Appreciation at Work: Different Professional Settings

paycheckWhile learning about appreciation over this series, I was intrigued to read the research about different professional industries. There may be no money in the budget to say “we value you.” A paycheck isn’t enough. Leaders have to find more effective ways to affirm and support colleagues in the workplace.

In this blog we will be exploring how appreciation works in different settings. This series is based on Gary Chapman & Paul White’s book, “The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace.”

You can take an assessment to find your personalized Language of Appreciation at work. There are specialized assessments for specific industries. Expressing Appreciation is not a one size-fits-all-settings.

red cross

1. Nonprofit Organizations: This industry has to always be focused on mission-awareness and raising funds to survive. Many times where passion and purpose are high, the paycheck is considerably lower (compared with the for-profit sector).  Limited funds and high demand can lead to high burn-out rate for volunteers and staff (Nonprofit & Ministries Assessment).



2. Ministries / Churches:Working for a higher calling can be spiritually fulfilling. Many times expectations of people in this field are to sacrifice themselves financially. The vision is to serve others. Many times the people who are served are the most critical. “Ministers have a high level of burnout when they don’t feel appreciated by those they serve”  (Nonprofit & Ministries Assessment).


school house3. Schools: There are layers of pressure that come from all directions. Research has showed that the school environment is the most difficult to work in. (School Assessment).


badge4. Law, Government  & More: Enforcing rules doesn’t always make this industry popular. Encouragement is needed instead of endless judgment. “Officers need sincere expression of heartfelt approval for a job well done” (Military Assessment).

hard hat5. Manufacturing Firms: One misconception is that the paycheck is the only motivation for getting the job done. Research found that appreciation creates a sense of loyalty (Standard Assessment).


financial services6. Financial Services: This environment is high-pressure and demanding. Competition is serious. The support staff of the high-achievers needs appreciation.

dental7. Medical / Dental Offices:This is one of the most receptive industry. There is high need to appreciate the people in a care-giving role (Medical Assessment).


family business8. Businesses (& Family-Owned): A misconception is that family members “have it made” financially. Research shows that many are paid less than fair market. There complex layers of team member, child of owner, and worker that are involved. “Family members are the ones that feel least appreciated.”

The loneliest group in the workforce are business owners. Employees need to communicate gratitude because the owner wouldn’t be able to get appreciation anywhere else for all they do for the business (Standard Assessment).

I am now more aware of the pressures each industry faces. I am reminded to say thank you to my minister who feeds my soul with her Sunday lessons and to the volunteer who is helping at the dog adoption event. In the process of understanding deeper, I can be more intentional with the emotional paycheck of appreciation.

Reflect & Share: (a) What is your work setting?  (b) What would you like appreciation for? (c) What can you do to give appreciation to your colleagues?


1. Take the assessment to find out what specifically YOU need to feel appreciated. ($15 or free with purchased book). There are specialty assessments for schoolmedicalnon-profit/ministrymilitary, and long-distance.

2. Buy: The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace (book)

3. Learn more by watching videos




1 Comment

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One response to “Appreciation at Work: Different Professional Settings

  1. Pingback: Appreciation at Work: Series Review | My Journey to a Fulfilled Life

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