The Latest News on Student Loan Forgiveness

Skip to Main Content

How to Inspire Your Hires

Visit Ramsey Solutions on any weekday afternoon and you’ll quickly notice that it is full of passionate, hardworking, happy people who love their jobs. How is that possible, especially in today’s do-whatever-it-takes business world? Because Dave and his leadership team have learned that by truly valuing their people and showing them they care, there is nothing they can’t accomplish. One of the easiest ways to achieve this is through recognition—letting people know when they are doing a good job and that you appreciate them.

In fact, recognition is so important to the company, it is taught at almost every EntreLeadership event. And EntreLeadership Elite, our online coaching and community program, dedicates several coaching sessions to it each year. And here’s the coolest part: You don’t have to break the bank to recognize your team.

We asked EntreLeaders from across the country at events and on Facebook and Twitter to share how they’re showing their appreciation. Here are some of their top answers to get you started:

  • Sometimes I randomly send personal thank-you notes for something that seemed small to someone but was a huge help to me. I also will at times say, “Get out of here,” so they can leave early. I acknowledge them by cc’ing the “big boss” or our board of trustees when they do something fantastic. But I also let them know WHY what they did was worth the thank-you.

—Wendy Airlie, Parish School, Houston, Texas

  • We give small gifts of thanks—wine, gift cards or baked goodies. It depends on the reason for the recognition and the individual's personal tastes. And we offer an overnight stay for the person (and their significant other) at nearby locations or tickets to a popular concert. Birthdays are also huge with decorations everywhere.

—Sarah Hansen, Dutch Bros. Coffee, Grants Pass, Oregon

  • We give notes with $5 gift cards, we have a high-five website to recognize them publicly, and we do team appreciation days where we go to a baseball game for the day.

—Cheryl Brown

  • At my company, each employee is able to send a recognition award to a coworker who went above and beyond. Depending on your level in the company, you are able to give $40–200 to them, which is added to their next paycheck.


  • I try to mix it up so it doesn’t become routine. We just had a company-wide birthday party. During the day, staff and their families were invited to my backyard with a bounce house and lunch. That evening, the adults went out for dinner. It was a really fun day.

—Kathy Thaut, At Your Service Plumbing, Tacoma, Washington

  • Team members who have been recognized by clients or other team members for achieving excellence are acknowledged during our biweekly staff meetings. If a note was written, it’s read aloud. The team member gets to choose a reward from a variety of gift cards. Also, any notes received are posted on our “Nailin’ It” board. (“Nailin’ It” is our tagline.)

—Joe Halsell, Joe Halsell Builders, Santa Maria, California

  • I like to give handwritten notes, and I also might take them to lunch or go to the store and buy them a few of their favorite snacks. I think if you show your team you really care about their successes, the will want to succeed more. To me, it’s the small things you do that make them try harder every day.

—Michelle Jones, IWTS Gas & Supply, Oklahoma City

  • I use a cash cannon and shoot money at a team member when they practice a positive behavior. We have a dartboard game, where they earn throws and receive cash for the number they hit. We set small goals per quarter to win prizes. And we do an annual event—the team volunteers somewhere in the morning and does something fun in the afternoon, like zip-lining, going to a concert or playing laser tag.

—Billy Wagner, Brightway Insurance, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

  • Saying thank you and recognizing great effort is one of the fun things I get to do! For birthdays and anniversaries, we send a card around that everyone signs. I also mail a card to their home with a gift card to their favorite restaurant, and I mail birthday cards to their spouses and children. We surprise our team with favorite drinks and snacks just because we love them.

—Karen Kordon, Camelback Academy, Glendale, Arizona

  • We have an acknowledgement box that anyone can drop a note into to recognize a team member’s demonstration of a positive character trait. The notes are read each month at our team meeting. Also, we’ll treat a team member and their significant other to dinner on the company.

—Gerald Roberts, Roberts Excavation Corporation, Berthoud, Colorado

  • During the summer, our staff only works half days on Fridays. We get vouchers for local sports teams and work with local businesses for perks/discounts for employees. A 20% discount at a restaurant doesn't hurt the restaurant's bottom line, and it gives major good vibes to an employer!



Click here for free, SHRM-accredited webinar content on all things HR and business leadership.

In study after study, the number-one way to motivate your team is recognition. So spend some time planning how to let your team know they’re awesome. It’s worth the investment.

If you need to inspire your hires, then you won’t want to miss our all-new FREE webinar: Escape Survival Mode. Only a limited number of spots are available. Register now!

Did you find this article helpful? Share it!

Ramsey Solutions

About the author

Ramsey Solutions

Ramsey Solutions has been committed to helping people regain control of their money, build wealth, grow their leadership skills, and enhance their lives through personal development since 1992. Millions of people have used our financial advice through 22 books (including 12 national bestsellers) published by Ramsey Press, as well as two syndicated radio shows and 10 podcasts, which have over 17 million weekly listeners. Learn More.

Related Articles


How to Hire an Extraordinary Sales Team

There are lots of actions you can take, like offering great incentives and compensation packages, an awesome place to work and plenty of motivation. But no matter what you do, you can’t MAKE someone into a winner who doesn’t have it inside them.

Ramsey Solutions Ramsey Solutions