When you find ways to motivate your employees to bring their best every day, you can improve team morale, productivity, and retention.

There’s few things that can make a workday better than praise from the boss. Your employees spend their days trying to please you, and when they do, they’re filled with a sense of pride. Motivating your team with cash bonuses, extra vacation days and other enticing incentives are nice if you have the budget, but definitely not necessary. The secret to keeping your staffers inspired really isn’t anything complicated or innovative — it’s recognition from you.

Knowing you care about the work they’re completing and truly appreciate their efforts means the world to your team, so use these tips to help motivate your employees and make them feel valued.

3 Ways to Motivate Your Employees to Bring Their Best Every Day

Give credit where it’s deserved

As the boss, you frequently get credit for the work your team completes, by default. Instead of taking the glory for yourself, pass the praise on to the employees who really deserve it. It’s always frustrating to watch someone take the glory for work you completed, and after awhile this behavior will lead to low morale and seriously deter productivity. Your team’s wins are yours as well, so keep the great work flowing by recognizing their efforts instead of trying to boost your own profile – this is a great way to motivate your employees.

Tailor your approach to fit the person

Really outstanding work always needs to be acknowledged, but the way you handle the situation should vary by person. Some employees can’t get enough of the spotlight, so calling them out during a team meeting or sending an email to the entire department praising their efforts will put them on top of the world. On the other hand, quiet and shy staffers often cringe at the thought of public recognition, greatly preferring a one-on-one conversation with you. The delivery method must be catered to each individual, so take each employee’s personality into consideration and use your discretion when you want to motivate your employees.

Be clear with your praise

Your employees aren’t mind-readers, so be very specific with your compliments, so they know exactly what they did right. For example, telling a hotel worker they did a great job during their shift is nice, but far too vague to understand where they excelled. Instead, mention you were impressed with the way they handled a difficult customer or you appreciated how they pitched in and helped a colleague who became a bit overwhelmed during their shift.