During busy times of the year, it's great to be able to count on employees to give 110%. Harry Seifert, CEO of Winter Gardens Salads Co., cooked up a recipe for productivity that's hard to beat. He gives them a bonus before the busiest time of year hits.

Just before Memorial Day, when he has the largest demand for his New Oxford, Pa.-made coleslaw and potato salad, Seifert dishes out $50 to each of his 140 employees to whet their appetite for the work ahead. "When I give them the money, I tell them we are going for a rec-ord to give them something to shoot for," says Seifert.

"Because employees are trying to achieve a goal," he observes, "they don't feel like they are being taken advantage of during the intense week." Production for that week is 50% greater than bonus-free holidays.

Seifert reserves the bonus for special occasions. "It's like the 100-yard dash," he observes, "you can't expect employees to sprint year-round."