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What's your appreciation language?

tuesday toolbox Feb 04, 2020

Business ownership is an amazing journey. Being the boss, while exciting and dream-worthy, comes with the responsibilities of not only keep your customers pleased and eager to do business WITH you, but also ensuring that your employees are satisfied and eager to work FOR you. Even if you don't have direct employees, you probably have contractors or partners that you want to keep satisfied and eager to help your company grow.

So how do you do it? How do you ensure that those people that are the foundation of your business feel appreciated and in turn desire your success and will go to great lengths to ensure it?

The book, "The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace," (Gary Champman & Paul White) outlines five key areas or "languages" that will speak to your workforce and ensure they feel the appreciation you have for what they do for you and your company.

 The 5 Languages are:

  1. Words of Affirmation
  2. Quality Time
  3. Acts of Service
  4. Tangible Gifts
  5. Physical Touch

An important thing to keep in mind is that appreciation is something that your workforce or support team may want to share with others to help build your internal community. If that is the situation, then you will want to offer appreciation in a format that will foster the community. In other words, show appreciation that is meaningful to the individual. tFor some appreciation is best when it’s public—like recognition at a staff meeting. For others, appreciation is best expressed in a less public format. You have to get to know your workforce and understand how they want to be appreciated, which is part of learning their "appreciation language".

Let's start with "Words of Affirmation". This may seem like one of the easiest ways to start, as the authors state, "each of us wants to know that what we are doing matters." 

Paul White offers some great tips to help you use words of affirmation with your workforce (to visit the full article, click here ):

  1. Be personalized and individualized
  2. The more specific the better
  3. Tell why what they did is important
  4. Remember that words are not equally important to everyone

The research is very clear about the fact that most employees will leave a job or a company because they felt unappreciated.  As the boss and servant leader, it is your duty to make sure that you regularly show appreciation to your team.  Below are some information and tools that are simple and effective.  We’d love to hear from you:  what was the best way you showed your employees/your team how you appreciate them?

For more information and tools:

9 Phrases Bosses Should say often - click here

Take the Motivation by Appreciation Inventory - click here

Create your own Culture of Appreciation - click here

Want to join in the conversation? Come over to the community for WBEs and connect with other certified women-owned companies. 


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