Packerland Broadband knows how to put the “fun” in the workday. The Michigan and Wisconsin-based company currently has about 52 employees and serves approximately 9,200 customers. The employee-to-customer ratio may be high, but those Packerlanders know how to connect with each other and their communities.
While Packerland always gets the job done, they also know how to celebrate the little things, such as National Smoothie Day or National Selfie Day, which employees say is “two-fold.”
“That’s the element of fun that’s part of the team and culture and the organization,” explains Jodie Gilroy, Packerland’s marketing director. “One is to keep employee morale and the team atmosphere together by having those little events, but I think it also makes us feel relatable to those in the community. We’re doing the same things that you’re doing on the weekend or at night with your family. We want you to feel like you can call us and talk to us like a neighbor. Happy employees make happy customers.”
Company Vice President Cory Heigl echoes those sentiments. “We’re just people too, they’re just people too. We’re not in an ivory tower in New York,” he says. “We’re really a part of the community. I don’t feel like we’re a vendor except to help our customers have some of the greatest experiences they can have. We’re putting every dollar back into this business.”
Heigl and Gilroy have known each other for almost 40 years, one of the reasons they make such a good team. Heigl has been with Packerland’s parent company CCI Systems for just over 20 years, and served as VP for a little more than five years. Industry vet Gilroy joined Packerland in April of this year, but already praises the company culture.
“It’s truly a family atmosphere and the team is committed and hardworking, and they’re watching out for one another. The people are fun, fun to work with, and while it’s laid back to a certain degree everybody is executing in a lower stress environment,” she says.
Packerland can be found out and about in the community, frequently partnering with local businesses. In June, it celebrated the opening of a local bakery in Crystal Falls, MI, with cupcakes. The Watercolor Cafe on Mackinac Island got a shout-out on Packerland’s Facebook page, and individual field technicians are frequently celebrated. When Packerland does a coffee run for employees, it takes time to highlight local business Contrast Coffee on social media. That sort of involvement has paid dividends, sometimes in unexpected ways.
“One of the neatest things that ever happened was at a farmer’s market in one of our small towns. Our customer service rep Randy saw someone was walking around looking for donations for a book pantry. He started rallying people around her,” Heigl says. “It became less of a Packerland event and more of Randy and this woman. He started doing Facebook Live events looking for books. All the sudden, he’s got people donating money out of their pockets, including his own pocket, for books. I don’t know if he got a sale that day, and it doesn’t matter to me. She sent a letter thanking us, and that’s worth 20 sales.”
– Mollie Cahillane