Praise and Raise

by Dave Ramsey

We don’t give out raises based on longevity at Ramsey Solutions. In my book, the simple fact that you’ve been breathing air in the same office building for a year doesn’t qualify you for a salary increase.

However, if you’ve brought value to the company, if you’ve proven yourself to be a hard-working and consistent contributor, you bet you’re going to be rewarded! Even now, after more than two decades of running my own business, I love how a team member’s face will light up when they hear they’re getting a raise.

Your team is probably stocked with players holding varying degrees of talent, tenure, and maturity. At some point during their careers, every one of them is going to have a moment when they feel they’re worth more than the numbers on their paycheck. Some of these team members will be right, and they’ll deserve to be rewarded generously. Others, however, may have an unrealistic view of what they’ve brought to the table.

As a leader you have an obligation to provide your team with everything they need to succeed. That’s why I’ve rarely cut a team member’s pay due to poor performance. People are more than figures on your bottom line, or statistics in a weekly report. Sometimes, if a team member is underperforming, additional training is warranted. Other times, someone may be battling personal issues outside work. This happens to all of us, and a good leader will realize when a little grace and understanding are needed.

But for the players who are consistent contributors year-in and year-out, raises should be given happily and with a praise sandwich. Praise the person’s actions and talents, give the raise, then praise the person some more. These moments are times for celebration, because they’re win-win scenarios. The company wins because it has a truly valued and productive team member. And the player wins because they see — in a tangible way — they’re valued, respected, and appreciated!

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