Imagine your team happy, productive and loyal to the core. They can’t wait to get to work in the morning. They’re passionate about what they do and are ready to bust it all day.

If it seems like an impossible dream, read on. Because one of the key ingredients for creating satisfaction at work is super easy to implement. When you make a habit of recognizing your team, spirits lift and the atmosphere changes. Because no matter how old, everyone yearns for acceptance, approval, appreciation, attention and affection.

So how do you recognize your team? There’s actually a simple-to-implement process that we use at Dave’s company. Listed below are our standard rules for praise. Begin the bragfest today.

  1. Just Do It

The first rule of recognition is simply bother to do it. Make a habit of catching your people doing something right and let them know about it. A sincere compliment sets you apart.

  1. Take a Hike

It’s hard to recognize anyone if you don’t step away from your desk. Schedule time to walk around your business and check out what’s happening with your team. If someone is doing a good job, let them know about it.

  1. Keep It Real

When handing out praise, make sure it’s sincere. Cheap flattery makes you look manipulative and shows you lack integrity. Also remember, only compliment actions you want repeated.

  1. Go Public

When bragging on someone, it’s always better to do it in front of others, especially if it’s somebody the person cares about.  Pour on the praise to family members or a spouse and your team member will be beaming for weeks.

  1. Tell Their Friends

Recognition in front of friends and colleagues is almost as powerful as family.  Dave reads praise reports from customers and peers at our weekly staff meetings. Everyone cheers.

  1. Don’t Be Stingy

The person who helps a fellow worker in time of need deserves as much praise as your superstar salesperson. Let them know they are doing an awesome job too.

  1. Put It in Writing

One of the most powerful tools in your arsenal is the pen. Send hand-written thank you cards to team members who’ve done well.

  1. Surprise Them

The most effective recognition is when someone isn’t expecting it. Catch them off guard and surprise them. An unexpected $50 handshake from you for a job well done? Even better.

  1. Wish Them a Happy Birthday

Dave believes that no one is every too old or sophisticated to smile when someone says, “Happy birthday.” Find out your team members birthdays and send them an email with your best wishes. The same should hold true for work anniversaries too.

  1. Don’t Break the Bank

Recognition doesn’t have to be expensive. T-shirts, anniversary coins, Starbucks cards or a framed note honoring the person are incredibly effective and the cost is minimal.

How important is recognition? According to a report by Mercer, more than one-third of Americans are actively looking for a new job, with 43% citing lack of recognition as one of the main reasons for their unhappiness. So take the time to brag on your team. Do it right and everyone reaps the rewards.