Hilcorp, a private oil and natural gas exploration and production company based in Texas, is in the news for its unprecedented generosity towards employees. To celebrate an excellent year, CEO Jeff Hildebrand gave the entire company staff huge bonuses – $100,000 to each of the 1,381 workers! It seems Santa is real after all.
“It’s just a true gift,” said receptionist Amanda Thompson, who has worked at Hilcorp for the past 10 years. “And I think myself, as long as everyone else is not going to give any less than one hundred percent each day.” With this kind of rewards, it’s really no wonder that the company was included in the FORTUNE list of 100 Best Companies to Work For, for the third year in a row.
“Mr. Jeff Hildebrand, and our president Greg Lalicker, they are such amazing motivators,” Thompson added. “Somedays I just kind of look down the hall and say I can’t believe these are my bosses and they’re the best.” She explained that Hildebrand and Lalicker had promised their employees a sizable bonus if Hilcorp’s size could be doubled in five years, and they kept that promise once that goal was reached.
“We were all able to celebrate and enjoy that life changing day together,” she said. “We cried with happiness for each other, and hugged. Surreal. It was a surreal day it was a dream come true. It was likely a day that many people won’t experience in their lifetime and we did it all together.”
But this isn’t the first time the employees enjoyed such a momentous occasion. Thompson said they were rewarded for reaching the same goal in 2010 – every employee got to choose between a $50,000-car or a $35,000 cash check. But this year’s reward is life-changingly huge, so much so that they’re now referring to it as ‘Oprah Day’. Some of the workers are planning to use the bonus to retire early, while others are going to remodel their homes, pay for their children’s college tuition, and take vacations.
“It’s an incredible thing to be able to take care of things when life happens,” Thompson said. “And I can do that comfortably.”
We’ve seen benevolent employers in the past – earlier this year, we wrote about Li Jinyuan, Chinese billionaire and chairman of Tiens Group, who took 6,400 of his workers on vacation to France, spending a whopping 33million euro on the trip.