You could call it Hilcorp Energy's Oprah moment. One morning in March 2011, Tony Garza, a senior production foreman at the oil and gas company's South Texas fields, came off the job with a brand-new SUV. Colleen Elkins, manager of planning and budgeting, drove away in a Ford Expedition. In fact 366 of Hilcorp's 699 employees got new vehicles -- and those who didn't went home with $35,000 -- or a prorated portion -- in cash instead.
Not bad for a hard day's work, or even five years of work. Hilcorp's cash and new-car bonanza -- which totaled over $31 million -- came as the spoils of Double Drive, a company-wide challenge that promised every employee a choice of a car voucher or cash if Hilcorp doubled its value, production rate, and reserves between 2006 and 2010.