1 September 2017
When Tourism Holdings Limited brought Dave Simmons onboard two years ago to develop Mighway (the RV owner’s rental business) he was given a clean slate to craft a new business unit with an independent company culture. That culture has been built around ice-cream!
“I’m passionate about the idea that company culture is both a marketing function and a philosophy, it drives the brand” says Dave.
“Employees want an organisation where they are trusted, not micro-managed and feel engaged in the business. Plus it’s got to be fun. When Mighway was in a start-up phase the original staff were workshopped to come up with 4 key values which related to both the company culture and the brand proposition”.
The 4 values of Mighway became “Curiosity”, “Authenticity”, “Freedom” & “Partnership”. Taking Freedom as an example; from a customer perspective it was the freedom to be on the road in a campervan, from a staff perspective it was the freedom to come and go, the freedom to explore new ideas, the freedom to be trusted.
But rather than calling these a set of values Mighway turned them into flavours and this is where ice-cream comes in. “If you're touring the country in a motorhome some of the best memories you’re going to create is stopping at that rural dairy and having an ice-cream on a summer's day, it’s a joyous moment, it stands out and that’s the culture we wanted to create” according to Dave.
So Mighway formed a partnership with local ice-cream maker JOY and sent their staff to the factory for a day creating ice-cream to reflect the 4 brand flavours. There is now a permanent ice-cream freezer in the Auckland Mighway office where staff and visitors can help themselves to a scoop! “Most organisations will offer you a cup of coffee when you visit for a meeting, at Mighway we offer a tub of ice-cream” says Dave. The ice-cream idea has now created its own language within the office including our monthly “scoop” award and recognising staff with “iced it” or “ice work” stickers.
Alongside the ice-cream Mighway have introduced other concepts which make it the coolest place to work, “we’ve got a meeting space set up with bean bags so staff can sit together on their laptops to work and we’re currently developing a quiet breakout space in the attic of the building”.
“It’s also important for Mighway employees to understand our business, so within 3 months of starting all new staff are lent a motorhome for a weekend and encouraged to head away and have an experience in one. It’s another example of how we are evolving the Mighway culture as the business develops” Dave says. Ice-cream, bean-bags and a motorhome holiday experience, Mighway is definitely the right way to work!