CB Innovation Partner Michael Thaney come to us with a unique problem at Constellation Brands. As a Fortune 500 company, Constellation Brands holds the third-largest market share for supplying beer and is the largest beer importer in the US. Surprisingly, as a company that sells party essentials, the company culture doesn't appear as excited as the product to their employees. Moreover, the voluntary turnover rate has seemed to be increasing.
Monday is when employees usually plan out their weekly work schedule. To reduce friction when pairing for MealMate, the users are matched ahead of time every Monday for Tuesday to Friday lunch, so they can coordinate and plan ahead.
Users have the option of having a random match or getting pair up with MealMate that share common interests. The app will provide a prompt when the pair happen that can be a nice ice breaker.
Every pairing is saved to the profile to enable users to establish a deeper connection after the meal. A recap provides users statics like department breakdown and overall ratings.
A feedback form is provided after each meal to help the company understand if MealMate contributes to employees' satisfaction further help the company grow.
By conducting stakeholder interviews it was quickly apparent that the job functions vary so much from farmers growing grapes and creating wine brands, to line workers bottling Corona, to the office employees conducting meetings and signing papers. It was clear that we need to narrow down our target audience in order to come up with an effective, focused solution. We started by creating our Value Proposition Canvas, which help us concluded that we need to group employees not by the department but their day-to-day activities as this feature will have the most commonality. After some team sprint exercises, we decided to focus on office employees as our target audience because of the potential of scalability.
In order to get a clearer insight into the problem, we conducted lean interviews with ten potential users to understand office employees' difficulties in feeling connected to the company. We discovered some common insights across the board:
01. Have more friends
80% of the interviewees would be more inclined to stay with the company longer if they had more friends.
02. Feel valued
Not all employees need to speak to each other but having in-person communication is effective in making employees feel valued.
03. Keep it real
When it comes to inner-company dialogue, “keeping it real” and authenticity is key rather than a forced get-together.
From the insights we gained, our team ideated 50 solutions. After obtaining feedback from our client and undergoing risk assessment, we ultimately landed on the idea that we have named MealMate. The goal of MealMate is to enable employees to connect more naturally and efficiently. It avoids awkward ice breaker games, happy hours where employees chat with the same people every time and takes you to the most common cultural gathering event - a meal.
To test this solution, we ran a pilot at Constellation Brands where we manually paired up 40 employers to have lunch together. Using a pre-survey to ask about basic information like their interests, job title, and years in the company. Then use those data to pair people up. An email was sent a week earlier to notify the test subjects about the pairing and gave them a time frame to have lunch together. 91% of the employees who were matched actually went to lunch. The employees then were asked to take a post-survey for us to gather feedback. We concluded four takeaways:
01. Let users take control of coordinating location
Employees prefer to coordinate with their MealMate and pick which restaurant to dine in by themselves rather we assign it to them.
02. Use interests as a prompt
Matching employees with their interests and providing the reason why they are matched is a good prompt for starting a conversation.
03. Seamless scheduling is key
Everyone has a different schedule, so “time" should be the first thing to consider when pairing people up.
04. Connection outside of usual peer group
Employees prefer to be matched with someone further removed from their department.
After the experiment, I have a basic idea of how the app should function, so I began to map out the structure of the app. I first hand-sketched a low-fi prototype, from here it was a back and forth of testing and refining. Until the flow is well established I moved to Figma to create a high-fi prototype.
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