Maryland Real Estate Company Gave Employees $10 Million Holiday Bonus

What a way to show employee appreciation!

Dec 22, 2019

Many companies give holiday bonuses as a way to thank employees for their loyalty and for the company to show they are appreciated. Bonuses are usually in the hundreds of dollars according to a survey by Accounting Principals.  That's why when a company in Maryland decided to share $10 million between its employees, it came as a total shock.

St. Johns Properties, headquartered in Baltimore,  Maryland is one of the largest commercial real estate companies in the mid-Atlantic with 198 employees. At their annual holiday party on December 9, employees were handed red envelopes with a surprise inside.

All of the employees received special bonuses that averaged $50,000, it was something the employees never expected. Only five employees knew about the bonus is advance of public  announcement according to a company statement

"When I opened the envelope, I was in total disbelief," Stephanie Ridgway, an assistant project manager at the company, told CNN.

Every employee received a gift that was based on the amount of years they worked at the company. The amounts ranged from $100 to a new hire who hadn't even started working yet all the way up to  $270,000 according to CNN.

The company choose to reward its employees the company said: in celebration of achieving its goal of developing 20 million square feet of office, flex/R&D, retail, and warehouse space in eight states." This was a huge benchmark for the nearly 50-year old company.

“To celebrate the achievement of our goal, we wanted to reward our employees in a big way that would make a significant impact on their lives,” company founder and chairman Edward St. John said in the statement. “I am thankful for every one of our employees, for their hard work and dedication. I couldn’t think of a better way to show it.”

St. John Properties President Lawrence 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…

"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."

The company has eight branches, but all the out-of-state employees and their guests were flown in and all the airfare and hotel costs were covered by the company.

The special bonuses will be paid in addition to the company's annual year-end bonuses as well as other benefits.

"We are so proud of our employees. They are the foundation and the reason behind the success of our company. And we wanted a big way to thank them and I think we were successful in doing that," Maykrantz said.

While this is very unusual, other companies have also given large gifts in appreciation of employees. In 2018, BAYADA Health Care's  founder and owner Mark Baiada divided $20 million between its workers. The gifts were paid directly from him in a show of gratitude.

Many companies offer perks like company cars, on-site fitness facilities, meals or other benefits, but this type of gift is absolutely personal and designed to really make a difference in the lives of the people who work for them.

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BONNIE RIVA RAS, EDITOR & WRITER
Bonnie Riva Ras has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.