Acknowledging and appreciating employees isn't high up on most entrepreneurs' to-do lists.

I mean, I get it. When you're fighting fires throughout your work day, and you've got a gazillion unread emails crowding up your inbox, you feel like you can't spare the time to do anything that doesn't require your immediate attention.

But what if I told you that you can appreciate your team in under a minute?

Just take a lesson from Tim Cook's playbook, and publicly express thanks to your employees.

This is such a simple task, and you don't even need to especially block out time to get it done. Just whip out your phone while you're standing in line at Starbucks, or when you're on your commute, and send out a quick Tweet.

Expressing Your Gratitude

Now, you might think that there are more pressing things you have to deal with, but in truth, expressing your gratitude is highly important, and it's worth making this a priority.

Tim Cook aside, another notable leader who understands the value of appreciating your employees is Google's ex-CEO, Eric Schmidt.

In a podcast that was published late last year, Eric talked about the importance of recognizing your team, saying that: if you take a moment to say "Thank you" or "I appreciate it," or "I recognize it," people's hearts sing, and you get a lot more work out of them.

Recognizing your team doesn't just motivate them; it also helps with employee retention. As Eric puts it: It is well understood that if you yell at people enough, they will quit, and if you're nice enough to them, they are less likely to quit.

Appreciating Your Team Publicly and Privately

When you appreciate your employees publicly, it makes a strong statement. You're essentially rallying your team, and building your company's culture.

To appreciate your employees publicly, you could Tweet about your team, like how Tim Cook did. 

If you're getting interviewed, you might also mention your team and talk about how grateful you are for the hard work they've put into the company.

Personally, when I published my book last year, I dedicated a paragraph to expressing my gratitude to a few key people who helped me grow my business. Trust me, there was no price for their happiness when they read the book and found their names there.

Aside from recognizing your team publicly, don't forget to appreciate individual employees privately as well. A public declaration has that "feel-good" factor, but when you follow this up with thanking individual employees for specific things they've done, it makes even more of an impact.

During our daily morning meetings (we call these Morning Mojo Calls), we spend five minutes celebrating our wins. In this time, we go over the top three online customer reviews we've gotten, and applaud the people involved in that job in front of the entire team.

The key to building a team of happy, highly motivated employees is simple: make sure you acknowledge and appreciate them, instead of taking their work for granted. That's all there is to it!