At a recent company picnic, high above the "dunk tank" sat Frederick B. Sontag, president of Unison Industries Inc. When a baseball hit its mark, Sontag was dumped into the tank of water. Employee morale was visibly boosted.
The annual picnic, complete with dunk-the-boss contests, is one of many affairs run by the company's employee social association. Unison, located in Rockford, Ill., is a $7-million manufacturer of aircraft ignition parts and other industrial components. To raise productivity, the company is going out of its way to make employees a happy and cohesive group.
Unison established a kitty for social events, funded by profits from vending machines in its hallways, and turned control of the proceeds over to the employee association, which is made up of six members, elected by the company's work force of 110. The money amounts to about $10,000 a year, and is used to put on parties, picnics, and such activities as company skiing trips.
Says Sontag, "These social events get people together who normally don't talk to each other."