Employees of Greek yogurt maker Chobani could have the best boss in the world after they received an unexpected bonus this week.
CEO and founder Hamdi Ulukaya told his 2,000 full-time employees they’ll receive shares worth up to ten per cent of the company’s value – an ownership stake in the company that could make some of them into millionaires.
According to USA Today, a letter Ulukaya sent out to employees said:
This isn’t a gift. It’s a mutual promise to work together with a shared purpose and responsibility. To continue to create something special and of lasting value.
Earlier this week every employee received a packet revealing how many shares they were being given based on how long they had worked for the company.
The average worker has received shares estimated to be worth tens of thousands of dollars – but some could be worth as much as one million dollars.
Later in the letter Ulukaya wrote:
How we built this company matters to me, but how we grow it matters even more.
I want you not only to be a part of this growth – I want you to be the driving force of it. To share in our success, to be rewarded by it.
According to Rita McGrath, professor of management at Columbia Business School, giving out ownership stakes is pretty rare in the food industry as often they don’t see the benefit of having a highly engaged work force.
But she thinks it’s a great idea:
Many companies have this theory that people are interchangeable cogs in a big machine.
But having employees who are more engaged can lead to better business performance because they are invested in helping the company achieve growth.
A potential million dollar payout would certainly motivate me to perform well!