I have been very lucky to work with and for many great people, including my current boss. He is as much a friend as a mentor, even though we work mostly remotely.
Occasionally my boss will send me a token gift to let me know he is thinking of me or just that he appreciates me. The gift might be a book or a gift card or sometimes even a funny toy. Nothing extravagant, just something to say thanks.
I have adopted the same practice with my team. My company has a gracious “generosity” budget–a few bucks that I can use to fund a random act of kindness. I exceed that budget every week by bringing my frontline managers coffee, cookies, fun vegan snacks, or sometimes I will just take them to lunch.
This is not part of a company plan or any master-ploy. Maybe it is just “Leadership 101″ stuff, but it really sank in while I was reading a book my boss sent me. It is not something that is even top of mind. I don’t plan or budget it in; I just grab something on my way to work to let someone on my team know, “This is just because you’re awesome.”