Many employers think that employee recognition involves spending money, when actually the best recognition you can give them is free. Start with saying good morning to each of your employees and not just a "morning", but a "good morning Cindy how are you doing this morning?" Then take the time to listen to Cindy’s response and maybe add "are the kids getting back into the school routine after the holidays?’ You get the idea, take a moment to actually communicate with your employees on a personal level, this type of connection is like mortar that seals the stones together. Giving employees a sense of pride about the work they do makes them feel like they really have a purpose for being in your business. Make sure you recognize when a good task is done and then let them know how much you appreciate what they do and why. Ask for help with a project or problem, singling them out to assist you. When you do this it says volumes to your employee that you trust them to help you get a project done. Don’t forget to thank them once they have completed it for you, that is the frosting on the cake. This one costs a little money, but not much, bring a bag of bagels with cream cheese to the office in the morning and then take 15 minutes to just shoot the breeze about whatever comes up. This idea works great on a Friday and then the topic would be "what is everyone doing for the weekend." It is a casual approach and it just seems that people will open up better when there is food involved. Thank your employees everyday as they are leaving the office for a good days work, and if it is a Holiday weekend you might surprise them by letting them lock-up and leave 1/2 hour early. All of these ideas are small, but done consistently mean so much to your staff, they will remember what you have done and how much you really do appreciate them by caring and money just cannot buy that.