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Article
Publication date: 11 February 2019

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: 16 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…

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: 20 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

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: 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.

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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Content available

Abstract

Details

Strategic HR Review, vol. 16 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1475-4398

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Article
Publication date: 11 June 2018

Paul White

The proportion of remote workers in America continues to increase every year. Research has demonstrated that feeling appreciated in the workplace increases employee…

Abstract

Purpose

The proportion of remote workers in America continues to increase every year. Research has demonstrated that feeling appreciated in the workplace increases employee engagement, reduces turnover and increases profitability. The current study aims to determine if remote workers differ in the manner they prefer to be shown appreciation.

Design/methodology/approach

From 2014 to 2018, workers completed the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory (White, 2011a), opting for either the general version designed for face-to-face work settings (N = 86,393) or the version designed for long-distance work relationships (N = 2,640).

Findings

Employees in a long-distance work relationship chose quality time (“hanging out” with coworkers, working together on a project, someone taking time to listen to them) as their preferred means to be shown appreciation more frequently (35 per cent) than workers on site (25 per cent). Words of affirmation (oral or written praise) remain high for both groups, but the long-distance group did not value it as much (long-distance: 38 per cent, general: 48 per cent).

Practical implications

The results suggest that supervisors and staff members working in long-distance work relationships must be more proactive than in face-to-face relationships to incorporate meaningful interactions that speak to long-distance colleagues.

Originality/value

This is the first study to assess the differences in preferred ways to be shown appreciation in the workplace with respect to long-distance vs face-to-face work environments.

Details

Strategic HR Review, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1475-4398

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Book part
Publication date: 10 July 2014

To describe the connections between reading and writing and to discuss new ways of understanding the nuisances associated with their development beginning with…

Abstract

Purpose

To describe the connections between reading and writing and to discuss new ways of understanding the nuisances associated with their development beginning with consideration to language appreciation.

Design/methodology/approach

Theoretical advances related to the complexity of reading, thinking, and writing are discussed alongside an ongoing description of how wide reading, interventions, language study, and risk taking are foundational to language creation.

Findings

The linkages between reading and writing are inseparable. Reading and writing must be developed in unison. The best writers are avid readers and vice versa. Generally speaking, students will have preferences regarding which they enjoy partaking in more but this just gives the motivation to utilize an appreciate approach to grow, that is utilizing existing strengths of the student in either reading or writing toward improving the other.

Practical implications

A host of instructional practices can extend from these new theoretical understandings of language creation including free verse journals, usage of non-examples to jolt previous understandings, language play, feedback, diverse literature, and finalization processes related to writing development.

Details

Theoretical Models of Learning and Literacy Development
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-821-1

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Article
Publication date: 29 July 2014

Paul White

This paper aims to address the increasingly low levels of staff morale found in workplaces and the challenges managers have. Employees tend to view employee recognition…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to address the increasingly low levels of staff morale found in workplaces and the challenges managers have. Employees tend to view employee recognition programs cynically and the reasons for these reactions are explained, along with the negative results which follow. The concept of authentic appreciation is discussed, and the core components necessary for employees to feel truly valued and practical steps that can be taken are outlined.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reports lessons learned through the author’s experiences of applying the concepts to workplaces over the past several years.

Findings

Job satisfaction and employee engagement are declining in spite of the proliferation of employee recognition programs. Employees perceive much employee recognition activity as being disingenuous, leading to apathy and sarcasm. There are structural issues that need to be corrected for employee recognition to be perceived as authentic – making recognition less generic, more individualized and communicated regularly in the manner that is valued by the recipients.

Practical implications

Traditional approaches to employee recognition (awards and rewards) need to be re-evaluated. Continuing these activities may actually increase the negativity within a work environment. Learning what each individual employee values and then communicating appreciation to them in ways that are perceived as authentic is critical to having a positive result.

Originality/value

The paper challenges the current (and growing) trend of impersonal employee recognition programs and examines the factors that contribute to recognition being perceived as inauthentic. The author then provides an alternative approach and methodology that facilitates the ability to communicate authentic appreciation.

Details

Development and Learning in Organizations: An International Journal, vol. 28 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7282

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Article
Publication date: 9 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: 14 October 2019

Paul White and Natalie Hamrick

Businesses are spending billions of dollars on recognition rewards with the intent of boosting employee engagement, job satisfaction, and ultimately, their bottom line…

Abstract

Purpose

Businesses are spending billions of dollars on recognition rewards with the intent of boosting employee engagement, job satisfaction, and ultimately, their bottom line. However, employee engagement is at an all-time low. The purpose of this study was designed to take a step back to understand if there are demographic differences that influence personal preferences for tangible gifts as their preferred language of appreciation and of those who prefer to receive gifts, what types of gifts are most valued.

Design/methodology/approach

This study compared the demographics of those who selected tangible gifts as their primary (N  =  8,811), secondary (N = 14,827) or least valued (N  = 108,586) language of appreciation (motivating by appreciation inventory, White, 2011). From those with tangible gifts as their primary language of appreciation, 500 were randomly selected to code their open-ended suggestions for a preferred gift.

Findings

There are no important factors across the demographics of gender, age or work setting that influence whether individuals are more or less likely to choose tangible gifts as their primary, secondary or least valued language of appreciation. Respondents identified gift cards, additional paid time off and gifts related to desired personal experiences as their top gift choices.

Originality/value

When giving gifts to colleagues, discovering individuals’ personal preferences (favorite store, restaurant, ticketed event, food, drink and lunch option) is more likely to result in a gift that “hits the mark” in showing appreciation to the recipient.

Details

Strategic HR Review, vol. 18 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1475-4398

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