Bonfyre: Improving Workforce Engagement and Driving Culturally Enriched Workplaces

Companies everywhere are constantly on the search to find (and keep) top notch employees whose values and goals align with those of the organization. In order to accomplish this, companies must maintain a robust HR team with strong leadership and tools that drive rich company cultures and high engagement rates throughout the organization.

The HR industry, in addition to the businesses it serves, will go through incredible changes and growth in the next decade. These changes are heavily driven by technology, as the growing investment in HR is fueling the growth of new tools and tech, and pressuring more established players to evolve. Experts also suggest that extrinsic-based incentive programs will turn into intrinsic drivers, resulting in better performance among employees.

In order for any company or organization to make progress in these areas, more focus needs to be placed on the employees themselves. Developing a healthy work environment and company culture is a crucial first step. Enter: Bonfyre, a company that helps businesses do just that.

Bonfyre is a workplace culture platform that is headquartered in St. Louis and serves large organizations like Express Scripts, Marriot International, Commerce Bank and Golden Corral. The Bonfyre team is constantly working to improve its product offerings, most recently with the addition of secure, one-to-one direct messaging that helps remote workers stay connected and well-informed.

Helping Employees Build Personal Relationships in Workplace

The main driver of a solid company culture comes from creating and maintaining personal relationships between employees in the workplace. Bonfyre strives to do this by providing businesses ranging from medium-size startups to Fortune 500s with a platform that mimics familiar social media apps, making it easy to boost adoption among employees. Users can scroll through a continuous feed and share statuses, announcements, photos, articles and more. Admins may also send surveys or trivia questions to employees, in addition to puzzles and other activities. Bonfyre allows employees to set up their specific profile with anecdotes about their personal interests to further drive employee “relatedness.” The platform can be used to connect teams across offices to promote better engagement among remote employees, and better integrate them into the company culture.

The idea behind the creation of Bonfyre was sparked from a desire to explore how technology can be used to drive large-scale change within an organization. Today, the company has evolved into a communications platform that is used by some of the world’s top companies, helping employees across the world form relationships with one another in the workplace.

The Men who lit the Bonfire to Celebrate Workplace Culture

Chris Dornfeld and Mark Sawyier founded Bonfyre in 2012. Currently, Chris serves Bonfyre as the Co-founder and President, while Mark serves as its Co-founder and CEO.

For two decades, Chris has applied his talents in strategy, technology and performance management to solve complex problems and build high performing organizations. His experience spans start-ups, global corporations, higher education institutes and as CIO for the City of St. Louis. Chris has a unique viewpoint that drives his understanding of culture, relationships, technology and their impact on human performance. Educated at The University of Kansas and starting his career as an architect, Chris has always focused on building things that positively impact the world. Recently, he led the creation of a national collaborative network to address STEM education in partnership with science centers, GE and National Geographic.

Mark founded his first company in 2004, an off-campus apartment website, while he was pursuing his bachelor’s degree at the Washington University in St. Louis. Mark is a passionate entrepreneur who is known for bringing his curiosity, creativity and passion for technology to companies ranging from Fortune 500s to early-stage startups. Apart from his entrepreneurial skillset, Mark has also been active in local not-for-profits such as COCA, Saint Louis Art Museum and Peter & Paul Community Services. Mark has always firmly believed in the fact that the people are the most valuable factor for any successful company. For Mark, maintaining a workplace culture that benefits the employees best showcases that value and affects the business’s bottom-line.

Future Goals of Bonfyre                  

With a goal of constant growth and improvement, the Bonfyre team is currently working on refining and adding more intelligence-driven features to its platform. Customer needs and feedback are aspects that contribute largely to future advancements of the platform. Most recently Bonfyre developed a proprietary machine learning algorithm that categorizes how people are using their platform across four categories: relationship building, knowledge sharing, internal communications and recognition. Bonfyre views these categories as the areas companies need to focus on to drive engagement and culture.