Any good boss knows that a company cannot be successful without a talented and dedicated staff. That's why the smart ones take the time and money to show their appreciation. Many give year-end bonuses or offer excellent retirement plans. Some provide unlimited paid vacation days as a standard practice. After all, a happy employee is a more productive employee.
Some really generous bosses go above and beyond what even the best companies offer, making grand gestures that likely leave their grateful and surprised employees speechless.
Here are 7 bosses that showed the true meaning of worker appreciation.
$3 million in bonuses
For the third time, Kennards Hire, the largest privately owned hire company in Australia doled out a massive bonus. The Kennard family gifted over $3 million to employees across the company, the average staff member finding over $4,600 in their bank account.
The family said about its decision to share the wealth, "We are proud to continue our tradition of celebrating the success of the company and sharing the profits with the people who helped us achieve outstanding results in many areas during the past year."
A new car, a trip to Fiji and a $2 million party
Clive Palmer does a double thumbs up the Australian National Press Club in 2014. (Photo: Stefan Postles/Getty Images)
When it comes to gift-giving, this guy might take the cake. Clive Palmer, a mining billionaire gifted all 750 of his staff members who have been with the company a long time a luxury trip to Fiji. If you were one of his 50 most valued employees, you received a new Mercedes Benz. And for everyone to enjoy? A Christmas party that set Palmer back $2 million.
The billionaire said about his generous gifts, "These people have made a lot of money for me this year, and I thought I'd give some of it back. You can only sleep in one bed, have one meal at a time, drive the one car, and go out with the one woman — that is, if you're sensible. I've got enough money to do all that, so I thought I'd give some away."
$15 million in bonuses
Ken Grenda during a press conference announcing his employees' bonuses. (Photo: ODN/YouTube)
When the Grenda family sold their bus company for $400 million, the Australian bosses decided that the staff should get a sizable bonus as a thank you for making the company so bankable. Ken Grenda and his sons gave $15 million in bonuses to their nearly 2,000 employees, the exact amount for each depending on how long each individual had worked for the company. The average bonus size was $8,500 with some (presumable very long term) employees receiving between $30,000 and $100,000.
"A business is only as good as its people and our people are fantastic," said Grenda about the decision to share the wealth.
Cars, apartments and fine jewelry
In case you were thinking that only Australian bosses are equipped with the generous boss gene, let's take a look at Savjibhai Dholakia, chairman of Hari Krishna Exports, a diamond polishing company in India. 1,268 employees got to choose from loyalty bonuses like cars, apartments and fine jewelry, the total amount given equalling approximately $7.5 million dollars.
"It's a refund of sorts to those who have stayed with us, helped improve our products and grown with the Hari Krishna family. I am merely giving back" said Dholakia about the bonuses. "I know what it is like to have needs. When a worker is happy, he can do anything at all for you."
The chairman, originally a primary school dropout from a small village, started at the company as a diamond worker and steadily advanced to the top.
Life-saving cancer treatments and a crisis fund
Stephen Cloobeck during the 2012 Television Critics Association press tour to promote "Undercover Boss." (Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
If you've ever seen the show, "Undercover Boss" you might remember a special episode they aired called "Epic Bosses." Stephen Cloobeck, the founder and chairman of Diamond Resorts, has gone through the "Undercover Boss" show twice, calling it a life-changing experience. "I learned it's important to take care of as many people as possible," he said.
To accomplish this, the epic boss paid for one worker's life-saving cancer treatments, and set up a crisis fund to help all 5,600 of his employees deal with the curve balls life inevitably throws at them.
Giving the company to the employees
Bob Moore of Bob's Red Mills at the 2012 Natural Products ExpoWest. (Photo: cheeseslave/flickr)
Bob Moore, the founder of the famous food company Bob's Red Mills, could have sold his company for some unfathomable amount of money. He has said that, over the years, he's received more buy-out offers than he can list, but ultimately couldn't sell his business to a stranger. Instead, he did something magical. Moore gave his company to his 209 employees.
He said about the change in ownership, "It's the only business decision that I could make. I don't think there's anybody worthy to run this company but the people who built it. I have employees with me right now that have been with me for 30 years. They just were committed to staying with me now and they're going to own the company."
Bob's Red Mills is now on an Employee Stock Ownership Plan. The company's stock is put safely in a retirement plan for employees. Once that vested employee retires, he or she can take that money out for the future. And all this during a time when many companies are getting rid of retirement plans for employees.
$10,000 bonuses and new iPads
Oprah has surprised her fans with new cars and fancy vacations, so one might wonder how she shows her appreciation for her staff. In 2010 an anonymous source from inside O, The Oprah Magazine, reported that each staff member at the magazine received a brand new iPad, personalized leather case and $10,000 in cold hard cash as a thank you.
A spokeswoman for Hearst said about the bonuses, "These were personal gifts to the staff from Oprah to thank them for their hard work and dedication to the magazine."
It's fair to say that these incredible bosses went above and beyond for their employees, showing that supporting people and making a profit can go hand in hand.
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