Babies cry for it. Soldiers die for it.
It's one of the things often forgotten about. We are quick to criticise and slow to praise - especially when under pressure, under resourced and underpaid! Yet it's one of the most engaging things a manager can do for people.
A simple thank you can sometimes be enough and is often appreciated. But beware - just ordering a few pizzas when people have pulled out all the stops to do a job in difficult circumstances can be met with cynicism by the team.
What really makes the difference is taking the time to say a considered, thoughtful and specific thank you to the person involved or providing a special acknowledgment that means something to the people involved.
What about a dinner at a smart restaurant for a wife and husband? Or a pair of football tickets for a real fan? Or a family ticket to a theme park for people with young children?
Just making a small effort to show you have thought about the token makes a difference. Having a conversation, remembering people's names, their concerns and hobbies and showing real and genuine interest in the individual makes a difference.
But you also have to observe who deserves recognition.
Catching people doing something right.
Very simple things make a difference - why do we find them so difficult to do? Just taking extra time to show you care can make a real difference.