FARGO-As members of the the U.S. Olympic team battle for medals in Rio, employees of Office Sign Co. will be competing in their own version of the Summer Games.
The Fargo-based company that sells signage and logoed merchandise plans to host the OSC-lympics at Rendezvous Park in West Fargo on Aug. 18.
Marketing Coordinator Jack Yakowicz said it's one of many events they've planned over the years to promote fun in the workplace.
He describes Office Sign Co. as a small business with "big, audacious goals." Management expects a lot from their employees, so it's important to reward their hard work.
"We're always trying to mix in some fun and enjoyment into everyday life. It definitely helps to boost morale," Yakowicz said.
People Ink founder Ann Rhoades is a firm believer in having fun at work. Her company holds a patent on a process designed to build strong culture in the workplace. Southwest Airlines and JetBlue are among her clients.
According to Rhoades, benefits of fun include increased productivity and creativity as well as lower absenteeism and turnover.
Yakowicz said events like Office Olympics also promote teamwork.
"We have a need for that now more than ever as we split locations. Our production team is up in north Fargo as of April. It used to be easier when we were all in one building to have that family vibe," he said.
Some events do require a monetary investment, but he believes it pays off in the end.
"It can be a little pricey to have some of these fun events, but we definitely see the impact productivity-wise and employee retention. We have a really good record of employee retention. I think it definitely works out," he said.
Rhoades said customers can tell if a business places an emphasis on fun.
For example, she said Southwest Airlines employees often deliver announcements through the public address system in the form of a song or a poem.
"It's just fun," she said. "It doesn't mean you're not conservative in other areas. It just means fun is part of the environment."
As coordinator of the OSC-lympics, Yakowicz said he won't compete in any of the games. He joked that his co-workers should be grateful because if he did, he'd take home all the gold.
On a more serious note, he said he's grateful to be part of a company that puts such an emphasis on culture.
"Everyday I enjoy coming into work because of the people here and things that Ryan (Fritz, the company's founder) and the company as a whole offers us," he said. "It really helps me get more engaged with this company, but also with the business community in general in Fargo."