The Most Effective Way To Show Appreciation To Employees (NOT WHAT YOU THINK!)

Your team creates the spine of your company and, as a leader, one of the most important things you can do to keep them strong and connected is to show them appreciation.

You can throw cash and gifts at your employees to thank them for their work, but how effective is that?

Picking up one simple, surprising habit will have an astoundingly greater impact on your team, and it’s completely free.

In this episode, Chris lets you in on what that practice is.

You’ll hear how to get started with the most effective way to show appreciation to your employees, how to practice at home, and how to turn it into the ultimate team-building exercise.

There is a time and a place for material presents, but this is the best way to consistently and genuinely thank your people for showing up for you and your company.

People are driven more by honest recognition than anything else in business.

In this Episode:

  • The number one thing you can do in your business to show your employees appreciation (hint: it’s not a gift or a bonus)
  • Why the results from this practice are so astounding and long-lasting
  • How to bring your team closer together without spending a dime on team-building trips or cheesy activities
  • What you can do to get started, even if you feel like you aren’t skilled enough to make this meaningful
  • What to focus on as you start this practice to get the best results

Find out exactly what aspect of your company is the current weak link that, if fixed, will help you scale faster and more successfully.

Go to and see insights on how to fix everything that might be out of whack and holding your back — for free.

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I know that this is totally off topic from what our normal topics of building companies and scaling profits. But bear with me for a moment because this one concept trumps them all. And it’s really something that can change the foundation of every relationship you have in life. Not just business, but family and friends too. I mean, everything.

So, over the years I’ve always tried to make people around me feel good. I wanted them to get value from our time together. I’ve made it a study to find out what every important person in my life values. And one stands out more than anything else. It’s not anything that anybody ever asked for. It’s just something that I did that brought such great response from the person that I gave it to. Then I started doing it over and over and over again with everybody that I love in every area of my life.

I shared this at a mastermind that I was hosting and I could tell that some people really took it to heart. Some people, it just went over their head because they were there just to grow and scale and do these other great monetizing things. But some people took it to heart, which was great because I knew the power that this has in it.

A Simple Letter to Show Appreciation

Then, just coincidentally, a few days ago, I was talking to one of the CEO who was at that mastermind. They went into this entire story about how what I shared with them literally saved their relationship. So what is this, right? What is the thing that I keep talking about? More than anything else, including bonuses to my team, a simple letter to them from me detailing specifically what makes them such a valuable part of the team is what’s valued most.

It’s what people remember and it’s a memory that lasts forever for them. The positive change that it makes in them is noticeable immediately. I’ve done this with almost everyone on my team multiple times. Consistently across the board every year at our annual meetings. When we ask people what they liked most about the previous year, almost unanimously, they say the letters that I’ve written them.

It’s not that I write letters every single day or that they expect them from me. But if somebody does an amazing job and far exceeds my expectations. If I have the time, I let them know in a short handwritten card. Or if it’s the end of the year I might write them each. Like, everybody on my leadership team. A full letter.

People Are Driven By Honest Recognition

That might take half a day out of my time, but the results we get are staggering. Now why? Why do you think that is? Because people are driven more by honest recognition than anything else in business. When you take the time out of your hectic day to write someone a letter, it means a lot.

It means a lot to them and it exudes from them. Here’s another way that we use this that’s made our teams far closer than any team-building camp that you could ever go to. At the end of our annual meetings, everyone gets a small pile of blank index cards. So let’s say you have 10 people on your team. Everybody would get a pile of index cards, right? They’d get a pile of 10 index cards, one for every person around there, and then you’d spend the next 30 minutes or so in silence while everybody writes something positive about each person in the room.

I would write one thing on one card about Amy. And I’d write something else very positive on a card for Jonathan and one for Alex and so on and so on and so on. Before the meeting ends, everybody would take their pile of cards and they would pass their cards out to the right person.

When we leave, Amy would have a stack of cards all written to her from her coworkers. About what they feel makes her a valuable team member or a special person. Or maybe it was something that she did that year that really helped that other team member in the room.

Now, our team saves those cards for years. They look at them every once in a while when they feel that they need more energy. I see people reading them probably at least once a month.

It’s powerful. It makes people a team and it costs you literally nothing to do.

Start With Your Family

But what if you suck at writing? I mean, I wasn’t born a good writer. And being able to show somebody that you value them in a short letter, it takes practice. It takes a lot of practice. I suggest you start with people who this is going to have the greatest impact on in your life. It’s your family.

Write your better half a real heartfelt letter detailing truthfully what you love most about them and how they make you feel. Tell them how their support makes you a better person. How you literally recharge when you touch them. Just speak from your heart. I do this with Sheila every single time I write a card. Every time I write a card to her, I take time and I make sure that the words that I use make me feel closer to her before I write them because I know that when I get myself into that state of mind, I’m speaking from the heart and she feels it.

Then just leave that card or that letter where they’ll find it so that they can have time to read it in private. And if you have kids, they’re next. The bonding that you feel from your kids after they read those letters is going to change everything for the better for you. When you do this with your employees focus on their core strengths. Tell them how the team is stronger because they’re part of it and how the extra effort that they put in as seen by everybody, right?

Employee letters, they don’t have to be long, they can be short, but they are a powerful way to reward your team members who excel. So how else do you think you could use this in your company? I mean, think about it. Let it just sink in there for a second. How else do you think you could use this tactic?

Meet Chris Guerriero


Chris is an entrepreneur, investor, bestselling author, and advisor to a handful of high growth companies.

He has built four 8-figure companies, developed winning leadership teams in six industries, and designed business systems that predictably grow multi-million dollar brands.

He’s been featured in financial periodicals such as: Success, Inc, Bloomberg TV, and in Entrepreneur as a top entrepreneurs of the time.

In addition to his own companies, Chris is also an advisor, investor and equity holder in companies across a variety of industries, including health, medical, digital advertising, legal and real estate.

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