Working from Home at Simon-Kucher: Virtual Onboarding

August 09, 2021

Eszter and Sebastian

Ever wonder what it’s like to join a company in the age of COVID-19? We caught up with some of our newest colleagues to find out what they thought about their virtual onboarding.

“The people you meet at STEPS become your first family at Simon-Kucher”
Part of my job is to support new joiners during our onboarding training program called STEPS (Strategic Training for Employee Professional Success). Pre-pandemic, colleagues would go to Bonn for their onboarding – now, it’s virtual. I had the pleasure of taking part in virtual STEPS myself, as I only joined Simon-Kucher in May 2021.

The team has done an amazing job in helping newcomers connect. I had no trouble getting to know my colleagues, even though it was online. For example, I met some of my peers who also work in the Frankfurt office. Now, we go for lunch or coffee. It provided me with a great starting point.

What surprised me most, though, was how much work goes into organizing such an event. Now that I’m part of the STEPS team, I can see that the biggest challenge we face is ensuring that participants bond socially. Technology is very helpful because it makes it possible for people to connect from all over the world. This means that we can get a wider variety of speakers, and still provide new employees with onboarding training and social events despite regional lockdowns.

I’ve heard from previous sets of participants, that the people you meet during STEPS become your first family at Simon-Kucher. I’m sure that this connection is stronger with those who attended STEPS in Bonn, but I’m happy that I have an initial network with whom I’ve shared this onboarding experience. I look forward to recognizing familiar faces, and catching up on their news in future face-to-face meetings.

Eszter Kulcsar, Senior Coordinator in People Development, Frankfurt

“I’m happy to be part of such a diverse and well-connected team”
I didn’t expect virtual STEPS to be so fun! There were many opportunities for us to get to know each other better, especially through games. My favorite was one where we had to race to guess song titles and artists, or characters from TV series. My team performed well on that quiz – maybe that’s why it was my favorite.

There was also another event called Online Office Games, which was led by an external company. We had to work in teams throughout, which helped me bond with the group.

In general, the fact that we are working remotely didn’t make the onboarding process as difficult as I had expected. I was impressed by how easily we can cooperate and communicate with each other, even though we’re from all over the world. I’m happy to be part of such a diverse and well-connected team.

Sebastian Jacobs, Senior Coordinator in Global HR, Cologne

“It’s nice to know that I’m part of something bigger than myself”
It was good to learn more about Simon-Kucher’s values, and what they mean from a practical standpoint. I still remember the handy acronym they taught us, iRemit, which stands for integrity, respect, entrepreneurship, meritocracy, impact, and team.

I could see the “team” aspect clearly during STEPS. We had people of all ages from all around the world, with different kinds of backgrounds, work experience and personal interests. And yet, somehow, we have come together under the roof of this company. It’s nice to know that I’m part of something bigger than myself.

It was also good to get a break from work and meet new people. I was surprised by how talented some of my colleagues are! As part of the STEPS competition, we had to recreate Picasso’s Child with a Dove on the Zoom whiteboard function. One of the teams created such a masterpiece, that I think they should try selling it as a NFT (a non-fungible token).  

Kaan Unutmazlar, Consultant, Istanbul

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