06Feb 2017

Showing Appreciation to Volunteers

Many non-profit organizations, social service agencies, and ministries utilize a large number of volunteers to assist in providing services to their clientele.  Keeping volunteers engaged is often critical to the success of the organization. One thing we have learned about encouraging and supporting volunteers is that, for most organizations, there are different types of volunteers and, sometimes, there are lots

30Sep 2013

I often hear reports in the news about “employee engagement” and that it is going down (usually) among workers in the U.S. and across the world. What is “employee engagement” and why is it important?

Yes, “employee engagement” has been in the news a lot in the past several months. It is a term used by Human Resource professionals that represents the degree that employees are enthusiastic about their work, their willingness to learn, and their commitment to the mission of the organization. Essentially, it is a term that tries to capture how much workers

05Mar 2013

My workplace is so negative. People are cynical, sarcastic and negative communication seems to be the “norm”. Why is this? Can anything be done to make things more positive?

Unfortunately, Kym, there are some work settings which just “ooze” sarcasm and a lack of trust. In many, they’ve tried to communicate recognition, but it has often been done through a formal employee recognition program. This often leads to both a perceived belief of insincerity, as well as an emphasis on performance. When employees do not believe that others are

26Feb 2013

While I value praise from my supervisor, I find that when my colleagues communicate appreciation for me or something I’ve done, it really encourages me. Is that unusual?

Cynthia, your experience is not unusual at all. In fact, back in the early stages of developing our materials we were focused on managers and supervisory relationships, to the point that our initial “working title” of our inventory was the “Managing by Appreciation Inventory” (as opposed to the current “Motivating By Appreciation Inventory“.) But we also have been getting some interesting feedback as

27Aug 2012

Recently, I heard you speak and you indicated that you are finding that 25-30% of the general population report they do not want public recognition in the form of an award in front of a large group. Can you clarify what it is about public recognition they don’t like?

Great question, Barry, because I am finding that there are different aspects of receiving an award or recognition in front a large gathering that make people nervous. First, some people just don’t like the “spotlight”; they don’t want people’s focus and attention to be solely on them.  And they would prefer not to have to deal with it. Others are

08May 2012

I have read that employee engagement is actually declining among workers in the U.S. and across the world. Why is this happening, even though many companies and organizations are focusing more on employee recognition?

Employee engagement has been shown to be a powerful factor in predicting how well a company performs in the marketplace and is related to many positive factors in employees (productivity, longevity, creative problem-solving).  Unfortunately, researchers have found that the percentage of employees who are totally disengaged or are only marginally engaged in their work is at the lowest point since

10Jan 2012

My organization has taken team members through the StrengthFinders process (and the DISC, previously). I am wondering if, and how, the 5 Languages of Appreciation fit with these personality assessments?

Many, many organizations have taken their managers and team members through personality style assessments and training programs.  The most common are StrengthFinders, DISC, and the Myers Briggs Type Indicator.  We have found that The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace and the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory are excellent tools that complement these personality assessments and training and are in no way either

08Nov 2011

I keep hearing more and more about “employee engagement”. Exactly, what is it? And why is there so much news about it?

Employee engagement is a business management concept that has become “hot” in the past five years.  It is essentially the degree to which an employee is emotionally attached to their job, colleagues and organization.  One reason it has been in the news is because:  a) it is measureable (which business and organizational leaders like); and b) it has been shown

10Aug 2011

I really think the 5 Languages of Appreciation would be helpful in my office, but my boss isn’t interested. Is there any way you suggest I try to introduce them to him?

Jennifer, this is a common issue raised, especially after I speak to a conference. A lot of people say to me, “My boss really needs this book, but I don’t know how to tactfully introduce it to him.” We have found three different approaches that have been successful. First, go to the free resources section of the website and find

30Jun 2011

Dr. White, I work in a setting where I have ten people who report to me directly. In thinking about applying the languages of appreciation to my team, this seems overwhelming – I can’t monitor and encourage all ten at once. What should I do?

Ken, your situation is not uncommon in many business settings, and does create some challenges. Managers who have a lot of people whom they supervise can feel like showing individualized appreciation to their team members is unrealistic. And it would be, if you were trying to do so to all team members at once. Rather, we suggest you “divide and

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