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Wunderman Thompson Gives Employees Back The First Day They Couldn't Have

05 June 2022
Wunderman Thompson Gives Employees Back
The First Day They Couldn't Have
On May 17th, ad agency network Wunderman Thompson onboarded new hires in the Metaverse, a pilot program created by Global Group Creative Director, Simone Nobili, who joined the agency earlier this year. He missed out on the connections from the first day of work (no lunch with the team, no greetings from his cube mates). Like everyone else who started a new job during the pandemic, he was stuck behind a screen at home, miles away from his office and new work friends.  He approached our head of HR with this idea.  
Given that Wunderman Thompson was the first global network to create its own Metaverse, Simone’s idea, “First Day in the Metaverse” seemed like a natural solution for employees to make connections with other departments, offices and people in the 20K person network who may have never crossed paths even before the pandemic.   
How it went down:
Invitations were sent to employees who missed out on their first day in the office and yesterday, was like the first day again as employees created avatars and entered the Wunderman Thompson Metaverse. They were welcomed by Global HR Leader Maree Prendergast and Wunderman Thompson’s Global CMO, Naomi Troni, who talked about the network live on the Metaverse, sharing some of the agency’s history and recent work. The exec talks were short and sweet, and it was time to mingle in the Metaverse. The ice was quickly broken because not only was it the “first day” of work, so many employees experienced their first time in the Metaverse and they could share the somewhat awkward experience of getting familiar. North America PR Director, Rebecca from the New York office (based in Boston) and UX Designer, Kelly from the St. Louis office (based in Florida) realized they both joined the network in February and talked about their kids.  Shelby based in Florida, laughed as she tried to figure out how to wave while running backwards; while Piotr from Wunderman Thompson Warsaw chatted for a minute and scooted off to another group. Emilie and Rebecca, who met virtually two years ago at their previous agencies, finally met “face to face” in the Metaverse and it felt like a mini-reunion.
What other companies can learn from Wunderman Thompson’s Onboarding Pilot:
The first day was a success, with a few technical hiccups and will be modified as the program becomes part of Wunderman Thompson’s global onboarding process. Ideally, as a global network, with 200+ offices throughout the world, the interactions in the Metaverse will spawn a more connected creative culture.
“Many people joined, many people asked to join, and many people reached out to me personally from offices around the world to thank me for creating this experience,” said Simone.  
“Onboarding in the Wunderman Thompson Metaverse is a solution that all types of companies can adopt for the future of work,” said Bas Korsten, Global Chief Creative Officer. “Everyone remembers who they started with on their first day at work, and through the Metaverse, these connections don’t have to be limited to one geographic location during orientation. Creatives can connect with finance, account coordinators can connect with potential mentors, and new groups of work friends can meet for Happy Hour in the Metaverse. These new connections across different cultures and geographies will give all of us working remotely more diverse thinking, which will lead to more inspiring work.”