December 7


Lessons from Leaders – Dr. Paul White

Katie Rudy

December 7, 2021

appreciation, employee appreciation, employee experience, employee recognition, Great Migration, Great Resignation, leadership, love languages

In this “Great Resignation” movement, employees are seeking roles where they feel valued and appreciated.  This week, we sat down with Dr. Paul White to learn more effective tactics for showing employees appreciation.  Dr. White co-wrote “The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace” with Dr. Gary Coleman, who authored the relationship book, “The 5 Love Languages”.  

The 5 Languages are the same – Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Acts of Service, Tangible Gifts and Physical Touch – but the application is different. What’s important is understanding that not everyone wants to be recognized or shown appreciation in the same way.  Do you have teammates that don’t like public attention?  Maybe there are minimalists on your team that don’t want “tokens of appreciation.”

To show genuine appreciation for your staff, here are three steps to get started:

Appreciate the Person, Not Just Their Work – (3:23)

Typically, when organizations implement recognition programs they are centered around performance – meeting or exceeding sales goals, going above and beyond on a specific project, etc.  However, recognition and appreciation are not the same thing.  Employees “want to be valued as a person, not just for what they get done.”  While completing the work is important, demonstrating appreciation for your staff starts with letting them know that who they are and what they bring to your team matters more.

Learn Your Team’s Desired Language of Appreciation – (9:09)

Showing someone you appreciate them in a way that’s personal to them isn’t rocket science and it doesn’t have to be expensive either.  It just takes that extra step to let people know you are thinking of them.  It’s not just about saying “good job,” but letting them know specifically what they did that was great and why it was important to the team, the company or the client.  If you are ordering food, know what their go-to donut or Chick-fil-A order is and get it without even asking.  

Encourage Your Staff to Show Appreciation to Each Other – (26:03)

Gestures of appreciation don’t have to just emanate from leaders.  People largely don’t just work for managers.  Most of the time they are part of a team and they want to know that they are valued on the team too.  It starts from the top down, but it’s just as important for teammates to communicate that their daily life would be tougher without each other serving the roles they do.  

It just takes one handwritten note or one intentional thank you to get started. To learn more about appreciation, check out Dr. Paul White’s book.  You can also email him at with the subject “Flip the Switch” to receive a free copy of his expanded Motivating By Appreciation report ($25 value) and a discount code to purchase the Appreciation evaluation.

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