Office desks covered in treats, a voucher for a sightseeing flight and books galore — this is Surprise a Fellow Kiwi in a nutshell.
“The Christmas round of Surprise a Fellow Kiwi is here and your Fellow Kiwi is…” says an email received by around 150 people at our offices on the 1st of December. It revealed that this round’s topic is “Back to childhood” and it was sent by Veronika Khýrová, our HR Generalist and the power behind this beautiful, year-old tradition here at Kiwi.com.
How It All Started
Four times a year Veronika, a slender brunette with a calm voice and boundless energy, encourages her colleagues to joining in the surprise festivities. She then connects the givers and the receivers.
“I love seeing the smiling faces of Kiwis when they receive their surprises and post their pictures in the dedicated Slack channel,” Veronika explains her motivation for running the project.
The tradition started fourteen months ago when the Product Team moved to our Campus Square Headquarters from their Art Nouveau villa in Pisárky. We’d grown to 800 employees by then and our HR Team was searching for ways of helping our different teams get to know each other. The idea of occasional gift-giving occurred to our HR Director, Katka Gábová and it was later modified and perfected by Veronika.
It’s Not Without a Challenge
“The biggest challenge we have is to ensuring that everyone who signs up to participate actually do so. I don’t want people to be disappointed,” Veronika explains. To make sure that everything works, she decided to reveal the names of the “Secret Santas” after every round. It really helped and so did the Slack channel which is now filled with happy faces and tons of book covers (the last theme was “Books”).
Surprise a Fellow Kiwi has surpassed our expectations in connecting people from different parts of the company.
“Last time, I was supposed to give a book to one of the devs working in Prague. When he came to Brno we met, had a cup of coffee and a very nice chat,” explains Renata Hevier, Kiwi.com’s Head of Internal Communication.
For the December Christmas issue, we wanted to remind each other of our childhoods. Check the gallery to see what the outcome was.