Melaleuca is currently enjoying an era of explosive growth, and 2016 is shaping up to be the best year ever for The Wellness Company. Halfway through the calendar year, Melaleuca is on pace to shatter its annual sales record of $1.33 billion set in 2015.
To thank the company’s workforce, Melaleuca CEO Frank VanderSloot announced yesterday that every employee would receive an unexpected thank you bonus—totaling over $1.1 million. In addition, VanderSloot acknowledged the hard work and sacrifice of hourly employees, surprising them with a new unprecedented double-pay overtime program. When he announced that the increased overtime pay would be retroactive to Jan. 1, 2016, employees erupted in cheers.
The thank-yous didn’t end there. Today, all Idaho employees and their families were treated to a special celebration at the company’s global headquarters for the 2016 Melaleuca Picnic.
Both the bonuses and the family picnic are examples of Melaleuca’s commitment to celebrating success. Celebration has always been a hallmark of Melaleuca’s corporate identity, says Chief of Staff Cole Clinger.
“We love to celebrate at Melaleuca,” Clinger says. “It’s fundamental to our culture. We celebrate success whenever we can—especially with our employees’ families. We wouldn’t be anywhere close to where we are today without their support.”
Melaleuca’s calendar year is full of events designed to show appreciation to its workforce. In June, Melaleuca treated employees and their families to a free day at the zoo. In August, they will enjoy a free night of minor league baseball at Melaleuca Field. On Halloween, the children and grandchildren of employees will trick-or-treat at Melaleuca’s global headquarters. And in December, employees and their spouses will receive gifts and enjoy an evening of entertainment at the annual Melaleuca Christmas Party.
One of the most anticipated companywide events, however, happens this November, when employees celebrating landmark anniversaries at Melaleuca will receive additional loyalty and long-term contribution bonuses. At last year’s event, $2.3 million was paid out to 197 employees. Over the last nine years, Melaleuca’s loyalty rewards program has paid more than $17.5 million to over 1,000 employees.
VanderSloot says he wants all of his employees to retire as millionaires. This is part of the well structured and deliberate program to make that happen.
While Melaleuca’s employee benefits come in various forms, today’s picnic is one of the most popular events of the year. Over 3,500 people attended this year’s gathering, which included food, prizes, rides, and games.
Melaleuca employee Sterling Barnes has been bringing his family to the picnic for seven years now. It’s become one of their favorite annual traditions. “My five daughters absolutely love it,” Barnes says. “It’s the highlight of summer for them.”
A fully staffed catering company served up an impressive meal that included 13 smoked pigs, BBQ beef sandwiches, hot dogs, chips, salads, ice cream, and popsicles. In addition, attendees young and old enjoyed all the cotton candy, snow cones, and popcorn they could eat.
At this year’s picnic, 84 employees were recognized for their outstanding performance with a thrilling helicopter ride. Melaleuca brought in mechanical bulls, ziplines, carnival rides, inflatable slides, bouncy houses, and more. Kids also enjoyed trying their hands at various games for a chance to win prizes.
From the food and drinks to the carnival games and rides, the annual picnic comes at no cost to employees or their family members. “My girls love it because they never have to ask me for money,” Barnes says. “They eat as much as they want and play as many games as they want. If we were paying carnival prices for all that, it would cost us hundreds of dollars.”
There is even a prize drawing where more than 100 items—from camping gear and sports equipment to appliances and home electronics—are given away. The drawing culminates with several grand prizes that include vacation getaways, big-screen televisions, furniture sets, and more.
These events strengthen Melaleuca’s family culture—and offer up a whole lot of fun for everyone involved. The goal is to create a workforce of thousands that feels as close-knit as the company’s original seven employees did in 1985.
“It’s awesome that Frank wants Melaleuca to remain an environment where families can work together and play together,” Barnes says. “I know that thirty years ago the picnic was just a handful of people. It’s great to see that as big as this company has gotten, Frank still wants to get everyone together and have a good time. You just don’t see companies doing that kind of stuff anymore.”