Often, as managers, we can lose ourselves in the big picture items. It is easy to get lost in the details for the next quarter, next month, or even next week. While becoming overwhelmed, we might lose sight of the little things that show our appreciation to staff. It is the little things, the low hanging fruit, that can have the most impact. While you might not have the budget to give the big raise that staff would like, the "deposits into the self-esteem account" can cover the gap.
Through a simple act, management can show staff that you have heard their issue, acted upon their request, and validated their beliefs. This adds value to employees' thoughts and feelings. It shows staff that they will be heard; even if you can't act upon their current request, there may be room for compromise. Regardless, you have brought them into the process and validated their faith in management.
This is especially key if you want to have an open environment in your office. Making deposits into a self-esteem account shows your staff that you do what you say you will do. You put words into action and listen when your staff has problems. This opens communication lines and encourages better collaboration, which in the HR world is worth its weight in gold!