This Illinois distributor is growing thanks to its wacky, collegial and high-performing culture.
Some people long for the college life once they enter the working world. Bret Bonnet (left) and Mike Wenger (right) never had to do that because they’ve cultivated a college atmosphere, right down to the fraternity-style antics, right in the offices of Quality Logo Products. The 97-person company has a game room filled with air hockey machines, video games and dart guns, as well as a kid-style bounce house.
“When people have fun at work, they do their jobs better,” says Bonnet, who started the company while in college and now espouses a casual and flexible workplace. “I don’t care if people work a three-day work week, as long as they get their jobs done.”
Bonnet also gives employees lots of leeway, both in their work hours and in coming up with their own ideas. Indeed, the level of entrepreneurialism among employees is evident. One staffer recently landed a mammoth job from a client in Iceland by pitching an idea for a new way the client could use hand sanitizer spray bottles. Another, a graphic designer, took it upon himself to build his own trophies from scratch for top clients.
Employees like to have fun, says Wenger, but they also like to work hard. “When you’re doing online sales, you work at a crazy-fast pace,” he says. “It gets stressful, and we have found some great ways to hit the ‘pressure-release’ button. We’ve got a bunch of unsettled people here who want to feel like their opinions can be heard, and they can do that here.”