One of the easiest ways to recognize your staff is to remember their birthday. A simple note or email acknowledging their birthday can make a lasting impression. One employer in Florida that I know of actually sends a handwritten note to each of his employees on their birthday.
In my world, its as simple as using the birthday list in Facebook, keeping track of birthdays of people who aren’t online, and other online or offline resources to make a simple 10 seconds of time into a genuine birthday wish.
In the world where sometimes recognition comes few and far between, wishing someone a happy birthday can make all the difference.