Besides the fact that it’s the right thing to do, letting your employees know that you appreciate them is good for business. Employees who feel appreciated will intrinsically work harder and are happier. It amazes me that studies reveal that about 70% of the workforce today feels underappreciated by its employers. That, to me, is crazy. Just think how much more productive our nation’s businesses would be if  employers would just “show a little love.” With that said, think of the competitive advantage you as a business owner would have if you showed your appreciation and had a group of employees who go above and beyond because of it. So, what are some ways you can show appreciation? Believe it or not, it doesn’t always have to involve the almighty dollar. Many times, an employee is just looking for words of thanks and recognition for a job well done. However, these words of appreciation need to mean something. If you think all you must do is go around to everyone and say, “Good job,” then you are missing the point. What you say must be genuine, come from the heart, and specify the “good job.” Other forms of appreciation can be to simply take time out of the day to visit with them, back them up when a particularly difficult customer gives them a hard time, or order pizza or ice cream for the office on special occasions. Whatever  you do, the most important thing is to be sincere.
Every year Fortune Magazine comes out with a list of the 100 best companies to work for. I was struck when reading the criteria. Not much is mentioned about pay. Things like purpose and mission, work environment, and appreciation were the reasons that jumped out at me. These are things that can be easily changed--and the payoff would be remarkable.