Creating a great company culture takes work. Creating a great remote company culture takes creativity. How do you engage in small talk with your co-workers without the proverbial water cooler? How do you celebrate success, commiserate over struggles, enjoy birthdays, anniversaries or holidays without a company outing or celebration in the break room? How do you make work more than just a computer you log into and get your tasks completed? It’s not easy! But at WebDevStudios (WDS), we found a way to make it work by relying on HeyTaco! to improve our company culture.
Early on, we realized that creating a great company culture starts with great communication. We have found that Slack is a great platform for executing communication in an intuitive way and lines up well with all our company’s needs. Part of what makes Slack great is the ability to integrate with third-party apps to really make Slack your own, such as the awesome app HeyTaco!
At its most basic level, HeyTaco! is a team-executed reward system. Just invite HeyTaco! into your Slack channels and you are ready to go. Everyone has five tacos to give out per day. To give out your tacos, simply post a nice message, include the Slack handle of the recipient, and add a taco emoji.
WDS set a few simple ground rules at the beginning: tacos must be given in our General channel only and must include a message. But basically, we let everyone use HeyTaco! as they see fit. Within a couple months, the team had completely embraced taco giving. In the two years we have had HeyTaco!, our team has given 26,695 tacos and redeemed 373 rewards!
What’s the point of all this taco giving? To put it simply: unity, recognition and gratitude. You name it and someone has probably given out a taco for it. Team member appreciation, an especially great GIF, a birthday, gratitude for leadership, welcoming a new team member, motivation on a difficult task, a great client call are all just a few of the reasons we give out tacos.
Recently, taco giving has expanded beyond Slack in the form of “real-life tacos,” which are verbal shout outs of recognition, on Friday afternoons during our all-hands video conference call. Taco giving has become such a way of life at WDS that a few of our people have accidentally given clients tacos in client Slack channels, which doesn’t work, but everyone appreciates the enthusiasm.
“HeyTaco! builds stronger happier teams and creates a culture of giving. It makes recognizing each other fun and creates deeper relationships.”
– Doug Dosberg, Founder and Chief Taco Officer of HeyTaco!
So we are giving out tacos left and right; we are sharing our struggles and successes with our team members, working together and recognizing that even the small things are important. Now what?
Once a team member has received sufficient tacos to qualify for rewards, they can head over to the HeyTaco! reward page to redeem them for something awesome. At WDS, we currently have a variety of options, including gift cards, movie tickets, days off, charity contributions, and more. Some of our amazing team members have taken it a step further by using their hard-earned tacos to purchase rewards for other team members. I absolutely LOVE this!
As you can see, taco giving has really become part of our company culture. I think we have always had an amazing group of hardworking, good-hearted and welcoming people here, but the simple act of giving a taco in Slack has really highlighted just how giving and appreciative our team is. We have really embraced the importance of communicating our gratitude, celebrating the little things, and recognizing the community that is WebDevStudios. The moment they are added to Slack, our new employees are greeted with a multitude of tacos welcoming them to the team and setting a precedent from day one. I absolutely love how this has impacted our company for the better.
If you are interested in adding HeyTaco! at your organization I suggest you give it a try. You may be as amazed by the results as I have been. As Doug Dosberg says, “For many, the taco emoji is a symbol of appreciation. You can never show too much appreciation.”