There is a lot of research and many case studies have been conducted around the topic of gratitude and employee engagement. And the findings are what you would expect—-employees appreciate being thanked and complimented for a job well done. In fact, time and time again employees have admitted –that they would rather get recognition over a raise.

So, with Valentine’s Day in the air, it could be just the right time to show your employees some love!

5 things that make this a heartfelt habit:

1. –Set the tone from the top— lead by example and take time to give appreciation in a sincere way. Public recognition goes so much further than private recognition, but be careful of keeping things proportionate.

2. –Be specific about the compliment or gratitude: refer directly to a project or outcome.

3. –Write it down. Verbal recognition is good, but a handwritten note of gratitude will be kept and shared and referred to for years and years.

4. Recognize the effort, even (and especially) if the project did not go as planned. Look for ways to improve while highlighting what worked – what creative solutions they brought to bear, or the leadership they displayed. Use it as an opportunity to help bring Flutterby Media’s mission and vision to life.

5. Encourage employees to call out the great work of their colleagues. It is not uncommon to hear of organizations where gratitude is the way the day starts and ends—everyone gathers around and they can step forward to acknowledge a team member, and the leaders help connect the dots to demonstrate how instrumental each of their interactions is, and how important they are in their success. That’s got to be ah—mazing!

Inspired? Got other ideas for showing gratitude and appreciation to your employees? I’d love to know !

Want to dig in? 6 Tips on Improving Employee Engagement {Related}