Say Thank You. Repeat Eight Million Times.

It doesn't seem like giving money away makes good business sense. But thanking our employees often, generously and thoughtfully is a strategic decision by Intuit to reward the behaviors that do the most to drive the company forward. This strategy is so important that we budgeted more than $8 million for recognition for this fiscal year alone. More than ever, Intuit's recognition programs honor achievements in innovation and change management, and commend behaviors described by our Leadership Success Profile, which spells out the attributes for succeeding at Intuit.

From formal to informal, from a simple heartfelt thank you to an all-expense paid trip – tailoring our rewards to have the most meaning for employees helps them feel understood and valued. And we can't put a price tag on that feeling.

Founder's Innovation Award

  • Recognizes: Outstanding achievement in innovation.
  • What people get: A life-changing award, presented for the first time in 2011, First-time recipient Hugh Molotsi received $1 million in cash and stock. There's more on Hugh in question 11.
  • Who gives it: Founder Scott Cook; CEO Brad Smith
  • Frequency: As warranted
  • Number given in fiscal year 2012: 1

Scott Cook Innovation Awards

  • Recognizes: Employees who create innovations that deliver real benefits to our customers, employees, and shareholders.
  • What people get: A statue, recognition on the Innovation Wall of Fame, dinner with the executive team, and an expense-paid three-day trip anywhere in the continental United States. They're also allowed to dedicate up to three months time to work on a project of their own creation.
  • Who gives it: Company founder Scott Cook.
  • Frequency: Once a year.
  • Number given in fiscal year 2012: 19.

CEO Leadership Awards

  • Recognizes: High-performing employees or teams who make a significant contribution to the business.
  • What people get: A crystal trophy.
  • Who gives it: CEO Brad Smith.
  • Frequency: Once a year.
  • Number given in fiscal year 2012: 10.
    Intuit employees who received award in 2011: 6 individuals, 2 business units, 1 functional group and 1 team.

"The CEO Leadership Award is a big deal at Intuit. … not only is it wonderful recognition for what I'd done and how I lead, but Brad really cares about me and I feel like there is great opportunity ahead. That is rare and is part of what makes people stay at Intuit, and is part of what makes me love Intuit. "

Karen Peacock
Director of Product Management
Grow Your Business Division
Mountain View, Calif.

Company Awards: Spotlight on Performance

Spotlight Awards

  • Recognizes: Performance, innovation and service.
    What people get: Peer-to-peer electronic greeting cards acknowledging good work. Includes trips, monetary awards of up to $3,000, and gift certificates ranging from $10 to $1,000.
  • Who gives it: Any employee can give one.
  • Frequency: Anytime.
  • Number given in fiscal year 2012: 41,000

Spotlight awards, one of the most well-known and widely used forms of recognition, are a digital thank you card that can be redeemed for gift certificates from hundreds of merchants. The versatility of Spotlight awards makes them ideal for recognizing achievements both large and small: they can be used to say a simple "attaboy," or award an all-expenses-paid trip worth thousands of dollars. Whether it's Bloomingdale's or Best Buy, employees can fine-tune their recognition to the highest pitch of personal meaning. They can even choose a donation to a favorite charity.

We've distributed more than 41,000 separate Spotlight awards so far in this fiscal year, Intuit's highest total ever.

You Should Patent That

Doing things better means we have to do them differently. Intuit's Patent Rewards Program rewards Thomas Edison wannabes who find new ways of doing business. Inventors receive monetary awards and a plaque as their ideas move through each step of the patent process.

"It was a great experience. It involved tremendous learning especially in terms of learning how to create an application, request and use a hosting platform and for me, working with a bunch of talented guys in a remote team that I'd never really met."

Ravi Iyer
Development Manager
India Development Center

Since August of 2011, we've recognized more than 400 employees with more than 1,800 awards for taking an idea to a new stage of development. The number of Intuit patents has tripled in the past three years since innovation efforts have accelerated. In the past year alone, over 80 employee ideas came to fruition as new U.S.-issued patents.

Membership Has Its Privileges: The CEO Sales Club

  • Recognizes: The top 100 salespeople who meet or exceed specific sales goals through finding the right solution for each customer. That's about 15 percent of all quota-carrying sales representatives and managers.
    What people get: All-expense paid trip to specific destination (the exclusive Ritz Carlton resort in Maui, Hawaii, in fall 2011).
  • Who gives it: CEO Brad Smith and Senior vice president for channel sales, Caroline Donahue
  • Frequency: Once a year.
  • Number given in fiscal year 2012: 100.

"From the moment we arrived in Maui, the experience was world class, from a beautiful setting to fun dinners, activities and spending time with leaders across Intuit. The entertainment was really great. And on the activities front, a highlight was the fish that Mack caught (and had cooked up for a group lunch)."

Norman Happ
QuickBooks Sales Director
Mountain View, Calif.

Serving Those Who Serve Others

Each October, Intuit celebrates Customer Service Week to acknowledge those who serve customers – both external and internal.

Customer Service Week festivities vary by business and location. One popular activity is to have our leaders say thank you by serving their employees -- literally. Managers, directors, and vice presidents don chef hats and aprons to dish up burgers, salad, ice cream and other lunchtime treats. It's a great opportunity for leaders to say, "thank you."

Strategy: It's a Dog's World After All

To build upon the power of social media to find, help and engage with customers, we created the Intuit Community. This is where small business customers can post their questions with the hope of getting it answered by an expert. The site receives an average of 1,000 new questions every day related to QuickBooks, Intuit Websites, small business topics and more.

To encourage employees to get involved and answer questions, we run awareness campaigns and contests. Among the prizes: the wildly popular "dog popper" – actually a dog-shaped squeeze toy – in addition to tote bags, water bottles and other Intuit goodies. Participants are also eligible for a $500 Spotlight award.

Recognizing the "Write" Stuff

This year, the global communications team awarded $2,600 in cash prizes to honor the department's best writing efforts through its Write Stuff awards program. Be it best headline in a press release, outstanding use of digital media, a sensational speech or general excellence in writing, we've got an award for that!

While our people certainly appreciate the financial aspect, the recognition runs deeper than that. Long after the money is spent, award winners proudly display the certificates and mementos, one being a classic mic, in their offices and cubes as evidence of their accomplishments.

"The Write Stuff program is a fantastic way to recognize outstanding writing, but it also inspires us to improve our skills and continue to create compelling content. I look forward to the awards presentation every year; it's fun to see my colleagues' outstanding work and celebrate with them!"

Jennifer Tanabe
Senior Communications Manager
Mountain View, Calif.

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