Employer Generosity: Sound Wisdom Readers Share Their Experiences by Jennifer Janechek

Recently someone shared a story about how a new employer gifted her daughter with a coveted Peloton bike as a “welcome aboard” present—something to energize her daughter’s new work-at-home routine. I was stunned by this extravagant act of generosity on the part of a small business owner. Immediately, I wanted to know what other employers were similarly using gifts and incentives as a way to make their employees feel valued and motivated. Below are some experiences shared by Sound Wisdom readers.  

“I have been sent flowers, gift cards, Etsy items, books [as random gifts]. I also have received a free Fitbit, mini iPad, health products, and two free vacations [as rewards for sales]. I feel VERY valued!” 

“My employer is great about this. A few years back when we hit a big corporate milestone they surprised every employee with an iPad.” 

“My entire department has been so incredibly supportive through my pregnancy and now postpartum. They bought my girl gifts, threw a shower/celebration, and even bought a changing table for our bathroom.” 

“My husband got an unexpected $500 bonus from his work!” 

“At my former school the elementary principal would treat us with Frappuccino Fridays.” 

“When I worked at [a] bank, they often sent me thank you notes of appreciation. Also, employees who worked behind the scenes were often sent gift cards and/or thank you notes from other employers for their help.” 

“At a small, family-owned coffee shop I used to work at, my boss not only gave us Christmas bonuses, but she also gave me a birthday gift (a gift certificate for a night out with [my husband]), and when I moved, she and her husband gave me $100 cash and a kind note.” 

“I’ve been working for a wonderful, family-owned real estate company for the last 3 years running the office. We bought a new house over the summer that is over an hour away from the office, and my husband and I talked about finding a way that I could work from home to avoid the commute, but also to have a better work/life balance. I didn’t know what that would look like, but I called the owner of the company one day and told him I love working for them and I love what I do, but the direction my family was heading required something different, and I was hoping there was something I could do to remain a part of the company but work remotely. He told me basically ‘yes absolutely, we will make this happen as we don’t want to lose you.’ They created a brand-new position that I can do from home, which is very much an exception to the employee rule, and it made me feel really valued and appreciated.” 

It was clear from the myriad responses I received (not all appearing here) that employer generosity was not as rare as you might think in today’s world. It was also evident that the employees who had been the recipients of random—or even regular—acts of kindness by their employers felt valued by them, and this translated into added value to the company. Even if it was something as simple as “Free Chipotle Fridays” for the teachers at a particular public school, this demonstration of appreciation improved employee morale in a way that more than outweighed the expenses incurred by the organization. 

Have you had a similar positive experience with an employer? Or are you an employer who engages in such acts of generosity? Share below! Also, as an employee, what kinds of incentives/rewards would you like to see from your employer in the future? Comment below with details!