One aspect of managing people is to provide positive feedback and show appreciation. Doing so is important. People benefit from encouragement and reinforcement. In addition to just telling them, take action to show your appreciation.
The Dilbert workplace is alive and well. And even in above average management systems there is plenty of resistance faced by those looking to improve systems. For those employees that are making the attempt to improve the organization go beyond saying thanks: actually demonstrate your appreciation. Do what you can to help them achieve.
A manager should be enabling their employees to perform. That means taking positive steps that help them perform. This is even more appreciated than saying thanks. And has the added benefit of helping the organization by helping along their good idea. It is win, win, win. They win, you win and the organization wins.
Thoughts on: Rewards and Recognition