Bucky Badger stories and the importance of employee engagement, with Brian Adam of Olympus Group | Ep. 118

Last updated on March 11th, 2022 at 01:50 pm

Apple Podcasts  Spotify


This week’s episode features a recent Rotary Club of Milwaukee presentation by Brian Adam, president of the Olympus Group, a Milwaukee-based manufacturer of mascots, including the Brewers Racing Sausages and Bucky Badger, flags, banners and larger-than-life graphics seen on arenas like the Fiserv Forum.

In addition to sharing some fun insights from the world of mascots, Adam discusses his approach to company culture and employee engagement. From the importance of first impressions to soliciting employee suggestions to being able to quickly Venmo $1,000 for an employee loan after a car accident, we hope you’ll find a few useful ideas in this episode to apply at your company.

Here are few tips Adam shared:

  • Define a noble mission for your organization.
  • Create a document that defines your culture and go through it with new hires.
  • Focus on the first impression of new employees.
  • Actively solicit and celebrate employee suggestions.
  • Do stay, not exit, interviews.
  • Share company strategy and be transparent about profits and how money is spent.
  • Show appreciation.

Adam also discussed his approach to balancing growth and taking on risk, noting he assesses risk based on market conditions and is willing to take on risk as long as it doesn’t expose the business to the point of a potential death blow.

“Right now, in our industry, we’re in a really unique position to grow topline,” Adam said. “And we’re in a unique position to grow topline because our markets, the live event market … has completely changed, competitors didn’t make it, customers didn’t make it, there’s new contacts, so I believe there’s an opportunity, that’s why we’re opening these facilities, that’s why we’re investing, we’re taking a lot of risk and we’re not focused on bottom line, we’re focused on growing our topline to build new relationships and build these contacts out … eventually my CFO will have me by the neck if I don’t start working on bottom line as well.”

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.