As company leaders started planning the logistics of visiting 100 offices, Larson suggested he drive his own motor coach.He received a few quizzical looks.

"I don't know if we used the word 'crazy,' " recalls Tom Boogher, executive vice president. "But as we thought through it, we knew we needed to do something different."

Coupled with a "500 in Five" Facebook page, the unconventional campaign apparently is achieving the desired effect of energizing employees. When Larson visited Nashville, for instance, an employee sang a country song he wrote upon the "500 in Five" theme.

Barb Hart, who works in PSI's construction services department in St. Louis, commented, "This '500 in Five' has been the greatest thing ever in the 12 years that I have been with PSI. Now, I can really feel a connection between the offices."

Local managers also are responding by ramping up hiring, says Boogher.

Larson sees the enthusiasm as a reflection of the recent economic downturn. "People have been yearning for something like this, for the encouragement that everything's going to be OK," he says.