You often hear people talk about how miserable their boss is. People love to complain about working “for the man,” and spend a lot of time focusing on all of the terrible decisions their superiors make. But if you have a good boss – one who cares about you and takes the time to develop a personal relationship with you – it’s important that you go above and beyond by regularly showing your boss how much you appreciate them.

Appreciation Matters: Here’s Why

Everyone agrees that a boss should appreciate employees, but isn’t the opposite true as well? People in positions of authority should also be appreciated, even if it isn’t in the traditional sense.

As an employee, showing appreciation for your superiors matters. For one, it keeps your boss motivated and helps them feel like what they’re doing is making a difference. Not only does this encourage them, but it also gives them more reason to treat you well.

On a more personal front, showing appreciation for others changes your own perspective. When you actively look for the good in people, it shifts the way you view the world around you. Instead of only noticing the bad, you begin to notice the small things that people do right.

Giving recognition also has a direct effect on your effectiveness in the workplace. One research study shows that employees who give recognition experience a 22 percent increase in work results and a 26 percent bump in engagement.

5 Ways to Show Your Appreciation

“Showing appreciation is not a matter of time and intention; rather, it’s a matter of priority and action,” entrepreneur Lee Colan writes. If you prioritize this part of your relationship with your boss, appreciation will become natural.

Here are some practical ways to get started:

1. Share a Meal

Who doesn’t like food? If your boss has any ounce of normalcy inside, then you can show appreciation by sharing a meal.

“Have employees each bring something for a potluck lunch, bring bagels or donuts for breakfast, bake cookies, or even take your boss out for a group happy hour or dinner after work,” HR professional Catlyn Origitano suggests. “Enjoying a delicious meal gives your entire team a chance to participate and bond, and it also makes your boss feel appreciated.”

2. Celebrate on Boss Day

National Boss Day is right around the corner (October 16). Instead of ignoring it this year, like a lot of employees do, make a point of celebrating. Gather your co-workers and go in on a gift. Something like a personalized plaque or award might be something your boss likes. A tangible gift like this gives them something to put on their desk and look at when times get tough.

3. Give a Handwritten Note

You don’t have to spend a bunch of money to show appreciation. Sometimes the most heartfelt gestures are the ones that are most intimate. A simple handwritten note expressing some of the things you enjoy most about your boss is an awesome way to make them feel appreciated.

4. Throw a Surprise Party

Does your boss have a birthday, work anniversary, or other special event coming up? While a planned party is always appreciated, a surprise party has that extra special element that makes the guest of honor feel loved.

Get all of your coworkers together and plan a simple little party that has all of your boss’ favorite things. Some food, a few party decorations, and a planned activity is all you need.

5. Go Above and Beyond

If your boss is the sort of person who likes practical gestures, think about how you can make their life just a little bit easier.

“Great bosses go above and beyond,” Stephen Johnson writes for MSN. “Do the same by offering up what’s universally valuable: time. Consider staying late or offering to lend a hand on a project that would free up their time.”

Putting it All Together

Your boss is the leader of your company. And whether you like having a superior or not, it’s important that you recognize the challenges they face and show genuine appreciation whenever you can. Hopefully, this article has given you a better idea of what this looks like in practical terms.