Having employees hire the people with whom they'll be working can be the best way to ensure that teams function well together.

At Johnsonville Foods Inc., a manufacturer based in Sheboygan, Wis., employees who are promoted from merchandisers to salespeople hire their replacements. Because merchandisers work closely backing up the sales force and because so much of salespeople's compensation comes from performance bonuses, their hiring decisions dramatically affect how much money they make.

"I want people to learn how to get good people, how to coach them, what it takes to get good performance," CEO Ralph Stayer says. "They'll also learn lessons in bad hiring early on at a level where mistakes are chicken feed to the company." Sales and profitability, he says, have gone up since the employee-hiring policy was instituted in 1985.