Categories for Virtual teams

Why We Create Versions of the MBA Inventory for Different Workplace Settings

When we first launched our online assessment tool, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory, it was geared toward a general workplace setting. Since then, we have created an expanded version, translated it into 8 different languages and have created 11 different industry-specific versions for Remote/ Long Distance, Medical, Military, School, Non-Profit/ Ministry, Government, Senior Care, Trades, Veterinary, and Dentistry. We are frequently asked, “Why do we create industry-specific versions of our MBAI assessment?” Here are a few of the factors that lead to their creation: *Our goal is always to provide relevant, practical and easily applied resources to help team members... Continue reading...

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May 13, 2024 9:56 am
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Our Need for Connectivity: Taking a Step in the Right Direction

Take a step back from what “needs to get done” for a moment and reflect:       What is a core aspect of human life that permeates our life experience and which isn’t going well for many adults today? One answer is – living life with others. From the moment of our birth and until we die – we are connected to others. The same is true for our work lives – we work in the context of relationships which includes some combination of an employer, supervisor, customers or clients, colleagues, suppliers, and the general milieu of daily life (dealing with... Continue reading...

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May 6, 2024 9:32 am
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New, Updated Edition of The 5 Languages of Appreciation Released!

Our best-selling book, The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace, has been revised and updated. Originally published as a hardback version in 2011, it was revised and released as a paperback in 2014. We then updated the content and research in 2019.  Obviously, a lot has changed in the workplace since 2019. And new research, including our own, continues to be done in the areas of workplace culture, recognition and rewards, employee engagement – and appreciation. As a result, we worked this past year to update the book to reflect current trends and issues, and to cite the most... Continue reading...

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January 22, 2024 9:00 am
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Thinking Ahead: How Are You Going to Improve Your Workplace Culture in 2024?

Yes, we are still in the midst of the end-of-year holiday season and all of the busyness that entails. But many leaders are also reflecting on this past year and asking themselves: “How can we make this next year better? What can we do to improve our culture – connecting people, making them feel valued?” The issues and challenges we encountered in this last year are not going away anytime soon. Helping people stay connected while working fully or partially remote. Less interaction with colleagues. Feeling alone and out there on your own. And it is clear – both from... Continue reading...

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December 18, 2023 10:06 am
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Recent Research about Remote and Hybrid Employees

Employees are returning to the office, but with more remote work flexibility than ever before. While it’s clear that remote and hybrid work is here to stay, it can be hard to navigate the continually evolving territory while also ensuring employees stay connected and feel appreciated. We wanted to highlight recent research about remote and hybrid workers and company hybrid policy from Gallup and McKinsey & Company that address some of the successes and challenges of these new work arrangements. Gallup – The Good and Bad of Hybrid Work In August, Gallup released the podcast The Great ‘Global Work-from-Home Experiment’... Continue reading...

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October 30, 2023 1:33 pm
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Understanding Remote Employees’ Current Experiences and Perspectives

One key way to understand employees – what their daily life is like and what is important to them – is to ask them directly. We recently conducted a poll of 400+ remote employees to find out what they like and dislike about working remotely. It is important to note that a key factor leading to misunderstanding employees is to assume that all members of a group are similar. This seems to be the current case with regards to remote employees. Most discussions are about “remote employees,” as if they are all the same. But this is clearly not the... Continue reading...

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March 20, 2023 9:00 am
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The Key to Keeping Remote Employees: Personal Connection

We are in a weird stage in our culture. On the one hand, the levels of disconnectedness and loneliness are at record high levels for recent history. Although they may be surrounded by other people, individuals feel lonely. On the other hand, the advances in technology over the past one hundred years have allowed us to communicate with one another at a level unprecedented throughout all of human history. An event can occur on the other side of the globe, and we can learn about it (and actually become engaged in the interaction) within minutes. But we can easily feel overwhelmed with the... Continue reading...

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March 13, 2023 9:00 am
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Communicating Appreciation to Remote Colleagues

Since a larger proportion of the workforce has moved to remote and hybrid work, it seems reasonable to ask whether employees who work remotely have different preferences for being shown appreciation than those who work onsite. To find out, we conducted a research study with almost 90,000 individuals who had taken our online assessment, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory. We found that Words of Affirmation continues to be the most desired appreciation language, but remote employees chose Quality Time as their primary language of appreciation more frequently (35% of employees) than workers on-site (25%). This finding seems logical – those off-site desire more... Continue reading...

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February 13, 2023 9:00 am
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The Complexity of Various Types of Remote Work Relationships

A challenge in successfully managing relationships with remote team members is that there is not just one type of remote employee – although we tend to talk about them that way. We clump them all together, discussing how to deal with “remote employees” when, in reality, a wide variety of different relationships exist among remote workers, just as is the case with onsite team members. One obvious variable to consider is the type of employee and their job function. Who works remotely? Executives and administrators. Managers. Supervisors. Front-line workers. Accountants. Customer Service associates. Salespeople. Administrative Assistants. HR Directors. Just as... Continue reading...

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February 6, 2023 9:00 am
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We Need to Rethink Holiday Celebrations at Work – Especially Now

To be blunt – end of year holiday celebrations have become a significant source of pain for a lot of people. Planning (and experiencing) these events creates a lot of angst and anxiety – to the point that many have asked, “Why do we keep doing them?” The answer is often, “because we’ve always done them before.” Even though, by itself, this is a rather absurd answer, it actually points to the real reason workplace holiday celebrations continue: expectations. And when expectations aren’t met, bad results follow: disappointment, complaining, negative comments, unhappy people, and lots of questions (“Why didn’t we... Continue reading...

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December 5, 2022 9:00 am
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Appreciation Isn’t Just an American Concept

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 23 languages. Lessons from a Multinational Training Experience A few years ago, I had the opportunity to train the management and supervisors of an elite international organization in how to communicate authentic appreciation to their staff. Functioning within the tourism and hospitality industries, the staff (in one location) come from over... Continue reading...

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May 9, 2022 2:50 pm
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Dealing with Pushback from Employees on Returning to Onsite Work

Recently, Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, announced to the 137,000 Apple employees that they would be expected to return to work onsite beginning in early September – not necessarily full-time but potentially up to three days a week. Almost immediately, there was pushback from some employees who wrote an open letter in Verge stating: “We feel like the current policy is not sufficient in addressing many of our needs.” The issue is one that many companies are facing – divergent views and conflicting desires regarding employees returning to work in the office, at least on a semi-regular basis. More... Continue reading...

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June 28, 2021 9:00 am
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The Need for Engaging, Relevant & Practical Training for Your Team Members

An organizational leader recently mentioned to me: “There is a huge need for quality remote training that is applicable to daily life. So much of what I see is ‘one and done’ – pure information without any practical utility.” As a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the resulting substantial number of employees who began working remotely and from home, “training” has quickly transitioned to an online, virtual format. The problem is: there’s not much actual training going on. What is mainly occurring is “transfer of information.” This, by itself, rarely results in changes in behavior. Let me take you... Continue reading...

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February 8, 2021 9:00 am
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Resources for Building Healthy Teams

Dr. Paul White and the Appreciation at Work team have been creating and publishing some new resources to help create healthy workplaces, especially for use in the midst of this difficult time of having team members working remotely (and from home), some working on-site, and others working in a hybrid model (some from home, some at the workplace).  This creates challenges in developing and maintaining healthy work relationships. Dr. White recently completed research with a national sample of remote employees and the results were summarized in an interview with Psychology Today‘s Hope and Resilience writer, Dr. Jamie D. Aten. The... Continue reading...

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October 12, 2020 9:30 am
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Working From Home: How the Concerns of Employees and Managers Differ

Recently, we conducted a national survey with over 500 employees and organizational leaders. We wanted to find out the issues that remote and working from home (WFH) employees were currently most concerned about. Last week, we reported the results for the group as a whole (all of the respondents together). Two concerns were rated more highly than the rest (a total of 22 issues were offered): *The emotional and mental health of team members (75% of respondents rated this as an extreme or moderate concern) *Work / life boundaries (~70% of participants identified this as being at a moderate or... Continue reading...

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September 28, 2020 1:58 pm
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Coping with Schooling at Home While Working From Home

  “How am I supposed to get my work done while I’m also expected to oversee my children’s schoolwork?” This critical question is one of the most common concerns raised by parents who are working from home. And with the schoolyear just beginning, this challenge, facing millions is both a very real and practical one. First, some context regarding my credibility. Prior to and during my work focused on work-based relationships and workplace culture, my professional focus included evaluating students with learning challenges, and consulting with parents and schools on the best ways to help their students learn. Additionally, we... Continue reading...

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September 14, 2020 9:00 am
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Working From Home is Here to Stay: Simple Tips to Make Life Better

I often state that psychologists sometimes “discover the obvious.” Since I am a member of that prestigious group, let me make the self-evident conclusion clear: working from home (WFH) is here to stay. Working with (and leading) remote employees is a fact of life we need to accept and learn to manage. Two Key Perspectives To effectively deal with, and successfully adjust to working from home, we need to acknowledge that there are (at least) two quite different perspectives on the issue: the employees’ experience and the viewpoint from the organization’s leaders. Many articles and podcasts focus on one or... Continue reading...

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August 24, 2020 9:00 am
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Tips for Surviving Working from Home – From Remote Employees Themselves

Working from home (WFH) has moved from a short-term hassle to a longer, “this is life now” stage. The novelty is gone. The changes for the initial transition are in place. We now have to figure out how to make this scenario work for a while. Who best to learn from than other remote, WFH employees? We recently followed a group of WFH workers, having them fill out a questionnaire once a week for four weeks. We asked a lot of questions, and the results are just being published in Training this week. We inquired about their level of anxiety,... Continue reading...

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June 8, 2020 8:55 am
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Do You Need Virtual Training Resources to Keep Your Remote Employees Connected?

A core value to us at Appreciation at Work is to provide practical, low-cost resources to address the needs of our clients.  We are proud to announce the official launch of our new Virtual Appreciation at Work™ Training Kit — a brand-new feature to our Appreciation at Work resources. This year has seen dramatic changes in how and where people work. The past few months we have worked hard to adapt our Appreciation at Work training assets to make sure we are offering workable solutions to new challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Now you can be among the first... Continue reading...

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June 1, 2020 9:20 am
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Encouragement, Support, and Staying Connected During Quarantine

Last week we conducted a small survey to see how our readers were feeling supported and encouraged, how they were supporting and encouraging others and what has helped them stay positive. We were overwhelmed by the positive answers and examples you gave us. First, we asked you: How much have you felt supported and encouraged by someone with whom you work since the COVID-19 crisis has developed? The average of all responses was a “4” (1 = Not at all; 5 = Extremely)! We were glad to learn that many of you are feeling supported and encouraged during this difficult... Continue reading...

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May 4, 2020 9:00 am
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Newly Remote Employees During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Snapshot of Their Perceptions, Feelings and Concerns

We recently initiated a research project to gather information from newly remote employees to assess their current life circumstances; their perceptions, feelings and behaviors; their top concerns, as well as positive aspects of their life currently. Study Participants Eighty-five newly remote employees responded to an invitation to fill out an online questionnaire about working remotely (88% Female, 12% Male). The questionnaires were completed within two business days (ending March 30, 2020), just after “Stay In Place” orders had been put in place for several states, and just prior to the Federal CARE Act being passed by the Senate. Interestingly, 41% of the... Continue reading...

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April 9, 2020 11:00 am
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Appreciation Differences and (Newly) Remote Workers

At this time of social upheaval as a result of the COVID 19 outbreak, it’s more important than ever to find ways to stay connected to each other. As we all respond to the ever-changing landscape of quarantine, social distancing, and new work arrangements, we wanted to share information about showing appreciation to one another while working remotely. This information was gathered as part of our research on virtual teams and people who regularly work remotely, and there are some valuable lessons we can use during this time to encourage each other. ********** Changes in our daily work cultures impact... Continue reading...

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March 19, 2020 8:45 am
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The Changing Workplace: Appreciation and Remote Workers

The culture that we live and work in is subject to constant change over time. And in recent years, that change has occurred at a highly accelerated rate. Rows of desks filled with stenographers and secretaries are well in the past.  In the 70’s, offices looked like cubicle farms, and these, in turn, transformed back up to open office plans, attempting to encourage communication and collaboration. Additionally, rapid technological changes (from the phone, to faxes, to emails, texting and videoconferencing) have created an entirely new category of employee, the remote worker. And their ranks are growing. In 1995, 9% of... Continue reading...

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January 14, 2019 9:00 am
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Is Appreciation in the Workplace Changing?

Is appreciation in the workplace changing? Is it the same as it was 5 years ago? 10 years ago? Does the way we communicate appreciation change over time? Yes, it does. But, in many ways, no it doesn’t. Last week, a new revised and updated version of The 5 Language of Appreciation in the Workplace was released.                           The first edition was published in 2011 and some may think, ok, that’s great for those who haven’t read it already, but the topic couldn’t have really changed that much. I would ‘beg... Continue reading...

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January 7, 2019 8:58 am
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Do Remote Employees Want to Be Shown Appreciation Differently Than Employees in Face-to-Face Settings?

    More and more American employees are working remotely. In 1995 only 9% percent of American workers telecommuted, but in 2015 off-site workers increased to 37% In 2016, 43% of American workers reported they spend at least part of their week working remotely. It has been estimated that 50% of the U.S. workforce has job responsibilities that are compatible with working off-site at least occasionally and between 80% and 90% of the U.S. workforce reports it would like to work remotely at least part-time. The Importance of Appreciation in the Workplace Despite the evidence that appreciation is both desired and... Continue reading...

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October 22, 2018 9:00 am
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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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