Millennial black businesswoman addressing colleagues at a corporate business meeting, close upFeedback is routine in most work places, but all too often, we focus on what others can improve on rather than taking time to praise them for what they’re already doing well. If there’s a chance you might be guilty of not showing enough appreciation toward your employees and over-emphasizing their “needs improvement” traits in performance reviews, then you might want to consider the research-proven benefits of openly appreciating the people who work for you on a regular basis.

Several research studies have found that showing appreciation to your employees — publicly and privately — can make a world of difference when it comes to on-the-job productivity, job satisfaction and even innovation. One study, by Harvard Medical School, found that employees demonstrated a greater willingness to work harder when their employers expressed appreciation for them regularly, compared with employees who received little to no positive feedback except during formal performance reviews.

One of the best ways to create an environment of innovation, collaboration and trust is by serving as a role model for your employees and making regular gestures of gratitude. If you lead by example, then your employees will likely follow suit and routinely share their positive thoughts about others’ work, which will create a more inclusive and fulfilling workplace for everyone.

We’re not talking about constantly praising your employees and not offering up constructive criticism or suggestions on how they can do their job more effectively. We’re talking about making sure you show appreciation regularly. How often is the right amount? It all depends on the employee, but you may want to try to show appreciation for individual employees every two or three weeks at a minimum. It doesn’t have to elaborate or involve a one-hour meeting. It can be a simple “thank you.” This sounds obvious, but it’s easy to get so caught up in our to-do lists that we forget to make regular efforts to thank others for their help. You may consider expressing gratitude in your emails, dedicating a few minutes at the end of team meetings to thank your colleagues individually for the work they’re doing, or start up a weekly/monthly meeting in which you make sure that employees know you’re noticing their efforts. Occasionally highlighting individual accomplishments in meetings can be beneficial as well.

Every little act of appreciation can make a huge difference in how an employee feels about their job and the company, so take this as an opportunity to foster a more positive, growth-oriented environment in your office.