There are a lot of good people writing very well on the topic of how, when and why you should express your appreciation to colleagues, peers and subordinates. I occasionally like to feature them here, like these two writers whose recent work I admire.

Reba Spencer in the Toronto Globe and Mail offered sound advice and practical steps to “Rally the Troops in an Age of Austerity”:

“Without at least periodic positive feedback, employees may easily become unhappy, unmotivated and unproductive, because it’s difficult to know the value of your contribution without feedback. And what goes for managers is also true of co-workers. Whilst praise is often thought of as a “top down” activity, it shouldn’t be: Everyone should feel free to praise their colleagues – and their managers, too.”

And Scott Eblin offered excellent instruction in his Next Level Blog in “Why and How Leaders Need to Say Thank You”:

“Make it fresh: Whilst revenge may be a dish best served cold, a thank you isn’t. When someone helps you out, thank them in the moment or as soon as you can.

“Make it personal: Acknowledge the time and effort your colleague spent to help you out. Just like you, they’ve got 24 hours in a day and no more. They made a choice to put off something that was important to them to give you assistance. Let them know that you appreciate that.

“Make it clear: The research shows that a thank you means more when the person being thanked understands the value of what they did. Make it clear in your thanks how what they did helped you.”

Reading their insights prompted this simple “Any” approach to recognition and appreciation:

1) Anyone Gives – Anyone, at any level, has the ability to notice, appreciate and formally recognise anyone else – both up and down the chain of command.

2) Anyone Receives – Anyone, at any level, with any performance history has the ability to receive recognition if they’ve done something worthy of it.

3) Anytime – There is no “schedule” for recognition, such as the annual Employee Appreciation Day. People deserve to be appreciated for their efforts in the moment – or as close to it as feasibly possible.

4) For Anything Deserving Recognition – Any behaviour, action or result that you’ve pre-established as worthy of recognition (especially tied to your company values and strategic objectives) should be recognised and honored.

Did I miss “any”thing?