With a new year comes resolutions and the hope to make things better. While people can be largely optimistic with the onset of a new year, some people can often feel stuck or hopeless or feel undervalued by people at home and in the work place. As employers, it is important to ensure the well being of your employees. On average, we spend 8 hours a day working with the same people in any given organization. This is a lot of time dedicated productivity to ensure the success of a company. Regardless of the time of year, employees can feel run down and unappreciated by their employers and even other co-workers. A simple and effective way to make employees feel better about themselves and their work is to implement an employee recognition program. Employee recognition makes a significant difference to the workplace as it makes employees feel valued and it increases productivity because employees feel more invested in the organization. The first and best place to begin to recognize employees is with gratitude. Giving thanks makes employees feel more valued, and they perform more efficiently. The workplace can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming. This often holds true for workers who feel like parts of an assembly line without having any real importance to their company, and so a simple token of gratitude could work wonders for their motivation. Gratitude should be a vital component to any employee recognition program. Gratitude is easy. Gratitude makes a difference. People who are thanked produce more; it's as simple as that. With gratitude people acknowledge the goodness in their lives. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. People feel and express gratitude in multiple ways. Maintaining a hopeful and optimistic attitude within in the workplace is part of gratitude. Regardless of the inherent or current level of someone's gratitude, it's a quality that individuals can successfully cultivate further (health.harvard.edu). Workplace gratitude encourages empathy and discourages discontentment. Employers, management, and even co-workers who express gratitude regularly are less likely to experience workplace negativity or resistance. People who show gratitude exhibit greater empathy towards others. People who express gratitude are happier. People who receive gratitude are happier. Happy employees creates a more positive work environment. Managers and employers who remember to say "thank you" to people who work for them may find that those employees feel motivated to work harder. Researchers at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania randomly divided university fund-raisers into two groups. One group made phone calls to solicit alumni donations in the same way they always had. The second group — assigned to work on a different day — received a pep talk from the director of annual giving, who told the fund-raisers she was grateful for their efforts. During the following week, the university employees who heard her message of gratitude made 50% more fund-raising calls than those who did not (health.harvard.edu). Good employee recognition programs demonstrate that it doesn’t take much to make someone’s day. Expressing gratitude doesn’t have to be a strenuous chore; it is simple and quick and meaningful.