Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Way Things Should Be

I have had a job of some sort since I was 15 years old. I was raised to believe that if you worked hard and did a good job, then you would be rewarded. There were times when that belief held true, and I received better than average pay increases.

Unfortunately, all too often in today's corporate and business world the opposite took place. I can recall getting weekly department updates of record sales weeks during the course of the year only to be told at salary review time that salaries would be frozen because we weren't "profitable enough." Other times, we were rewarded with a coupon for 10% off of a grocery purchase during Thanksgiving or Christmas.

That is why the story of the Spurgen family is so special. The Spurgen's sold their family owned business, Peer Bearing Co., to a Swedish owned firm. Nobody would have batted an eye or even blamed the family if they just pocketed the profits from the sale, especially in today's economy. However, the Spurgen family decided to reward their employee's for their service and contribution to the company's success by paying out $6.6 million in bonuses to their 230 former employees.

It is nice to know that there are business people out there who still get that their success is contingent on those that work for them. Sure, the owners who take the risk should receive the largest rewards, and I am sure that the Spurgen family profited handsomely from the sale of their company. In a world where corporate executives fly on private jets to beg Congress for money to help them through tough times, it is nice to hear about a company that does the right thing.

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