Is there anything much more motivating than simply being noticed?
"Hey, nice catch on that detail."
"Your area looks good...thanks for keeping it so neat."
"You took care of the details really well."
And where is the best place to notice?
At the workplace. In the midst. While, quite literally, putting your hands on the work people do.
I had the chance today to do this. I was wading through a big pile of raw material purchase orders, part of my regular job. I began to notice a pattern of attention to pricing discrepancies by one of our team. Subtle stuff, simple corrections, a couple of improvements she just implemented. I'd never have seen it by looking at the next level of reports. It would all have been homogenized into a beige blob. Instead, I saw the striking bold colors of her work. So, I told her. And her boss.
Had I not been in direct contact with her work, though, any complement I might make would be more distant:
"Hey, your boss told me you had a nice catch on that detail."
"I saw a 5S audit report that said your area looks good and is neat."
"I understand the details of your report rolled up well into the big spreadsheet."
Doesn't ring as true.
Do I need more reasons to spend time in the workplace?
Keep learning. It happens best where the work is done.