You can buy a lot of things with $1.6 million: a fancy car, a big house and maybe even an early retirement. It’s a one-way ticket to the good life.
When Larry Connor made that sum over eight days of coronavirus volatility in the stock market, he decided to give it back to his employees.
Connor, the owner and founder of The Connor Group, an Ohio-based real estate investment firm, captured the shock and gratitude of employees during his video announcement of the bonuses.
The company, which employs roughly 400 associates, has continued to keep its luxury apartment communities open as an essential business during the Covid-19 outbreak.
“These are challenging times, but the way our people have responded has been nothing short of heroic,” Connor said in a company news release. “Our No. 1 core value is ‘Do the right thing.’ So when I think about how I made the money compared to what our associates do on every day, to me, (paying the bonuses) was the right thing to do.”
The company will pay out the bonuses, which range from $2,000 to $9,000, to all “non-highly compensated associates,” according to the company news release.
The payouts were calculated on a tiered system based on position and longevity, said company spokeswoman Amanda Brown, adding that associates who made more than $150,000 were not eligible. The median salary of associates who received bonuses is roughly $42,000, she said.
“Family comes first. I love that about this company. That’s what keeps me here,” said Memo Alba, a partner and a senior maintenance technician who is nearing his 13th year at The Connor Group. “They’ve always made me feel that they care not only about me, but about my family’s health and well-being. They’re always there to help.”
Alba said he will be using his $6,000 bonus toward remodeling his house, a future trip to Florida with his wife and four children and a dinner date with his wife.
Brown said the $1.6 million was the net amount after tax. Beyond the bonuses, The Connor Group committed to paying unexpected childcare expenses for all employees and expanding its associate loan program. The program allows employees to get short-term pay advances that can be paid back via payroll deductions, Brown said.
“We believe in leading from the front,” Connor said in the release. “And in trying times, that means more than just talking about the problem. It means taking action.”