IDAHO FALLS — D.J. Calderwood walked out of his Melaleuca office with a $25,000 bonus check Tuesday evening.
He was one of nearly 200 Melaleuca employees recognized for his loyalty and hard during a company-wide meeting.
The Idaho Falls wellness company tells EastIdahoNews.com that 197 employees, each who are celebrating landmark anniversaries with Melaleuca, received a portion of $2.3 million in loyalty and longevity bonuses at the meeting.
Melaleuca has paid $17,584,243 to more than 1,000 employees since instituting this bonus in 2007, according to a company news release. Company officials said the bonus program was created so every 30-year employee could have in excess of $1 million in the bank when they retire from Melaleuca.
“It’s our goal that all Melaleuca employees will retire as millionaires,” Melaleuca CEO Frank VanderSloot said in a news release. “Even the janitors will retire as millionaires if they simply follow our program.”
Calderwood began working as a graphic designer for Melaleuca in 1990. The company was small and he’s seen incredible changes over the years.
“It’s been a good journey,” Calderwood said. “Since the beginning, Frank has taken care of his workers. Not very many people around here get this kind of a check so I feel pretty lucky.”
The loyalty program encourages employees to take advantage of the company’s 401(k) matching program, to invest the longevity bonuses and work to achieve a modest rate of return on that investment.
“Just take that money and invest it wisely and safely,” VanderSloot said. “The number one investing secret is to start now. You want that money to compound as long as it can. They say that those who understand interest earn it, and those who don’t understand it pay it.”
This bonus is for all full- and part-time employees, regardless of position or pay level. An employee’s length of service is the only qualification. Melaleuca pays $5,000 for a five-year anniversary, $10,000 for 10 years, $15,000 for 15 years, $33,000 ($20,000 net) for 20 years, $25,000 for 25 years, and $30,000 for 30 years, according to a news release.
In 2015, eleven employees earned $25,000 checks, 16 employees received $20,000 net checks, and 27 employees opened $15,000 checks. Melaleuca also presented $10,000 checks to 65 employees, and $5,000 checks to 77 employees.
“It’s impressive to watch how many people are going the distance with us,” VanderSloot said in a news release. “We believe that employees who have helped us build this company should share in the wealth.”
Calderwood said he plans to invest his bonus check and use some of the money to help pay for his son’s LDS mission.
Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com
Stephan Rockefeller, EastIdahoNews.com
Jackson Adams, Teton Valley News