Xcel employees can win a camera -- by saying how much they love Xcel

This month, Xcel Energy has launched an internal contest called "Why I Love Xcel Energy," with a hand-held video camera being awarded to the employee who makes the best clip of him or her saying why Xcel is a nifty place to work -- footage that could wind up on the company's website or even YouTube.

Xcel spokesman Mark Stutz doesn't exactly overhype the competition. He calls it "a very small contest among employees to boost awareness of things happening at the company," and notes that the top prize is worth "less than a hundred dollars." Moreover, he says only one camera will be given out company-wide, rather than one going to someone at each Xcel branch. That may explain why response as of Tuesday was very light -- although it's early. Still, Stutz says that if enough good videos are submitted, they may be used as a "recruitment tool."

Frankly, word that any big company is even thinking about recruitment these days is good news. Check out the e-mail sent to Xcel employees below:

Win a hand-held video camera in 'Why I Love Xcel Energy' contest

Xcel Energy employees can win a hand-held video camera simply by talking about why they enjoy working here.

The ''Why I Love Xcel Energy'' contest, sponsored by the Brand Champion program, runs through Jan. 31, 2010.

''We have thousands of employees with thousands of reasons why they like working here,'' said Bev Brown, director, HR Planning and Performance. ''We want to hear all of those great reasons.''

Here's how it works: Contact one of the following volunteers (Sarah Jensen in Minnesota, North and South Dakota; Preston Langford in Texas and New Mexico; Judy Ring in Wisconsin; or Jennifer Wood in Colorado) to check out a hand-held video camera, then tape yourself in a 30- to 60-second video answering the question: Why I Love Xcel Energy. Then turn the camera back into the contact.

HR Planning and Performance will then review the entries and pick the best one in each of the four jurisdictions. Those winners will receive a hand-held video camera. The winning entries along with other notable ones will be featured on the Brand Champions page on XpressNet. Some videos may be used to help recruit employees to the company on YouTube or XcelEnergy.com.

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