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Published by:
Stanford Business School (2008)
20 March 2008
34 pages
Data source:
Field research


Intuit''s ''Spotlight'' employee recognition system had rapidly become an integral part of the company''s culture after it was introduced in late 2004. The program enabled any employee to recognize outstanding performance by any other employee by sending an on-line ''thank you'' to the employee, with a copy to the recipient''s manager. The program also allowed managers and senior individual contributors to give monetary awards, which could be redeemed for gift certificates, to employees for exceptional performance. Recognition was seen as an important way to increase employee engagement, and the success of Spotlight was seen by Intuit''s management as an important aspect of the company''s performance management. The case describes the evolution of employee recognition at Intuit, from informal methods, to a merchandise-based program, then to the gift-certificate-based Spotlight program. It describes the culture and values at Intuit, employee input into program design, and the elements of program success. The case also provides a brief discussion of the general subject of employee recognition. The case provides the basis for a discussion of employee engagement and motivation, and the use of a formal employee recognition system to enhance employee performance.


Human resource management (HRM); Employee morale; Employee attitude; Corporate culture; Employee retention; Values

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