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Creating a Culture of Learning and Growth with Vinomofo's Head of Culture

From Life Coach to Culture Guru, how Michael Ellis Transformed the Workplace Culture at Vinomofo

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As a teacher, Michael Ellis was inspired to create the kind of work environment he always wanted, leading him on a unique journey to becoming Head of Culture at Vinomofo, the online wine retailer. Ellis’ passion for education and self-discovery shaped his professional journey, from being a life coach to leading Vinomofo's culture team.

Ellis shared his insights into his people journey, highlighting the importance of values and keeping people at the center of culture. His efforts to create a workplace that reflects Vinomofo's brand and values are a testament to his commitment to creating a people-first culture.

Ellis' passion for teaching and learning was the driving force behind his decision to become a life coach. As a coach, he helped clients apply the principles of creating their ideal reality to their personal and professional lives. Inspired by his own teachings, he set out to create his ideal job, which involved working with people in and around food and wine.

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After joining Vinomofo's content team, Ellis was offered the opportunity to lead the newly created culture team. This opportunity allowed him to take on the challenge of creating a people-first workplace, which involved clarifying the company's mission and values. Ellis' emphasis on creating a human-first culture ensured that the company's culture remains centered on the people who work there.

One of the key factors that contributed to the success of the culture team was their ability to learn to trust what they were doing. They realised that they didn't need to look outside the company for other examples of what great companies were doing; they simply needed to build upon what made Vinomofo special in the first place. This focus on maintaining the company's identity while improving upon it was integral to creating a people-first culture.

Ellis' guiding principles for creating a people-first culture are centered on keeping people at the center of culture. His belief that people are complex and have fundamental needs that need to be met informs his approach to creating a workplace that values and empowers its employees. His focus on individual needs and goals ensures that Vinomofo's culture is tailored to the needs and desires of its employees.

Ellis is enthusiastic about the potential of HR analytics to uncover insights into employee behavior, but he emphasizes that data should not distract from the importance of empathy and human connection. He believes that culture creates the conditions for empowering people to make use of those insights, and that everyone in the company should take responsibility for creating an empathetic and supportive environment.

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As Vinomofo's Head of Culture, Ellis is committed to creating a workplace where people feel valued and supported. He sees his role as empowering employees to make meaningful contributions to the company, and he believes that creating a human-first culture is essential to achieving this goal. By maintaining a focus on the people who work at Vinomofo, Ellis is helping to create a workplace that reflects the company's brand and values.


As Mikey Ellis' journey shows, a willingness to learn and grow can lead to unexpected and fulfilling career paths. By prioritising people and values, he has helped shape a workplace that empowers its employees and leverages the power of data to improve the company culture. As technology continues to revolutionise the HR industry, leaders like Ellis remind us that at the core of any successful organization are the individuals who make it all possible.


By keeping people at the center, companies can create a culture where everyone feels supported, valued, and empowered to achieve their full potential. Vinomofo is just one example of how a people-first approach can drive success, and Ellis' work serves as an inspiration to leaders across all industries to prioritize culture and create an environment where everyone can thrive.

Article Details

  Feature with:           Michael Ellis

Written by Team Hyer

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