|Your boss may believe that a paycheck and a job are all the thanks an employee needs, but the fact is that you are in a thankless job. Your boss does not understand the powerful motivational impact that accompanies recognition, as well as the dissatisfaction that comes with managerial silence in the face of solid employee performance.|
Depending upon your relationship with your boss, there is nothing wrong with having an informal discussion with him and telling him how you feel. You can either say that you would appreciate some appreciation when merited, or you can take a broader approach and tell him you would like more feedback on your work. Tell him that you respect his judgment and would like to know when he feels you are performing well, and where you need to improve.
An indirect approach that can also help is to ask your boss, "If you wanted more thanks from your boss, what would you say?" Hopefully, he will pick up the cue. Or, he may answer the question and give you some specific wording. If so, you should use it on the spot.
You should also thank him when he does something you appreciate. He might just learn something from you, and then you both would be thankful.