What keeps you in your chair at work? Is it a knowledge that you’re contributing to the overall company purpose, or the fact you get free apples? Employee satisfaction can’t be simplified into one particular thing – it’s a company-wide outlook on nurturing and investing (non-monetarily) in employees, so they feel truly, honestly valued. A trip to Hawaii wouldn’t go astray though, either.
Brian Scudmore, the founder and CEO of O2E Brands, will take 500 of his employees on a plane to Kauai next week as a reward for the company’s achievement of doubling revenue in five years. The company managed it, and Brian acknowledges it was a team effort. (#TotalBoss Oprah has also treated her staff to a European cruise holiday, of course.)
“Incentivising employees – and keeping the flame burning over time – is critical to success,” Brian wrote in a post for Inc.. “The point is to make sure your employees have some skin in the game. If you’re asking them to go above and beyond, reward them accordingly. It doesn’t need to be a trip – there are plenty of simpler ways to say ‘thank you’ for a job well done, from profit-sharing, awarding bonus vacation days, or throwing a great party.”
As a staff retention strategy (not to mention a way of boosting overall employee happiness and productivity), being generous and paying credit where it’s due is pretty genius: be honest, if you had a boss like this, would you ever leave?
Here are a few other gob-smacking gestures bosses have made for their employees:
1. The boss that took a paycut – and gave everyone else a payrise
Convinced your boss earns too much? So was CEO of US-based company Gravity Payments Dan Price. “The market rate for me as a CEO compared to a regular person is ridiculous, it’s absurd,” he was quoted as saying. So, true to his word in 2015, he slashed his million-dollar salary down to US$70,000 and paid every other member of staff in the company the exact same amount, using his pay cut to fund the pay packet boosts.
The serial entrepreneur Nevzat Aydin gave away the equivalent of AU$27.3 million to his 115 staff members.
2. The boss that gave employees the ultimate flexible working environment
If you want to get inside the minds of your customers, it’s best to have your staff do proper field work, right? Swiss entrepreneur Christian Mischler agreed that for the employees of his company HotelQuickly, staff should be allowed to work from anywhere in world. Not only that, but those on his books can choose their start and finish times, as well as workday duration – the only condition is that their work gets done.
3. The boss that gave away a kidney
For anyone whose boss will barely give them a glance in the kitchen, we hate to make you feel worse: this boss of a boss donated a kidney to an employee. Robert DeAngelis, the store manager at Wine and Spirits Shop in Whitehall Township in Pennsylvania, helped out colleague Robert Fenstermaker who needed the transplant to save his life in 2009.
“My motive? He was a such a nice guy, and he was looking terrible,” Robert said of the decision. “If there was something we could do, we were going to do it. That was the bottom line.”
4. The boss that gave employees a hefty bonus
Co-founder and CEO of Turkey’s biggest online food ordering service, Yemeksepeti, Nevzat Aydin didn’t just pop the money from the sale of his company in 2015 into his back pocket – he actually divided a stack of it among his employees. The serial entrepreneur gave away the equivalent of AU$27.3 million to his 115 staff members. His employees, who typically earn AU$1100-1900 a month, were left stunned. “Some employees cried, some screamed, some wrote letters of thanks,” he explained. “There were emotions, because you affect the lives of the people. People can buy homes, cars.”