Coastermatic recently helped promote Disqus company culture by putting its core values on display. Below is a quick case study on how it all worked out. Want a printable version to share around your office? Download the PDF.
Internal culture is a high priority at Disqus. As the company's Director of People Operations, it's up to Kim Rohrer to foster that culture and keep the company's core values foremost in employees' minds.
San Francisco-based Disqus, Inc. is all about enabling online communities and developing a richer communication experience. Founded in 2007, this blog comment hosting service is now not only part of more than 2.5 million websites, it is also a new way to discover and participate in conversations on its hosted platform at disqus.com. More than one billion unique visitors use Disqus every month to read about, discuss and comment on the topics that are most important to them.
Rohrer considered many ways to upkeep awareness - from company meetings to online docs to posters in the office, but none of those really resonated with employees. They were “not Disqus.”
“We faced a problem that many companies, large and small, come across,” she said. “How can we keep our values top of mind without using another inspirational poster or cheesy wall graphic everyone will stop seeing after a few days?” Disqus was ready to launch a new “Upvotes” program, where employees could recognize each other for exemplifying the company values - but what would they give the winners?
Rohrer realized that what Disqus needed was something physical yet functional—a new kind of swag—something to be sought after and that she could use to acknowledge employees who embody particular company values. She considered trophies but nixed the idea because they took up too much space. An idea for a small, lego-like desk ornament in the shape of an “upvote” hit a dead end due to complicated production constraints.
With no immediate solution, she had no choice but to let the problem brew a while….
A few weeks later, Ann Mony, Disqus’ Office and Operations Manager, stepped into a local coffee shop for a cup, and found the perfect solution: Coastermatic coasters. Mony brought the idea up to Rohrer and the rest is history!
Like Disqus, Coastermatic coasters are high-quality, custom-designed, American made… and they promote conversation.
Rohrer made a quick call to Coastermatic, and soon the two teams were working together to create coaster-ready designs using Disqus colors and shapes. Samples were sent, and a couple of weeks later 250 coasters arrived.
The coasters were small in size yet big in terms of how they could be used to transmit ideas. Rohrer and Disqus got a lot more from Coastermatic than just a way to prevent coffee rings: they got a fresh values “game”, employee engagement, and a fortified company identity.
Disqus employees upvote co-workers who display a particular company value. The coasters are bestowed on employees at an “awards ceremony” during company all-hands meetings.
The company's core values messages are now very visible, every time an employee sets down their cup or visits another employee's desk. And it's created a healthy dose of competition, too, as employees seek to collect all five core values coasters.
Coastermatic replaced “cheesy” and “conventional” with a fun and colorful approach that not only helped to make Disqus' core values known and understood, but made them a live topic of conversation among Disqus employees—something posters never could do.
Want a printable version to share around your office? Download the PDF.