Kununu Matters, but Don’t Forget Your Company Alumni

Markus HenkelSeptember 2023

Unic Alumnus Reto

For Unic, employees are not a means to an end. The DNA of the company is based on a very strong core – an operating system called trust. I do not have to prove anything to anyone. They need my skills; they need me as a person. I think it is this appreciation of people that makes Unic stand out, and it is the reason why I came back.

There is no hidden agenda behind Unic’s communication with parting colleagues. They are just interested to learn what alumni will be doing in future. People leaving the company is part of doing business. And so is people returning.

I reckon it’s about identifying with the company, and there are many different ways to identify with a specific company. Personally, I identify with Unic because I find the value creation convincing. It is not driven only by commercial considerations, but first and foremost by an honest, and, more importantly, human way of interacting with people – and that goes for both customers and employees. Why does that work the way it does? Unic lets me contribute with my expertise where I think it is right. I am not directed anywhere. The old zoo system was disbanded years ago and Holacracy was introduced: The times when project managers were corralled into pre-designed enclosures are over. Now, every employee is given a spade and off you go: “Build your own enclosure, create your own working conditions.”

Unic Alumna Marta

For companies, it is immensely important to be open to the idea that colleagues may sometimes want a change of professional scenery. And when they do eventually decide to return, that is really high praise! It is more than the opportunity for professional growth that makes them take this step: The company culture, combined with the deeply rooted values, plays a key part. 

As part of our alumni series, Marta Imos-Merska, Senior Application Architect, explains why she returned to Unic. 

Before I left Unic Poland in Wrocław, I was working for them as an application engineer. And as it so often happens, I was offered a managerial position, wanted to try my hand at it and changed jobs. However, after only a year I realised that I missed the technical challenges of implementing applications. 

And the fact that I have been back for over six years now speaks for itself. 

The next step was obvious – I needed to go back to programming. And as I was combing through job offers, I had a very bright idea. Why not return to Unic? I had loved my work there and had learned a lot of new things during my time with Unic – the projects are interesting, they care a lot about code quality and they share my curiosity for new technical solutions. Add to that a great team spirit and great support in general. So I contacted Unic, and luckily, they were pleased to have me back. 

The corporate culture and the relationships with my colleagues were two main reasons for me to rejoin Unic. Of course, interesting projects and implementation puzzles are very important. But I only enjoy them when the international environment I work in is shaped by cooperation, trust, openness, empathy and equality. 

All this, combined with so many diverse and exciting projects and opportunities for personal development, is why I am so happy to be back at Unic.

Unic Alumnus Dechapon

I left Unic back in the day because I really wanted to gain some experience in product development. Working in a startup company was also something I found tempting. But I realised over time that there was more variety to working at Unic. It is not just about the tasks and challenges in projects, but especially the opportunity to dive into the various technologies and take them for a spin – that’s priceless.

Without a doubt, the colleagues and the way we communicate with each other are other key drivers. We are professional, yet very friendly. And there are no hierarchies around here.

Unic Alumnus Benjamin

Of course, there are a few fundamental things that make you consider returning to Unic.

It is the really fair treatment of employees. That fair treatment is flanked by great people, in all the different roles and circles. What’s also worth a mention: It is an environment where you feel at ease but where you will also find challenges to sink your teeth into. Because despite a unique comfort factor, we are in the project business after all – and you cannot eliminate the stress completely.

It was exactly that mix that brought me back to Unic. Exciting projects and the surprisingly many colleagues with whom I had had good experiences. And in retrospect, my departure back then seems funny now: Holacracy was one of the reasons why I started looking for a new place to work; today I can barely imagine returning to a conventional company culture. And yeah, of course, practical considerations also played a role in my return, such as the commuting distance.

As an employer, Unic does a lot different from many other companies. I particularly appreciate their great efforts to retain employees, always thinking outside the box and always treating everyone with respect and appreciation, even during off-boarding or in the alumni process. As an alumnus, for instance, I still felt close to the company as an ambassador and Unic kept inviting me to events every now and then – which is quite uncommon, unfortunately.

Unic Alumnus Jean-Marc

I was lucky enough to have colleagues who kept trying to get me to come back, in the nicest possible way. A dear colleague even invented a fictitious applicant for the position that I had left. “He is really good and they are about to accept him.” Since I had already had a few negative experiences with my new employer at the time, it was the nudge I needed.

So, my colleagues were the main reason. Working with them is just terrific. In terms of expertise, we all move at a very high level. It is a very diverse group made up of different specialists from many different domains. It is that level of professionalism, combined with the friendly and respectful way we interact and communicate which creates a great team spirit and a pleasant working environment. But there is something I do miss: Back then, we used to go for a beer sometimes after work, and that would turn into two or more every once in a while. Of course, that has changed quite a bit since the Covid pandemic. But I am sure that the after-work beers will return in good time.

Apart from all the personal aspects, of course, the work itself was also an incentive to return to Unic. Naturally, the different customers you are in charge of can be demanding. But then, exciting projects also give you an opportunity to learn many new things and stay up to date in your field of expertise.

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