In the past, leaders and managers have been focused on the profitability of the organization and on numerical, measurable factors. But, in addition to these critical factors, when leaders understand and appreciate behavioral issues and how they impact attitude and performance, satisfied employees generate energy and productivity (Hartline & Ferrell, 1996).

This is reciprocal, as well. Employers, managers, and owners work hard. They have unbelievable stress and responsibility. They need to be recognized and reinforced, as well. Just because there is a “Boss’s Day” does not mean this is the only time of the year a boss needs to hear “thank you.”

Recognition given in either a private setting or a public setting stimulates continued good work when given sincerely and in a timely fashion. Individualizing recognition is most meaningful and effective (Strumpfer, 2005). What does that mean, to “individualize” the type of recognition given? Different people—by their nature and personality type—may want and need to be recognized in different ways. Some people would be embarrassed by public recognition, whereas others are quite proud to receive public acknowledgement. Some people would rather have a note than a luncheon in a restaurant. Do your best to find out what motivates the different people in your division or company—and individualize your appreciation.

Tough to do? Not really. Just keep your eyes and ears open. Listen to people’s words and behavior. Pay attention. Be more interested in others than you are in yourself and you will gain great insight.

The greatest gift you can give another is the purity of your attention.

—Richard Moss