It’s one thing to make profits. It’s something quite another to work for the betterment of one’s own employees and staff. Usually, they say, when you are in the cut-throat competitive realm of corporate business you don’t really bother about anyone else; your focus is you and your work alone! The rest is everybody else’s concern.
But then, not everyone is selfish and utterly insular or one dimensional. Corporate culture can also have that important four-letter word called life and well-being of the others; that is, one’s own workforce. What better example to understand this than the recent exemplary gesture shown by popular sandwich and coffee chain Pret A Manger, a popular UK-based retail brand?
In celebrating its recent buyout by another firm, the retail coffee, sandwich brand extended a massive cash bonus to every single employee of the company. This was more than a gesture. This was enriching the corporate culture with a hitherto rare occurrence, something that doesn’t happen always or every day. The simple idea behind the coffee and sandwich company extending a vital cash bonus to each and every employee was to celebrate and reward their effort and years of hard work.
Recent news suggested that an investment firm JAB holdings bought off Pret a Manger in entirety. That’s not all, as a result of the famous buyout, covered widely in the Brit media, the faith of as many as 12,000 employees was rewarded. Every employee of the famous Brit firm got about approximately $1,300 cash bonus. There was no one on the company’s payroll who was left out.
That is not all. Even as the restaurant is based out of the UK, the collective $12 million payout, actually stands true and is to be extended to all employees that are working throughout different stores. Surely, there are more than 1 stores around the country. One doesn’t need to guess or speculate the popularity of the said cafe chain. Pret a Manger’s immensity of presence in the local UK market can be understood through the sheer fact that there are 530 stores. This means that the noble gesture extended by the company’s top management on account of the recent takeover by JAB holdings is applicable to each and every person that’s employed all throughout the UK.
The Chief Executive of Pret a Manger, Clive Schlee is ecstatic about the great gesture the company has made the decision taken in unison. He was noted saying that buyout could be compared to a moment of serendipity for the working staff of Pret a Manger. And given the explanation here, it’s not that hard to understand why.
While at the outset, it’s always a beautiful surprise for anyone who’s at the ‘receiving’ end of a cash bonus, in this case, all the employees of Prat a Manger are slated to be jubilant. This is, indeed a surreal happening. Not an everyday kind of occurrence. In fact, such an inspiring and positive story speaks of a great contrast to our times. It also proves that not every Corporate is out there to simply exploit its workforce. Things and people are simpler. There’s a difference between objects, people and commodity. Moreover, not everyone is supposedly commoditised in an age that is criticised for valuing things over people.
Above anything, the often overrated or inflated view that one’s workforce is also a second family, away from one’s own biological family, is indeed true. An interesting irony is that Pret a Manger that feeds the world to some amazing and fulfilling treats such as a coffee, sandwich, sushi, cakes as well as wraps is also a master of feeing its own resources just as well. Rather, incredibly well. At a time where the corporate world is becoming a tad bit too insular in the wake of only running profits and gains, Pret a Manger proves that in its journey toward success, people play an important, valuable role.