By Jon Keller


BOSTON (CBS) – Are you getting a holiday bonus at work this year?

Last year almost two-thirds of U.S. companies gave out end-of-year bonuses averaging about $1,800. Early this year, hundreds of employers celebrated their tax-cut windfall by giving one-time bonuses to their workers.

And it’ll be hard to top the generosity of Lee Schoenherr, the owner of a company in Ludington, Michigan named FloraCraft, that makes foam products.

He gave out nearly $4 million in holiday bonuses this month. Each was based on how long an employee has been with the company. They were given out in cash and 401k contributions.

Workers at FloraCraft in Ludington, Michigan. (Image credit: WDIV via CNN)

“The fact that he did that for everybody, from the guys that have only been here a few years, right on up, that was just incredible,” said one FloraCraft employee.

Why did he do it?

“I believe strongly in giving back to the community by supporting initiatives that make Ludington a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family,” Schoenherr said in a blog post. “A few years ago, I began thinking that I would like to do something more targeted for our employees, who really are the heart and soul of FloraCraft.”

“My wife, Joan, and I are blessed in so many ways. We want to share these blessings with the men and women whose energy, passion and loyalty inspire us every day.”

It seems like a no-brainer, doesn’t it?

You do well in business, and look to share the wealth with the people who make that business go.

It’s not just a feel good move, either. Shared wealth makes for a happier, more stable and productive workforce, which in turn generates more wealth for all to share.

Many companies espouse this philosophy, as we saw one year ago after the president signed the big corporate tax cut, touching off a wave of job-expansion and bonuses.

But then there are the rest who don’t get it.

One study found those tax-cut bonuses wound up giving most workers only two extra cents per hour after inflation. If only there were more FloraCrafts in our world, and fewer scrooges.

Talk back to me via email at keller@wbztv.com, or use Twitter, @kelleratlarge.

Jon Keller

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