Encouragement doesn't come naturally for me. In fact, I don't know many people who are "natural" encouragers; we tend to all be so wrapped up in our own stuff we miss the "stuff" of others. But, I'm convinced that being an encourager is one of the most important traits in a leader. It's one thing to cast a vision - another thing to notice and appreciate the things others do towards that vision. 

A hand-written note goes further than almost anything else I know of when it comes to encouraging others or saying "thanks." I try to write a note or two every day just to keep me in the habit. 

With that said, a quick email goes further than a forgotten hand-written note. If someone in your organization does something worth recognizing, sit down and write them a note immediately. If you can't write them a note immediately, fire off an email. If you're away from the computer, send a text message. It is too important a task to risk forgetting.