Being a bit of a nerd I love looking at large datasets and finding hidden meaning within the swirling mess of words.
In this article Nathan Yau looked at a dataset of 10,000 records where researchers asked the question "What made you happy in the past 24 hours?" -the results of which can be found on the HappyDB.
I won't go into all the findings in Nathan's article, but it was interesting to see that the verb "got" was used almost 8k times, and the terms job/money/work/bonus/raise/promotion as well as lunch/meal/book/ were really high on the object mentioned in the response.
While we're always going to be super happy to get a raise, more money, a bonus, promotion etc, we're also going to be really happy to get a smaller reward, like a book, a lunch/meal.... sometimes it is about the little things.
When Nathan pulled out the Subject "boss" the verb became "told", "gave", and "complimented" which focused around positive feedback for people.
So what's my point?
Well it's two fold.
First, are you doing enough recognition of your employee's? Are you giving them feedback to say they did a good job? Even a small gesture of thanks for something that someone does can make their day!
Secondly, there are a number of tools out there that can help you improve your feedback cycle. They provide simple tools for employees to make quick but frequent notes about performance which makes the monthly/quarterly/yearly reviews much easier. You don't need a tool to help you out but they can certainly help bed in a more frequent approach.
At the end of the day a happy employee is a valued employee, and the more we can help make an employee's day the better workplace you will be able to create for everyone.
Going into full work mode, the boss enters the picture. Praise and a compliment go a long way.