Categories for 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace

How to Improve Employee Engagement in Time for the New Year

by Teri Giannetti     Are you struggling to get your employees to engage and adopt a new process or strategy? Have you heard the complaints from employees who are not happy with a new initiative or system? Is your team not performing well? If your answer is yes to any of these questions, your problem is likely the result of poor employee adoption. The good news is that there is still time this year to set up your team for success in the New Year, but you’ll need to act quickly and start the process now. In my book,... Continue reading...

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November 20, 2017 10:00 am
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Don’t Be a Turkey in How You Show Appreciation this Thanksgiving

Team leaders are often encouraged (“bombarded” is actually a better word) to communicate appreciation to colleagues during the Thanksgiving holiday season. Expressing thanks for a job well done is sure to be received well, right? Not necessarily. At times, clueless managers are at risk for saying “thanks” in ways that won’t be received well. They don’t really “get” appreciation and what the big deal is – but they try anyway, and often their actions seriously miss the mark and actually wind up being offensive. Here are some actions to avoid: The “I’m off. You’re not. Enjoy the weekend!” message. This... Continue reading...

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November 16, 2017 10:16 am
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100,000+ Employees Share How They Want to Be Appreciated

Employee engagement is a major goal for many leaders (and most HR professionals).  But employee recognition has provided disappointing results.  Authentic appreciation is the key missing component – and knowing how employees want to be shown appreciation is critical. A core concept foundational to demonstrating authentic appreciation is that not everyone wants to be shown appreciation in the same ways.  Some people like verbal praise, but others feel valued when you spend time with them.  A number of employees feel supported by receiving some help when they are overwhelmed, while others are encouraged if you bring in their favorite cup... Continue reading...

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June 27, 2017 5:07 pm
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How to Ask for Encouragement

How do you know (or find out) what is encouraging to the people with whom you work? The topic of “How do you feel appreciated?” is not a common workplace conversation and this type of question can make individuals feel somewhat uncomfortable. Often, they respond:  “I don’t know. Just tell me ‘thanks’.” But people do tend to think in terms of “encouragement” and “discouragement”. So, the question to ask is: “When you are discouraged, what is something that someone can do or say that would encourage you?” (or, “What has encouraged you in the past?”) But sometimes, we need encouragement. ... Continue reading...

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May 3, 2017 8:00 am
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The Importance of Peer to Peer Appreciation

Our work is growing in scope and impact (for example, medical practices and hospitals, large corporations, banks, government agencies, public schools, universities, manufacturing firms, insurance agencies, the military.) But we also have been getting some interesting feedback as we listen to those with whom we work. One repeated message we are hearing is: Supervisors are not necessarily the individuals most concerned about supporting and encouraging those with whom they work. While we don’t want to disparage managers, employers, supervisors or team leaders; as a group, they often are not the ones who communicate the most excitement in finding out their colleagues’ preferred languages of appreciation and the... Continue reading...

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April 20, 2017 8:00 am
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How Do You “Appreciate” Difficult People at Work?*

 Let’s be honest, some people are more difficult to work with than others.  There are weird people; angry, irritable colleagues; and people we just don’t understand.  And appreciating these individuals can be even more challenging. Let me share a few tips on how to communicate appreciation to a “difficult” colleague:      Don’t try to fake it.  Whatever you do, don’t try to “act like” you appreciate someone if you really don’t.  Most people have very sensitive “radar” when they believe others aren’t being genuine.  You risk undermining any trust you may have with your colleague if they don’t think... Continue reading...

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April 11, 2017 10:00 am
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The Vibrant Workplace: How to Build a Positive Workplace Culture

I am excited to let you know about the release of my new book, The Vibrant Workplace: Overcoming the Obstacles to Building a Culture of Appreciation, which came out in bookstores this week. The Vibrant Workplace is a summary of the lessons learned over the past 7+ years while helping organizations and leaders implement authentic appreciation in their workplaces.  Since creating a positive workplace culture is not the easiest thing to do, I identify the 10 most common challenges experienced, the underlying issues creating the obstacles faced, and give practical steps to overcome them. The issues addressed in the book, and... Continue reading...

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April 6, 2017 12:38 pm
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7 Tips to Not Screw Up Employee Appreciation Day (March 3)

In honor of employee appreciation day, we thought we’d share some tips from my new e-book that will help with showing appreciation on Friday, March 3, and every day. You can receive the e-book free by purchasing a copy of my new book, The Vibrant Workplace, available for pre-order now. There are now so many different types of Employee Appreciation Days (weeks and months), it is virtually impossible to keep up with them. Given the amazing number of appreciation days, ones in your industry are likely not far away. If you don’t want to look stupid (or feel foolish), it... Continue reading...

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February 28, 2017 12:21 pm
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Traditional Recognition Programs and Why They Don’t Work

Building a vibrant workplace requires a foundation of trust, respect, and honest communication. But many managers and employees are well aware of the problems with traditional recognition programs, how they breed cynicism and apathy and come across as a one-size-fits- all approach. I hear this over and over. When I talk with employees, front-line supervisors, and mid level managers about their companies’ efforts to improve staff morale, usually through employee recognition programs, the most common responses I get are negative. “They don’t care about us; they just do this recognition stuff to make themselves look good,” said one employee. “It’s... Continue reading...

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February 16, 2017 1:03 pm
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The Differences Between The 5 Languages of Appreciation and The 5 Love Languages

      (The following is an excerpt from Dr. White’s upcoming book, The Vibrant Workplace.) The foundation for the 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace and the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory is based on the work done by Dr. Gary Chapman and his book The 5 Love Languages, which focuses on personal relationships. While the languages discussed in both books are the same (in name), the application and expression of the languages in the work environment is often quite different than in personal relationships. When an individual knows their preferred love language, they shouldn’t assume that their primary love language in... Continue reading...

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February 3, 2017 8:00 am
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Virtual Employees & Appreciation: Practical Tips

How do you communicate appreciation to a colleague who works virtually? This is a growing challenge for supervisors and colleagues in today’s world of work.  The following statistics have been discovered about remote worker trends: 53% of companies in the U.S. continue to have standard workplaces, with nearly every employee coming into the office 4 or more days each week. 37% have a main office with some people working remotely. 10% have no office space at all. Increasing numbers of employees work in locations separate from their colleagues and supervisor, with “virtual teams” occurring across cities, states and countries. This... Continue reading...

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January 18, 2017 1:37 pm
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Don’t Be a Turkey in How You Show Appreciation this Thanksgiving

Team leaders are often encouraged (“bombarded” is actually a better word) to communicate appreciation to colleagues during the Thanksgiving holiday season. Expressing thanks for a job well done is sure to be received well, right? Not necessarily. At times, clueless managers are at risk for saying “thanks” in ways that won’t be received well. They don’t really “get” appreciation and what the big deal is – but they try anyway, and often their actions seriously miss the mark and actually wind up being offensive. Here are some actions to avoid: The “I’m off. You’re not. Enjoy the weekend!” message. This... Continue reading...

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November 15, 2016 8:00 am
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Communicating Appreciation to Your Boss (Boss’s Day is coming up!)

Boss’s Day is coming up soon, in two weeks, on Monday, October 17.  And no, it isn’t one of those appreciation days that was created recently by Hallmark, the National Association of Employers, or some other group with a potential secondary gain.  (Boss’s Day was first instituted in 1958, by a secretary for an insurance company, if you want to know.) The key questions, if you are an employee, are:  1) Should I do something for my boss?  2) If so, what?  3) How do I keep from looking like I am just “sucking up” to her or him?  Let... Continue reading...

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October 5, 2016 7:30 am
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Be Careful about Trying to Show Appreciation During Unstable Times

While we know that good things happen when employees feel appreciated, communicating appreciation to staff is not a miracle salve that cures all wounds. Sometimes well-meaning supervisors (and sometimes leaders who don’t want to do the hard work of dealing with problems) try to use appreciation as a “quick fix” for deeper issues that need to be addressed. Here are five sets of circumstances when appreciation should not be the first action taken: Employees are not getting paid regularly. One time I was asked to train staff of a non-profit organization in how to show appreciation to one another. Throughout... Continue reading...

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September 26, 2016 2:05 pm
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How to Find Good Employees: 3 Ways Communicating Appreciation Can Help

The news is repetitive and blaring:  employers are complaining about the inability to find qualified applicants for positions that need to be filled.  The discussion is rather ironic — having 10+ million workers who can’t find work, while employers report they can’t find potential employees who meet the needs they have. The issue impacts multiple industries.  The key term to understand: qualified applicants.  “Qualified” does not just mean educated or trained; it also involves character. As one employer told me, they can’t find workers who can meet all three conditions necessary to work there:  a) they have the training necessary... Continue reading...

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August 31, 2016 2:01 pm
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Practical Suggestions for Showing Appreciation in Day to Day Work Life

One of the most common questions we receive is: “How do you keep the concept of communicating appreciation going in the workplace?” We have found the following action steps to be extremely helpful in helping appreciation and encouragement become part of a workplace culture: Start your staff meetings with reports of examples of appreciation & encouragement being given.  Reinforce the importance of appreciation by starting meetings with team members sharing examples of receiving appreciation or observing someone else encouraging a colleague.  (If you wait until the end of the meeting, you’re at risk of “running out of time.”)  At the beginning, share... Continue reading...

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August 25, 2016 1:00 pm
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Why Cynicism is Good for The Workplace

It seems counterintuitive, but cynicism can be a positive influence in our workplaces. How? When people are cynical, they are giving us honest feedback about how they really feel. When was the last time that you heard a cynical remark from a colleague and you accused them of not being honest regarding how they really feel? (Aside from the sarcastic remark: “So, Janice, tells us how you really feel!”) Cynicism communicates from the heart, so you don’t have to question whether the person is being honest with their comment. Cynical remarks give us a reality check with what was said,... Continue reading...

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August 22, 2016 12:16 pm
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The 5 Love Languages and The 5 Languages of Appreciation

Many who are familiar with The 5 Love Languages as described in Gary Chapman’s bestselling book have found them helpful in their personal relationships. Some may wonder if there is really any difference between the 5 Love Languages and the 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace. While the languages discussed in both books are the same in name, the application and expression of the languages in the work environment is quite different than in personal relationships. You shouldn’t assume that your primary love language in personal relationships is the same as your most important language of appreciation in the workplace. We have... Continue reading...

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August 17, 2016 4:23 pm
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No One Is An Island In The Workplace

When I discuss the topic of appreciation with leaders, sometimes they mention employees who reject the notion. For example, someone in their organization will say: “I don’t need appreciation from others. I am self-motivated.” Or, they make comments that imply, “This appreciation-stuff is a bunch of hooey.” However, on closer examination, I have found that this resistance often reveals a different mindset that needs to be addressed. Some people equate the term “appreciation” with receiving verbal praise from others. Yet, there are individuals who don’t value positive words from others, because it’s not an important form of communication to them for... Continue reading...

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August 15, 2016 3:06 pm
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Do You Have a Colleague Who is Easily Offended?

Not everyone feels appreciated in the same way. The more often we communicate appreciation in the ‘language’ and specific actions preferred by our colleagues, the more likely we are to ‘hit the mark’ in truly encouraging them and helping them feel valued. As we have trained thousands of employees in the concepts of authentic appreciation (both directly and through our Appreciation at Work Certified Facilitators) we have found that: A person’s primary language of appreciation is often the language in which they are most easily offended! So if you have a colleague or supervisor who seems to get upset easily... Continue reading...

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July 23, 2016 12:23 pm
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“Just For Show” (with No Substance): When Appreciation Fails

While watching a movie, you’ll notice it before you can put it into words — something seems very off about a character and it immediately sets you on edge. They claim to be a fierce warrior but run and hide whenever a fight breaks out. You’re pulled out of the fantasy and can finally describe why – their actions don’t match their words. Though life isn’t a big screen production, we can still easily notice when others show us false appreciation rather than actual appreciation for a job well done. Social Awareness Body language developed long before oral language, making... Continue reading...

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July 11, 2016 6:56 pm
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How Appreciation Builds Resiliency

The U.S. government and all branches of the armed forces have identified the development of resiliency as a key goal to strengthen our military personnel over the long term. As a result, for the past 10 years both research and resources have been focused on determining how to make service members more able to “bounce back” after experiencing stressful and/or traumatic events during their service. Much research and emphasis has been focused on identifying individual characteristics, coping skills, and environmental factors that can help servicemen and women: a) become more prepared to manage the stressful events experienced in life; b)... Continue reading...

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May 18, 2016 1:38 pm
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The Dilemma of Physical Touch & Appreciation in the Workplace

“Physical touch in the workplace-to show appreciation? Really?” is one of the most common responses we get from some participants when training groups in the 5 Languages of Appreciation. I was in the midst of posting this article when a friend forwarded me this video aired by NBC Nightly News about Chobani Yogurt, where the owner is sharing ownership of the company with his employees.  But the video also shows Mr. Chobani hugging his employees and the piece ends with the statement: “where the money means a lot but being appreciated means even more”. Using physical touch to communicate appreciation... Continue reading...

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April 28, 2016 12:00 am
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How to Show Appreciation While Managing Remote Workers

15five recently surveyed 500 managers and executives and released the following statistics about remote workers: 53% of companies in the U.S. continue to have standard workplaces, with nearly every employee coming into the office 4 or more days each week. 37% have a main office with some people working remotely. 10% have no office space at all. These statistics point to more and more work relationships existing in the context of remote locations. Increasing numbers of employees work in locations separate from their colleagues and supervisor, with “virtual teams” occurring across cities, states and countries. The combination of these two... Continue reading...

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April 8, 2016 7:00 am
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Years of Service Award Leads to $30,000 Fine

You may or may not know that the #1 reason employees are recognized is for their length of service with their organization. Individuals routinely receive recognition and some tangible reward (a certificate, a watch, bonus check) for being employed for 1 year, 5 years, etc. [By the way, I use the term “being employed” deliberately, as opposed to “working” for reasons to become evident.] Recently, an employee was found to be receiving his annual salary even though he had not shown up to work for at least six years!  Ironically, he may have gone undetected for longer except that his... Continue reading...

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March 2, 2016 7:00 am
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Authentic Appreciation Can Amplify Your Business

I recently presented in Florida for the WCFSA (West Central Florida Safety Alliance). The event was aimed at learning how to manage Insurance and Safety Risks. The day of learning was intended to help members learn how to drive healthy organizational behavioral change, increase employee engagement and job satisfaction. I gladly presented the 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace because regardless of what organizational missives you are trying to ‘reach’ or ‘manage’, organizations need buy-in, trust, and effective communication – and you just simply get that and more when you unleash the 5 Languages into the DNA of your organization.... Continue reading...

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February 3, 2016 12:27 pm
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Don’t Forget—People are People, Not Machines or Rats in a Maze

Recently, I had the privilege to meet and listen to Ginger Hardage, Senior Vice President of Culture and Communications for Southwest Airlines. (I happened to be the morning keynote speaker and she was the afternoon keynote speaker.) One phrase used to describe Southwest Airlines was that they were “in the customer service business and just happened to use airplanes to help people get where they want.” Ginger’s presentation was a refreshing reminder that truly successful enterprises understand that their primary calling is to serve the customer and, that by doing so, they will be profitable.   (As opposed to the seemingly... Continue reading...

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January 17, 2016 2:50 pm
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Want an Unstoppable Team? Try Using Manager and Peer Recognition

By Dr. Paul White Most employee recognition programs place a lot, if not all, of the responsibility for recognizing good work of their team members squarely on the shoulders of managers or supervisions. This is unfortunate and, actually, creates unwanted negative effects. Clearly, calling attention to work done well by employees is a good habit to practice. When staff feel valued for the contributions they make, a sense of loyalty and emotional engagement to the mission of the organization develops. But focusing solely on managers and supervisors to support and communicate appreciation to their staff often is an unrealistic goal that creates... Continue reading...

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October 29, 2015 5:06 pm
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5 Ways to Scatter Sunshine

There’s an old song I always find cheering. It’s called “Scatter Sunshine” and gives terrific advice about how you can make the world a better place every day. The first verse reads: In a world where sorrow ever will be known Where are found the needy and the sad and lone, How much joy and comfort you can all bestow, If you scatter sunshine everywhere you go.   Scatter sunshine all along your way. Cheer and bless and brighten Every passing day.   In a world full of people complaining about everything going wrong in their lives and where the... Continue reading...

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June 1, 2015 5:30 am
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