unu as the ideal employee benefit
Starting the day being stuck in traffic or packed into a delayed train, leaving you with less time for the morning coffee and maybe even making you late for an important meeting. There's many factors that can affect your, your colleagues or employees start into the day. Now imagine; you would get 10 minutes more in the morning for all your routines, you could cruise through traffic and you arrive in the office without sweat stains, spilled coffee or a pulse above healthy. That's more or less how the 42 employees at Personio get to the office - smoothly on their unus.
How does unu as a business partner actually look like? Let us introduce our very first ‘Business to business’ partnership with Personio in Munich who have experienced the benefits of a B2B collaboration with unu since 2015.
We talked to Hanno, co-founder and CEO of Personio, a holistic HR Management and Recruitment platform solution for small to medium enterprises. The relationship between unu and Personio is also a very special one. Hanno and Elias got to know each other during their studies at the Center for Digital Technology & Management, a go-to place for innovative students in Munich. Hanno even worked for unu at the very beginning just before he founded his own start-up in late 2014. Both, unu and Personio, share the same working philosophy and know the challenges of being a young business, which contributes the little extra to the business relationship.
Read on to hear what Hanno thinks about the partnership with unu and what advantages the collaboration brings for a company.
unu might not obviously come across as a B2B proposition - why did you choose it nonetheless?
unu is not an obvious B2B product, it is basically more B2B2C as we buy the unus for our employees and then they are using it for private and business travel. From the employer’s perspective it is very attractive because on the one hand we can offer our employees a great add-on to have fun and get around with. And on the other hand it also helps Personio to be seen positively as an employer. We also did some employer branding with the unus, so every time somebody sees the appealing electric scooter they also see our name next to it. It is a perfect way to get into conversation with people who first ask what this scooter is and then go on with “Oh and what is Personio?” - it is a nice combination of this excitement factor for the unu and introducing Personio which works perfectly for us. Also in interviews people already refer to the electric scooter as a trigger for applying. It really creates more visibility and recognition for actually both brands.
But we also feel very close to unu because we share the same working philosophy and start-up culture. Being an HR and Recruitment company we obviously care about the right hiring process for new Personio members and I know unu does so too as they have a similar system. We introduced a 5 stage recruiting process everybody has to go through with several interviews conducted by different team members from HR to the team lead but also the CEOs with clear guidelines to ensure finding suitable people and to be able to treat everybody equally. One big part of this process is the so-called Culture Interview which aims at getting to know the person and in how far he or she is aligned with the company’s five core values that guide everyday actions at Personio.
You offer a web-based HR tool-set. How does this fit an e-mobility real-world solution like unu?
For us, and speaking about core values before, there are two values which supported our decision to partner with unu: One is the responsibility aspect, the sustainable way of transportation. This is also aligned with our general understanding of responsibility - for example, our investment agreement states that 1% of our company will go to a non-profit organization in case of an exit. Also when a new employee joins us, having been proposed by someone from Personio, we make a payment to whatever good cause our staff member chooses. So giving a sustainable way of transportation to our employees reflects this idea about responsibility. The second one relates to the fun component. People really enjoy driving the unu but it also motivates future team happenings like having a crew ride to the Biergarten. This team spirit is the other value we all share at Personio.
What mattered to you when looking for the right B2B partner in this case?
During my studies I worked for unu myself and had this connection to this brand immediately. I also know the founders quite well. So I already knew from a personal experience, as I also have my unu for quite a while now, that this is something which I really enjoy. I thought that it would be a cool idea to give your employees an unu, even before founding anything. We kind of were joking around it when we were still working from the university not having an office or anything but agreed that once we raised the money let’s actually do that. It is also not too expensive for you as an employer because you don’t pay the 19% added value tax when purchasing an unu for your company. You can also get a good deal when you buy several scooters at once. So it is already a lot cheaper then if you get it as a private person or if we as a company provide a pay raise so that they can afford an unu themselves, which would just be uneconomical in comparison. So to sum it up, the outcome of offering the unu to the employee is actually priceless - it increases the motivation of the employee to be working for Personio but also how the company is recognized from the outside.
So let’s imagine, I applied at Personio, got through your 5 step recruitment and start soon - what happens next?
Apart from work experience students and interns, every full-time employee gets offered an unu, it is part of the compensation package. So the onboarding process starts actually before the first working day where you have the chance to choose the colour and seat colour of your unu - they all are 3 kW so that is fixed - via our own Personio HR system. As soon as the unu Scooters arrive at the office they are all placed in the entrance hall. Then on your first working day your key awaits you at your desk and the unu is waiting for you with your name tag in the hallway. It is funny when new team members join us you see them sneaking around their unu during the day, sitting on it, driving through the office with it and just exploring it - they are really excited about it.
What do you think would happen if suddenly all unus were taken away again?
It certainly would create a huge uprising amongst the people, and also myself, as we are all really in love with our unus and drive it every day, so they would be really annoyed when they were gone - we would not want to miss the unu anymore!
What did you especially like about unu? How does it fulfill your expectations of a B2B proposition?
I personally like most about the unu that it is just so convenient to get anywhere basically. For each trip I make, even if Munich is not so big, I just take the unu. Nothing would get me around here so easily and quickly as the unu. I also drive mine all way throughout winter; I literally take it for every trip anytime. For our team we use it a lot for lunch gatherings, drive there together, especially during the warmer days. But also going to the gym it is always fun to see how many are there when parking your unu next to the others.
So it does not only give us an improvement on team building, time efficiency, and fun but also holds what a B2B partner should have - a good deal. We received a bulk purchase discount and also get one free helmet per scooter. unu is also always available for support as we take care of insurance or anything really ourselves so the employee does not have to deal with any of that but gets a full package. The whole process is also automated and the partnership runs smoothly.
What would your ideal unu exploration with the team look like?
From very easy things like going to the Biergarten or down to Flaucher or once a month we are doing an office dinner, until now mostly at the office, but this is totally something I would like to take outside and combine with a big crew ride.
Would you recommend unu to other companies/businesses?
Definitely. Besides the reasons I already mentioned, it is also the branding effect for the employer you gain which makes people talk about it. For example, one time we have been to an event in Berlin and someone approached us saying “You must be the guys from Personio with those unus, the electric scooters right?” because he saw a post on our Linkedin with the scooters. And of course for the internal culture it is a great asset and plays a big role.
PS: Personio is still growing so if you’re looking for a job in Munich with a great team culture, have a look at their website.