How a Peer-to-Peer Recognition App Changed Lynton’s Culture

09/08/2022 3 min read Written by Megan Combs

When you spend eight hours or more of your day working at a job, the last thing you want is to feel underappreciated. Sure, a pat on the back is great, but how long does the impact of that pat last?

In 2019, Lynton recognized the need to spread appreciation for its employees and signed on with HeyTaco, an app that aims to do just that. HeyTaco Founder Doug Dosberg created HeyTaco after realizing that most HR software wasn’t quite hitting the mark. 

“The problem is that most of them are “top-down” solutions with little employee engagement,” Doug wrote in a HeyTaco blog. “I believe this is because they’re built for the wrong person. They’re made for senior leadership and HR people rather than for us, the employees.”


He came up with the taco app idea while working at a company where he didn’t feel appreciated, and neither did his coworkers. With that, Doug started working on a platform that would engage employees and help them feel recognized and valued in the workplace. In 2016, HeyTaco was born.

“I brought it to my job and started using it there,” Doug said in a Zoom interview. “I saw how people enjoyed using it — it really resonated with people. I didn’t start this thinking it would be a business.”


How Does HeyTaco Work?

When employees want to recognize someone for their help or effort, they simply send them a taco emoji and a message in Slack. Each employee is given a certain amount of tacos to share each day. The tacos then go into a taco bank and can be redeemed for prizes, with each taco equaling between 50 cents and $1. At Lynton, we can choose from Amazon gift cards, AirPods, a massage gun, airline gift cards, and more.

However, Doug didn’t create the app with monetary rewards in mind. In fact, it started with no rewards at all.

“You don’t need rewards to have a successful peer-to-peer recognition program,” Doug said. “Rewards can change the giving behavior. If that’s the case, you’re defeating the purpose of HeyTaco. It’s all about the intrinsic value of how it feels to give and receive. The more authentic it is, the more impactful.”


Lynton + HeyTaco = Warm Fuzzies

CEO Daniel Lynton signed on with HeyTaco in 2019 as a way to experiment with peer recognition.

“Since its launch, it has grown a life of its own,” Daniel said. “It is a culture magnet that spreads our core values. It is a flowing river of gratitude that warms our hearts and brings smiles to our workday. What started as a perk and rewards program has become a priceless fixture in our company culture.”

Lynton’s VP of Agency Services Brian Wajda agrees, adding that even our clients want a share of our taco economy. They’ve asked us to give tacos to our teammates on their behalf.

“HeyTaco has built a culture of gratitude at Lynton,” Brian said. “People don't think about the reward, it's just our way to thank or call people out. Even our clients have eaten it up. Not literally, but you get it.”


HeyTaco fun fact: Before the app made a public debut, Doug originally used a beer emoji 🍺 as a “cheers!”

“Some people I worked with said beers may not resonate with everyone,” Doug said. “Tacos came to me because there’s nothing that brings people together like food. Eating brings people together, plus tacos are fun and unconventional.”

Now, thousands of companies around the world use HeyTaco, and Doug said he even has lots of users in Japan where they don’t even regularly enjoy tacos.

Come for the Tacos, Stay for the Good Vibes

When you ask Lyntonians about some of the best perks at the company, one of the first things they mention is the tacos. They’ve created a culture that’s hard to find at other companies and built a bond that helps us all work better together.

By: Megan Combs

With a background in magazine journalism, Megan channels her love of the English language and grammar into her writing and editing. Before joining Lynton, Megan was a top content marketer at a digital marketing agency, where she helped clients translate their brand promises into strategic digital and social media messages.

Subscribe Today

Stay Up-to-Date With HubSpot and Marketing Trends

Never miss a beat with the latest marketing strategies and tactics. Subscribe to the Lynton blog and receive valuable insights straight to your inbox.