Jordan's Furniture: The Bermuda Beach Bash Lives On

In May 1999, all 1,200 employees of Avon, Mass.based Jordan's Furniture flew to Bermuda for a one-day beach bash that made headlines across the country (including in our magazine). They're still talking about it a year later.

"Bermuda was history in the making for the company and a tremendous morale booster for our employees," says Barry Tatelman, who runs the company with his brother, Eliot.

Jordan's--which has four stores in northern New England--was sold to Berkshire Hathaway at the end of 1999. Barry reports that there have been no changes in operation--or in the measures to which these brothers go to reward their employees. For example, when they announced the sale of the company, they gave every employee $.50 for each hour they had worked at Jordan's-- be it for two days or 20 years. For some, that meant a hefty chunk of change--on top of the annual holiday bonus.

The company runs special employee programs nearly every month. In April, the "J-team" gathered for a Red Sox Fun Day, and in May, an event called Draft Day brought everyone together for a cookout and a concert ticket giveaway.

Meanwhile, the legacy of Bermuda lives on. "When new employees start working for the company, they'll see a fellow J-team member wearing a Bermuda hat or tee-shirt," says Eliot. "That spurs conversation about the event and revives the excitement."