"Think of things you can cover that cost a little bit of money but not as much as raises. We cover the cost of dry cleaning and health club memberships for our team members. We try to create a sense of community around the things we may not love to do but have to."

Kevin O'Neill Founder and managing partner, Acertitude (human resources)
No. 1,889 2016 Inc. 5000 Rank
198% 3-year growth
$6.8M 2015 revenue


"For my top-performing team, I'd find a reward that's applicable to them--I'd ask if they want to go on a ski trip, or to a concert or basketball game, or some other type of outing, and send them to that. With the engineering department, if a product they worked on got
patented, I would include their name on the patent."

Sam Sinai CEO, Deco Lighting(manufacturing)
No. 1,667 2016 Inc. 5000 Rank
224% 3-year growth
$33.2M 2015 revenue


"We could ask our team members to pick a cause they're interested in and put together a fundraiser. We've done a fundraiser for a domestic violence shelter and one for a family homeless shelter in town. Those things mean a lot to people here."

Ingrid Emerick CEO, Girl Friday Productions (media)
No. 803 2016 Inc. 5000 Rank
495% 3-year growth
$2.9M 2015 revenue


"I call people out in front of their peers. In team meetings, sales meetings, safety meetings, whenever we get together as a group, I highlight those top performers. I think that's always a good way to motivate and elevate."
Kristi Alford CEO, E2 Optics (telecommunications)
No. 452 2016 Inc. 5000 Rank
847% 3-year growth
$50.4M 2015 revenue



"You can find some really great professional training opportunities that don't cost as much as a raise and yet can have a really big impact: in-person classes, online classes, or internal opportunities that we set up. We'd give them the time to do that."
Mike Belasco CEO, Inflow (advertising and marketing)
No. 2,796 2016 Inc. 5000 Rank
125% 3-year growth
$2.8M 2015 revenue



FROM THE JUNE 2017 ISSUE OF INC. MAGAZINE