Peer-to-peer recognition is among an employer's most powerful, cost effective tools for engaging employees.When employees are actively encouraged to notice and appreciate the behaviors of their colleagues that contribute to the company's success you as a leader will create an environment that is guaranteed to excite, inspire your team to give their best every day. Being nice, doesn't' mean being a push over, soft or vague. To be clear being nice and smart and having fun is easier than you think.

Here are 7 easy and free tips you can start today

  1. Be specific in your appreciation. "Thank you for ensuring our deadline was met." "Thank you for staying late to finish the proposal, the client loves it." The message shows you noticed, and care.
  2. Thank immediately. Make it easy for yourself by having a few thank you cards on hand- an extra effort detail vs. an email.
  3. If you do use email to show appreciation, cc the CEO, or manager outlining how the employee's effort helped the company. Again, you will be seen as a team player.
  4. Smile with eye contact.
  5. Today, visit face to face at least 2 people who report to you. Tell them one great thing they do to make your job easier.
  6. When you see a colleague who looks confused or overwhelmed, don't walk by. Engage them. Ask how you can help.
  7. Start a daily act of Kindness campaign either just for yourself, or better yet with your team, or entire organization. Track the results in a journal, blog or online community.

As a leader you must first look at your own behaviour. Show your daily appreciation and watch your team environment become stronger as people happily, enthusiastically carry out your goals. Recognition done right doesn't take a lot of money, it takes listening, creativity, and the ability to say thank you.