Those lingering little projects that finish a job — and really put a good face on your company — are no longer a bother for David Merrick, owner of Merrick Design & Build, in Kensington, Md.

In a moment of frustration over outstanding details, says Merrick, he came up with the idea of offering an employee, typically the lead carpenter, a “$100 last-thing done bonus.” These last things include the completion of whatever punch list there is, shaking hands with the customer, and the customer saying “Thank you for a job well done.” The customer has to actually say “You're done,'” says Merrick, who makes the customer aware of the employee bonus and follows up with a phone call.