Invite an employee into your office just to thank him for a job well done. Be sure to tell him why you believe he did an outstanding job. Don't discuss any other issue that will distract from this thanks. Involve him in the conversation by asking how he did such a great job. Ask if he likes what he's doing. Where does he want to be in the next year or two? Get to know him on a personal level. Ask how his family is doing. What did he think about last night's ball game?
Excerpted from Attracting & Rewarding Outstanding Employees