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Zappos takes employee of the month recognition to a higher (and weirder) plane with its monthly Hero award programs. To choose a hero, the online retailer sifts through the list of people who received a co-worker bonus. (Every employee is given a $50 monthly allowance to award as a bonus to a colleague).

Top executives then pick a winner from candidates selected from the pool. Their selection is announced with a mini-parade featuring noisemakers and the song "I Need a Hero" played on a rolling sound system. The chosen hero gets a covered parking spot for a month, a $150 Zappos gift card, and a cape.

By Anne VanderMey, reporter @FortuneMagazine - Last updated January 20 2012: 6:42 AM ET
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