Great Idea: Boosting Morale

Times are tough and money is scarce. But the holidays are the holidays, and despite the downturn in economic fortunes and a clamp on spending, managers need to pay attention to their employees and sales staff need to pay homage to their clients, according to Rosabeth Moss Kanter.

Kanter holds the Ernest L. Arbuckle Professorship at Harvard Business School, where she specializes in strategy, innovation and leadership for change.

She suggests sending notes of appreciation to people telling them specifically why they are valuable. Steer clear of form letters and try to write the notes by hand. The gesture is free and will go a long way toward making staff and clients feel valuable and appreciated.

“In organizations and professions where a show of emotion is rare, recipients might secretly treasure the note because it is unexpected,” Professor Kanter writes in an online posting. “Your own mood will improve as you think positive thoughts. This is scientifically proven.”