Meet Sam Yancich: Director of People Ops at NuvoAir

Val AnselmiPublished on 2021-12-16

What do you do at NuvoAir?

I head up our People Operations function!

My job is to make sure that as a company we’re bringing on the right people for the right roles at the right time, ensuring those folks are set up for success, and that our team is fulfilled overall. This isn’t just the right thing to do, it is also critical to helping our business scale and grow.

Describe a normal day at the NuvoAir office

We recently opened our first US office in Boston! We’re in a cool co-working space downtown with call booths, unlimited food/drinks/coffee, and more.

Thanks to our flexible hours, I start my day around 8 ET (I’m a morning person!). My mornings tend to be pretty busy as overlaps when our team members in Sweden and the UK are also working. We spend time recruiting, thinking about career growth, how to elevate our employer brand, ways to bring our disparate teams together to bond, and more!

Since we’re flying the plane while building it, I try to spend my afternoons doing deep work, thinking about how to grow our culture and scale the various functions that fall under PeopleOps. Last quarter I built our compensation philosophy and location strategy, and this quarter I’m building out performance reviews.

Why did you decide to work for NuvoAir?

There are so many reasons, but the thing that stuck with me was when our CEO Lorenzo said during my interview, “For us to truly call ourselves patient obsessed, we have to put employees first.” He’s lived this every day since I joined, and I think it speaks volumes about the type of leader he is.

To me, this told me I’d have strong buy-in from our leaders to do what is in the best interest of our team. This seems obvious, but it wasn’t my experience at past companies, and it was a deal breaker for me when I was looking for a new role.

Beyond that, it was the people. It may seem like a cop-out for HR to name the team as my reason for joining, but there’s something different, something special when it comes to our group. We’re not only dedicated, bright, hard working, and innovative (a claim I hope most startups could make) - it goes beyond this. There’s such a strong appreciation for the motivation and the high quality of work our team produces. It really creates an atmosphere of “we’re all in this together,” which to me, makes the difference, especially in startup life.

What do you enjoy most about working for NuvoAir?

Since I’ve already gushed about our people, I’ll say my favorite part of my work here is the autonomy I have in my role.

I’m NuvoAir’s first HR person, so coming in, I knew there was a lot to build from scratch, let alone iterate and improve. Lorenzo gave me two directives when I joined - help us scale the team to keep up with our business growth, and make sure our team is fulfilled.

I’ve had the autonomy to craft the philosophy, the strategy, and the tactical execution plans to do just that. It’s still a work in progress since we’re building something new, and I have an incredible team to share ideas with and receive feedback from.

What differentiates NuvoAir from other companies you have worked for?

I’ve worked at other startups where people are burnt out, at their wits end, never taking time off, and ready to quit. It’s an unsustainable environment, especially when you don’t feel appreciated.

At NuvoAir, our culture centers on collaboration, partnership, and being creative together - we recently had our end of the year party during regional meetups and the excitement and energy in our office was contagious! We celebrated the majors wins of 2021, the unique individual contributions of the team, and spent time being thankful for the group we’ve built together. We have big things coming up in 2022, and our growing team is excited to scale!