173. 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace

About this Podcast

Ep. 173 – In this episode, we have a very special guest joining us, Dr. Paul White. Dr. White is a renowned psychologist, speaker, and leadership expert, and he’s here to shed light on a topic that often gets overlooked but is crucial for a productive and thriving work environment – appreciation.

Join us as we dive into the 5 Languages of Appreciation at Work, based on Dr. White’s bestselling book co-authored with Dr. Gary Chapman. With over half a million copies sold and translations in 26 languages, it’s safe to say that their work has struck a chord with countless individuals worldwide.

This episode explores the significant impact of authentic appreciation on employee engagement, productivity, and overall workplace dynamics. Dr. White shares his research-backed insights, addresses misconceptions, and provides practical tips for new managers on effectively showing appreciation.

But it’s not just about understanding the importance of appreciation. Dr. White will guide us on how to effectively communicate appreciation in different cultures and work environments. From acts of service to quality time spent with team members, he’ll unravel the power of personalized, specific, and genuine expressions of appreciation that truly resonate with everyone on your team.

 Watch it on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/zsts6yAJ2kk

Action Steps:

  • Reflect on your current appreciation practices and ensure they are genuine and personalized.
  • Familiarize yourself with the Five Languages of Appreciation to tailor your expressions of gratitude.
  • Foster a culture of peer recognition within your team to acknowledge accomplishments among colleagues.
  • Utilize resources from appreciationatwork.com and conduct team training sessions to implement effective appreciation practices in your workplace.

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Episode 173 Transcript:

Ramona Shaw [00:00:00]:

This is episode 173 of the manager track podcast. This is a must know topic and a must listen to episode. We’re gonna talk about the languages of appreciation at work, and I have a very special guest with me. I am super excited to have Doctor Paul White On as against on the episode, Doctor Paul White wrote or co authored the book the 5 languages of appreciation in the workplace. together with Doctor Chapman. Doctor Chapman was the author of the 5 love languages that you might have read before or heard about. Now the book that the 2 co authored, the 5 languages of appreciation in the workplace, sold over 550,000 times and has been translated in 26 languages globally. They work with organizations Across the Globe, small, and big, Cross Industries, and sectors, and the work that they do is tremendously impactful. Doctor Paul White’s dedicated dedicated his work to this and do appreciation in the workplace, and this is his legacy work, and he’s full of wisdom. And I’m very excited to share this conversation with you here on the podcast. In brief, Doctor Paul White is a psychologist, a speaker, and a leadership expert who makes work relationships work. As he says, he has been interviewed by the New York Times, and we will link to a New York Times article, by the way, in the show notes, The BBC news and other international publications, he has, as I said, co authored the 5 languages of appreciation in the workplace. He’s also created an online assessment called motivating by appreciation inventory to help people identify their preferred Languages of appreciation and then being able to pivot and adapt their styles to what other people’s preferences are and to be on the lookout for the things that matter to them the most. The assessment has been taken by over 375,000 employees worldwide. It’s also available in multiple, languages and just not just to say this as a terms of building his credibility and letting you know how much of an expert he’s in this field and the track record that Doctor Paul White has, but also the things that he says are not just because of situational experiences that he’s had or be based on some small sample sized research. This is based on 1000 and 100 of 1000 of responses of assessment results, of survey results that he and his team have gathered over the years. If you are still believing that appreciation is overrated or not important, that pay should be enough or a thank you in a good job will do. This episode is, as I said, not just a must know, but a must Listen. it’s super enlightening and inspiring to hear doctor Paul White talk about it. I will now, wrap my introduction and get right into the conversation with Doctor Paul White. As I said earlier, I’m thrilled to share this conversation with you. And with that, let’s go. Doctor Paul White, thank you so much for making the time and being on the manage to track podcast with us today. It’s great to have this conversation video.

Dr. Paul White [00:03:15]:

my pleasure to be with you. Thank you.

Ramona Shaw [00:03:17]:

Like I said in the introduction, you have a wealth of experience as it relates to appreciation and engagement in the workplace. What I am really curious about is what continues to price you as you work with organizations and talk about these specific topics and appreciation and praise and recognition on a regular basis. And I’m sure that you have conversations or people ask you questions

Dr. Paul White [00:03:43]:

that continue to surprise you. What are some of the Yeah. Well, one of the things that surprises me is just how many leaders still don’t really get it and that they’re just about performance just about metrics, treat people like production units, and don’t understand the human elements of their employees of their people. And as a result, they wind up getting the negative Results of that of people not staying with them, conflict, lack of understanding, not great effort, lower productivity, and then they just try to do more, maybe give raises or compensation, which doesn’t work very well, at least not for very long. Yeah. And I know that what you’re saying is also

Ramona Shaw [00:04:31]:

the proven that we can see in in research and studies over and over where we can see the correlation between leaders providing recognition and appreciation versus others. And then we see that in terms of engagement numbers. Can you share some of that with us?

Dr. Paul White [00:04:48]:

Sure. Yeah. And employee engagement, turbine, all that, but most of us don’t think in those terms. Most of us think in practical. kinds of things. So what that means is when your team members and employees feel valued and appreciated, good results happen. They show up on time, There’s less calling in sick when they’re not really sick. There’s lower turnover. There is less conflict in the workplace. research shows higher productivity, a higher profitability, largely because staff turnover is one of the biggest nonproductive costs, that we have. Customer service ratings go up. managers enjoy their work more. And so all kinds of good things happen when people feel valued. And even things like, on the job accidents go down and employee theft goes down. those are the kinds of things that employee engagement really flows to practically.

Ramona Shaw [00:05:46]:

Yeah. And I heard you say in a past article or write about this idea that the employee engagement is very retrospective where we capture data. It’s not very practical or tactical. Doesn’t really tell us what to do. So for managers who are just really stepping into their leadership role and they start to feel that sense of responsibility that they have, when they, are are serving other team members and they’re responsible for them and wanna help them in their career and wanna make sure that they feel motivated. This something that I hear all the time from leaders of this question of this intangible word motivation. What does that mean? And how can I motivate my employees. So leaders who are new to leadership, what suggestions and tips do you have for them? It’s interesting that

Dr. Paul White [00:06:34]:

there’s direct motivation which has to do with really employee recognition and rewards came out of the the model in the fifties sixties of less than 3. Of identifying behaviors that you wanna see happen, setting goals, monitoring them, and then rewarding those. And that works well in a very targeted narrow kind of way. But appreciation, we we believe is about the person as well as what they do and that if you really wanna create an organization that has loyalty that has energy that has positivity that has productivity then you focus on appreciating the people for who they are and what they do, but do it in ways that are meaningful to them rather than just top down. k. This is what we’re gonna do this month for employee of the month and the same thing all the time. But to find out what really is valued by your team members. And so we created an online assessment that, over time, 375,000 people have taken it in 7 languages, and it identifies the ways that each person wants to be shown appreciation.

Ramona Shaw [00:07:48]:

rather than just doing the same thing for after that. Which I think is a really important part because as leaders and especially new managers, there’s often this idea that the way I wanna be led, like, if I think about my best manager, this is how then I want to lead because I think that’s the best way to be a manager. So course — Right. — I wanna embody that and then be that kind of manage it to everyone else. And it shows up right in so many different ways. Yeah. And I would say that a a key part about that for new leaders is

Dr. Paul White [00:08:18]:

that you need to learn how to lead people who are different than you. Mhmm. It might be great. You may be wonderful. I’m sure you’re talking about that. But you’ve gotta have a team of people who think differently who have different sets of skills and who’ll feel valued differently. And so if you only do the things that work for you, you’ll have a bunch of many use following you around for a while, at least, but you’re not really gonna have an effective team across the board. That the assessment,

Ramona Shaw [00:08:45]:

that you have on the website will link to that in the show notes That will help give an indication of what are some different ways to really land that word of a or active appreciation and make it meaningful. Now in your work and by assessing or evaluating these results, what are some of the common misconceptions that people have of what they think appreciation is and how to do it well versus what you actually see in the data. Yeah. So

Dr. Paul White [00:09:11]:

the the first misconception is that a lot of leaders, because it’s what they’ve experienced think that employee recognition, is the same as authentic appreciation, and they overlap some, but employee recognition is pretty organizational top down. It can be scalable because it can be done across organizations and so forth, but it’s it feels pretty impersonal to people. whereas, authentic appreciation really is about the person, and it’s about what they like. 2nd misconception is that People tend to think, and I’ve had leaders say, you know, yeah, I want my employees to feel good and happy, but we need to get things done. And the misconception is that the goal about appreciation is just to make people feel good. And while that’s hopefully a result, really, It’s more about helping create an effective organization that effectively does what your mission is. It’s like oil in a machine. If you have a machine that’s working together, does any oil. If there’s heat, there’s friction, maybe sparks, it gets stuck, and appreciation is like the oil that helps the pieces of the organization work together well. And I would say the The 4th misconception is that a lot of leaders think that they’re the primary responsible one for showing appreciation to their team members, and while we want leaders and managers to be involved, actually, we found that it it’s more helpful to have the whole team learn how to show appreciation to one another because more in younger employees, they’re more concerned and focused on collegial relationships than top down relationships and also it’s too much wait for a manager to carry by themselves. And so we teach teams how it show appreciation to one another, and it really works well that way.

Ramona Shaw [00:10:54]:

Yeah. I love that you emphasize this point, the peer recognition, tactically speaking, for our listeners or viewers, What suggestions? What kind of tips or ideas do you have for them that they could easily implement in their next team meeting or as part of their process is managing a team? A problem is that a lot of people think appreciation is words, and it can be. Obviously, praise and compliment, but we found that from the hundreds of 1000 days a week, assessed.

Dr. Paul White [00:11:22]:

Word is the primary way people will show appreciation by less than 50% of team members. So if you only use words, you’re gonna miss half of your team. Having said that, it’s a big group. It’s 46%. So it’s a good starting point And so one of the things that we teach, if you’re gonna use words, you wanna be specific. We have, I don’t know, 95,000 people on our newsletter list. We do polls. We found out that people don’t wanna hear good job. Why? Because it’s generic. Anyway, I can say it doesn’t take any time and effort So if you’re gonna use words, be very specific. And, actually, we teach people to use people’s names. If you’re gonna write it, make sure you spell it correctly, because names are spelled some 8 different ways. and then say specifically what you value about what they’ve done or who they are and why it’s important to you or the organization. So it’s a nice way to start. Now most people very few people are gonna be offended if you do it just personally. Some are okay with doing it in front of their team. Fewer are don’t want it in front of a big group. In fact, 40% of people don’t wanna be recognized from a group. So it’s better to just start individually or in front of the team, but be specific about what they’ve done or demonstrated that’s really valuable to you. And then how do you, as a leader,

Ramona Shaw [00:12:43]:

foster this this environment where peer recognition starts to pick up, and they do this to each other for each other? Yeah. You know, I grew up professionally

Dr. Paul White [00:12:52]:

in the not for profit and social service sector where people give a lot, especially emotionally, and there’s not much money for training. So it’s important to me to create some low cost training materials, which we’ve done. We have an online trainer trainer and actually making it available just to managers. For, a training process could be done in series of 1 hour sessions or a half day. where you learn together as a team about what’s the difference between appreciation and recognition, what each of the 5 languages of appreciation look like practically and how to go about doing it so that it’s viewed as authentic rather than just going through the motions. You can go to our website. It’s appreciate at work.com, and it’s the word at, but appreciation at work.com, all kind of resources, but the training process which doesn’t cost a lot, and you can take your team through it to find out how people like to be shown appreciation and then and work on it together.

Ramona Shaw [00:13:50]:

So what I’m hearing you say is make it a topic, bring it to people’s attention, train people on it, use the resources, and the guidelines, and I assume also the assessments that will bring up the conversations of, yeah, how I like to receive recognition

Dr. Paul White [00:14:05]:

or appreciation and then how do And then how do you? And what do you like or don’t like about it? Yeah. And one one of the things people are busy. We know that. That’s people are the one major pushback is when are I gonna have 5 to this? Besides the training, which takes a half day. Okay? that is not a lot of time. We Don’t wanna create another to do list for people, especially managers. You’ve got enough to do. So we wanna help you do what you’re already doing or almost doing but doing a way that it’s effective. So there’s some people that don’t like words. and, you know, they live sort of by the the the meeting, you know, words are cheap. Don’t tell me you support me. And those are acts of service people lots of times. That and it’s not helping a low performing colleague. It’s doing something that they’re pushing hard on a project to get it done. What’s a little something that you can do to help out with that? And quality time In the old days, it was spending time with your manager or supervisor. Now it’s more people like to go to lunch together with their peers and their colleagues or go out afterwards. Tangible gifts are not bonuses and raises, but they’re just small things that show that you’re getting know their team members, like their favorite cup of coffee, or maybe a magazine about their favorite sports team or something like that. It’s interesting with your Northern European background, I I was working with a Multinational, group on a ship. And the captains, one was from Switzerland, and one was from Norway, and they sent There was a saying in their culture that not being yelled at is praise enough and that it wasn’t part of their culture to be appreciated. And I’m American and grew up in the Midwest of the United States. And people say, does this really cross cultural? Our books been translated and initiated by publishers in 25 countries. Our assessments is in 8 languages. It’s used by multinationals by Pepsi, L’Oreal, Caterpillar, ExxonMobil, all different kinds of places in The languages appear to be cross cultural. What’s needs to be specific are the specific actions because in the US, we may go out to lunch together. and that’s one way to spend time or even to buy their lunch. I was in Beijing and in China, and they said, no. We don’t do that. but we bring breakfast in, you know, and so somebody may pick up breakfast for their colleague on the way in. So you have to figure out the and and our translations are not just language translations, but us culturally translated so that the actions fit the culture as well.

Ramona Shaw [00:16:41]:

They’re, yeah, they fit within the context. Thanks for sharing that because I think there is sometimes this idea that, oh, the, you know, great job. Well done. You’re amazing. You’re awesome. On one hand, as if that was enough, right, if that was an we’ve just covered that. No. That we actually don’t prefer that. We would like it to be a lot more personalized and specific. And then Second Aid also sometimes has a bit of the connotation about that’s very American or that’s very over the top when, in fact, that doesn’t neglect the idea of appreciation at all. It just means, okay, what are the words or what are then the behaviors that suit your culture? Right. But that caught that pushback or objection of if you don’t get yelled at, you’re doing a good job. Well, yeah, I I hear that too. What do you say to someone who says, you know, in our culture, that just doesn’t work because I would feel very over the top or very inauthentic in If you don’t hit any feedback, you’re actually doing a good job. That’s it. I think that’s the strength of our system is that we work with

Dr. Paul White [00:17:44]:

different cultures and organizations and multinationals and spoken overseas in a variety of settings. And we listen. It’s not like I try to force it to tell you If it doesn’t work, if it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t. But people do wanna feel valued, and they do wanna be appreciated. Yes. We all need to motivate ourselves. Yeah. I got that. and Americans need to grow in that, I think. But the fact is that it is nice to know that somebody else values what you do and who you are. and to hear that occasionally. Sound like they have to throw a parade every time somebody shows up or gets their work done, but When we do, you know, a job well and handle a difficult situation well, it’s really critical to acknowledge that. And the research, and it’s largely US based, although Western Europe, Canada, some, and Australia, New Zealand, that When people don’t feel valued, they’re more likely to lead. And for 79% of the people in one set, the survey found that it They left. It was largely because they didn’t fill it out. It wasn’t about money. And most, I think managers, especially beginning managers, Think people leave for more money. What another state showed 89% of managers think people leave for money. Only 17% of the people who left said it was for money. Now they may give more money, but the reason they’re leaving is more of a emotional driver because it takes a lot of emotional energy to leave and find a new job. So I I think you have to pay attention to that. And so if you have key team members, you don’t wanna lose, you better make sure that you’re knowing how to show them that that you value them and do so. Otherwise, they may be sort of on what we call the training block that they’re looking.

Ramona Shaw [00:19:22]:

Yes. And it’s interesting. Every time I’ll I’ll take new managers through my program, we land on that topic of employee motivation as well as appreciation. And I asked the question, what is one situation that you still recall from your past, like past career that someone else was recognized or appreciated to you in a very specific way that you still recall because it was so emotionally meaningful. for you. Mhmm. Mhmm. And every single person, like, immediately has at least one example that they recall. And I remember one time I was working late, and I got flowers in the car the next day because thank you for going the extra mile and and for pushing through and helping this other team. And I remember that talk about this today. It’s a decade ago, but also for at least 2 to 3 years, that fueled me. Like, and when it felt like I was hard that I had to stay late or do more work than was really mine, or I was just helping someone else, was like, no. But that’s what we are. That’s the value, and it gets valued in this organization, and it felt aligned.

Dr. Paul White [00:20:30]:

And and what’s interesting is that it doesn’t take much of the right action to really make an impact. Mhmm. You can waste a lot of tremendous energy doing things that aren’t meaningful to people, and you’re like, what’s with it? You know, I say good things about them all the time in front of others, or I check-in. And there’s some people that just they don’t wanna hear it or quality time. It’s like, You know, I’d just leave me alone, but if I need help or if there’s something you or a team member can do to help out and get my project done, You know, so the key is we don’t want people doing everything for everybody. It’s a waste of time and energy. We wanna help managers and supervisors become more efficient and effective. And, actually, that’s one of the answers to the busyness is that we found that when people use our system and team members truly feel value depreciated. A lot of the things that take up your time and energy drop off, you’re not have to deal with people not showing up. You’re not having to deal with territorial conflicts between 2 team members. You’re not having to address issues of them not falling policies and procedures. you should be able to focus on the main deal and not deal with all these other sort of extraneous distraction.

Ramona Shaw [00:21:45]:

Yes. Yeah. Now in a remote or a hybrid setup, things are not different, but some of them are just becoming more or less important. some items. Now as it relates to appreciation in every motor hybrid setup and especially since COVID, what are some of the changes that you’ve noticed working with organizations.

Dr. Paul White [00:22:06]:

During COVID and the pandemic, we actually created, a virtual training kit so that it could be done totally virtually. But most organizations, at least, in the states, if they’ve gone remotes on their their high So people are around some, but I’ve dealt with some totally virtual teams, especially multinational. And I I guess, one of the things we found in neurosciences supporting this is that just meeting by zoom or video conference is not the same as meeting person to person. and that I strongly encourage teams, virtual teams, especially to get together at least occasionally once a year, twice a year, because There’s a very different kind of communication and understanding and empathy that happens when you see a person, you know, there’s some people that They’re shorter than you thought. Others are taller than you thought. They’re different when a group versus one on 1 in a and it’s really important. Otherwise, appreciation When you only know them virtually can feel weird, to be honest, I’ve dealt with one group. I’ve said, I’m not sure if this is gonna work because they’ve never met each other. And if we say appreciation this person to person, And if you don’t know the person, it feels weird. And you usually miss the mark. And the the other part our assessment, we’ve created versions for different industries like schools, medical, and so forth, but we created a remote version so that the actions fit in remote relationships so that quality time, you’re not gonna go out to lunch together, but you may set up a time where you’re just gonna have coffee in your own office and just chat about life. And part of it is that when you remote, you don’t have those sort of spontaneous interactions about, you know, what you do this weekend or what you think about the game last night or whatever. And so we really encourage teams to set aside time for that either. separately or before or at the end of a conference call for people to be able to chat because that’s where you get to know people at a personal level versus just about what they do professional.

Ramona Shaw [00:24:12]:

Yeah. I can and I can totally see that you’re adding that personal level to it more so than just work, right, but of really getting to know the the person holistically to then really call out their strength and their uniqueness. in the context of work appreciation.

Dr. Paul White [00:24:28]:

And that’s where stickiness develops. Yeah. But if the thick when they’ve have a sense that you know them and understand them as a person. Yeah. There’s loyalty grows there versus just that they do a good job. You pay them.

Ramona Shaw [00:24:43]:

So it’s relational, not transactional. Yeah. As you continue to do this work and as you’re learning new things, what is something that you’ve been rethinking, or you changed your mind on since the book originally got published?

Dr. Paul White [00:24:55]:

that’s a great question. What am I rethinking? I went through a phase. So when I I’m a psychologist by training. I’m not an HR person. And I came into this through working with family owned businesses in the United States and saw that there were communication issues. And so I thought, okay. This is good. And and when I first worked with people, especially HR professionals, I said, this employee recognition thing isn’t working. I said, yeah. But we don’t know what else to do. So that’s when we figured this out. And I thought, okay. We just know what what’s going on. And for a while, I was down on recognition and rewards. But then there’s been a period of time where I see that the 2 can work together that you wanna have people do the right thing and do it well and reward acknowledge that, but that, along with appreciation, is really important at the personal level and the 2 together are quite powerful. Now I’m at a next stage where I’m like, this reward stuff people keep doing that, and they just are stuck on it. And, pardon. I’m I’m still trying to figure out. I got different reasons. hypothesis about why They’re not trained our way, I mean, business schools and so forth. But, man, if you just do that, you are stupid. Just the street. that’s that you’re not gonna get the positive results that you really want. And, yeah, it’s not transaction. Like you said, it’s about the person. And I I think culturally with technology and all that we’re in loneliness, that’s one of the things that we found out about remote workers. It’s a feel about their loan that if you don’t address that, you’re really gonna have a hard time building and keeping a team. And so it’s about the relationships in addition to the the mission of the of the organization.

Ramona Shaw [00:26:35]:

Yeah. because with with being remote and not naturally building the relationship, through just physical proximity and interactions that are maybe more spontaneous and less preplanned through meetings and so forth. or verbal just written communication that really being seen and using appreciation as a way to show that you care and show that you see their strength and their uniqueness. It seems to just become more and more important and as we dive into technology and AI and remote and hybrid and all these different setups for managers.

Dr. Paul White [00:27:10]:

Yeah. And I think especially those in smaller organizations, you’re gonna see the organizations that pay attention to their employees as persons and deal with appreciation. You’re gonna outperform your competitors who are just focused on production because your costs are gonna be low You’re gonna have less turnover, so you’re gonna be more effective. And we’re gonna see this happen. I think we see it even in bigger organizations that have sold fall the part because they’re all about technology and task oriented. And that’ll you can be successful at that on the short term. But over time, if people burn out and they’re out and then you get a negative rep for the culture and then it’s tough to draw in quality people. Yeah. Yeah. It’s transactional

Ramona Shaw [00:27:55]:

on both sides.

Dr. Paul White [00:27:56]:

Yeah. Exactly.

Ramona Shaw [00:27:57]:

Now when we’re often looking at it as the manager of a team or leadership overall, recognizing employees or your team members. but we can flip that upside down and say, how about employees also appreciating their managers who often don’t hear it? at all. Right. What are some suggestions there? because one thing that I hear people always be worried about and I can absolutely relate with is you don’t wanna be overdoing it where it feels like you’re in manipulating the situation. So what do you suggest? First of all, it’s a great point And one that people should pay attention to because I used to work for a guy when I was in a government setting. He hated his supervisors

Dr. Paul White [00:28:41]:

and they missed it, but we loved each other as a team. We grew together and we he got his motivation from us, you know, and from the support we gave. And I think that can happen in a difficult or a larger organization. What and the whole issue about being viewed as manipulative or whatever. Yeah. You have to be careful about it, but here here’s the tip. The more specific you are about what you value, the more likely it’s gonna be Jews authentic. So let’s say a receptionist sees a a vice president really handle a difficult situation well with a a client who’s in the reception area and give him a hard time, and she can communicate appreciation for how he handled that situation and how it really saved her from dealing with this tense, I think, versus saying, hey, Mister Jones or Bob, whatever. You really do a good job. That’s the kind of thing that gets plugged into. What are they thinking and why are they doing this? Versus if it’s related to a specific It’s like, okay. I get it and that they she shared about how it was important to her. I think that’s the the relevance as well. Yeah. The benefit in fact on them.

Ramona Shaw [00:29:53]:

Yes. Or even it could be, like, a peer or a coworker. Right? Yeah. I like that angle. And I think there’s something about these nonlinear relationships to you, right, with appreciating employees to their managers and just noticing the benefit of it. And the fact that there’s so much that comes with it and building that oil in the engine, and it really doesn’t cost much. That is cheap oil. Right? It doesn’t make a lot of time. It costs nothing to do. It really takes a training and a bit of awareness self awareness and awareness of others, and that’s it. And then it becomes a discipline, but when we are paying attention, not just me as a leader downward, but also me upwards and sideways and in a sort of a triangle situation where I might appreciate someone,

Dr. Paul White [00:30:40]:

and I also include their supervisors to it. Yeah. And and I think a common example is across departments. Right? It’s like this person doesn’t report to you, but let’s let’s say it’s somebody from IT and you’re in accounting and your computer system is not working and they help get work, you know, communicate appreciation about them helping that is clearly appropriate, and it’s not that you’re getting anything from it. They’re getting it’s just them making your life better and all kinds of things, whether that’s the cafeteria setting and somebody goes an extra mile to get you the kind of food that you like or need. It’s really freeing because it’s not organizational base. It’s not according to the org chart. It’s just Hey. That and it it allows you to be creative too about looking for somebody to appreciate. Somebody that did something that helped

Ramona Shaw [00:31:33]:

things go well for the team this week. Yep. And I think that’s that mindset shift. And I’ve heard you talk about the ripple effect that this has on other people, and we know that right when we get recognized or appreciated for some things very specifically, we are then more likely to also pass that on and appreciate someone else. She’s out of out of that spirit. Yeah. And and their organizations

Dr. Paul White [00:31:55]:

in the United States that are well known that that they treat their Employees and customers, it’s a way to create customer loyalty that they know that you’re treating your employees well, and so they wanna support you rather than one of your competitors. And at that, you get that wheel flying and, you got a lot going on. Yep. Yeah. I can definitely see that in in my choices too.

Ramona Shaw [00:32:18]:

As we’re wrapping up this conversation, what is something that we haven’t talked about, but you think would have been a good question to ask?

Dr. Paul White [00:32:26]:

Wow. I just think that It it’s interesting to me that we have not yet found a work setting that these concepts don’t work. In fact, and I can send you a a copy of this. we had a article written about us by the New York Times in New York this Sunday business section about our work with a mining company. And you wouldn’t think about minors and truck drivers getting this, but they loved. They have hard hats, and they We have symbols for each language, and they got stickers to put on for that. And we work with correction facilities and construction and all that it’s not so much a a question, but I just it’s fascinating to me that the model and and the concepts work if you apply it culturally appropriate and authentically and consistently, I think anybody can do it. It’s not intellectually difficult. Right? It’s pretty simple, straightforward. And that’s actually been a strength that most people don’t have a lot of mental and emotional bandwidth to learn something new, so it’s easy to learn, easy to remember, and easy to apply. And so it works. The huge payoffs. Yes.

Ramona Shaw [00:33:34]:

Yeah. because the other basis of it is our humanists. That that’s the common factor there. Paul, thank you so much for sharing your wisdom on this podcast with us. It was really inspiring for me to hear you and also dive into your work in preparation more. And you’re obviously a name that as a leadership coach, I’ve followed and read from for a while, and it just is for me, the emphasis on employee appreciation and Learning it as it’s such a easy skill with such a huge payoff. It’s so meaningful and rewarding. And thank you for making the time to really spread that word out also through the channels of this podcast. And otherwise. Thanks, Romano, for having me. I enjoy the time. Thank you.

Reflection and Discussion Questions:

Discussion & Reflection Questions:

1. Dr. White mentions that people often leave their jobs due to a lack of feeling valued and appreciated. Have you ever experienced or witnessed this in your own career? Can you think of any actions, behaviors, or other things related to appreciation that would have made you decide to stay instead of leave?

2. In this episode, Dr. White recommends using personalized and specific appreciation rather than generic praise. Why do you think being specific when showing appreciation is more impactful? Can you think of any personal experiences of receiving specific appreciation that have had a significant impact on your motivation or job satisfaction? What are some ways that you can begin to incorporate specific appreciation into your leadership system?

3. One of the things Dr. White mentions, is that less than 50% of team members show appreciation through words. Why do you think this is the case? How can you, as a leader ensure that you are effectively appreciating team members who may not respond to verbal appreciation?

4. During our conversation we talked about appreciation being a responsibility shared by the whole team, not just leaders. How can organizations foster a culture of appreciation where everyone feels empowered to show appreciation to their colleagues? Can you think of any examples from your own workplace or teams you’ve been a part of? What improvements can be made to enhance the culture of appreciation on your team and in your organization as a whole?

5. Dr. White discusses the different languages of appreciation, such as acts of service and quality time. The other languages of appreciation in the workplace include words of affirmation, gifts, and physical touch (handshakes, fist bumps, high-fives, etc.). How do you prefer to receive appreciation, and does it align with your preferred way of showing appreciation to others? Do you know which of the 5 languages of appreciation your team members prefer to receive? What are some ways that you can show appreciation to your team this week?

6. We discussed the importance of authenticity in showing appreciation. How can leaders ensure that their expressions of appreciation are genuine and not seen as manipulative or insincere? Can you think of any examples where appreciation efforts may have come across as inauthentic in your own work experience? What are some ways that you can come across as being authentic when showing appreciation to others in your organization, not just the people on your team?



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[00:00] Introduction to Episode 173: Languages of Appreciation at Work

[02:30] The Impact of Appreciation in the Workplace

[06:00] Misconceptions about Appreciation and Employee Recognition

[11:30] Tips for New Managers on Showing Appreciation

[13:30] Implementing Appreciation at Work

[15:00] Introduction to Employee Appreciation

[17:00] The Role of Appreciation in Remote and Hybrid Work

[23:30] The Impact of Employee Appreciation

[30:00] Appreciating Managers and Peers

[34:00] Recap

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