Initiatives and Navigating Challenges at Instacart

Initiatives and Navigating Challenges at Instacart

Epoch and Instacart hosted a Happy Hour for leaders and innovators in the Employee Experience space to mix and mingle in San Francisco at Instacart HQ. The event featured a panel discussion where Jade Choy, Epoch's CEO and co-founder, had a conversation with Instcart’s workplace team.

In case you missed it, here are some key learnings and takeaways from our panel discussion featuring Jamie LancasterLigaya Sanchez Chan, and Jamie Pang at Instacart! Scroll on for notes! 👇

Meet Jamie, Ligaya, and Jamie 😊🎙️

Jamie Lancaster has been a workplace leader for almost five years. He is currently the Workplace Lead - Employee Experience at Instacart. He is passionate about driving innovative strategies that redefine workplace culture and engagement. 

Ligaya Sanchez Chan is a Workplace Specialist II at Instacart. She is at the forefront of cultivating a culture of inclusivity and collaboration at Instacart. 

Jamie Pang plays a pivotal role in ensuring smooth functioning and workplace operations, contributing to Instacart’s reputation for excellence in employee experience. She has over six years of experience in workplace experience and is currently the Office Manager at Instacart. 

Initiatives at Instacart

Jamie provided insights into Instacart’s organizational structure and size, emphasizing its hybrid remote model and a workforce of approximately 27,000 employees across different locations. At the core of Instacart’s workplace culture is the principle of “flex first”, allowing employees to choose their work arrangments and prioritizing employee well-being and experience. 

A cornerstone of Instacart’s workplace strategy lies in making office experiences enjoyable for employees. They discussed how the workplace team focuses on simplifying tasks like coffee access and organizing social events to create camaraderie and foster an inviting workplace environment. Instacart’s workplace experience team aims to make office visits enticing while supporting employee needs and preferences. 

The panelists spoke about Instacart’s successful engagement activities, such as the “Outside Program” designed to facilitate team bonding and collaboration. This initiative incorporates curated events, vendors, and activities, encouraging face-to-face interactions and team bonding. 

Instacart also offers specialized programs, such as Take Your Kids to Work Day and mental health awareness initiatives to demonstrate commitment to employee well-being and work-life balance. By addressing diverse needs and interests, they are creating a supportive and inclusive workplace culture.

Navigating challenges

Navigating operational challenges is integral to ensuring a seamless employee experience. They discussed how strategic partnerships and collaborations with various teams, especially executive assistants and ERGs play a vital role in addressing logistical hurdles and fostering a cohesive workplace culture. By leveraging relationships and maintaining open communication channels, Instacart’s workplace team tackles challenges effectively and drives organizational success.  

The panelists emphasized the importance of flexibility, experimentation, and proactive planning in optimizing workplace initiatives. They stressed the importance of realistic expectations, transparent communication, and continuous feedback loops to drive meaningful change and address employee needs effectively. 

For organizations like Instacart with multiple office locations, maintaining cohesion can be a challenge. However, the panelists established a centralized planning hub and leveraged technology, such as virtual meetings and shared communication channels, to ensure consistency in programs and cultural experiences across different offices.  

KPIs and metrics

Instacart uses office utilization metrics as a way to gauge the effectiveness of their employee experience initiatives. They track data related to office attendance and engagement, through Envoy, Epoch, and Badge Data to get an idea of how many bodies are in the office each day. 

In addition to quantitative metrics, Instacart gathers qualitative feedback through surveys which is essential for them to be able to understand the employees’ perspective. They ask questions such as what went well, what didn’t go well, and what could have been done better. Gathering this data allows Instacart to make improvements and innovative adjustments to keep their employees happy and better understand the needs and preferences of their workforce.

Effective communication strategies

Instacart uses Slack to share information about upcoming events and initiatives. By creating dedicated channels for office-specific updates, events, and announcements, Instacart can ensure that employees stay informed and engaged about upcoming events or announcements. Epoch is also used at Instacart to help streamline the events planning process and share information across multiple channels. 

Tips & tricks 

The Instacart workplace team believes it is important to encourage a culture of innovation and experimentation to drive continuous improvement in employee experience initiatives. By empowering employees to propose and test new ideas, Instacart can adapt and evolve its practices to better meet the changing needs of its workforce. 

Securing leadership buy-in is also crucial for the success of employee experience initiatives. They recommend demonstrating the value of these programs in enhancing employee engagement and retention, whether it be by numbers or testimonials to your leadership team, to garner support and secure resources for future initiatives. 

How Epoch can help

Use Epoch to plan your employee events and programs, then track analytics on how the events went! Epoch is an employee engagement platform used by people teams at Reddit, Asana, and more. Epoch supports any internal event that needs email, Slack announcements and reminders, calendaring, and reporting. On top of impactful engagement and feedback analytics, Epoch provides a simple way to communicate and promote events to your workforce, helping events reach employees where they prefer to receive messages.

Teams using Epoch have seen positive impacts in event engagement while reducing time spent managing and promoting events by over 70%. Udemy used Epoch to scale its inclusive culture, driving 89% participation, and Modus Create successfully scaled a global events program across 15 time zones.

Increase productivity and connection among employees through company culture with Epoch. Curious to learn more? Book a demo today!

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