Starting at Stanwick in the middle of COVID? Mission accomplished!

Jeroen and Bie

Colleagues Bie Delodder & Jeroen Simoen have been members of the Stanwick family for 1 year. A start we will not soon forget. They are happy to share their personal experiences from their very eventful first year at Stanwick.

How did your start at Stanwick go?

Jeroen: 20 January 2020, my first day at Stanwick. A warm welcome. Opening the mailbox, the first meeting invites pour in; colleagues taking the initiative of their own accord to bring about a first acquaintance. The family feeling talked about at the time of recruitment emerges right from the start.

Bie: I started at Stanwick with Jeroen in January 2020. And the warm welcome he describes I too have experienced.

Jeroen: In the first few weeks, there will be training on all the know-how domains Stanwick stands for without making any distinction between the organisational or the operational part. All this in an atmosphere where there is no pressure yet to be deployed in customer projects.

How did COVID-19 impact your start-up?

Jeroen: After about two months, it is already starting to itch to start working on projects. However, COVID-19 then starts to hit hard and the first lockdown is a fact. Due to the measures in force, going on-site at the client's premises is not possible. In addition, a number of customers are forced to put the brakes on their spending. The prospect of the planned flying start seems to be completely lost.

Bie: After the first few months of training and introductions, I can start up in a colleague's ongoing project. Naturally, I am super excited to get started but before we realise it, we are in the first lockdown. Jeroen starts working for colleagues, I initially continue my training programme and, where possible, support colleagues in converting face-to-face training and workshops to virtual sessions.

What was the further development during the corona crisis?

Jeroen: Soon Stanwick shifts gears to cope with this new context. Unexpectedly, however, some colleagues become very busy. This gives me the opportunity to perform data analysis and set up models in the back office, in support. This seemed a bit blindfolded considering I never had the opportunity to observe the organisations/processes in question. But with the expertise and knowledge, and willingness to help, together we ensured that possible "gaps" were filled.

In the meantime, a digital transformation is underway internally at Stanwick to maximise the services offered to customers remotely as well. On top of that, the decision is made to move the offices to Lochristi. This is a direct translation of what Stanwick is also unpacking at the time: "From defence over resilience to imagination". In an ever-changing context, constant adjustments are made to allow the team to continue supporting customers with the Stanwick approach.

Bie: The lockdown does not mean a halt or pause of my ongoing project. When the teams and team leads are used to the new reality after 2 weeks, I will step into the project with them. My focus is on supporting 2 team leads and their teams in installing the lean tools taught earlier. Prior to Covid-19 times, this means I am present on the shop floor for workshops, training, discussions and team meeting. I work with the teams on flip charts and whiteboards. Now it means everything, including the first meeting, happens virtually.

But I am looking forward to it and so are the team leads, there is no lack of energy in the meantime. Meetings are planned virtually, online whiteboards are tested and used intensively, team meetings take on a completely different form, duration and purpose. We are making great progress together and are looking forward to meeting each other "in real life". Sitting together with the full teams has not been a possibility, but in the summer months, meetings with the team leads were able to take place face to face. And we could conclude that it was different from what we are used to. Not better, not worse but different.

Where are you now & how do you see the future?

Jeroen: Meanwhile, Bie and I have been employed for over a year. Our first Stanwick year is equivalent to the year of Covid-19. Was this better or worse than colleagues' first year at Stanwick? No idea but at least it was different. Whereas some colleagues had to switch from routines to the virtual context, for me it was almost equal to my start-up. On top of that, going on-site at clients in the future and meeting colleagues physically more frequently will give extra energy. This will only benefit the projects, both external and internal.

Bie: I am immensely looking forward to what my next years at Stanwick will bring. Being able to build together with customers on their growth. We will continue to work 100% virtually for a while yet, but I hope to be able to take steps soon to meet each other back on the shop floor. Besides, there are also a lot of cool projects planned to continue building Stanwick together with colleagues. And although we have become very adept at video calls, I am greatly looking forward to a first Stanwick meeting in our new office!


The team process is guided by a pragmatic roadmap based on the theory of Patrick Lencioni. In his model, he describes five foundations that are necessary for a successful team: trust, open dialogue, commitment, accountability and co-ownership. we create a secure framework and ensure that all team members are willing to talk.
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