Let’s face it: the daily contributions of managers, especially at the middle level, go largely unsung.

Managers hear about engagement and recognition constantly, but almost always in the context of appreciating the work of their teams and reports. These individuals took on a leadership role and agreed to spend most of their time leading others, so it’s fairly natural to assume that they are engaged in their work at a baseline level.

But it’s not always true. Everyone in an organization, from the very top to the very bottom, gets disengaged with their jobs from time to time, and managers are no exception. According to a recent study by Human Capital Institute, One of the top drivers of engagement is personalized recognition, and that applies the whole hierarchy.

Managers need external motivation to stay balanced like anyone else. To that point, here are four great things managers do that deserve recognition, but may fly under the radar:

  1. Mediation – From helping employees through tough times to resolving interpersonal conflicts, great managers are usually part therapist and best friend to their teams, with the proper level of professionalism to keep it all working smoothly day-to-day.
  2. Administration – Every manager puts in a notable amount of time into low-profile administrative tasks like paperwork, performance reviews, and meetings, but they rarely receive praise for it. The value of managers who are also skilled administrators cannot be understated.
  3. Feedback – Managers who are present for their teams every day and create a safe, nurturing environment for positive feedback loops are worth their weight in gold to an organization. This takes effective communication and emotional intelligence.
  4. Mentoring – Recognizing and mentoring in-house talent yields several long-term benefits, and can bring a huge boost to retention and engagement. Managers who do it well make the time to build authentic, lasting relationships.

When managers are disengaged, it follows that their teams will be. That’s why Gallup estimated that managers account for 70% of variance in employee engagement levels. But with some well-timed mindfulness and recognition of their daily (and discretionary) efforts, that variance can more reliably stay on the positive side.