Feedback is commonplace in most offices, but all too often, we focus so much on what others can improve on rather than taking time to praise them for what they’re already doing well. If there’s a chance you might be guilty of not showing enough appreciation toward your employees and over-emphasizing their “needs improvement” traits in performance reviews, then you might want to consider the research-proven benefits of openly appreciating the people who work for you on a regular basis:

Motivational foundation for success

Several research studies cited in a Forbes article found that appreciation from one’s boss can make a world of difference when it comes to on-the-job productivity and job satisfaction. In fact, a study from found that a “lack of recognition” most negatively impacts employees’ productivity. Another study reported by Harvard Medical School found that employees demonstrated a greater willingness to work harder when their employers expressed appreciation for them, compared to employees who received little to no positive feedback.

The lesson here is simple: if you want your employees to give their best efforts and avoid looking for other job opportunities, show them how much you appreciate them!

Brighten your workplace culture

As a workplace leader, one of your most important roles is creating an environment of innovation, collaboration and trust among members of your team. One of the best ways to accomplish this is by serving as a role model for the rest of your employees and making regular gestures of gratitude. If you lead by example, then your employees will likely follow suit and routinely share their positive thoughts about others’ work, which will create a more inclusive and fulfilling workplace for everyone to be in.

How to show genuine appreciation towards employees

It all starts with a simple “thank you.” This sounds obvious, but it’s easy to get so caught up in our to-do lists that we forget to make regular efforts to thank others for their help. You may consider including thank yous in your emails, dedicating a few minutes at the end of team meetings to thank your colleagues individually for the work they’re doing, or start up a weekly/monthly spotlight in which you show off an employee’s accomplishments and publicly encourage others to praise and thank them for their hard work.

Every little act of appreciation can make a huge difference in how an employee feels about their job and the company, so take this as an opportunity to foster a more positive, growth-oriented environment in your office.