Young Folks

Photo of Young Folks operations manager Kali smiling.

Meet Kali: our inspiring and dedicated operations manager

Fostering a positive and inclusive workplace culture isn’t just important. It’s essential. But what does it take to proactively nurture such a culture and ensure that company values shine through in every aspect of operations?

Our operations manager Kali, whose wealth of experience and insights gained in a career spanning over two decades, shares the answer to this very question.

From cultivating strong client relationships to fostering open communication and collaboration among team members, Kali’s approach to operations management is as effective as it is inspiring. Her dedication to cultivating an environment where every voice is heard and every individual feels valued ensures our company culture is more than just words in a code of conduct – it’s a vibe. 

What three words best capture your approach to effective operations management?

Efficiency, optimisation, and collaboration.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone just starting out in the creative industry?

Feedback is indispensable on the creative journey, and welcoming open and constructive criticism and advice is crucial. It refines concepts, enhances execution, and fosters continuous improvement, providing invaluable insights into how your work resonates and achieves objectives.

What’s the most memorable feedback you’ve ever received from a client, and how did it impact your approach to your work?

Reflecting on feedback received at the start of my career in client services, one instance stands out as profoundly impactful. 

Early on, a client expressed genuine appreciation for my attentive and personalised approach to addressing their needs. Their recognition of my dedication and willingness to go above and beyond left a lasting impression on me. 

It taught me the importance of building strong relationships based on trust, reliability, and exceptional service. 

This feedback shaped my approach to client management, emphasising proactive communication, attention to detail, and a commitment to delivering tangible value. Today, those principles continue to guide my work, ensuring that every client interaction is characterised by excellence and leaves a positive impact.

If you could collaborate with any brand or client in the world, who would it be and why?

I would choose OzHarvest because they tackle food insecurity and waste through an innovative approach to rescuing surplus food. Their efforts not only provide meals for those in need, but also tackle the pressing issue of food waste. 

Partnering with them would allow me to make a meaningful contribution by supporting vulnerable individuals while also working towards sustainability goals.

If you could give your younger self one piece of advice when starting out in your career, what would it be?

I would tell myself to trust in my abilities and remain true to my passions, as these will ultimately lead to a fulfilling and rewarding professional life. Confidence is crucial, especially during the toughest times, as it fuels the determination to persevere and overcome obstacles. I would tell myself to stick to my convictions and pursue what truly inspires me. 

How do you proactively nurture a positive and inclusive culture within Young Folks, ensuring that the agency’s values are reflected in day-to-day operations?

As Operations Manager, I play a pivotal role in ensuring that our company’s values are not just words on paper but principles actively embodied in our daily operations. I lead by example, demonstrating accountability in my own actions and decisions and fostering a culture where others feel empowered to do the same.

Through regular communication and engagement, I encourage bravery among our team members, supporting them as they tackle new challenges and explore innovative solutions. I actively seek out opportunities to promote creativity, whether by providing resources for professional development or creating spaces for ideation and collaboration.

I also create clarity by ensuring that our processes and workflows are transparent and efficient, helping to eliminate confusion and streamline our operations. 

Finally, I promote a playful and supportive work environment where team members feel inspired to bring their authentic selves to the table and where their contributions are celebrated.

By embodying and championing our values, I strive to cultivate a culture of inclusivity, growth, and innovation within our agency.

Can you share an example of a time when you implemented a new system or process that improved efficiency within Young Folks?

Implementing a capacity and utilisation report was a game-changer for our workflow efficiency. This system provided invaluable visibility into studio workloads and capacity, empowering us to handle tasks more effectively. This initiative was particularly impactful given our industry’s reputation for tight deadlines and employee burnout. 

Not only did it streamline our workflow and enhance our ability to forecast studio schedules, but it also significantly positively affected employee morale. Team members felt reassured and appreciated, knowing their workload was closely monitored and managed. This sense of support fostered a more positive and collaborative work environment, ultimately boosting productivity and team cohesion.

Collaboration and cross-functional teamwork are essential for success. How do you foster a culture of collaboration, respect, and mutual support at Young Folks? 

Collaboration and cross-functional teamwork are essential for our success as a high-performing team. We prioritise fostering a culture of collaboration, respect, and mutual support among diverse teams and departments, recognising its critical role in enhancing overall performance and employee satisfaction.

We strongly emphasise employee wellbeing and safety, understanding that a healthy workforce is indispensable for achieving our goals. We create an environment where every team member feels valued and empowered by promoting open communication, encouraging knowledge sharing, and celebrating diverse perspectives.

Emphasising the importance of teamwork and acknowledging individual contributions helps us build strong relationships and achieve collective success. This approach drives our team performance and satisfaction to new heights, ultimately contributing to our overall success.

Want to connect with Kali? Find her on LinkedIn

Our Melbourne and Mornington Peninsula studios are open 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday. If you’re a brand in the business of doing good, we’d love to hear from you.

Contact us


0492 883 664

Studio 3
13-15 Thompson St
VIC 3199

10-20 Gwynne St
VIC 3121