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Article
Publication date: 24 April 2020

Natalie Hamrick and Paul White

Although managers agree that showing appreciation to their employees is important, many do not know how to do so effectively. Languages of Appreciation have been…

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353

Abstract

Purpose

Although managers agree that showing appreciation to their employees is important, many do not know how to do so effectively. Languages of Appreciation have been identified that uniquely convey that the recipient is valued when appreciation is expressed in the “language” they prefer. Moreover, a wide range of specific actions can be effective within a given appreciation language. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to identify the top ten action items within each language of appreciation to discover the actions preferred most frequently by employees.

Design/methodology/approach

Of the over 200,000 individuals who have completed the Motivating by Appreciation Inventory, approximately 1% of respondents were randomly selected to represent each primary language (Words of Affirmation N = 1,000, Acts of Service N = 500, Quality Time N = 500 and Tangible Gifts N = 300). Respondents’ action item preferences were then tallied.

Findings

Numerous themes were identified, along with the most desired acts of appreciation within each language: Words of Affirmation: acknowledge when I have handled a difficult situation well; Acts of Service: offer to do some menial tasks that will allow me to focus on higher priorities for me; Quality Time: go to lunch together and not talk about business issues; and Tangible Gifts: gift cards (visa gift card or to favorite store/restaurant).

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study to report on the specific actions most desired by employees within their preferred appreciation languages. The results can help inform actions that are most likely to be successful in showing appreciation to colleagues in the workplace.

Details

Strategic HR Review, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1475-4398

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Article
Publication date: 8 February 2016

Paul White

– This paper aims to present the process, progress and validity of the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory and the Appreciation at Work training.

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1339

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present the process, progress and validity of the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory and the Appreciation at Work training.

Design/methodology/approach

Several methods were utilized such as surveys, pre- and post-interviews and data from the inventory results.

Findings

For the Motivating by Appreciation Inventory, the results showed that the results are consistent and stable over time. For the Appreciation at Work training, the results of surveys before and after the training showed high levels of positive change.

Originality/value

When individuals feel appreciated and valued for their contributions in the workplace, good results follow, including increased employee engagement, less staff turnover, higher customer satisfaction ratings and the organization grows in its sense of purpose. The Motivating by Appreciation Inventory and Appreciation at Work Training are unique tools that help organizations grow in employee appreciation.

Details

Strategic HR Review, vol. 15 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1475-4398

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Article
Publication date: 4 July 2018

Paul White

Research demonstrates that feeling appreciated in the workplace increases employee engagement, reduces turnover, and increases profitability. Despite the fact that people…

Abstract

Purpose

Research demonstrates that feeling appreciated in the workplace increases employee engagement, reduces turnover, and increases profitability. Despite the fact that people differ in how they feel most appreciated, no work to date has explored the impact of age differences on appreciation preferences. The purpose of this paper is to determine if Millennial workers vs their older colleagues differ in the manner they prefer to be shown appreciation.

Design/methodology/approach

From 2014 to 2018, 62,156 workers completed the Motivating by Appreciation Inventory (White, 2011) and provided age, gender, and work industry information. Each person’s primary and the least valued languages of appreciation in the workplace were identified. Four age groups were created of approximately equal numbers: ≤29-, 30-39-, 40-49-, and 50+ years old.

Findings

Words of Affirmation was the most prominent primary language of appreciation across all four age groups and most pronounced in the oldest group (50+). The ≤29-year-old group valued Quality Time more and Acts of Service less than the other three age groups. There were no age group differences in the least valued language of appreciation.

Practical implications

The results suggest that supervisors and staff members must be mindful to include opportunities for quality time interactions with Millennial workers, as well as provide words of affirmation, to show appreciation for their work.

Originality/value

This is the first study to assess age differences in preferred ways to be shown appreciation in the workplace.

Details

Human Resource Management International Digest, vol. 26 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0967-0734

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Article
Publication date: 27 September 2019

Paul White, Natalie Hamrick and Jasmine Liew

Recent reports suggest Singapore employees especially value practical assistance in resolving work-related issues. As such, this study explored whether the appreciation

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131

Abstract

Purpose

Recent reports suggest Singapore employees especially value practical assistance in resolving work-related issues. As such, this study explored whether the appreciation language Acts of Service was chosen as the Primary Language of appreciation by Singapore employees at a higher frequency than U.S. employees.

Design/methodology/approach

Nine hundred sixty-seven Singapore employees completed the Motivating By Appreciation (MBA) Inventory, which assesses individuals’ preferred ways of being shown appreciation. A sample of 921 U.S. employees was created from the general MBA Inventory population that matched the Singapore employees group on age, gender and work setting.

Findings

Acts of Service (39 per cent) was virtually equivalent with Words of Affirmation (37 per cent) as the most preferred Language of Appreciation by the Singapore employees, whereas U.S. employees preferred Words of Affirmation at a significantly higher rate (40 per cent) than Acts of Service (26 per cent).

Research limitations/implications

Further research is needed before the findings should be generalized to all East Asian cultures, and additional research is needed before conclusions should be made regarding specific cultural differences in action items preferred.

Practical implications

Workplace leaders in Singapore need to be aware that understanding the work issues and providing practical assistance is highly valued by their employees and communicates appreciation as much as verbal and written praise. This emphasis on the desire for practical assistance is a cultural difference in comparison to their U.S. counterparts. Yet, in both cultures, the leader-employee interpersonal working relationship is a key factor that enables organizations to grow and work through changes successfully.

Originality/value

This is the first study to compare preferred appreciation languages of Singapore and US employees, and report Singapore employees especially value practical assistance in resolving work-related issues.

Details

Development and Learning in Organizations: An International Journal, vol. 34 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7282

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Article
Publication date: 18 December 2018

Paul White, Natalie Hamrick, Tim Hepner and Rob Toomey

Given that assessment tools based upon the Jung/Myers personality framework and the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory are used by tens of thousands of workplaces…

Abstract

Purpose

Given that assessment tools based upon the Jung/Myers personality framework and the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory are used by tens of thousands of workplaces, questions have arisen regarding their interrelatedness. The purpose of the current study is to assess the relationship between TypeCoach personality type and Language of Appreciation.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 300 participants took both the MBA Inventory and TypeCoach Verifier. Each person’s primary Language of Appreciation and the summary scores for each of the four languages (Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Quality Time and Tangible Gifts) were calculated. Each participant’s TypeCoach data were scored as 1 of 16 traditional four-letter types (i.e. INTJ, ENFP), as well as dichotomously coded as extraversion (vs not), sensing (vs not), thinking (vs not) and judging (vs not). Logistic regression and chi-square tests were conducted to assess the relationships between primary Language of Appreciation and TypeCoach Verifier.

Findings

None of the analyses yielded a statistically significant relationship between Language of Appreciation and TypeCoach scores (all ps > 0.05).

Originality/value

This study is the first to assess the relationship between Jung/Myers personality types and languages of appreciation. It appears that personality type and preferred ways of receiving appreciation are independent, but potentially complimentary constructs. This study provides suggestions on how to best combine the tools to create an engaging work environment.

Details

Strategic HR Review, vol. 18 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1475-4398

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Article
Publication date: 5 July 2021

Paul White

Communicating appreciation to employees has been shown to be an important factor in contributing to employee engagement and making workplaces more effective. Research has…

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111

Abstract

Purpose

Communicating appreciation to employees has been shown to be an important factor in contributing to employee engagement and making workplaces more effective. Research has shown that employees differ in how they desire to be shown appreciation. The purpose of this paper is to examine how working remotely (vs onsite), the experience of the COVID-19 pandemic and employees’ age group impacted the ways employees want to be shown appreciation at work.

Design/methodology/approach

Using the five Languages of Appreciation as a framework (Chapman and White, 2019), over 200,000 individuals’ results from the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory were compared across various groups. The dependent variable: (Primary Language of Appreciation) was examined in light of three independent variables: work setting (onsite vs remote), timeframe (pre-COVID-19 vs during COVID-19) and age range of the employee.

Findings

Preferences for how to be shown appreciation were quite stable across work setting, timeframe and age range, suggesting that one’s preferred ways of being shown appreciation is largely an internal characteristic that is only mildly influenced by external factors. Minor trends were found when comparing various age groups and remote vs onsite employees.

Originality/value

Understanding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on employees’ desires for appreciation is critical for organizational leaders. With vast numbers of new remote employees in the workforce, understanding how they are similar to and vary from onsite employees is paramount for addressing the needs of all team members. This study provides valuable information on both topics, as well as differences across age groups.

Details

Strategic HR Review, vol. 20 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1475-4398

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Article
Publication date: 10 September 2020

Isabel Barbara Pfister, Nicola Jacobshagen, Wolfgang Kälin and Norbert Karl Semmer

Building on the “Stress-as-Offense-to-Self” theory, this study investigates appreciation as a predictor of job satisfaction over time, mediated by subjective success and…

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1222

Abstract

Purpose

Building on the “Stress-as-Offense-to-Self” theory, this study investigates appreciation as a predictor of job satisfaction over time, mediated by subjective success and feelings of resentment towards one's organization.

Design/methodology/approach

Analyses are based on a three-wave study with two-month time intervals, with a sample of 193 employees from six Swiss organizations.

Findings

Double mediation by subjective success and feelings of resentment was confirmed; no mediation was found in a reversed mediation model. Results highlight the importance of appreciation for employees' feelings of success and job satisfaction, but also for affect related to the organization as a whole.

Practical implications

Organizations should recognize the role of appreciation in satisfaction, affective reactions toward the organization, and information about one's standing. Appreciation can be expressed in multiple ways; it not only increases job satisfaction but also helps employees to validate their judgments about their own performance.

Originality/value

Appreciation is a promising resource for employee well-being. The present study is one of few focusing on appreciation as a resource in its own right, rather than as part of broader constructs, such as social support. Our results not only confirm the importance of appreciation but also shed light on mechanisms through which it may exert its influence. They complement a multilevel analysis based on the same data showing an association of appreciation with different indicators of well-being on the interpersonal as well as the intrapersonal level.

Details

Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. 35 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-3946

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Article
Publication date: 17 December 2021

Paul White and Gene George

Organizational leaders and human resource professionals affirm that to have (and keep) an effective workforce, understanding one’s employees is critical. Thus…

Abstract

Purpose

Organizational leaders and human resource professionals affirm that to have (and keep) an effective workforce, understanding one’s employees is critical. Thus, understanding the differences between employees of different age groups is important. Simultaneously, studies have demonstrated the significant positive impact appreciation has on the functioning of organizations. When team members feel truly valued, numerous positive benefits result, including lower staff turnover, less absenteeism, higher customer ratings and greater profitability.

Design/methodology/approach

Because individuals prefer to be shown appreciation in different ways and prior research has shown some age differences, this study examined how appreciation preferences differ across seven employee age groups. Over 190,000 individuals completed an online assessment based on the five languages of appreciation, which identifies employees’ preferred ways of receiving appreciation. The respondents were separated into seven age groups, from 19 years old and younger to 70 years old and above.

Findings

The results of an analysis of variance found that there were significant differences across groups. Although the patterns of preferences were largely the same across many groups, post hoc analyses found both the youngest and oldest age groups differed from employees in their 30s with regards to their desire for quality time. Additionally, older employees were extremely low in their desire for tangible gifts.

Originality/value

As the proportion of employees shifts from older to younger groups of employees, these results raise important implications for organizations’ approaches regarding how appreciation and other motivators should be adjusted for different groups of employees.

Details

Strategic HR Review, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1475-4398

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Article
Publication date: 21 May 2010

Dilip K. Das

An impassioned debate has been on in the academic and policy circles regarding the undervaluation of the renminbi (RMB) yuan. This issue has emerged as one of the most…

Abstract

An impassioned debate has been on in the academic and policy circles regarding the undervaluation of the renminbi (RMB) yuan. This issue has emerged as one of the most contentious and thought‐provoking in the discipline of international finance. That it is undervalued is widely acknowledged. With China's emergence as an economic superpower of the future, this debate no doubt has considerable merit and ramifications. This article looks sang froid at its undervaluation, 2005 revaluation and when should the RMB yuan be further appreciated. As the Chinese economy picks up further growth momentum, the currency appreciation is expected to accelerate. This article also examines the implications of further appreciation of the RMB yuan on the Chinese and Asian economies as well as its plausible impact over the bilateral imbalances between China and US economy.

Details

Journal of Asia Business Studies, vol. 4 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1558-7894

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Article
Publication date: 9 November 2010

Adesoji O. Adelaja, Yohannes G. Hailu, Ahadu T. Tekle and Saichon Seedang

The purpose of the study is to test how land owners respond to the appreciation of land values in the presence of speculation. This paper introduces the concept of “land…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the study is to test how land owners respond to the appreciation of land values in the presence of speculation. This paper introduces the concept of “land hoarding,” which is land owners' response to higher land prices by selling more land up to a point beyond which accelerated land price appreciation would lead to land hoarding. Specifically, this paper examines the effect of land value appreciation higher than the opportunity cost of selling the land (measured by treasury‐bill (T‐bill) rate) on land sale and land hoarding.

Design/methodology/approach

A theoretical framework is developed to understand the demand for agricultural land retention with and without speculation, the former informing land hoarding behavior. A linear regression model was introduced and estimated using ordinary least square (OLS) method. A panel data model and analysis is also introduced, and following appropriate model selection tests, a fixed effect panel data estimation method is implemented. Data from 48 states, spanning from 1950 to 2004, are utilized.

Findings

An inverse relationship is found between the rate of land value appreciation and the demand for land by farmers, suggesting that the standard direct relationship between appreciation and land supplied to development holds. However, the additional finding of an inverse relationship between the rate of land value appreciation in excess of the risk‐free rate of return and agricultural land development confirms the existence of an identifiable speculative demand component that involves land hoarding.

Practical implications

To the extent to which the findings are broadly applicable, one policy implication is that enhanced land retention can be achieved through market mechanisms. For example, the notion that reduced T‐bill rates can actually result in market triggered land preservation is an interesting policy related finding. Equally interesting is the notion that policies that can trigger increases in the rate of appreciation of farmland may also potentially result in the agricultural hoarding of land. Obviously, enhanced profitability in agriculture due to programs targeting viability, commodity price support, reduction of regulation or market expansion programs can potentially affect land retention.

Originality/value

This paper introduces the “land hoarding hypothesis.” High rates of land appreciation can be expected to signal that holding the land may yield better returns than selling it, suggesting that if rates of land appreciation become significantly high enough, farmers may begin to hoard land, not sell it, to maximize long‐term returns. This concept can be valuable to market‐based agricultural land retention programs at the urban fringe. By linking speculative behavior, land demand and existence of a hoarding behavior under some conditions, this paper adds value and originality to the literature.

Details

Agricultural Finance Review, vol. 70 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0002-1466

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