Rick Maurer, author of Beyond the Wall of Resistance and other books on leadership and change, developed the Energy Bar™ as a free tool to help people in organizations get their ideas across in ways that get people committed and engaged. RickRick has advised leaders from many countries on ways to apply this new tool successfully.


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Do You Know the Five Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace?

Would it surprise you to learn that most people don’t quit their jobs because they found a higher paying job? 

While many managers believe people primarily leave for more money, it is actually not the case. Money can be part of the reason, but it is rarely the primary factor.

I had the pleasure of talking with Dr. Paul White, who is a speaker, international business consultant and licensed psychologist, as well as a bestselling author including his book, Five Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace. Paul and I met at the CPH Change Conference in Denmark this spring and I had the pleasure of seeing him present on workplace employee appreciation.

In his book, Paul stresses the importance of authentic appreciation which can easily be lost when companies begin designing ‘Workplace Employee Appreciation Policies and Procedures.’ In a formal process, authenticity can disappear.

Paul shared some very interesting statics about employee appreciation. In one study he found of people who left a position voluntarily, 79 percent cited not feeling appreciated as the number one reason they left. In another recent study conducted by the Department of Labor, 65 percent of professionals surveyed said they have received no recognition in the workplace in the past 12 months. Another study showed a disconnect between management and employees about recognition because 51 percent of managers surveyed felt they were doing a good job of recognizing employees, but only 17 percent of the employees who work for them agreed.

In our conversation, Paul said that many leaders sometimes think about appreciation as a “soft” thing to do. But what managers should realize is that not showing appropriate appreciation of employees directly affects the bottom line with how an organization functions. An employee who does not feel appreciated will likely become discouraged and disengaged. They will lose energy. And you may begin to see an increase in conflict over small things, higher levels absenteeism, and employees not following policies and procedures. The greatest risk to a company when employees don’t feel appreciated or aren’t recognized for their good work is that the employee will leave.

What was very interesting to learn is that not only do we need to recognize employees in an authentic way, we also need to approach it in a way that is meaningful to the person. Paul shared that people desire to be shown appreciation in different ways and leaders need to match the employee with their specific language of appreciation - which really highlights how ineffective formal appreciation policies can be.

Take a listen to the podcast and see if you recognize the five languages of appreciation.


This post was published first on LinkedIn.