30May 2011

I am the office manager of our business, and I report directly to the owner. My boss (to me) needs encouragement and support – he gets discouraged and “down”. But when I ask about him joining us in taking the MBA Inventory and participating in the training, he says: “No thanks. I’m fine.” What can I do to get him involved?

Welcome to one of the harsh realities of life, Christina. Unfortunately, we can’t force anyone else to do anything – even if we think it would be ‘good for them’. So you have a choice – do nothing or do what you can. I vote for the latter. Although it appears you cannot currently convince your boss to be involved in

11Apr 2011

It seems that The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace model dovetails nicely with the “Employee Engagement” model presented by others. How do you see these two approaches fitting together?

Susan, you are thinking the same way we are. The approach to getting individuals “engaged” in their work and workplace has shown great promise in creating more productive and positive employees.  The work by Julie Gebauer & Don Lowman (among others) has demonstrated that a proactive approach to creating more engaged workers creates benefits for both the organization and the individual.

28Feb 2011

Dr. White, you often say that busyness is the #1 reason people don’t communicate appreciation at work. Do you have any tips for getting past this barrier? I work in a medical setting and it seems we are always frantic.

You are right, Suzanne, busyness is the #1 enemy of communicating appreciation in the workplace. And from work I have done with hospitals and med schools, they are one of the most frenetic workplaces I know. Let me give you a few suggestions of how you can use brief snippets of time to “connect” with your colleagues. All of them

15Jan 2011

What about perceived unfairness? If one person gets an email of praise, while their colleague gets a gift card to go out for dinner, can’t this create a sense of resentment?

Steve, this is a common issue raised, especially among teams who are not that close or who are highly competitive.  Although a sense of unfairness and resentment can potentially develop, we have not found this to be a problem with the teams with whom we have consulted.  Why?  Because communicating appreciation is a ongoing process that is fluid.  While a

09Nov 2010

Should appreciation for staff members only occur when they are performing well? Is there a place for appreciation when someone “messes up”?

Great questions, Donna!  You are right on target. We believe the process of communicating appreciation should not be solely performance based.  Although supervisors want to support and reinforce positive behaviors demonstrated by their staff, workers need to be encouraged when they are having an “off day”, too!  In fact, we could argue that when a teacher “loses it” with a

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