Categories for 5 Languages of Appreciation

Appreciation Is Critical for Schools: For Teachers, Staff, Administrators & Students!

This time of year, many of us begin to focus on a return to school. Teachers, administrators, students of all ages and their parents are gearing up to begin another year – setting lesson plans, filling backpacks with necessary supplies, learning new names and faces. A community of educators may look quite different than many other occupations (cubicles full of accountants, offices of advertising executives, builders at a construction site) but they have the same need to feel appreciated for their work as other professionals. In May, we posted the blog Faculty & Administrators Share Suggestions for Showing Appreciation in... Continue reading...

Published by
August 6, 2018 9:00 am
Leave your thoughts

Celebrate with Us!!

  Celebration #1 — 150,000 MBA Inventory Users We’re celebrating passing a significant milestone (earlier this month) with over 150,000 employees, supervisors, and managers (and volunteers!) having taken the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory. To show that this hasn’t been just steady plodding, consider the following facts: The first 50,000 MBA Inventory users occurred within ~ 5+ years (60 months). The next 50,000 MBAI users took the inventory in 25 months. The most recent 50,000 took the inventory in the past 13 months! And if you weren’t aware, we have a number of different versions of the inventory that we have developed – versions for Government employees, School personnel, Medical settings, Military personnel,... Continue reading...

Published by
July 30, 2018 1:22 pm
Leave your thoughts

5 Languages Spotlight: Gifts

When asked to compare the various Languages of Appreciation in importance to them, employees overwhelmingly don’t choose tangible rewards as the primary way they want to be shown appreciation.  In fact, only 6% of employees identify tangible gifts as their primary language of appreciation.  To look at the issue from the opposite perspective, employees choose tangible gifts as their least valued way to be shown appreciation almost 70% of the time. Why is this important to know?  For two reasons.  First, most employee recognition programs focus highly on giving gifts as a reward for achieving goals.  While there is obviously... Continue reading...

Published by
July 23, 2018 9:00 am
Leave your thoughts

Communicating Appreciation Effectively When You Manage Large Groups

How do you communicate appreciation effectively when you manage large groups of employees? When I  am conducting an Appreciation at Work training session with a work group, a common comment and question is similar to what Jack,  a manager at a senior care living center, asked:  “I ‘get’ the concept of communicating appreciation to my team and the need to make it personal and individualized.  But I have team members who report to me that I rarely see. They work a different shift or on the weekends and while we communicate through email, texts, and occasional calls, I really don’t... Continue reading...

Published by
April 23, 2018 9:00 am
Leave your thoughts

Can the 5 Languages of Appreciation Be Used with Customers and Clients?

From the beginning of our work in applying the 5 Languages of Appreciation to work-based relationships, I have been asked repeatedly, “Can the 5 Languages of Appreciation be used with customers and clients?” I have discussed and explored this issue a great deal with other professionals and organizational leaders, and we were never able to figure out a way to identify and use the 5 Languages of Appreciation in customer / client types of relationships (at least, in a manner with which we felt comfortable). Recently, however, I have had a “breakthrough” in understanding and dealing with the challenge—ironically, while... Continue reading...

Published by
February 5, 2018 9:00 am
Leave your thoughts

Building Your Best Team: Learn to Value and Appreciate Differences

To grow a successful and sustainable business, you need a team of employees who bring their unique abilities, strengths and perspectives to the challenges you will face. But to draw and keep talented individuals who are different than you, you have to learn a key skill: You have to learn how to lead people who are different than you. There are lots of great books on leadership that provide valuable insights into key skills and abilities needed to effectively lead others. But one concept that is not stressed enough is: to lead a successful team, you have to understand those who... Continue reading...

Published by
January 22, 2018 9:00 am
Leave your thoughts

Appreciation with Remote Staff and Virtual Teams

Effectively communicating appreciation to remote staff and virtual teams is a challenge, but as the data we obtained demonstrates, it can be done. Two weeks ago we polled employees and managers who either work remotely or manage others who are in a different location.  We found the following results: Almost all (98%) of the respondents said, “Yes”,  it is possible to effectively communicate appreciation to colleagues who work remotely. Additionally, 70% indicated that they personally have received a message of appreciation from a colleague or supervisor within a remote working relationship. 81% reported that they have communicated appreciation to a... Continue reading...

Published by
September 13, 2017 1:30 pm
Leave your thoughts

Neutralizing a Negative Workplace

At Appreciation at Work, our focus is on building positive, healthy relationships in the workplace, and we largely do this by helping people learn how to communicate authentic appreciation, build trusting relationships, and relate to others in a respectful way.  But we also have to deal with life as it exists, and another avenue to build positive relationships is to address the issues that interfere with that process. This is the focus of my new book, The Vibrant Workplace, which is subtitled: Overcoming the Obstacles to Building a Culture of Appreciation. Negativity is one of the most common, and deeply... Continue reading...

Published by
July 28, 2017 11:53 am
Leave your thoughts

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...

Published by
June 27, 2017 5:07 pm
Leave your thoughts

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...

Published by
April 11, 2017 10:00 am
Leave your thoughts

Can Appreciation Cross Cultures?

NOTE: This is an exclusive preview from my new book, The Vibrant Workplace: Overcoming the Obstacles to Building a Culture of Appreciation, which will be released on April 4 and can be pre-ordered now (go here for a special pre-release offer with access to a “behind the scenes” video interview).   I have had the privilege of traveling internationally to numerous countries to introduce the concept of authentic appreciation in the workplace.  Fortunately, authentic appreciation and vibrant workplaces aren’t limited to certain cultures. They exist on every inhabited continent. (Our book, The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace, has been translated into... Continue reading...

Published by
March 29, 2017 8:00 am
Leave your thoughts

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...

Published by
January 18, 2017 1:37 pm
Leave your thoughts

4 Core Characteristics For Success – In Life and Work

In my role as psychologist, I have evaluated over 4,000 individuals – usually with regards to learning difficulties they are experiencing.   In my feedback sessions, I often share with parents the core characteristics that make individuals successful in life. (I define “life success” as becoming an independent functional adult, having healthy relationships, and experiencing a level of happiness and contentment in one’s life.) If parents of developmentally challenged students focus solely on academic success (which is emphasized by their school community), then they can become quite discouraged.  But when we understand “life success” in broader terms – the goals are... Continue reading...

Published by
December 5, 2016 1:31 pm
Leave your thoughts

Improve Employee Engagement by using the DISC assessment and the 5 Languages of Appreciation

  Employee engagement has been shown to be an important factor that predicts healthier and more productive organizations. As a result, thousands of organizations assess the level of engagement for their employees annually, and attempt to implement strategies and programs to improve their engagement from year to year. However, many leaders have found that it is not that easy to increase the level of team members’ engagement. This is especially true in the area of how to increase employees’ sense of being valued and appreciated for their contributions. The DISC and the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory are two online assessment... Continue reading...

Published by
November 3, 2016 8:20 am
Leave your thoughts

How Authentic Appreciation Can Cut Through Government Bureaucracy

Government agencies are extremely concerned about their low levels of employee engagement, and rightfully so. When staff don’t feel valued, they become discouraged, passive, apathetic and cynical. This can result from a variety of factors including not feeling respected by customers, poor communication within the agency, a sense of powerlessness to make improvements, and not ‘heard’ by upper level managers and directors.  The issues seem to be the same whether the agency is at the city, county, state or federal level (but federal employees seem to be the most frustrated.) We receive reports from all levels of government employees (frontline... Continue reading...

Published by
October 24, 2016 9:10 am
Leave your thoughts

Engage Others by Helping Them Understand You

Recently, I had the privilege of conducting some communication training for a group.  We had done some previous communication training together on foundational issues of listening, so they were ready to work on some additional skills for building relationships with others. The skill set we worked on was the ways you can assist the person with whom you are talking to better understand you. Providing the context of your thoughts was the skill we focused on.  When we give each other the context of our thoughts — that is, the reason or purpose of our sharing — this greatly enhances others’ ability tounderstand us.  And... Continue reading...

Published by
October 19, 2016 8:00 am
1 Comment

Early Warning Signs of a Toxic, Sexist Workplace (like Apple?)

Apple has recently come under bombastic attacks as a result of recently leaked emails describing a less-than-healthy work environment.   The behaviors described almost seem from an era from the last millennia, rather than in a company that has been viewed as a leader into the 21st century. Outsiders may wonder: Are these reports really true?  How could these types of attitudes grow and exist in the context of progressive, well-educated professionals working together? The answers? Probably, and easily.  Just like mold can grow rampantly in a high tech, green, newly constructed physical work space (when the conditions exist and continue... Continue reading...

Published by
September 27, 2016 3:18 pm
Leave your thoughts

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...

Published by
August 15, 2016 3:06 pm
Leave your thoughts

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...

Published by
July 23, 2016 12:23 pm
Leave your thoughts

Getting Personal: Appreciation & Father’s Day

Typically, I address work relationship issues in my posts.  Today, however, I want to cross over into the personal realm a bit because the 5 languages of appreciation do have a direct connection to Father’s Day.  While the 5 Love Languages clearly and effectively address how to communicate love to the fathers in your life (your dad or stepdad, your husband, brothers), many may find communicating appreciation to these dads easier than conveying “love”.  So let me give some suggestions on different ways to show appreciation for the dads in your life, based on what we know about the 5... Continue reading...

Published by
June 15, 2016 10:55 am
Leave your thoughts

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...

Published by
May 18, 2016 1:38 pm
Leave your thoughts

The Battle between Positive and Toxic Workplaces

An interesting juxtaposition has developed — the simultaneous focus in the world of work on toxic workplaces and creating positive work environments. Our book on toxic workplaces and the subsequent training we created on how to avoid becoming a toxic workplace (or survive one you are currently in) are growing in popularity and interest.  And I am asked more and more to speak to professional associations and write on the topic. At the same time, there is a growing body of literature on how to create a positive workplace environment (sometimes labeled as workplace culture or climate). One might mistakenly... Continue reading...

Published by
May 10, 2016 8:32 pm
Leave your thoughts

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...

Published by
April 28, 2016 12:00 am
Leave your thoughts

Cutting Through Cynicism with Authentic Appreciation – Part II

Last week we asked the questions: Who determines authenticity? Is authenticity based in reality or perception? What causes people not to believe others are genuine? Today’s post will answer these and shed some light on how to improve a cynical workplace. Common Reactions Some work settings seem to just “ooze” cynicism, sarcasm, and a lack of trust. Probably the most intense cynical environments I’ve experienced recently are medical settings and hospitals. Why might this be? It appears that leadership in many of these institutions have tried to communicate recognition and praise, or have done training on “How to build a positive team”, and... Continue reading...

Published by
April 6, 2016 3:38 pm
Leave your thoughts

5 Ways to Communicate Appreciation in Networking

Communicating genuine appreciation has been on my mind lately. And, it’s a good thing since I appreciate any opportunity to focus on the good and the good things that come from connecting with other people. In networking with others, it is about forming friendships and alliances.  It is about seeing who is a good fit with your values, your business and your business goals. Realistically we know that good networking takes work. When someone’s taken the time to meet with you, converse with you or carry a conversation further than a mixer, how do you communicate appreciation in a way... Continue reading...

Published by
March 10, 2016 7:00 am
Leave your thoughts

An Antidote For Disengagement: Being Appreciative For Your Job

Gallup reported on January 13 that only 32% of U.S. employees are actively engaged in their work from a mental, emotional and volitional (a choice of the will) point of view.  Conversely, 50.8% of employees were found to be “not engaged” and 17.2% are “actively disengaged”.  This latter group is a dangerous one — they are actually actively working at cross-purposes with their employer, doing things to make things worse in their workplace. Much of the blame for this sad state in our work environments is being placed fully and solely on the shoulders of supervisors, managers and employers, a position... Continue reading...

Published by
January 28, 2016 9:48 am
5 Comments

The Importance of Appreciation During the Dark Days of Winter

Now that we are fully into the New Year and facing those long, dark winter days with cold weather and few days off from work, leaders need to take a hard look at how to support and encourage team members. This is the time of year (especially for those who like sunlight) that people often drag themselves through the day. As a psychologist who trains leaders and colleagues on how to effectively communicate appreciation in the workplace, let me offer some suggestions. Understand the nature of discouragement and burnout Discouragement and burnout, over the long haul, come from a combination... Continue reading...

Published by
January 5, 2016 7:00 am
Leave your thoughts

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...

Published by
October 29, 2015 5:06 pm
Leave your thoughts

Appreciation in an International Multi-Cultural Organization

Recently, I had the privilege to provide training in communicating authentic appreciation to the management and supervisors of an elite international organization.  Functioning within the tourism and hospitality industries, the staff (in one location) come from over 40 countries and six continents. As I approached the training, I was interested to see and hear if the staff desired to be appreciated for their work.  Additionally, I wanted to find out whether communicating appreciation in the workplace was relevant across many cultures.  Finally, I was curious to learn various ways employees felt comfortable receiving appreciation and what the challenges might be... Continue reading...

Published by
July 29, 2015 11:47 am
1 Comment

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...

Published by
June 1, 2015 5:30 am
Leave your thoughts