Does A Candy Bar Make You Work Harder?

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Candy Bar

Some stories are so outlandish it seems impossible for them to be true. They’re the kind that make you want to wince, laugh, cry or a combination of all three. This is one of those stories.

I remember it like it was yesterday. I was sitting there, on the phone, in my former day job as a stock broker. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a group of roughly 2-3 dozen managers and mid to senior level management running around the office. Several were in full body suits and one was riding on a scooter while also blowing a kazoo. This, as I came to learn after the first instance, was known as The Prize Patrol.

The next thing I saw made my jaw hit my desk. The scooter riding, kazoo blowing manager stopped his scooter, reached into his bag and literally chucked a king size Snickers bar at my co-worker’s head. This was followed up by a different manager chucking a can of soda at someone else’s head. I kid you not!

The frenzy went on for roughly 20-30 minutes with the craziness having brief interludes where the gaggle of managers stood behind unsuspecting employees blowing kazoos and giving them gift cards. Keep in mind this was all done as we were speaking to investors about the money and investments in their online brokerage accounts. Professional…I know!

What was the reason for this candy bar and soda can chucking furor? It’s not obvious? It was all in the name of motivating and incenting employees to perform better. I’ve seen some crazy things in my life, but this one comes close to taking the cake.

I’ve spoken before about whether or not employers care about us as employees and incentives/motivation play a key role in that as well as development. Not every situation I’ve seen is at the level of the one I described above as I’ve seen some quite effective ways to incent employees, which resulted in greater employee morale as well as increased workplace synergy. The key, though, is finding those things which work (much like we need to do with our finances) and being willing to listen to feedback.


If you’d like to read more about what works and doesn’t work when it comes to incenting employees, check out my latest article at AOL Jobs.



Photo courtesy of: Sudeep1106

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I'm the founder of Frugal Rules, a Dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry. I'm passionate about helping people learn from my mistakes so that they can enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. I'm also a freelance writer, and regularly contribute to GoBankingRates, Investopedia, Lending Tree and more.


  • I had this happen to me too. It must have been a brokerage “thing to do” for a while there. I think there are great ways to incent employees but you need to be tactful and remember they have a job to do. My boss today more often brings in cake or cupcakes his daughters make and shares with the team to give us a sugar high and as a thank you. Much more professional.

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