Have you ever wondered whether the awards you use to motivate employees just won't do the job? Walter Riley, president and CEO of Guaranteed Overnight Delivery Inc. (G.O.D.), in Kearny, N.J., looked at the less than stellar safety records of his company's drivers and began thinking.

G.O.D.'s delivery trucks were averaging six accidents a month. The pin, patch, plaque, and $50 driving-record rewards, typical for the industry, were fetching typical accident records. "I didn't want to be typical," says Riley. "I wanted to get rid of the fender benders that added up to a lot of grief.'

And a lot of money. Riley estimates that in 1987 he spent $130,000 on repairs. "But it's the intangibles that were even more costly -- meetings with lawyers and insurance people, filling out forms, and lost driving time for starters." All that brought the cost of the accidents to perhaps $400,000, Riley says. When he realized he was spending only $350 on his safe-driving program, he figured his cheapness might be the problem.

So he bought a 35-foot-long motor coach for vacation use by drivers who worked a year without an accident. After Riley unveiled this new carrot, the accident rate plummeted 89%. Because the plan is so new, total savings can't be calculated, but Riley is confident that they'll cover the monthly payments on the $90,000 fully loaded vacation on wheels.

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