An extensive, company-sponsored recreation and social program can be a boon to morale -- but it can also be a fiscal and managerial nightmare to the CEO who has to administer it. Jack Stack, CEO of Springfield Remanufacturing Center Corp., in Springfield, Mo., was so intent on fostering healthy relations with his 450 employees that he began feeling more like a camp director with each passing athletic season. His solution? Set a budget, and then let your employees divvy it up themselves.
"It's really hard to please everybody," says Stack. "You don't know how to draw the line and be fair at the same time." So he established a recreation committee for each of his plants. Eight employees, elected annually, receive a budget of $5,000 with which to fund company softball and volleyball teams, fishing tournaments, and a company picnic. "It gets rid of the little headaches for managers," Stack says, "and it gives employees a taste of what it's like to be a manager.'