How Give & Take Inspired HeyTaco

When we speak with organizations interested in using HeyTaco, we always start with our ‘Why’. It is easy to get lost in features and benefits of a tool, and when you only stay there - most of the tools are mostly the same. We don’t mean to commoditize what we do, but when you explain it plainly, nothing that we do is going to help us win a Nobel prize anytime soon. 

And yet - the 'Why' behind what and how we do it is strong, and as soon as we share that 'Why' people, the conversation turns. We talk about the purpose of what they are trying to accomplish, what kind of culture they are trying to create, and whether HeyTaco can help them in that journey. 

In short, when our Whys' match - we match. The customer wins because they found a tool that will help them accomplish their 'Why', and we win because we found a partner that will join us on our mission. 

Our 'Why' has a lot to do with being a giver and fostering a giving mindset. So, in an effort to share more of our 'Why' with the world, the best way we could explain it is by using the book and framework that inspired us - the Give & Take book by Adam Grant.

Give and Take book cover

The Culture of Giving: An Introduction to Grant's 'Give and Take'

Grant’s book ‘Give and Take’ introduces a unique typology of individuals in life and in the workplace. “Takers” are those who aim to get more than they give, “Matchers” keep balances with quid pro quos, and “Givers” are characterized by an inclination to give more than they receive. The thesis of the book seems counterintuitive: it's the Givers, not the Takers, who tend to come out on top in the long run, both personally and professionally. 

Givers are genuinely interested in helping others, people like working with them, and in turn those same people help them out as well. Giving turns out to be a cycle that never ends; the more a person gives, the more they receive. 

How Grant’s Philosophy Shaped HeyTaco's Product 

In an SEO-optimized way, HeyTaco can be described as a platform designed to foster a productive and fun workplace through peer-to-peer recognition. Inspired by Grant’s work, we set out to prove that creating a culture of 'giving' within a company could be as rewarding for the organization as it is for its employees. The premise of HeyTaco is grounded in the belief that small acts of recognition can lead to profound differences in team dynamics and make work better and more fun for all. Because who doesn’t like to be appreciated?!

It might sound grandiose, but HeyTaco was not simply conceived with Grant’s theories in mind; it was born from them. Inspired by the book, we created a platform that encourages team members to give recognition through the simple act of sending a 'taco' emoji with a meaningful message. This outwardly light-hearted approach is a manifestation of a deep commitment to the Giver philosophy. 

Early in our formation, we realized that by designing a platform centered around recognition, we could instill a culture of giving that would permeate every aspect of a company. This philosophical alignment with Grant's tenets allowed us to offer a service that deeply reflected our commitment to being Givers and our belief that Givers make the world a better place.

Why does this matter?

When applied systematically and consistently, Grant's principles produce tangible results. We engineered our platform so that recognition is fun, accessible, and immediate. Employees don’t wait for scheduled reviews or annual bonuses to feel appreciated; instead, they give and receive recognition in real-time, creating a positive feedback loop that contributes to higher morale and engagement. 

We like to think we help enterprises in the modern economy rethink the role of recognition in employee performance and satisfaction. Most people out there are focused on who receives the (most) recognition, but we are focused on the action everyone can take - which is giving. For a practice of recognition to become a cultural habit of gratitude, we need to focus on actually saying thank you. There is no one to receive that thank you without someone else taking the first step in expressing thank you. 

In the end, what does 'Give and Take' mean for an organization? It means that a shift towards a culture of recognition — one that mirrors the tenets of generosity — has the potential not only to impact employee morale but also to lay the groundwork for a more meaningful, more rewarding, and ultimately more successful business. 

For 8 years now, we have been witnessing that giving in the workplace is not only a theory; it is a living, breathing practice that redefines conventional ideas about the nature of work. A simple act of giving can not only change one person’s mindset, but also to define a whole culture. 

Who can you give a taco to today? 

Award-winning Employee Recognition Software

HeyTaco is trusted by over 1,000 teams, from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies, and has been recognized with few awards.

HeyTaco is a leader in Mid-Market Employee Engagement on G2 HeyTaco is a leader in Mid-Market Employee Recognition on G2 HeyTaco is a leader in Team Building on G2 HeyTaco is a leader in Team Building on G2 HeyTaco is a leader in Small-Business Productivity Bots on G2