Categories for Appreciation

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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Managers Have Great Influence, According to Ethics Study

It’s a question I am asked repeatedly. How do you get managers and employees to be better givers of appreciation and recognition? After all, they’re all busy with their jobs. Surely we can’t expect more from them. Let’s examine some research carried out on how to instill ethical behaviors in a corporation. This appears to be significantly harder than trying to teach others to give recognition. We’ll see what we can learn and apply from these findings. Personal Example is a Winner A study by Drs. Avshalom M. Adam and Dalia Rachman-Moore in the Journal of Business Ethics concluded that the example from... Continue reading...

March 4, 2016 7:00 am
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What’s 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 clear, and not... Continue reading...

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February 11, 2016 9:00 am
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The Importance of Top Down “Buy In”

My name is George Gotschall and I have been in management for about 35 years in both corporate and private enterprise.  I am currently the owner of a placement agency and a consulting company helping organizations choose their next employee wisely. In November 2014, Dr. White and Tim Hepner introduced me to the concept of Appreciation at Work and I fell in love with it!  Treating people like individuals, what a concept!  Since I am a certified behavioral analyst, the idea fit perfectly with the behavioral surveys I sell to my clients. The concept of treating employees like human beings with families,... Continue reading...

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February 9, 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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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...

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January 28, 2016 9:48 am
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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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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...

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January 5, 2016 7:00 am
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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...

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July 29, 2015 11:47 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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The Human Side of Your Brand Is the Most Costly But the Most Valuable

Coming up with workplace policies workers find beneficial, help boost morale, and that lead to low employee turnover are things you hope all businesses do for their employees. Maintaining employees makes good sense for a business, as employee turnover comes with its own headaches and growing costs. No business wants to lose its employees, but when it does, it has to replace them, which is often a costly and time-consuming endeavor. Productivity is affected when an employee leaves the business, and often the firm has to scramble to find a replacement who will definitely take time before adapting to the... Continue reading...

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February 9, 2015 2:11 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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Your Appreciation is in Perpetual Beta

Appreciation isn’t just about recognition and it’s not reserved only for large corporations. Whether you’re an executive, a small business owner, or an employee, you express and receive appreciation.  The key question when you express appreciation is the other person receiving it with the same intent and value? Your Evolving Appreciation Learning that there are five languages of appreciation and especially learning your own personal language of appreciation provides growth and change in becoming more aware of how appreciation is communicated and received.  As you gain experiential knowledge through practice and doing, your appreciation changes and grows. My favorite saying... Continue reading...

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November 5, 2014 8:51 am
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Appreciation When You’re a Solopreneur

Appreciation is everything for your brand. How do you feel when someone genuinely appreciates you for your input/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 solopreneur, chances are you will perform a lot of the business’s tasks yourself, so you’ll probably relate with a lot more people than if you had a team working for you. As a business owner, you don’t need to be reminded on the importance of keeping customers happy. However, in the midst of all the tasks and appointments you... Continue reading...

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September 19, 2014 2:06 pm
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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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Should Appreciation Only Be Communicated When an Employee is Performing Well?

One of the most frequent questions I am asked when I’m conducting a training for a business is:  Should you show appreciation for someone who isn’t performing well? A tension exists in the world of recognition, employee engagement, and appreciation.  There are differences of opinion on the relationship between an employee’s performance and recognizing them.  Should you recognize an employee if they aren’t doing well in all areas of performance?  Is appreciation independent of performance? To address the issue, I think we need to keep two foundational principles in mind: The purpose of work is to provide goods or services to... Continue reading...

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August 11, 2014 12:31 pm
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Appreciating Your Team When You’re a Perfectionist

I admit. I’m a perfectionist. There’s always one flaw.  Or, there’s one more thing to fix or finish. It’s a part of who I am. And, because I focus on it for me, I also bring that same laser and cutting focus to my team. Being appreciative to team members at the workplace The more you are appreciative of the little things in your life and make it habit, the more it transcends to your relationships with others at work. For a long time, appreciation was not viewed as important in the workplace. However, research has shown that appreciation, more... Continue reading...

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August 4, 2014 2:03 pm
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