Categories for 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace

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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5 Ways to Brighten Someone’s Day

Do you ever wish you could do something meaningful? That you could make the world a better place? Well, you can! One of the easiest ways to make a difference in the world is by taking a small action to help other people feel appreciated, accepted and valued. Here are five ways you can make the world a better place by brightening someone’s world today: #1 Visit Someone. So much of our communication is digital these days. It can make someone’s day to have a real, live, caring person show up just to say hello (without asking for something, like... Continue reading...

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May 6, 2015 11:00 am
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“March Madness” – Can It Be Used to Build Staff Morale?

Every Spring a national “event” captures the attention of millions of employees: the NCAA “March Madness” basketball tournaments (both men’s and women’s). Individuals who are die-hard basketball fans, those who may follow their local college team when they are doing well, and people who just like to pick teams according to their mascots – all become intrigued and involved in following the games. Understanding “March Madness” While “March Madness” is typically referred to as a singular event, those familiar with the tournaments know that they actually are a series of games and regional tournaments over a three week period. The... Continue reading...

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March 7, 2015 3:05 pm
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Not Everyone Appreciates Your Type of Appreciation

One of the lessons that aspiring leaders and those who want to continue to develop their leadership abilities must learn is: to be an effective leader, you have to learn how to lead individuals who are different than you. If you don’t, you will only be able to gather and lead those who are similar to you in personality, perspective or ability; and this, in turn, limits what you can accomplish. Although at first the idea seems intriguing, you actually don’t want to lead a group of “Junior You’s”. You may be talented but you can’t do everything, and to... Continue reading...

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February 3, 2015 1:31 pm
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DISC, StrengthFinders, MBTI & the 5 Languages of Appreciation – How Do They Relate?

Many, many organizations have taken their managers and team members through personality style assessments and training programs.  The most common are StrengthFinders, the DISC, the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, and sometimes, the Colors Test.  Often we are asked, “How do the 5 languages of appreciation relate to these personality assessments?” We have found that The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace and the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory are excellent tools that complement these personality tools and training and are in no way either repetitive or competitive.  That is, the 5 Languages concepts and the results from the MBA Inventory cover different concepts and actually... Continue reading...

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January 6, 2015 7:00 am
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Did You Know Your Mood Is as Contagious as the Flu Bug?

When people are upset prior to going into work or a meeting, they often try to take a couple of minutes to calm down and quell the surface signs of their distress; sometimes by putting a smile on their face before entering. Their hope is that they are leaving their problems at the door and communicating a positive image to their colleagues. However, the disappointing reality is that bad moods are just as contagious as the flu bug. Once present, negative thoughts and feelings can’t be contained easily. Dr. Richard Boyatzis, a neurologist and organizational development professor at Case Western... Continue reading...

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October 17, 2014 10:36 am
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Is There Time for Appreciation in a Restaurant? 

Fast paced and noisy. Often over worked and taking on too many more tabletops than they’re supposed to. Dealing with hungry and “hangry” people (people who get really angry when they’re hungry). In any business, your frontline employees (those who are in direct contact with your customer) actually “are” the company in the mind of the customer. It’s even more important in these interactions that your team understand their own language of appreciation and seek clues and confirmation of the language of appreciation of their co-workers and customers. In the fast paced nature of the hospitality industry, effectively appreciating your... Continue reading...

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August 28, 2014 8:32 am
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Generational Differences in the 5 Languages of Appreciation

  One of the most frequently asked questions I receive when I’m training groups is: “Are there generational differences related to the 5 languages of appreciation?”   The simple answer is: Yes, there are.  Just as there are individual preference differences in how employees want appreciation communicated, so we are finding some diversity across the generations of workers, as well. (As is true for any group comparison, these trends seem to be generally true but there are clearly individual differences within the generations.) Let me cite a few examples. Words of Affirmation. We have found that younger employees may or may not... Continue reading...

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May 8, 2014 8:48 am
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So You Want to Work at Google? How to Make Your Workplace “The” Place to Work

So you want to work at Google? Or Apple? Or one of the “cool” places where they have free food, flexible work hours, and an informal work environment?  But the challenge is – you don’t live near Silicon Valley or have the skill set they require. (The second issue is the real limitation, isn’t it?) So what can you do where you work currently?  Even though you may not be the owner of your company, or even a high level executive, you can help make your workplace become “the” place to work.  Really. It is all about influence. We all... Continue reading...

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April 20, 2014 8:39 pm
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Lack of Qualified Applicants? Solution #1: Keep Your Good Employees

The news is repetitive and blaring:  employers are complaining about the inability to find qualified applicants for positions that need to be filled.  I have seen three articles in business magazines this week about the issue.  Part of the discussion is about the irony — having 10+ million workers who can’t find work, while employers reporting they can’t find potential employees who meet the needs they have.  (In fairness, there are employers interviewed in the articles saying they aren’t having this problem.) The issue is both national and local, and across multiple industries and workforces.  Key term to understand: qualified... Continue reading...

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March 31, 2014 11:55 pm
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How Appreciation May Impact March Madness This Year – By Paul White, PhD

March Madness (the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments) is upon us. For some, this may be the only time they watch a basketball game all year. For millions of others, March Madness provides the opportunity to cheer their favorite team, and to place some friendly wagers in the office pool for the tournament bracket. This year’s tournament, interestingly, may be impacted by the concept of appreciation. One men’s team that is being watched closely by many (for different reasons) is Wichita State University. The WSU Shockers (which is short for “wheat shockers”, the people that used to cut wheat... Continue reading...

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March 12, 2014 6:14 pm
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The Role of Fun and Playing in Appreciation – By Paul White

“Fun”, “playing” and “work” or “job” are rarely talked about together — with the exception of those few, rare companies (typically on the West Coast) where they try to make the workplace more fun and creative. But recently, I had an experience that led me to begin to think about the importance of playing and having fun, and how they impact our daily lives at work. A little over a week ago, we had a fairly large snowstorm roll through, leaving about 7 inches of snow on the ground (which is a fair amount for us.) After a number of... Continue reading...

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February 19, 2014 5:58 pm
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Languages of Appreciation: Physical Touch

Posted on the 03 October 2011 by Candacemoody Gary Chapman and Paul White are the authors of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace.  Their book discusses why appreciation is one of the most important elements of employee motivation and satisfaction.   The Five Languages of Appreciation are based on the Five Languages of Love, which is why they include Physical Touch, although physical touch is a tricky proposition in any workplace. As it turns out, very few workers (almost none) identified physical touch as even part of how they seek or show appreciation in the workplace.  As more and more human... Continue reading...

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February 15, 2014 1:53 pm
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What is the Connection between Valentine’s Day and Appreciation in the Workplace? Not Much! (with one exception)

Valentine’s day is quickly approaching. It is a great opportunity to communicate your love to those close to you. Unfortunately, it seems many in the world of employee recognition try to link recognition and appreciation to any holiday (I can’t wait to see what they try to do with St. Patrick’s Day!) So let me state firmly upfront — there isn’t (or shouldn’t be) much connection between Valentine’s Day and communicating appreciation in the workplace. Why? Because Valentine’s Day is about personal relationships – spouses, boyfriends/girlfriends (and maybe other family and friends, to a lesser degree.) Let’s keep our boundaries... Continue reading...

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February 8, 2014 7:00 pm
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What Does the “I Quit” Viral Video Tell Us? (Resend)

Friends, I am aware that the links to the two video clips did not work (they somehow got changed in the posting process).  I have corrected the links and you should be able to view the videos now.  Sorry for the inconvenience! *     *      *     *     *     * About a week ago, a frustrated young professional posted a video announcing and celebrating her quitting her job (ironically, at a company who creates videos to be watched on the Internet).  If you haven’t seen the video yet, please click here and take two minutes to watch it.  Why?  Well, first, it... Continue reading...

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October 10, 2013 8:30 am
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VideoBlog Interview with David Hassell (cited by Forbes as “The Most Connected Man You Don’t Know in Silicon Valley”)

Friends, I had the opportunity to be interviewed by David Hassell of 15Five.com for his blog. David is a young entrepreneur and sports enthusiast who was recently on the cover of Forbes magazine and cited as “the most connected man you don’t know in Silicon Valley”. I was able to share some of the lessons we have been learning about the workplace over the past couple of years, including the fact that most employee recognition programs don’t have much impact on individual team members feeling valued and appreciated. The interview is short (< 15 minutes). I hope you’ll take the... Continue reading...

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June 19, 2013 1:49 pm
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First Reflections from my Trip to Beijing

I have just returned from a week in Beijing, China, where I was invited to attend a conference sponsored by the publisher who is translating and publishing Dr. Chapman’s and my book, The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace, in Chinese. The conference attendees were various Western business and organizational leaders and we were addressed by a variety of Chinese experts and leaders on “The Next Ten Years” in China. They shared what is happening now and the trends to come in demographics (moving from 75%+ rural to approximately 50% urban currently), the family unit (the impact of 33... Continue reading...

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April 2, 2012 11:54 am
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Utilizing Thanksgiving as a Reminder to Appreciate Your Staff

Thanksgiving is the holiday where we are encouraged to be thankful for the good things in our lives – health, safety, adequate food, clothing, and shelter, as well as the many material blessings we have. For most people, Thanksgiving is usually more of a personally-focused celebration, including sharing meals and time with family and friends.But the Thanksgiving holiday season can also be an opportunity to focus on, and be reminded of, the positive aspects of our work lives. This is especially true in these more difficult economic times, where many who desire employment are unable to find work or have... Continue reading...

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November 17, 2011 12:43 pm
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