Business schools are paying more attention to recognition and rewards these days—including free ways to say thank you to stretched employees. In her blog, Harvard Business School Professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter shares tips for no-cost ways to “show appreciation to recession-weary employees and colleagues”:

—Time. For the overloaded, time to breathe deeply is a valuable present. Can a deadline be extended? Work hours be more flexible? Cancel a routine meeting. Send people home early.

—Personal introductions. Gift-wrap an offer of new leads, prospects, or connections. Everyone knows someone who could help someone else.

—Bosses serving staff. Senior executives could cook and serve breakfast, deliver the mail, or do valet parking.

—Rule suspension. Remove the most frustrating and least necessary rules.

—Notes to families. Send a letter to partners, parents, or children telling how their family member makes a difference.

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