How Do Most People Want to Be Shown Appreciation? Update from 175,000 Employees

March 21, 2019 5:57 pm Published by

Not long ago (2017), we published a research study on how 100,000 employees preferred to be shown appreciation by their colleagues and supervisors.  Based on the concepts presented in The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplacethe foundational principle that not everyone feels appreciated in the same ways was affirmed.

Recently, we have had inquiries if the frequencies of desired appreciation languages have remained the same or if the additional individuals taking the inventory more recently prefer different ways to be shown appreciation.  So we did a quick update on the data from those who have taken the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory.

Here is what we found.

Frequency of Individuals’ Primary Language of Appreciation 

Primary Language

of Appreciation


(175,000 respondents)


(100,000 respondents)

Words of Affirmation

46.7% 47.2%

Quality Time



Acts of Service



Tangible Gifts 5.6%


As can be seen from the results reported in the table, the frequencies of how often each Language of Appreciation was chosen varies very little between the two sets of data.  In fact, the rates by which Words of Affirmation and Tangble Gifts are selected by respondents are virtually the same.  In the more recent respondents (the 75,000 who have taken the inventory since 2017), there is a slightly higher rate of individuals who are choosing Acts of Service (rather than Quality Time) as their Primary Language of Appreciation.

(One interesting side note is that the frequency rate for men’s and women’s Primary Languages of Appreciation are remarkably similar — with very little difference between them.)

We anticipate doing a more thorough examination of the data once we reach 200,000 respondents of the MBA Inventory, and will look more deeply into any differences that may exist between those individuals who took the inventory prior to 2017 and those since.



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March 21, 2019 5:57 pm

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