According to Todd Patkin, employers don’t need to spend a cent to show their employees  that they care about them and appreciate their hard work. Patkin’s suggestions, for managers, employers and EA professionals, include:

Send “love” notes. When an individual has done an excellent job or has achieved an important goal, send a specific handwritten (not typed!) note conveying your most sincere appreciation and admiration. This will take only one sheet of paper and five minutes out of one’s day…but it’ll make a lasting impression on the employee.

Distribute inspiration. Buoying  a team’s spirits should be one of a manager’s daily goals. If a boss helps their workers see their work environment as a sunnier place and, in turn, to improve their attitudes and ways of thinking about their lives, their professional and personal productivity will increase too. Most people vastly underestimate the power of feeding their minds with inspirational and educational material.

Tell success stories. Even if they brush off praise or downplay their achievements, everybody loves to be recognized and complimented. Bosses should always praise in public as loudly as possible, and conversely, criticize only in private!

Todd Patkin is the author of Finding Happiness: One Man’s Quest to Beat Depression and Anxiety and—Finally—Let the Sunshine In (StepWise Press, 2011, ISBN: 978-0-9658261-9-8, $19.95,) which is available at bookstores nationwide, from major online booksellers, and at