Tag Archive: appreciation

The Strange World of Appreciation at Work: Kevin Durant Not Feeling Appreciated

Here is an example of how individualized and personal feeling appreciation at work is. Kevin Durant, the NBA star, has won the NBA Most Valuable Player Award, two NBA Championship Finals MVP Awards, been selected to 10 NBA All-Star teams, helped lead his team to two NBA championships, and is paid over $100 million. And yet this week he is reported to have left the Golden State Warriors to play with the Brooklyn Nets because he didn’t feel appreciated by his fans. To most of us this seems incredulous — how can someone not feel appreciated when they repeatedly receive awards from their... Continue reading...

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July 3, 2019 8:51 am
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How Personality Type and Languages of Appreciation Interrelate

People often comment, “I wonder how the Myers-Briggs and the 5 Languages of Appreciation might be related?”  We wondered about this, too, and so we conducted a research study to discover the answer. Categorizing people into distinct personality types has been an area of interest for millennia and numerous approaches to finding various dimensions of personality characteristics have been utilized. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® is a well-known approach to assessing personality which divides personality characteristics into four continua: Extroversion / Introversion Extroversion (E) – people oriented, talkative, outgoing Introversion (I) – inward focus, reflective, pensive, task oriented Sensing / Intuition... Continue reading...

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March 4, 2019 12:34 pm
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The Languages of Appreciation: A Tool for Growing Soft Skills

Historically, high level business and organizational leaders have been taught to focus on the “hard” metrics of business – financial statements, market share, increasing productivity and reducing expenses to maximize profits and shareholder value. These all are important aspects to monitor, to ensure the business is profitable and sustainable. Similarly, engineers, computer programmers and others who work in high-tech industries most often associated with Silicon Valley are trained, focused on, and rewarded for producing results. And these high-tech companies are known to offer competitive financial rewards and recognition programs to motivate and encourage employees to keep delivering high quality work.... Continue reading...

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February 25, 2019 8:55 am
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Are You Too Busy To Learn How To Overcome Busyness?

A change in perspective can make a difference Are you tired – mentally, emotionally (& physically)? Do you have more to do than you have time & energy? Are you overwhelmed in trying to manage all of your emails, texts, & voicemails? I’d bet you also are behind in reading all of the blogs, articles, and books that you feel you should. You probably feel overwhelmed and discouraged. Or just worn out. Welcome to the Busyness Club. I feel that way too. Your team members do. And so do your clients. A Personal Story… I grew up in a conservative... Continue reading...

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October 1, 2018 9:47 am
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Employees May Not Love Their Work, But They Can Still Be Engaged: 4 Categories of Work Experience

Employee engagement differs from employee satisfaction. A Gallup poll found that only 32 percent of U.S. workers are engaged in their jobs, for instance. Yet employees who don’t love their jobs can and should still be engaged. Custom Insight distinguishes employee engagement from employee satisfaction. Engagement is defined as “the extent to which employees feel passionate about their jobs, are committed to the organization, and put discretionary effort into their work.” Satisfaction relates to “love”—or how happy employees are.  The Purpose and Nature of Work  We must remind ourselves that the primary purpose of work is to provide for our needs—food, shelter, clothing.... Continue reading...

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September 24, 2018 3:14 am
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Do millennials want to be shown appreciation differently?

The workforce is changing rapidly, with the number of millennial employees expected to surpass baby boomers (individuals in their late 50s and older) by 2019 and they will comprise nearly half of the total working population by 2020. Organizational leaders and HR professionals affirm knowing and understanding your employees is critical in order to have (and keep) an effective workforce, thus, distinguishing and addressing the differences between employees of different age groups is important. Adjusting to the characteristics and desires of younger employees has been the source of much research.  The Gallup Group found that the majority of millennials (55%)... Continue reading...

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September 16, 2018 6:36 pm
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Why we should stop ‘recognizing’ employees and start appreciating them

As I have traveled across the country working with businesses and organizations, I’ve had the privilege to interact with HR professionals and corporate trainers. Initially, I was surprised to hear reports from both professionals and front-line workers that the vast majority of employee recognition programs aren’t working. These activities generally are not having a positive impact on employees or workplace morale. In many cases, recognition programs actually are backfiring and creating negative reactions among team members. In fact, the three most common reactions I receive from employees when they talk about “employee recognition” are apathy, sarcasm, and cynicism. Why? As... Continue reading...

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May 14, 2018 8:27 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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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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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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Can Appreciation Cross Cultures?

NOTE: This is an exclusive preview from my new book, The Vibrant Workplace: Overcoming the Obstacles to Building a Culture of Appreciation, which will be released 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).   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... Continue reading...

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March 29, 2017 8:00 am
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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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Be Careful about Trying to Show Appreciation During Unstable Times

While we know that good things happen when employees feel appreciated, communicating appreciation to staff is not a miracle salve that cures all wounds. Sometimes well-meaning supervisors (and sometimes leaders who don’t want to do the hard work of dealing with problems) try to use appreciation as a “quick fix” for deeper issues that need to be addressed. Here are five sets of circumstances when appreciation should not be the first action taken: Employees are not getting paid regularly. One time I was asked to train staff of a non-profit organization in how to show appreciation to one another. Throughout... Continue reading...

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September 26, 2016 2:05 pm
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Should Appreciation Be Performance-Based?

One of the most frequent questions I am asked when I’m conducting training for a business is: Should you show appreciation to someone who isn’t performing well? 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 customers... Continue reading...

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September 12, 2016 12:08 pm
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How to Find Good Employees: 3 Ways Communicating Appreciation Can Help

The news is repetitive and blaring:  employers are complaining about the inability to find qualified applicants for positions that need to be filled.  The discussion is rather ironic — having 10+ million workers who can’t find work, while employers report they can’t find potential employees who meet the needs they have. The issue impacts multiple industries.  The key term to understand: qualified applicants.  “Qualified” does not just mean educated or trained; it also involves character. As one employer told me, they can’t find workers who can meet all three conditions necessary to work there:  a) they have the training necessary... Continue reading...

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August 31, 2016 2:01 pm
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Practical Suggestions for Showing Appreciation in Day to Day Work Life

One of the most common questions we receive is: “How do you keep the concept of communicating appreciation going in the workplace?” We have found the following action steps to be extremely helpful in helping appreciation and encouragement become part of a workplace culture: Start your staff meetings with reports of examples of appreciation & encouragement being given.  Reinforce the importance of appreciation by starting meetings with team members sharing examples of receiving appreciation or observing someone else encouraging a colleague.  (If you wait until the end of the meeting, you’re at risk of “running out of time.”)  At the beginning, share... Continue reading...

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August 25, 2016 1:00 pm
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No One Is An Island In The Workplace

When I discuss the topic of appreciation with leaders, sometimes they mention employees who reject the notion. For example, someone in their organization will say: “I don’t need appreciation from others. I am self-motivated.” Or, they make comments that imply, “This appreciation-stuff is a bunch of hooey.” However, on closer examination, I have found that this resistance often reveals a different mindset that needs to be addressed. Some people equate the term “appreciation” with receiving verbal praise from others. Yet, there are individuals who don’t value positive words from others, because it’s not an important form of communication to them for... Continue reading...

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August 15, 2016 3:06 pm
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Cutting Through Cynicism With Authentic Appreciation – Part I

  “Are you kidding me? They don’t care about us.” “They don’t give a rip about me. It’s all about my performance. If I meet my performance goals, they’re happy. If I don’t, I’m gone.”   As I’ve worked with more facilities across the country, I’ve become aware that a large number of employees have a very cynical reaction to any discussion of positive communication from their supervisors, and sometimes, even their co-workers. The lack of genuineness in communicating appreciation may be the single biggest barrier to positive workplace relationships. One of the contributing factors to these underlying attitudes of cynicism... Continue reading...

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March 31, 2016 11:04 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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Years of Service Award Leads to $30,000 Fine

You may or may not know that the #1 reason employees are recognized is for their length of service with their organization. Individuals routinely receive recognition and some tangible reward (a certificate, a watch, bonus check) for being employed for 1 year, 5 years, etc. [By the way, I use the term “being employed” deliberately, as opposed to “working” for reasons to become evident.] Recently, an employee was found to be receiving his annual salary even though he had not shown up to work for at least six years!  Ironically, he may have gone undetected for longer except that his... Continue reading...

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March 2, 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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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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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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How Cynicism and Sarcasm Sap Creativity From Your Organization

We all have a finite amount of mental and emotional energy. That is why we are tired at the end of a busy day when we have been processing information and making decisions throughout the day.  Thus, effective leaders learn how to prioritize and channel their mental energy into completing the most important tasks, and not waste it on non-productive activities. One major drain of emotional energy often is ignored by leaders, however.  That is the presence of sarcasm and cynicism in your organization.  Both stem from negative thoughts and perceptions among team members that are then communicated and bounced... Continue reading...

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May 12, 2015 6:00 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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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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