Appreciation at Work: Challenges to Overcome

jugglingTrying to stay focused on co-workers’ different needs of appreciation can feel like a juggling act. Giving the right amount of focus to the right person in the right way at the right time can feel like there are too many balls in the air to try to catch.

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

Expressing appreciation is not a one-size-fits-all strategy. It takes intention to express value to others effectively. The following are a list of barriers that may stop you from implementing appreciation. Action steps are provided to help nudge you forward.

A. “This Takes Too Much Mental Work”: One reason why a person may be resistant to implementing “Appreciation at Work” is that it can feel like there is a lot of analysis involved. There are three easy ways to take the guess work out of assessing what each co-worker needs to feel appreciated.

buttonAction #1: Post preferences. One idea is to buy a button that coworkers can wear or post a sign in the work space. This strategy reminds people about appreciation and directs them to what style has the most impact.

Action #2: Have your team take the MBA Inventory assessment. Compile the results into one, easy to read, document for the team. (download template)

Action #3: Take baby steps. Practice expressing appreciation in small ways first. Read “Top Ten Easiest Ways to Express Appreciation to Almost Anyone” (article). An actionable first step is to greet co-workers warmly with a smile everyday.


B. “We are Not that Close”: We can spend up to eight or more hours a day with our colleagues and still not feel connected. Some relationships are strained while others are tense. Building strong relationships takes effort.

Action #1: Don’t ignore tensions. Assess what is going on. One tip from the article “How to Prevent Praising Co-Workers from Backfiring on You” suggests checking-in with a trusted colleague to get a third person perspective of the relational dynamics (article).

Action #2: Start building trust. Read the article, “Cutting Through Cynicism with Authentic Appreciation” (article).

Action #3: Watch the video, “Why Some People Have a Hard Time Trusting” to learn about why there may be limited trust in the workplace (video).


C. “We Don’t Need This”: Some attitudes in organizations may say that all this “touchy-feely” stuff is not our thing. Feeling valued is a human need. Expressing appreciation effectively allows people to feel that what they do matters.

Action #1: Test the assumption by reading the article, “Picking Up Cues Indicating That Your Colleagues Need to Feel Appreciated” (article).

Action #2: You may not realize how toxic the communication climate is with your colleagues. Take the online assessment to find out if you are in a dysfunctional workplace (quiz).

juggling_one ballExpressing appreciation at work can be challenging at first.It can feel overwhelming analyzing what the right type of appreciation is for the right person at the right time. It is a juggling act that begins with one action step. One ball at a time until you can handle more.

Reflect & Share: What is stopping you from implementing appreciation in the workplace?


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

4. Appreciation Button (buy)


1 Comment

Filed under communication, Relationship, Self-Growth

One response to “Appreciation at Work: Challenges to Overcome

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

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