Most companies wouldn't think of paying bonuses to part-time workers. But Bulk International, which relies on high school students and other part-timers to staff its 25 company-owned retail stores, includes everyone in its bonus program. "The level of customer service can have a huge impact on what people buy," says Tom Cavalli, vice-president and CFO. "So employees are given an incentive to go that extra mile."

The company, located in Troy, Mich., sets monthly sales goals for individual stores during holiday seasons. If the target is met or surpassed, part-time employees can earn anywhere from 50¢ to $1 an hour on top of the $4 to $5 an hour they're guaranteed. Bulk International began offering the bonuses a year ago in hopes of generating more sales volume.

It's succeeded, notes Cavalli. "And one of the great things about this is that it's self-funding."