In the era of the gig economy, getting a year-end bonus from a company feels like a rare thing. Some of us would even be glad to get Clark Griswold‘s letdown bonus of a one-year membership to the jelly of the month club. Hey, it’s the gift that keeps on giving!
But some employers are still giving tidy bonuses, and at one company, the employees were in for a massive, life-altering surprise at their annual holiday party — and it wasn’t of the jelly-of-the-month variety. Edward St. John, the founder of Baltimore commercial real estate firm St. John Properties, announced that his 198 employees would be splitting a $10 million bonus this year.
Wait. Doing some math … that is huge.
The bonuses ranged from $50,000 to $250,000, depending on how long employees had been with the company.
“What happened tonight was magical,” one employee says in a video the company posted of the party. “It is life-changing. It…” She pauses and breaks down into tears. “It is, it is really amazing. And it’s so generous.”
A tweet from the company celebrating the news includes a photo that captured just how surprised employees were to learn that they’d be getting a bonus big enough to buy a car, pay off a mortgage or send a kid to college. The looks on their faces are priceless!
It’s our honor to publicly announce that a $10 mil bonus will be paid to all SJP employees in celebration of achieving our goal of developing 20 mil SF of CRE space! We are thankful for each of our employees, and thrilled to reward them in such a big way! https://t.co/EhfuulmVoG pic.twitter.com/pdw3zH6DbF
— St. John Properties (@stjohnprop) December 9, 2019
The windfall was a way to thank employees for a big milestone the company hit — developing 20 million square feet of commercial real estate.
In the video from the holiday party, where the checks were passed out, you can see the obvious shock on people’s faces as they open their red envelopes and proceed to just completely lose it. Their hands fly to their faces. They laugh, they cry, they hug.
“I steer the boat, but they’re the ones that run the boat, they’re the ones that make the boat go,” Edward St. John says in the video. “Without the team, we are nothing, we are absolutely nothing.”
And get this: Washington radio station WTOP reported that these bonuses were on top of the annual bonus St. John Properties employees already get.
Happy holidays indeed!