Speak the Same Language
Recent research by Dr. Paul White, as discussed in his book The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace, shows there are effective ways to communicate appreciation and encouragement to your team members that can make a measurable difference. Dr. White suggests the following for communicating meaningful and impactful appreciation:
• “Make sure your communication is personal and fitted to the individual rather than utilizing general communication. The key component to effective appreciation and encouragement is the sense by the recipient that you mean what you say and that you took time to think about them personally.” Dr. White’s research found that a global “Thanks for a good job done” email to a wide range of people across the organization actually generated a negative response from most team members, given the impersonal nature and perceived minimal effort completed.
• “‘Speak the language’ of the person whom you are trying to encourage.” Dr. White indicates each of us has a primary and secondary language of appreciation, such as:
- Quality Time: One-on-one quality time with supervisor.
- Words of Affirmation: Words of recognition or affirmation from a supervisor.
- Acts of Service: Help from others on a project.
- Tangible Gifts: Receipt of a gift card to area shopping, events or restaurants.
Another appreciation avenue companies are exploring is coaching and development for high performers and emerging leaders. This strategy speaks several of the appreciation languages naturally, including quality time, words of affirmation and also acts of service