an inquisitive mind will help set anyone up for success as experts in their field and as leaders of people.”
Versatility: “Versatility in style, approach, and communication, whether as an individual, manager, or leader, is crucial. I think the foundation of effective and strong relationships is the ability to relate to and understand the other person.”
Clear Communication: Yvette notes that in a high-growth, geographically dispersed environment, clear communication is critical because change is constant. “To get the teams rowing in the same direction, every single person on the team needs to have clarity on what the vision is, what the strategy is, what the priorities are, the timelines for delivery, and how their roles contribute to the success of these.”
Above all, she says that as a leader, each and every single person on your team needs to know that you are there to support them, that you are there to help them succeed, and that you have their backs 110 per cent.
“When people feel clear on all of the above, and when they feel supported, appreciated and safe, is when I can guarantee that they will put in so much in their roles, for their teams, for the company, and even for you as their leader.”