Getting the Most Out of the MBA Inventory – How Appreciation Varies Across Work Settings

January 6, 2020 8:55 am Published by

An important characteristic of Appreciation at Work is that we are a learning organization – we strive to gain insights from our prior experiences, incorporate the feedback provided by our clients, and apply relevant lessons from other leaders. The result? We are continually working to improve our products and processes. We want to provide the best quality and most practical help possible to improve workplace relationships.

One recent, major outcome of this continual learning process was the launch of the Expanded version of the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory this past year. In development for over three years, we invested tens of thousands of dollars and thousands of hours to upgrade the inventory and the quality and detail of the results it provides.

The Foundation Remains with 5 Areas of Revision

The foundational components of the MBA Inventory remain the same in the Expanded version:

a) identifying each person’s Primary and Secondary Languages of Appreciation;

b) verifying the individual’s Least Valued Language, which is their “blind spot” in relating to others;

c) allowing the employee to choose the specific actions most important to them in their primary language, and

d) giving the employee the ability to choose from whom they prefer which action.

Overall, we made significant additions in five areas:

  1. comparing each person’s results to the general population, including statistics and charts;
  2. identifying the single most important action for the employee;
  3. clarifying the role of appropriate Physical Touch;
  4. allowing the individual to take a version designed for their specific industry (described below), and
  5. specifying the actions they don’t want in each of the 5 languages.

The Importance of Relevant Actions

Over the years, as we instructed leaders and employees in a wide range of industries, it became increasingly clear that we needed to ensure that the actions for each appreciation language were relevant to an employee’s work setting. As a result, we have created unique sets of acts of appreciation for different work environments including government agencies, remote employees, medical settings, military installations, ministries and non-profit organizations, and schools.

Why did we go to such effort to create all of these versions of the inventory?  Because, practically speaking, a meaningful “act of service” for a nurse in a hospital differs from an appropriate act for an elementary school teacher, or for a colleague who works in a different city. The same is true for Quality Time, and the other languages. Additionally, some organizations (government settings, the military and some non-profits) have strict rules about gift giving and spending time individually with supervisors which needed to be addressed.

The Expanded MBA Inventory – the FULL picture    

In essence, the Expanded MBA Inventory was designed to give each person and team the full picture with regards to effectively communicating appreciation with one another – taking into account one’s work setting, the action(s) most desired, how your results relate to the general population, and the acts of appreciation which should be avoided.

As you continue to use the Appreciation at Work resources to apply the 5 languages of appreciation to your workplace, consider having your team members take the Expanded Version of the MBA Inventory (and, if appropriate, use a specific industry-related version). If you and/or your team have already taken the Basic version of the MBA Inventory, we are willing to offer a significant discount to the first 500 who respond for taking the Expanded version in exchange for filling out a short six question survey that will help us in a research study we are conducting. If you want more information or would like to pursue this offer, please email

We are excited about the amazing response we have had to the Expanded version of the MBA Inventory from across the globe and by schools, medical facilities, government agencies, military bases, non-profits, and with teams who work remotely. Join them and “go deep” in discovering more about yourself and how to communicate authentic appreciation to your colleagues.

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Published by
January 6, 2020 8:55 am

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