5 January 2023
Spire creates a meeting place for young employees at Vår Energi
Working at Vår Energi means having freedom within your own projects, diversity in terms of people and culture, and last but not least – lunches filled with laughter, according to geoscientists Danielle Howlett and Laura Vaiciulyte.
Howlett and Vaiciulyte are senior geoscientists at Vår Energi, and board members of the organisation SPIRE, which is Vår Energi’s own network-, expertise- and event organisation.
– The great thing about Vår Energi is the diversity of people, with different backgrounds and experience – also after the consolidation of different companies. Through SPIRE we can build relations across departments, locations and roles – and this way share knowledge with each other, says Danielle Howlett.
– I think it is exciting to discuss perspectives with colleagues who have different projects or belong to different departments than myself, she continues.
aSPIRE to inSPIRE
SPIRE is an “organisation within the organisation”, founded in 2018. The organisation is designed for all employees at Vår Energi under the age of 35 (or those young at heart). This includes full-time employees, graduates, summer interns and apprentices, from all departments and locations.
– SPIRE connects all our younger employees, both onshore and offshore, in Stavanger and in Hammerfest, tells Laura Vaiciulyte, senior geoscientist.
– And Oslo, when and if they have “younger employees”, Howlett adds.
– Yes, even though they currently don’t have anyone under 35. They did have an apprentice last year, so I am sure more will join in the future, explains Vaiciulyte.
The name SPIRE is derived from the Norwegian word for sprout, someone who is destined to grow and thrive, with countless possibilities. In addition, it also reflects the English word inspire, as the organisation’s raison d’être is to contribute to building relationships, improve working environment and facilitate the sharing of knowledge.
SPIRE holds several events and activities throughout the year, including SpireTalks. SpireTalks are modelled after the famous concept TedTalks, where employees from different departments at Vår Energi are invited to share about their expertise, ongoing projects and technical topics for in-depth discussions.
– SPIRE has been really useful in my worklife in several ways. I started at Vår Energi during Covid and for a long time I only interacted with my own department, as there were very few chances of meeting other colleagues when everyone was working from home. But through SPIRE I have gotten to know colleagues across departments who I can meet up with for lunch, or at SPIRE events. This gives me a completely different connection with larger parts of the company, says Vaiciulyte.
A great way to appreciate younger employees
SPIRE has 165 members today and facilitates on average 18 activities throughout the year: social activities, SpireTalks, coffee-meet-ups and more. The organisation has a special focus on tending to summer interns, apprentices and graduates.
– As an intern, especially summer interns, you can have quite a varied experience. During the summer most of the full-time employees are on holiday, so summer interns can in some cases feel isolated and end up not really getting to know the company they’re interning at. This is where SPIRE stands out, since it is organised by the company to provide meeting places for young employees to get to know each other, says Vaiciulyte.
– SPIRE also works closely with the VP in HR and gives updates and input on the graduate program, from the graduate students’ own perspectives. This allows us to continuously develop and improve the experience every intern and graduate has during their time with us, Howlett adds.
– The fun, the laughter and the people are some of the things I love about Vår Energi!
Professionality and fun
– We’ve also received feedback from our members that SPIRE has played an important role in their onboarding processes and their work environment, Howlett and Vaiciulyte point out.
Howlett and Vaiciulyte further explain that they have received feedback from several employees over the age of 35 that they too would love to have been members, as it is clear what great value the organisation has.
– We do get quite a few former SPIRE members who say they really miss being a part of SPIRE, and other employees who wish they were younger so they could be members because we have so much fun, smiles Howlett.
– Unless the events have “limited seating” most of our activities are open to all employees, adds Vaiciulyte.
The last event SPIRE hosted in 2023 was the Christmas Party, celebrating the year end with literal fun at the Fun Center and a Christmas buffet, before the new year begins with all new activities.
– In my experience at Vår Energi, there is a wonderful combination of professionality and “fun”. We can talk about professional topics, you know really technical geology debates, and then switch it around with great jokes and lots of laughter. This applies to both SPIRE and all the departments, Howlett concludes.