When The History Factory was brought into the anniversary planning process, Discover had determined that it wanted a surprise anniversary event each month, but planning had not progressed much beyond that point. Based on the initial phase of research, The History Factory suggested they augment the planned monthly anniversary year events with an internal employee engagement website that would serve as the hub for anniversary-related initiatives.
Entering the anniversary year, a survey of employees determined baseline attitudes and engagement scores. Every program would later be measured again to see if and how the programming was affecting employees. Based on the research and preliminary work, Discover determined that a strategically executed 25th anniversary celebration should accomplish the following goals: increase its internal employee engagement score and improve its Gallup ranking in this category, touch virtually all of its 11,000+ employees with at least one anniversary activity, and achieve at least a 75 percent rating among employees surveyed.
The History Factory developed a 25th anniversary website for Discover that featured a variety of components designed to engage employees, beginning with a 30-day “teaser” splash page depicting a sun dawning a bit more each day until it was fully above the horizon on launch day. Once launched, an illustrated, interactive timeline engaged people with embedded short videos and brief write-ups of corporate milestones. Each quarter a new theme driving Discover’s history was featured— (1) culture and character, (2) customers, (3) payments and (4) financial services—supported by the website’s core content and related illustrated content. By the fourth quarter, all four thematic sections were available. Four videos, one for each of the four key themes, debuted on the anniversary website at the start of each quarter.
To further engage employees, multiple-choice history quizzes were posted biweekly on the site throughout the year. The quizzes consisted of four questions drawn from material on the anniversary website, and incorrect answers led to links on the website where the correct answer could be found. The winners’ rankings were posted on the site for all employees to see. At year-end, the anniversary theme was removed and the website was repurposed to serve as a heritage portal.
As a thank you to the employees, The History Factory produced an employee culture e-publication, with a limited print run of 16,500, based on the eight Discover values: Doing the Right Thing, Innovation, Simplicity, Collaboration, Openness, Volunteerism, Enthusiasm and Respect. The text was primarily drawn from Discover employees’ responses to program- related questions about how Discover’s values related to them personally. Other stories featured employees’ fondest memories from their time with the company. Full of the images and words of Discover’s people, this 140-page gift was a way to capture personal stories and recognize the anniversary by celebrating the people who made it possible.