Some companies reward their employees with free swag, team getaways, or various deals and discounts. Others do it by dropping $100,000 in your lap.
What sounds like a corporate fever dream really happened at Hilcorp, a Houston-based energy company that celebrated some recent success by giving each of its 1,399 a $100,000 paycheck, regardless of job title.
“Hilcorp is a rare company that cares deeply about all of its employees,” one worker wrote in a Workplace Dynamics survey. “We are recognized for all working hard, and we all reap the benefits.”
As the Houston Chronicle reported, Hilcorp turned a five-year development plan into a company-wide incentive program. Calling it the Dream 2015 challenge, employees were tasked with doubling Hilcorp’s rate of oil field production, net reserves of oil and gas, and overall company value. They managed to meet all of those goals last April, eight months ahead of schedule.
“It was a stretch goal to meet that,” Hilcorp CFO Shelbie Dezell told the Chronicle. “We looked at it every month and talked about it every month. Then we had a huge celebration in the corporate office and in the field after we made it.”
So how do Hilcorp’s employees plan to take advantage of their new windfall? Some will pay down their debt, Dezell said, while others will buy homes or put it toward their children’s college fund. While every Hilcorp employee received a paycheck, the total was prorated based on their time working with the company over the past five years.
This isn’t the first time Hilcorp’s used lavish rewards to create incentive. In 2010, it gave employees a choice between a $50,000 car and $35,000 in cash. Dezell credits these programs—along with the sense of teamwork they foster—with helping the company stay afloat amidst a slump in energy prices (crude oil has dipped to around $50 a barrel).
Hilcorp has employees in Texas, Louisiana, and Alaska, as well as the Northeast. It’s already started to work on its next five-year plan.
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This piece originally appeared on Monster.com
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