(www.crown-point.com), a custom cabinetmaker based in Claremont, N.H., started springing for free doughnuts and coffee in 1992, a small step in reinventing an environment “that was not a lot of fun anymore and too aggravating,” says sales manager Brian Stowell. Stowell made a deal with the staff back then: “Trust my judgment, and make it right the first time, and I'll reward you in kind.” Among the changes, he reorganized workers into job-specific teams, with peer pressure replacing ...

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