Episode 172: Impact of Appreciation at Work with Dr. Paul White


In this episode…

Have you wished for more appreciation at work, or struggled to convey heartfelt gratitude to your colleagues or employees? Understanding the correct way to express appreciation can transform workplace relationships and drive positive organizational change. How can you demonstrate personalized appreciation to your team?

Leadership facilitator Dr. Paul White has reimagined the five love languages for the workplace. Languages like words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service, gifts, and even physical touch contain specific actions that leaders must personalize and refine for the workplace setting and team members’ preferences. Identifying your and your employees’ appreciation languages allows you to recognize various forms of acknowledgment, create a more inclusive environment, and encourage a culture of open communication, respect, and appreciation.

In today’s episode of The People Strategy Podcast, Traci Austin speaks with Dr. Paul White, the author of The Five Languages of Appreciation, about how displaying individualized appreciation at work can elevate organizational cultures. He shares how to foster a value-centered workplace, the juxtaposition between personality tests and appreciation languages, and a case study of the five appreciation languages.

Resources Mentioned in this episode:

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

[1:29] How Dr. Paul White’s personal experience inspired The Five Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace

[3:37] The common misconceptions of appreciation in the workplace and how it differs from employee recognition

[7:53] An in-depth exploration of the five appreciation languages and their application at work

[18:50] How to demonstrate appreciation to your team

[26:42] A practical illustration of the five languages of appreciation in a family-owned business

[30:07] The importance of understanding your team members’ appreciation language

Quotable Moments:

  • “Appreciation at work is about people; recognition is about performance.”
  • “Words are cheap. Don’t tell me you support me, show me.”
  • “Appreciation is like the oil in your organization; it helps the team work together.”
  • “Employees don’t leave a job, they leave a manager.”
  • “When people feel valued, they’re less chippy.”
Appreciation is about people; recognition is about performance.- Traci Austin Click To Tweet

Action Steps:

  1. Initiate authentic appreciation gestures specific to each team member’s language of appreciation: By targeting the unique preferences of each individual, you contribute to a culture where employees feel valued, which can significantly boost morale and retention.
  2. Introduce the five languages of appreciation into onboarding and intervener training to enhance team dynamics from the start: This action can set a precedent of mutual recognition and value, leading to a strong foundation for team cohesion.
  3. Prioritize regular, personalized feedback over generic expressions of gratitude: Specific and relevant feedback reinforces positive behaviors and shows employees that their contributions are noticed and valued.
  4. Leverage personality assessments as supplementary tools to gain insight into how to appreciate individuals for their contributions: Understanding employees’ personality traits can guide you in tailoring your appreciation methods more effectively.
  5. Encourage a culture of peer-to-peer appreciation, not just top-down acknowledgments: This decentralized approach to appreciation can foster a more inclusive and supportive work atmosphere, where everyone feels empowered to contribute to a positive environment.

Dr. Paul White


Dr. Paul White is a psychologist, speaker, consultant, and co-author of The Five Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace. For over 20 years, he has assisted organizations in creating positive work environments and communicating authentic appreciation. Dr. White has spoken about improving work-based relationships in North America, Europe, Central Asia, the Caribbean, China, and South America.



Sponsor for this episode…

This episode is brought to you by Elevated Talent Consulting, a leading provider of comprehensive talent management solutions.

Whether you’re looking to optimize your recruitment process, enhance employee engagement, or develop effective leadership strategies, Elevated Talent Consulting has the expertise to level up your team.

Discover how they can transform your workforce at elevatedtalentconsulting.com.