Categories for Appreciation

Build a Positive Relationship, No Matter Who You Report To

In the past, an employee’s relationship with their direct supervisor was found to be one of the most influential factors on whether or not the employee enjoyed their job. However, this dynamic has changed somewhat. Jared Lindzon, in this article about change and work, spoke to analyst Josh Bersin who says, “Most companies, even big companies, are much less hierarchical and much less top-down in their execution than they used to be. Leaders are finding that they have to be more inspirational, they have to be more collaborative.” In recent years, relationships with colleagues have become increasingly influential in the perception of... Continue reading...

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January 15, 2018 9:00 am
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6 Reasons Your Boss Doesn’t Say Thank You Enough (or ever)

Words of Affirmation is just one of the five ways employees like to be shown appreciation. But in honor of January’s designation as National Thank You Month, I wanted to take a look at why sometimes even a simple thank you isn’t said often enough. Business and organizational leaders are constantly reminded how important it is to communicate appreciation to their staff — and it is. When employees truly feel valued and appreciated, good things follow. Team members are less likely to leave for another job, complain and grumble, steal from the organization, or get hurt on the job. Conversely,... Continue reading...

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January 8, 2018 8:30 am
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What Employees LOVE about the Holidays

  THE RESULTS ARE IN!! Over 1,325 of you responded to our poll on “What I LOVE about the Holidays” (with 777 submitting stories of a favorite positive holiday experience at work).  Thank you for your input.  As you will see, the results provide interesting feedback, and the stories are both fun and heart-warming.   Poll Results  On each of the first two questions, you were given a list of 20 items to choose from (more than one could be chosen.) Here are the results:     Q1. What aspects of the holiday season do you ENJOY the most?  1.... Continue reading...

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December 18, 2017 1:42 pm
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The Benefits of a Vibrant Workplace

“Vibrant”: full of energy and enthusiasm. Spirited, lively, energetic, full of life. The vibrant workplace connotes energy, positivity, and growth — characteristics we desire for the environment where we spend the majority of our waking hours. A vibrant workplace draws people to it — quality, talented employees want to work in a healthy context and became a part of the life-exuding process. Employees bring their own gifts and unique personalities to add to the synergy in a dynamic work setting. A vibrant workplace is the antithesis of how many work environments are described: negative, energy-sapping, and toxic to growth. Employees... Continue reading...

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December 4, 2017 10:00 am
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The Intersection of Personal Life, Professional Life & Life’s Purpose

Sometimes “life” takes us different directions than we were expecting.  And sometimes life’s events illuminate the inter-relatedness of various areas of our life more vividly.  That has happened to me in the past few weeks. (This is a highly personal entry.  I feel like I need to let you know upfront that I’m not writing this to gain sympathy but just to share “where I am” and lessons I am trying to learn.) Less than four weeks ago, my older sister, Kathy, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer that was already quite advanced within her body.  A week later... Continue reading...

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November 1, 2017 4:09 pm
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3 Steps to Winning Leadership Support for Employee Recognition Programs

By Mike Byam What is one of the most effective ways to boost employee satisfaction and productivity within your organization? Provide recognition for employee contributions. Seems simple enough right? Unfortunately, it can be quite difficult to get  everyone on-board with the idea. I’ve given hundreds of talks about the importance of employee recognition and how to do it right over the course of the last fifteen plus years. The same question keeps coming up, without fail, every time we give a talk on this topic. How do I get my executive team to prioritize employee recognition, and how do I... Continue reading...

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October 16, 2017 3:13 pm
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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...

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September 13, 2017 1:30 pm
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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...

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July 28, 2017 11:53 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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So You Are an Intern This Summer? What Should You Expect?

If you are one of the fortunate students who has landed an internship for the summer, congratulations. You have an opportunity to learn some practical skills in your field of study, add a valuable piece to your resume, and possibly make a little money (if it is a paid internship). There is a good chance you have never been an intern before, so you are not exactly sure what to expect. Let us fill you in – with both the good and bad news. Understanding the Full Time Employees’ Perspective For most FTEs (full-time employees), interns are viewed either as... Continue reading...

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June 5, 2017 10:00 am
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Personal Losses Make Memorial Day More Poignant

Memorial Day in the U.S. is a holiday that seems to be slipping in its meaningfulness to many in our country.  As the distance in time grows from recent military conflicts, and even further from the major wars of the past, the desire to pay honor to those who fought to protect our freedoms wanes.  This is a normal process of life – past losses and pain fade as time goes on. But a common life event brings the significance of Memorial Day back into focus quickly.  That event, the death of someone close, was an experience I had multiple... Continue reading...

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May 24, 2017 6:38 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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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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Your Most Important Group of Employees: The Average Ones

NOTE: This is an exclusive preview from my new book, The Vibrant Workplace: Overcoming the Obstacles to Building a Culture of Appreciation, which will release 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).      *          *          *          *          *          * A vibrant workplace has a number of important core characteristics, but one is readily apparent: work gets done. Sometimes leaders (especially managers and executives) assume that, because I talk a lot about appreciating others in the workplace, that I am all about relationships (being... Continue reading...

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March 21, 2017 10:56 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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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... Continue reading...

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November 21, 2016 8:00 am
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Build a Positive Relationship, No Matter Who You Report To

In the past, an employee’s relationship with their direct supervisor was found to be one of the most influential factors on whether or not the employee enjoyed their job.  However, this dynamic has changed somewhat. Jared Lindzon, in this article about change and work, spoke to analyst Josh Bersin who says, “Most companies, even big companies, are much less hierarchal and much less top-down in their execution than they used to be. Leaders are finding that they have to be more inspirational, they have to be more collaborative. In recent years, relationships with colleagues have become increasingly influential in the... Continue reading...

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November 11, 2016 8:00 am
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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...

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October 24, 2016 9:10 am
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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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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...

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June 15, 2016 10:55 am
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What Are We Remembering on Memorial Day – and Why?

Memorial Day in the U.S. represents a variety of things to different people: A day off of work (possibly even paid!) The beginning of summer Going to the lake Having a barbeque with friends and family Having to get together with family The Indianapolis 500 Visiting family gravesites Veterans parades and celebrations Watching old war flicks For me, especially when getting together with children, teenagers & young adults, I start to think about — what does Memorial Day mean to them?  In some ways, maybe it doesn’t matter — “it is what it is” and it is their life.  But,... Continue reading...

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May 23, 2016 11:45 am
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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 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...

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May 10, 2016 8:32 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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Leading with Character: Gratitude

Definition of Gratitude Gratitude is being aware of and thankful for the good things that happen; taking time to express thanks. Why Gratitude Matters The word gratitude is based on the Latin root gratia which means “grace,” “graciousness,” and “gratefulness.” Religious thinkers and moral philosophers throughout history have long appreciated gratitude. Only recently, however, have scientists come to appreciate the positive influence gratitude has on human and organizational performance. Neuroscience research has shown that positive environments improve the human brain’s ability to solve problems and think creatively. An environment where people possess the character strength of gratitude tends to be... Continue reading...

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April 18, 2016 2:01 pm
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How to Create a Culture of Love at Work: 2 Myths & 4 Practices

You’ve probably been there at some point in your life—working in an environment where people treat each other rudely, betray trust, or exhibit indifference toward co-workers. A friend of mine who is a marketing executive described one of his bosses as a “screamer.” I’ve had clients who sought out therapy primarily because their work environment was causing so much stress. A manager I recently met with was struggling with how to handle a co-worker who repeatedly puts him down publicly in front of his peers. In a recent case study, when a nurse with a long tenure informed her supervisor that her... Continue reading...

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April 13, 2016 10:00 am
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Customer Appreciation Gives Business Owners the Advantage

How do you feel when someone genuinely appreciates you for your input or effort? It feels nice and warm, doesn’t it? That’s the kind of feeling you want customers and clients to associate with you. As a business owner, chances are you will perform a lot of the business’ tasks yourself, so you’ll probably relate with a lot more people than if you had a team working for you. You don’t need to be reminded of the importance of keeping customers happy. However, in the midst of all the tasks and appointments you have to keep, you might forget to... Continue reading...

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March 25, 2016 7:00 am
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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...

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March 10, 2016 7:00 am
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