We may not take ourselves too seriously here at Electric Kiwi, but one thing we are serious about is our workplace culture. It’s one of the reasons we jump out of bed in the morning, stoked to be coming to work. Come and take a look inside our home away from home.
It’s hilarious when one of your workmates (usually Allan) bursts into meetings carrying their mat and squeezes under the table and joins the meeting. Or when Bean races across the office chasing her ball. In most workplaces, the final straw would be Roger’s bad breath or the need for you to accompany him on a toilet stop.
However, here at Electric Kiwi that’s pretty standard behaviour. Before you decide we stand out from the crowd for all the wrong reasons, let us explain. Roger is our CEO Luke's Golden Labrador. Allan is a long-haired Weimaraner who holds the official title of HR manager and is the reigning NZ Office Dog of the year (an actual award). Bean is a Brindle Staffy. All three of them, along with our other furry friends have made themselves quite at home in our office.
We like to think we do things a little differently than the average power company. Not only within our business practices, but internally with our day-to-day working vibe. Starting with inviting our four-legged friends to join us in the office. Dogs and their quirks have become an integral part of our cultural fabric and work family.
“Having dogs at work really keeps everyone on an even keel, it helps maintain perspective, no matter what, it's hard to feel stressed when a dog wanders over and sniffs or licks you.” Luke - CEO
Our in-house culture is something we work hard at and are proud of. The good-will we encourage internally is similar to that of a generously pulled pint of lager. The frothy goodness flows over into how we treat our customers, and we genuinely enjoy our interactions with you lot.
“It’s really a testament to the job we do as to how happy people are to have normal conversations with us on a regular basis. We know a lot of our customers by first name, as they are frequently messaging us about stuff they have seen or telling us how they are getting on with their Hour of Power.” Chris - Social Media Manager
Just like you, we are a business made up of “good eggs”. So it’s fitting that Electric Kiwi was born out of a conversation between three of those eggs who were old high school friends from Whakatāne. Our CEO later came on board over a beer and a firm handshake to run the show.
While leading the way with pretty flash technology capability, we stay true to old fashioned kiwi values. We’ve worked out that us kiwis seem to function best after a good chat and a full tummy. So, we take gathering around a plate of food and a cuppa pretty seriously.
Take a stroll through our office and you’ll notice an actual working kitchen. Not just a hot water zip to top up your instant coffee, and a fridge for last nights leftovers. But, an oven and stove that are fired up a couple of times a week by staff members, taking their turn baking or cooking to share over morning tea or lunch.
You can’t go wrong with a thickly buttered scone or cheerios paired with tom sauce, and food is always a surefire way to keep the troops happy. Fortunately, eating delicious goodies seems to be a talent of ours. Each time we manage to cut down the cost of electricity for 1000 customers (yay!) we celebrate with a slice of cake together.
Treating people with a bit of sweetness makes sense to us, and the goodness we share within our office carries over to you, our customers.
“It’s pretty easy to see every day the impact our staff has on people’s lives because we are saving them real money on an absolute essential service.” Luke - CEO
Small incentives keep life interesting here at EK. And although we’ll always have mad respect for Dolly Parton, ‘Nine to Five’ doesn’t always ring true for us. We’ve embraced a hybrid working style with staff choosing a mix of working from home and the office, as well as flexible hours.
“We aren’t a company that watches the clock, we all know what we have to do and we treat each other like adults.” Luke - CEO
Forming the team into a solid scrum is something our CEO takes seriously. Luke is a safe pair of hands in team building, honing his skills while coaching his son’s rugby team. On our pitch he leads by example, giving us the freedom to be ourselves and reminding us to get a healthy work/life balance over the line.
“We work hard to create an environment and culture that values individuality and our differences, whilst also creating a sense of belonging and togetherness. It’s living our values, demonstrating that we do care and we understand that people have lives beyond work and work is not everything.” - Luke - CEO
This attitude is reflected in a new addition to our team’s work year - “Me Time Days”. Whether it’s about getting out in nature, attending kids school sports or getting your life admin done, we now have five extra leave days a year to dip into at short notice.
“We want to constantly improve things for our employees. When people feel like they can be themselves, continue to learn and grow and belong to something bigger than themselves, it helps people feel that sense of purpose. There is nothing worse than people not reaching their potential. All of these things help.” Sonya - Head of Culture and Engagement
Helping is what we enjoy doing. So we promise, while indulging in the occasional freshly baked chocolate chippy biscuits, we’ll remain focused on evolving the electricity industry into a more sustainable and socially responsible future for you.
And if shaking up the industry for the greater good means allowing Bean, Roger, and Allan to be their true doggy selves - we’re OK if they occasionally bark at Luke.