How Instacart used Epoch to build employee communities with 20k+ data points

Learn how Instacart creates internal events and programs and analyzes engagement data points to foster connectivity between colleagues, both online and in-person.

“Epoch has helped us create a culture of inclusion and community. We evaluated other solutions, but knew that in order for this to be successful, it had to be easy to use. Epoch’s Slack integration was the right fit for our team. It meets our employees where they already are, and is becoming our central hub for culture and programs.” – Jamie Lancaster

Here’s a few numbers that are exciting about Instacart:

  • 237 events on Epoch in less than 8 months
  • 28 admins 
  • 20,319 employee engagement data points analyzed for Instacart
  • 1,107 communications and scheduling messages automated with Epoch 
  • Top-attended program types by Instacart Carrots:
  • All Hands
  • New Hire Events
  • Team Offsites and Meetups
  • Learning & Development
  • Wellness and Fitness Events

About Instacart

Instacart is the leading online grocery platform in North America. Instacart shoppers offer same-day delivery and pickup services to bring fresh groceries and everyday essentials to busy people and families across the U.S. and Canada. 

What was Instacart trying to solve?

For Instacart, as the future of work evolves, so does where they work. Instacart knows there’s no one-size-fits-all approach for how people do their best work. This year, they introduced a new hybrid work environment that includes in-office, flex, and remote work where teams and employees choose what fits them best.

Ultimately, Instacart wants every employee to feel engaged, productive, and successful. They want to create a high-impact and collaborative culture. 

Meet Jamie, Workplace Lead for Events

Jamie Lancaster is integral to creating and leading employee events and programs that create a sense of community and collaboration. 

We know now: community isn’t location-bound. Over the past year, Instacart has learned to master the art of being social virtually. They are intentional about building culture and investing in keeping everyone connected, globally.

Jamie leads all of Instacart’s employee events, which includes all things virtual and in-person. His focus is to create moments for meaningful connections for Instacart’s employees through internal events. 

“It’s really great to do gatherings to have everyone meet each other, especially in cities where we didn’t have as much of a presence until now," says Jamie. 

“It’s really great to do gatherings, especially in cities where we didn’t have as much of a presence until now to have everyone meet each other," says Jamie.

For Instacart, this comes in the form of programs like:

  • Culinary Classes (very on-brand events!) 
  • Make Mexican Street Tacos with Pro Chef
  • Cook Pasta from Scratch with an Italian Grandma
  • Cocktails Masterclass with UK Champion
  • Cook Pad Thai Like a Real Thai Presented by Women@
  • Diwali Special: Make Samosa & Coriander Chutney from Scratch Presented by Women@
  • Fun Social Events
  • Drag Queen Bingo Virtual Event
  • Team Offsites
  • End-of-Year Gatherings
  • Team Meet & Greets
  • Fitness & Wellness
  • New Hire Events (e.g. Halloween Party, The Ultimate Game Night, Virtual Magic Show)

The need to seamlessly create opportunities for employee connection and community

Over half of Instacart’s company has not met another colleague in person due to their huge growth over the past year. This makes having opportunities for meaningful connections and community crucial. 

Jamie and his team found themselves leading the charge of numerous programs at Instacart: from weekly virtual fitness classes and supporting ERGs in their community events, to in-person gatherings for new hires and large company events when it was safe.

There is a lot of logistics and communications to make an event successful. 

“Relying on just Google Calendar was not scalable," says Jamie.

How Instacart relies on Epoch to streamline events and internal communications 

“With Epoch, every team, from EAs to ERGs to the workplace team, is able to have a comprehensive view of internal communications and scheduled events. There’s no more scheduling on top of each other’s programs,” says Jamie.

With Instacart’s immense growth this year, it was important for them to have employee culture and community scale with the help of Epoch. 

The workflows required to ensure employees are aware and engaged are often scattered, especially now that there are so many work tools competing for our attention.

For Jamie, the ability to pre-schedule internal communications, such as reminders and announcements, on existing platforms, such as Slack, email and calendar, was critical. 

“I love that Epoch is a single place that all employees can easily access to get connected, especially with a user-friendly Slack integration.”

“At orientation for new employees, Epoch is one of the first places employees are pointed to in order to find their community and get a sense of Instacart’s culture.” 

Data, surveys and budgeting while saving time from administrative tasks

With 2+ years of being virtual, Jamie found that sending physical gifts and kits to pair with virtual events are often a hit. It helps make an experience more tangible and deepens that connection between employees in virtual events.

However, the execution of this experience often requires a lot of chasing after employees for forms and budgeting to ensure the right number of kits are ordered. 

For Jamie, “Epoch helps our admins work more efficiently, especially with data and surveys which collect information to review in one place."

When pre-event questionnaires or feedback forms are needed, Epoch is there to compile all this important information in one place. No more digging through emails! 

What’s most exciting about Epoch for Instacart in the future?

“We are excited to have all our company-wide events on Epoch," says Jamie. Essentially Epoch will be the standard and central hub where employees have easy access to Instacart’s culture, communities and programs. 

It's also been exciting to see Instacart's CARE team feel more connected via Epoch. For folks that are focused on operations, they have been able to turn to Epoch's Slack integration in channels for micro-events and moments. For example, the CARE team uses Epoch's integration to schedule 10-15 minute intervals of yoga stretches or prompt social channels with icebreakers curated by Instacart's teams! 

“Also, we are so excited for Epoch’s content library. This is where we will host all of our recorded content, and our upcoming podcast!” says Jamie.

As Instacart continues to grow, they want to continue empowering internal communities and teams to easily create opportunities for connecting and gathering. “Epoch helps empower more teams to put something together for their communities and teams!”

“Epoch has helped us with creating a culture of inclusion and community. We looked at some other solutions but knew that in order for this to be successful, it had to be easy to use. Epoch’s Slack integration was the right fit for our team: it meets our employees where they already are, and is becoming our central hub for culture and programs.”

Ready to see Epoch in action?

Give your people teams the tools they deserve so they can put workplace culture at the top of company priorities.

Get a demo