Grow.Kiwi.com program was launched in 2018 with the goal of creating a parent’s community within Kiwi.com. The program supports parents who are on parental leave by providing information and facilitating needed contact between the company and employees. The program also helps all parents by providing them with opportunities to join our workshops, kid parties, meetups and similar events, where they can meet each other and discuss the highs and lows of parenting. Parents who have recently returned back to work are also supported by individual consultations.
One of the program coordinators, Soňa Sojková, said that parents are often unsure how to work with the legal processes related to parental leave, what paperwork needs to be done and by whom.
“The system is very complex, and especially foreign parents have a hard time arranging everything with the authorities. We are here to make that load easier,” said Soňa.
Our events promote wider networking for parents in the company. It Is beneficial because Kiwis meet with other parents who they might not know, and they’re able to discuss things and form their own community. One of the event’s organizers and our Community Ops Team Lead, Kateřina (Katka) Pejšková said that through the program, Grow.Kiwi.com offers parents the option to stay in touch with the company and feel supported and not feel isolated at home.
“When they aim to come back, it’s much easier for them to return back smoothly,” said Katka.
Types of support we offer to Kiwi.com parents
We provide a dedicated handbook for Kiwi parents where they can read about what to expect before the baby is born, what the steps are with the birth registry office after having a baby, allowance, conditions for foreigners for parental leave, tax reliefs, working during parental leave and returning back to work.
The program also offers activities such as thematic workshops, mentoring/coaching, social events (e.g. St. Nicholas Eve, flea markets), and first aid training, and we also cover babysitting services during those events.
Soňa, Grow.Kiwi.com mentioned that the last workshop they organized was how to act in a medical emergency for a baby.
“We organize kids’ celebrations, family picnics, parties for kids during festive seasons and similar.
People managers are onboarded to the program as well because we want to educate them about the rights and responsibilities of new parents in their teams. We also offer the option for Kiwis to book the individual consultation and discuss all questions related to maternity leave.” said Soňa.
Kabir Nagar, our Content Partners & GDS Commercials Lead, shared the story of his daughter attending the Czech traditional St. Nicholas celebration at our HQ in Brno.
“She has introduced to St. Nicholas and the devil for the first time some years ago, and she was instantaneously happy when she got the candies from the angel. My kid really has nice memories of playing games, and doing a lot of activities. She now thinks that dad’s workplace is so cool because there’s a party every day – that’s why he goes to the office,” said Kabir.
How supportive is the Kiwi.com environment for future parents? Petra Vaškových, our Chief of Staff for Product, said that once she got pregnant, everyone was greatly supportive and genuinely happy.
“I, of course, had to prepare a plan for how my responsibilities will be delegated and one of my teammates had to take over some more high-level responsibilities. Looking back, this allowed them to grow a lot professionally! Thanks to this, I actually realized that waiting too long with a delegation can harm the team and it helped me to have a more structured approach towards this,” said Petra in the interview we did with her in 2021.
We won 3rd place for the best HR project
How do we know that we are doing a good job? One part is our internal validation and the other one is external recognition. In the regional rounds of the Employer of the Year, with the participation of over 400 guests, 27 representatives of last year’s Human Resources Award competition for the best HR project were evaluated. We won 3rd place, where more than 50 HR professionals voted for our program. Lenka Zagolová, a program coordinator, said that “apart from the external validation, the most prominent result we see internally is the positive feedback after events and the individual consultations.”
The workshops are always full and are bringing value to the parents. The happy faces of the children on our events are keeping the team motivated to continue the work on this program.
Joey, Software and Asset Management, mentioned that she joined Kiwi.com when her daughter was only 2 years old and she remembers the Kiwi.com Summer Kid’s Party at the swimming pool and how much she loved it.
“Seeing how my kids grow during my journey with Kiwi.com is amazing. Having events open to my kids means that the company acknowledges my role as a parent. It’s very special as a parent to share these events with my little humans. My kids absolutely love the office and kiwi parties and ask me constantly why they can’t attend all the parties,” said Joey.
What are we planning next?
The program coordinator, Lenka Zagolová said that the program’s long-term vision is to start organizing IT-related leisure activities within our offices.
“Apart from that, we plan to continue with our current events and activities but also educate parents more, extend the knowledge base to all subsidiaries, and revise the parental benefits provided by the company. Right now, the community of parents still grows. Our family events are attended by approximately 50 children and about 60 parents.”
As we are providing most of the support to our employees located in the Czech Republic and mainly in our HQ in Brno, one of our goals is to start supporting other locations in the nearest future in the same way we do it here.
“As the Kiwi.com kids grow older, we plan to develop activities meeting the needs of our parents and kids. As we all know, parents of a teenager have different worries than parents of a small baby,” said Lenka.
Switching the Grow.kiwi.com priorities during 2022 and our support for Ukraine
After the war in Ukraine started, as a company we searched for a way to help and besides other initiatives within the company for such things as transport and housing, within the Grow.kiwi.com program, we opened a Day Care Centre for Ukrainian kids and parents. Understanding that they left their regular lives in Ukraine, we wanted to provide them with stability and no charge for the service. We hired teachers who took care of 54 kids and taught them basic subjects such as math, Ukrainian language, nature science, and also Czech language as we wanted to help with their integration. More about how we helped support their community can be read here and here.