Harvard Business Online has a coach named Marshall Goldsmith who has written or co-edited 22 books.  In answer to the question:

How Do I Provide Meaningful Recognition?

Marshall references the following:

  1. List the names of the key groups of people that impact your life — both at work and at home (customers, co-workers, friends, family members, etc.).
  2. Write down the names of the people in each group.
  3. Post your list in a place you can’t miss seeing regularly.
  4. Twice a week — once on Wednesday, once on Friday — review the list and ask yourself, “Did anyone on this list do something that I should recognize?”
  5. If someone did, stop by to say "thank you," make a quick phone call, leave a voice mail, send an email, or jot down a note.
  6. Don’t do anything that takes up too much time. This process needs to be time-efficient or you won’t stick with it.
  7. If no one on the list did anything that you believe should be recognized, don’t say anything. You don’t want to be a hypocrite or a phony. No recognition is better than recognition that you don’t really mean.
  8. Stick with the process. You won’t see much impact in a week – but you will see a huge difference in a year.

PUNCHLINE:  Many of the Managing Partners and Practice Group Leaders I serve do not have time for business publications (there are notable exceptions, of course).  Perhaps this introduction to Harvard Business Online will whet the appetite for and lead to requesting a free subscription.  The eight items above may not be perfect for your situation but I hope it stimulates your deciding the kind of recognition protocol you want to follow.

Read the entire Harvard Business Online post: How Do I Provide Meaningful Recognition?