Costco + Ingenuity: An Unforgettable Employee Appreciation Day

Photo of Katie McFate. She has black hair with an enthusiastic smile.
  • Author: Katie McFate

This year, when we logged onto morning stand-up on Employee Appreciation Day, our team had a full “YOU GET A CAR” Oprah audience moment. But, it was better than a car (who needs the taxes) – we each received a Costco gift card and a team trip to Costco.

Why Costco? Well fun fact, the Ingenuity team LOVES Costco. Our weekend Costco shopping trips and top finds are discussed regularly at our remote team meetings and are part of our virtual water cooler topics.

But this time, we went to Costco, TOGETHER. This trip took on a life of its own. To prepare for the outing, we shared our favorite Costco podcasts, blogs, and discussed our shopping strategies, e.g., buy several Spafinder gift cards vs. stock up on frozen food favorites. Or do we go big… buy a TV and save money by applying the gift card? #GirlMath

In between projects, statuses, and client meetings, we added joy to our day, planning our team outing.

The actual day was everything we had hoped. We walked around and shared, in person, our Costco Finds. We’ve learned that Christie’s daughter Kenzie loves her Frigidaire icemaker away at college and now I might buy one. Christie and Meghan also love Boom Chick-a-Pop popcorn, which they snack on during a long work day. Taco stocked up on Dino Nuggies and I bought fancy peanut butter called Nutt-zo that Greg introduced me to. I like it.

But here’s the thing. If we were in-person, we would know each other’s go-to lunches, snacks, and workday eating habits. Sitting next to each other in the office, we would have asked about something that looked particularly good and maybe added it to our grocery list. That’s part of getting to know your co-workers — that shared food experience.

So that day at Costco, our fully remote company had an intentionally weird and wonderful outing. We got to know each other a little better, learned something new, and even tried something new.

We are all deeply appreciative of the shared experience and have formalized our love for big-box shopping in our new Slack channel #CostcoFinds.

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