21 Nicest Things CEOs Have Done for Their Employees
What goes around, comes around, right? These CEOs have taken that lesson to heart—and in the process, they've changed their employees' lives.
The boss that gave his staff a $4 million holiday surprise
During his company's annual holiday lunch, FloraCraft owner Lee Schoenherr announced that all 200 of his full-time employees would receive a total of $4 million in bonuses—an average of $20,000 per worker. "This idea has developed over the past year and is my way of saying thank you to our team for the role they have had in our success," Schoenherr said in an interview with Newsweek. The announcement drew cheers and applause from the staff members. "I started crying—it was huge for him to do something like that for everybody," a supervisor told Newsweek. On the other hand, these are the 18 signs you have a terrible boss.
The boss that helped a grieving father preserve his son's memory
For nearly 15 years, Ray Olson has meticulously maintained a memorial to his son, the younger Raymond Olson, who was killed in a crash involving a drunk driver in 2003. There was just one problem: The memorial stood on a piece of Chevron property that needed an upgrade. Thankfully, Chevron executive Joe Lorenz teamed up with Cesar Zepeda, president of a California neighborhood council, to build a permanent memorial at a nearby park, complete with a bench and plaque with a photo of Olson's son. "It shows you people do still care," Olson told NBC News. "The world has hope." These random acts of kindness can change someone's life right now.
The boss that lent a grieving company his ear
Ingar Skaug's first CEO position was no ordinary gig. A few months before his first day, tragedy had struck Wilh. Wilhelmsen, an international shipping company in Scandinavia, when a plane carrying two levels of its management team crashed and killed all 50 passengers on board. Eager to get the company back on its feet, Skaug spent time listening and empathizing with his grieving employees. "I had to work at keeping my mouth shut and my ears open," Skaug told Forbes. "I walked around and asked a lot of questions. And I'd look into my employees' eyes. It told me a lot." One year later, the company is on a path to success and thriving. This is what bosses really notice about their employees.
The boss that took a pay cut...and gave everyone else a raise
Whoever said money can't buy happiness? In 2015, Dan Price, CEO of the credit card processing firm Gravity Payments, slashed his million-dollar salary down to $70,000—a 90 percent pay cut, according to the New York Times. He used the savings to raise his employees' salaries to the exact same amount. When Price announced the raises to the staff, "my jaw just dropped," said employee Phillip Akhavan. "This is going to make a difference to everyone around me." Price made the decision after reading a study showing that personal happiness improves until one's salary reaches $70,000, after which happiness stops increasing. Try this brilliant career advice from CEOs.
The boss that gives his employees "workcations"
Swiss entrepreneur Christian Mischler believes that his staff should be able to work whenever—and wherever—they want. Inc.com reported that the employees of his company HotelQuickly, a hotel booking app, can work from anywhere in world AND choose their start and finish times, as well as workday duration. According to Mischler's philosophy, not only does this make his employees more productive, but it also provides a healthier work-life balance. The only catch? Their work still needs to get done. Check out these almost effortless ways to be more productive.
The boss that goes on nationwide motorcycle tours
Some say absence makes the heart grow fonder, but Harry Herington, CEO of the information service provider NIC Inc., takes the opposite approach. He builds trust among his employees by visiting NIC branches across the nation via motorcycle. Called "Ask the CEO," his trips always include a dinner where Herington's employees can ask him business and non-business related questions. "They see me in a different light. They see me as human—and not trying to be one of them, and not trying to be something I'm not," Herington told the New York Times. "That really did change my entire perspective." You can build trust among your coworkers with these easy steps.
The boss that donated a kidney
When a longtime firm employee needed a life-saving kidney transplant in 2010, Matthew Deffebach, a partner at Houston Haynes and Boone labor and employment, went above and beyond his role as a boss and came to the employee's rescue. According to Business Insider, the man who needed the transplant is the father of a six-year-old son, and "Deffebach said he could not stand the idea of the son growing up without a father." Check out these other life-changing random acts of kindness.
The boss that runs a company microbrewery
Forget grabbing a beer with your staff—CEO Andrew Fingerman of PhotoShelter, a website for photographers, brews it. Fingerman hosts a microbrewery in the office every month, purchasing supplies and inviting team members to stay after hours and "move the beer along" if they wish, according to Fast Company. But when all is said and done, there's more to gain than just sipping on a pint of homemade brew. "Because group members range across teams and seniority, inevitably we talk about work challenges and ideas," Fingerman said. "We also get to know each other as friends. It brings us closer together, and some very innovative ideas have emerged." You'll wish you had these mind-blowing job perks too.
The boss that surprised employees with a hefty bonus
Instead of pocketing the money from the sale of his online food ordering company Yemeksepeti in 2015, co-founder and CEO Nevzat Aydin gave his employees the surprise of a lifetime. To reward the staff for their hard work and talent, the entrepreneur divvied up the equivalent of $27 million among his 114 staff members. His employees were stunned, and some even cried. "Yemeksepeti's success story did not happen overnight," Aydin told CNNMoney. "I believe in teamwork, and I believe success is much more enjoyable and glorious when shared with the rest of the team."
The boss that started a book club
Looking for company bonding time outside of your cubicle? Welcome to Mark D's Book Club, a venture started by Mark Dankberg, CEO of ViaSat, a broadband services and technology company. The idea began as an effort to facilitate engagement and the exchange of ideas across the company's global team. Dankberg's employees read books on business strategy, leadership, and innovation and discuss them in a group setting. "It has become a way for the ViaSat employees to better know how we think, how we view the world, and how we make decisions," Dankberg told Fast Company. "And it helps each employee be more prepared in shaping their own career development."