Everyone knows that managers are in charge of running a business and not a charity. That doesn't mean that it should be all about the bottom line though – there are all sorts of benefits tied back to making members of staff feel good about their abilities, and generally valued as employees.
All too often, those perceived as being at the bottom of the rung are made to feel like they're disposable and easily replaceable. While the harsh reality is that there's an element of truth to this, you can't expect to get much out of employees if they're consistently having this rammed down their throats.
As such, let them know they're doing a great job if they are. You'll benefit from sustained levels of quality work from them, and they'll benefit through feeling good about what they're doing.
Remember that even low level tasks need to be completed to a high standard to form a solid business base, and someone that's confident will make a much better job of it than someone who isn't.
The same thought process should be applied to people at all levels within the business.
There are a couple of tricky roads to navigate here. By consistently praising individuals, you do run the risk of giving them an inflated sense of self-worth, making them difficult to deal with in the workplace.
The trick to avoiding this is to identify individuals that are likely to react in this way to constant praise, or those that undeservedly put themselves on a pedestal above others. It's not easy to do, but there are certain personality traits that'll give potential troublemakers away.
It's not all about praise though - it's sometimes about the human touch. It's not that hard to remember birthdays of staff members for instance, so make sure they're always given a card to let them know no-one's forgotten about them.
It's also not that hard to take an interest in the personal lives of your employees. Okay, don't overstep the margin by asking about their relationships or home life, but each one of them is bound to have a hobby. Find out what it is, and ask if they've put any time towards it every so often. It's nice to be nice after all.
The bottom line is that your employees are all people just like you, and while a business has some end goals that it needs to reach, there's no excuse for making them feel bad about themselves. By making your workplace somewhere that members of staff look forward to coming into and feel valued, you'll help them to all work together towards the same common goals you wish to achieve.