St. John Properties, for the first time in its history, flew all its employees from its eight different branches for an annual holiday party to Maryland, paying for the airfare and hotel costs.
And when it handed out nice and shiny red coloured envelopes to its employees at the party, not many knew what to expect.
But we do not blame the employees because this is hardly anything that you’d expect!
All the 198 employees of the real estate company were handed in bonuses averaging a massive $50,000!! And, hold your breath, the total amount given away as bonus summed up to a whopping $10 million.
The bonuses were handed out based on how long the employees were working at the organization, and the biggest amount paid was a massive $270,000. The smallest bonus was $100 for an employee who was just hired and had not even begun working.
The President of St. John Properties, Lawrence Maykrantz said that the company had achieved a crucial milestone of developing 20 million square feet in real estate. And he really wanted to express gratitude to his employees for achieving this goal.
“We wanted to do something to thank all our employees for helping us achieve our goal, and we wanted to do something big,” Maykrantz told CNN.
“It was truly one of the most amazing things I’ve ever witnessed in my life. Everyone was all overwhelmed with emotions. They were screaming, crying, laughing, hugging,” Maykrantz said.
“People were lining up to hug us, and kiss us, and shake our hands and they told us story after story of what they’re going to use their bonuses for. People are now debt-free, they’re paying off their credit cards, their mortgages, their tuition and student loans.”
And we can imagine how overwhelmed the employees were!
“When I opened the envelope, I was in total disbelief,” Stephanie Ridgway, an assistant project manager at the company, told CNN.
“I couldn’t believe I saw what I saw. I don’t even have words to properly describe how I felt, it was just amazing and incredible. I’m still in shock. It’s definitely life-changing.”
“I remember opening the envelope, seeing the number, blinking my eyes a couple of times because I thought my vision was off and then hugging my coworkers,” said Melissa Alleman, the company’s payroll and benefits administrator. “I think I said a few times, ‘I can’t breathe,’ I felt a little nauseous and then just celebrated.”
“I felt like I finally lived out my own Hallmark movie,” added Alleman, who has worked for the company for 19 years.
Isn’t this just amazing? Such great news for the employees and such a great holiday present!