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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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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

Keywords

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…

1032

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

Keywords

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…

225

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

Keywords

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

155

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

Keywords

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…

446

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

Keywords

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

Keywords

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…

1093

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

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 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…

212

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

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 14 August 2017

Paul White

5058

Abstract

Details

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

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…

140

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. 21 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1475-4398

Keywords

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