The Grow Show: Business Growth Stories from the Frontlines

[Growth Guest] Dr. Paul White of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace

June 15, 2023 Scott Scully, Jeff Winters, Eric Watkins Season 2 Episode 27
[Growth Guest] Dr. Paul White of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace
The Grow Show: Business Growth Stories from the Frontlines
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The Grow Show: Business Growth Stories from the Frontlines
[Growth Guest] Dr. Paul White of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace
Jun 15, 2023 Season 2 Episode 27
Scott Scully, Jeff Winters, Eric Watkins

Dr. White has nearly 24 years in business as the Owner and President of Family Business Resources Inc and has delivered hundreds of keynote presentations. He specializes in leadership training, work-based relationships, team effectiveness, toxic workplaces, employee engagement, and employee recognition.

In this episode, we focus on one of Dr. White’s books, The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace. Co-authored by Dr. Gary Chapman, this book focuses on employee engagement, company culture, and ways to increase loyalty and longevity across your organization.

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Dr. White has nearly 24 years in business as the Owner and President of Family Business Resources Inc and has delivered hundreds of keynote presentations. He specializes in leadership training, work-based relationships, team effectiveness, toxic workplaces, employee engagement, and employee recognition.

In this episode, we focus on one of Dr. White’s books, The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace. Co-authored by Dr. Gary Chapman, this book focuses on employee engagement, company culture, and ways to increase loyalty and longevity across your organization.

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Listen on: Apple Podcasts   Spotify

Everyday AI: Your daily guide to grown with Generative AI
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Listen on: Apple Podcasts   Spotify

Thanks for listening!

Unknown:

Hi, everybody. And

Eric Watkins:

welcome, everybody. We have a very special guest here today, Dr. Paul white. How are we doing today?

Unknown:

I'm doing well. Thank you.

Eric Watkins:

Great to have you on the show. For those of you who don't know, I just want to give you a little brief introduction on Dr. Y. So, he is a psychologist, author, keynote speaker and leadership trainer. He's written and CO written four books centering around how to create and thrive in a vibrant workplace culture, through appreciation, leadership, and rising above toxicity. Dr. White has nearly 24 years in business as the owner and president of Family Business Resources Inc. and has delivered hundreds of keynote presentations. He specializes in leadership training, workplace relationships, team effectiveness, toxic workplaces, employee engagement, and employee recognition, grow nation get ready to learn, and we're going to zero in on his best seller, the five languages of appreciation in the workplace. So Dr. White, why don't we get started with you know, how did you end up writing this book? Yeah.

Unknown:

Great to be with you, Eric. Thanks for having me. So I'm a psychologist, and for a number years had a practice. And then I grew up in the context of a family and business, unfortunately, from your point of view in Lawrence, Kansas. Yeah, yeah, so I'm a

Eric Watkins:

fan. Let's not hold that against him today.

Unknown:

There we go. But so partway in my career, some friends of mine, that were business consultants kept running into family issues, because 85% of the company CEOs are family owned. And so I started working with them on family issues, largely run business succession, and transition ownership transition. And in the midst of that, I was in North Carolina working with the highway construction company, talk to the data set, you know, how's the the transition plan, go? And he says, going, Well, my son stepping up, I think it's gonna be okay. I walk across the hall and ask his some same question. He says, This is a disaster, it's never gonna work. I can't ever please my dad. And so, and I could understand those dynamics. But my wife and I were reading The Five Love Languages by Dr. Chapman, which is a great book on relationships and thought, you know, I wonder if these concepts could apply to work. So I pursued him, took me a year to get through to him past his very effective assistant, and finally pitched the idea. And we worked and developed an online assessment, which became our motivating buy appreciation inventory. And then created some training resources, and then wrote the book together. First came out in 2011. And actually doing another update and revision, and we've been fortunate to sell, I don't know, 550,000 copies in 25 languages. So

Eric Watkins:

that is incredible. Congratulations. First and foremost, on the success. There's a lot of people that go out to write a book, and very few people that sell 550,000 copies. So can we take a step back and go, you mentioned Gary Chapman and his original five love languages? Could you go into a little bit? Because I think it would help. As we go through this podcast? What are those five love languages? And how did he uncover these? And how does he feel like these are the right five to land on?

Unknown:

Yeah. So Dr. Chapman is a marriage and family therapist and did a lot of marriage and premarital counseling over the years. And over that a period of 10 years, he was taking notes about when people in their sessions, what made them feel loved, and when they didn't feel loved. And after that, he went back and reviewed his notes. And these five themes came up of words of affirmation, quality, time, acts of service, tangible gifts, and physical touch. And so put that together. It's been out about 2627 years. So 25 million copies. It's in 50 languages. So I think part of the reason we feel like you know, you got the languages right, largely is just because it just it's a unique book in that it sold more copies every year than the prior year for 25 years. So seems to hit the spot.

Eric Watkins:

That's crazy. So you were able to what was your secret? How did you get in touch with them to get him involved in this book, but you sent him his favorite?

Unknown:

No, I just kept being in his administrative assistant. And finally, he wound up coming this way to do a marriage conference and I was able to get a half hour or so. And actually I did a podcast with Franklin When Covey, and I was interested that the host there felt like more than the book, that story was a bigger lesson of just perseverance. So

Eric Watkins:

persistence, so we do sales development over here. So we can appreciate, you know how long it takes to get your foot in the door, somehow be ready to give that message when you do. So, in reading the book, love the book, and it's a great reminder of as a business, you're racking your brain all the time on what can we do to improve employee engagement. And oftentimes, you're spending a lot of resources and time and what inevitably, you know, as you talked about in the book, a little bit of appreciation can have even greater effect on that. So one of the interesting topics I really liked in the book was the difference between recognition and appreciation. And I feel like that could be a pitfall of some companies. Can you talk about that dynamic? Sure, sure. Yeah.

Unknown:

And that's a huge theme. I mean, you know, 85%, actually, new research came out 93% of all companies have some form of employee recognition. And it can be as small as an automatic email, on your birthday, or whatever. And that can be pretty complex. But you know, employee recognition, is good when it's designed, right, and implemented consistently, which are two big gifts that don't always happen. But, you know, the focus is largely on performance. I mean, you design some goals, you monitor those, and then acknowledge and, you know, reward them in some way, whether that's affirmation or, you know, tangible something. And, and, you know, it works well. And that's why, you know, like, I mean, so adopted it, the problem is, they then shifted it to try to help individuals feel valued, appreciated, and doesn't work well for that, because it wasn't designed for that. And so we tend to just describe, one difference is that we focus that we believe appreciations about the person that employees and team members are people, you know, and I think the pandemic brought this out that we have lives, that intersect with work, and what's going on outside of work in our daily lives can affect and vice versa. And so, and it's interesting, done some work with sales managers and leaders, and, you know, obviously, you all are, you know, results driven, which is, you know, key, I mean, it's about work and about making business grow. But that, you know, most recognition programs only hit the top 10 or 15% of any team. So that means you've got a big group of 50 or 60%, that are decent people that working hard to try and but they don't hear anything. And one of the things that we know is that 79% of people who leave voluntarily cite a lack of recognition. And appreciation as the reason for leaving, most people think people leave for more money, they may get more money, but the reason they're leaving, is because they don't feel like anybody really valued stuff. And so we differentiate that. And so it's, it can include performance, but it can also be beyond that, because there's some characteristics, even at work that we can value that aren't directly related to performance. For example, I like to work with cheerful people more than grumpy people, or draw or drama people, you know, and so, you know, when I'm hiring for my team, you know, I want competent people, but I'm really looking for, how are we going to get along, personally, as well. So that's one difference, at least.

Eric Watkins:

So how would you recommend? You know, I think one fear would be if someone is underperforming, that you may cloud the message, and they may think that they're doing a great job. In fact, maybe they they need to correct action in some way, shape, or form, do more training, whatever it may be, how would you recommend not making sure that you don't club that message when bound?

Unknown:

Yeah, I mean, it's a great and important issue. I mean, one is that you don't, if you want to communicate appreciation about who they are, and a lot of times, it's about character, that they're dependable. They're, you know, thorough, and so forth. But you don't want to necessarily bring that up in a performance review, if their performances is lacking. So because I mean, all of us know, if we haven't performed through and they say, you know, you're doing well here. And then these are your growth areas, what do you remember, you remember the growth areas, right? And so you sort of lose the positive effect of, you know, the appreciation and so, separate it, and if you need to, you can also say, you know, I really enjoy having you on the team, you're a lot of fun. You've got a great sense of humor. But, you know, we also got to get this done over here. And so, you know, you separate them and clarify, but it's really best to sort of try to encourage them separately from a performance issue.

Eric Watkins:

What percent of companies do you feel like do this really well?

Unknown:

Well, you know, recent Gallup research shows that employee engagements at a nine year low and disengagement as at a nine year high, with only about 15%. Having people that are really engaged. So, you know, I would say about 10 to 15%. Do well, and there's probably another 10% that are okay. And then there's a whole bunch of just don't know what they're doing

Eric Watkins:

just aren't very good. So why why do you feel like that trend? Just in general, do you feel like businesses are just getting worse and worse, as far as how they lead and manage employees? Or is it? No,

Unknown:

I'm just, I'm a Midwestern. So I'm gonna be straight? Yeah. I think it's, we've done a terrible job as a culture of helping people and young people develop appropriate expectations about work, I think we have more and more people coming in, or there that have really sort of unrealistic expectations about how wonderful your day at work is supposed to be. I mean, hopefully, every once in a while, and yeah, it should be meaningful, and you should get some, you know, recognition, but most of work is day to day, right. And if you're looking for a promotion after three months, just because you've been there, you know, I don't think that's realistic. So there's part of that. I think the other part is that in our leadership, training, business schools, all that they don't, they have not paid attention to this hardly at all. And and they focus on, you know, data, financial metrics, and all that and have lost the sense of the personhood of team members. And it's interesting. I mean, I'm now having, we've been doing this 12 years or so right now, you know, I'm working with the global leadership of PepsiCo, I'm speaking to the HR leaders of the NFL of every team. And next month, we're working with Lululemon L'Oreal. So the big guys and gals are finally starting to get it. I think I like

Eric Watkins:

getting into, well, the more people you have, the bigger the impact, right? So some of them are absolutely seeing that. So you mentioned 10 to 15%, you feel like are doing it well, in this world, you know, companies that are doing it at scale, you have to have some sort of system in place for it to be effective, right? When you go into a top performing organization who's doing this? Well, what sort of systems do you see

Unknown:

set up? Well, when I don't go into too many places, they're already doing that. But the issue is this is that. So this is how we have an impact. I typically go in and I'll speak to some level of top managers, and leadership. So they get the big picture, and understand the difference between recognition appreciation. And that appreciation isn't just about making people feel good, but it's actually about helping your organization function better. And we have all kinds of research and metrics to show that. And that is not just about words, because over 50% of the employees want appreciation way different than words. And it's not just for leaders that we have to train team members, how to show appreciation of one another. And so sort of given the big picture with the five languages look like. And then often, I mean, we've developed an online Train the Trainer program, for internal HR people or trainers to be able to go through it takes a couple hours. And then they can run a training process, usually half day or something like that with different teams. And people take our assessments, so they know how they want to be shown appreciation, he just sort of work the plan. I mean, we went into Miller Coors a few years ago, and I met with I think it was about 35 leaders from across the country. And then they took it back and we got him the resources and they sort of, you know, implemented across the organization. And so it's, it's off and often we don't stop, start top down. We start with somebody that's interested in this sort of a champion maybe a little bit and do a pilot program and see how it goes. And because we're talking about being authentic, and it's very practical and easy to implement. It usually works well and then people want they say, yeah, how come they get to do this and we're not doing it and sort of grows Byerly from there.

Eric Watkins:

And what what that what's that department doing over there? How how do you how have you seen businesses maintain the consistency because I've seen the the trend of we'll have a leadership topic we'll bring it up we'll be all fired up about it and then a year later, you know people tend to forget Yeah,

Unknown:

so interesting. We had an article and I can get this to you for free all to share but we had The New York Times did an article on us about a year ago. And it was actually about our work with a mining company, which is not like your most soft kind of setting. And part of it is you try to make it part of your culture, right. So that for these guys, they actually we have visual symbols for each language. And they had stickers printed for their hard hats. And so you have visual reminders. But also, the organization made it part of their onboarding process, that after actually, the team member had to earn the right after six months of probation, then they could go through the training and take the assessment. And so became sort of a cool thing about what your language of appreciation is. So it's, it's sort of incorporating it and implementing it within existing structures. You don't want to have more meetings, you don't need an appreciation meeting. But you, you know, you talk about that in one of your staff meetings or your leadership meetings, so that it's sort of just woven into the day to day and we can certainly structure Yeah.

Eric Watkins:

All right. So let's talk let's dig into the five languages. So what are some of the I think you mentioned words of affirmation is about 50% of people? And then 50% of people is everything else?

Unknown:

Yeah, words is actually 46%. Yeah, and they're words that are affirming, right, we're affirming the value of somebody. And so it can be spoken. It can be written a note, text, whatever. The key is, that you need to be really clear and specific. We have 95,000 people or so on our newsletter list. And we do polls, occasionally, we asked, What don't you like to hear? And one of the main things people said is, I don't want to hear good job, good job. Because what does that mean? It doesn't take any time or effort, you know. And so really, we teach a model of being very specific use person's name, you tell specifically what they've done, or what you've observed, that you value. And then third, why it's important either to you or to the organization. And the more specific you are, the more likely it is to be perceived as genuine and authentic versus just sort of slapping it out there.

Eric Watkins:

So for words, for words of affirmation, if that's your language, does it matter if it's written or verbal?

Unknown:

Yeah, it differs. And actually, one of the things that we found out when we first developed our assessment tool, we just identified a person's primary language, but like quality time, I had, you know, a manager say, Well, what does that mean? What am I supposed to do? And so we went back and retooled it, so that after we identify a person's primary language, we then give them a list of actions to choose from, and also from whom, so like, yeah, it could be just, you know, write me a note of encouragement. It could be, you know, call out, you know, something good I've done in front of the team, we've actually found that 40% or more of employees don't like to be recognized in front of a large group. And so doing that sort of big show kind of thing. You salespeople, you guys didn't like it, because, like, Bring me the camera and the TV, you know, but, you know, just spoke to a group of librarians, 500 librarians, I over 90% I always ask how many don't want to go up front, 90 over 90% of librarians. 66 60% of administrative assistants don't like to go up in front of a group. So if you guys design it for y'all, it's okay. But pulling somebody upfront, often doesn't go off.

Eric Watkins:

Well, I will say, contrary to popular belief, I'm a natural introvert and a lot of our most successful salespeople are actually natural introverts. You know, because I just think sales has changed in general. You know, it's more about helping people overcome problems, then who can give the best presentation, but correct. We we have about half of our people who love being up on stage? Yes, not let that get lost. Okay, so words of affirmation is a big one. How about quality time you hit on that a little bit?

Unknown:

Yeah, quality time is 26%. So about one about every four employees. And it actually breaks out it's changing over time. We we do research as we've gone along and published, published 20 Plus research articles. And one is to look at how it changes across age groups. And what we've recently found just last year, was that the younger the employee, the more likely if it's quality time, they want time with their colleagues and peers. You know, in the old days, there was a saying you don't leave a job you leave a manager or supervisor. It's less true than it used to be. older employees do value one on one time with their supervisor manager. We all share ideas or be listened to, but younger employees like to get together and hang out. And and so for example, Apple, the issue about choosing from whom you want it, you may want to get together and watch a sporting event with your team but not invite your supervisors. So we let you sort of indicate that because the whole goal is we want to help you be effective in communicating appreciation in a way that's meaningful to the recipient, and not just do a bunch of shotgun things and hoping it hits. Right. So. So that really can hit the target.

Eric Watkins:

Okay, so qual, why do you think that is, by the way? That the I

Unknown:

just think I think there's a cultural change that I think yeah, peer and collegial relationships at work have become more valued by people and, and sort of less focused on authoritarian structure?

Eric Watkins:

Sure. Yeah, we see that a lot with I mean, we see a lot of peer to peer leadership in our organization, we promote a lot of young leaders. And I think we probably have the opposite problem of, they probably look at them as more of a friend and than anything, but okay, so that is, that's quality time. How about tangibles? And service? is acts of service next?

Unknown:

Yeah, it's actually next. It's a 21%. So about one out of every five employees, and acts of service, it's not rescuing a low performing colleague, it's more, the easiest context is think of when you're facing a deadline, and you gotta get something done, you know, what can somebody do to help you out and whether that's sort of manager calls coming in. So you keep focused on this made me do some clerical work, or even you can delegate part of it. And part of it, it varies a lot in the work setting. And so because an act of service in the business setting might be like, hold your interruptions, and they cover that we have a version for schools. So for a teacher an act of service might be to, you know, watch their kids over lunch recess. So you can do calls or do have a medical version. So it's very, both industry and role specific. But it's, it's looking, you know, help them out. And acts of service people sometimes aren't big about words, they sort of live by, you know, Words are cheap, don't, you know, tell me, you support me, show me. And so words can actually become a bit of an irritant for them, if they just hear stuff all the time, and nobody ever helps them out when, when they're, you know, fighting by the book.

Eric Watkins:

So do you see I'm thinking of, you know, what I see in young leaders is typically, especially if they got promoted from doing the job they were doing, they want to go in and help that person, you know, use their technical skills that they have. So if I'm motivated by words of affirmation would actually have an adverse effect on me almost to the point of where I would rather do it and get affirmed and doing it versus you doing it for me?

Unknown:

Yeah, let me say it a different way. For acts of service people. One of the keys for it to work well is when you need to ask first, and most like in the Midwest, especially, you know, the first response is no, I'm good. Right? Right. You've sort of pushed pat that said, No, I got some time, I can help you. I know you're fighting this. But then you need to ask what would be most helpful to them versus what you think is? And then next is at ask how they want to get it done. It's not the time to show them a better way. Sure is your way to do it is to be encouraging, supporting. So yeah, you know, find out what would really be helpful. Do it their way. And then if you want to instruct them later, that that's a different deal.

Eric Watkins:

That's great. That's a really good point. I could see how that could backfire if you don't do it in the right way. Yeah. So tangible gifts.

Unknown:

Yeah, tangible gifts. It's an important one. And you all's role, because it's not financial rewards, you know, vacations, all that kind of stuff. It's really small things that show that you're getting to know your colleagues because remember, we talked about appreciation being person to person, it's not organizational, it's not done, follow the org chart. So somebody can show appreciation, you know, a receptionist can show appreciation to, you know, a team leader of another team that helped them out with something or maybe in a, you know, an accounting somebody and it helped them out. So it's not, you know, just confined to your department. And so it could be, you know, your favorite cup of coffee or snack, it could be a magazine about the Jayhawks winning the national championship.

Eric Watkins:

No one was.

Unknown:

Yeah, or, you know, it can even be it doesn't have to be a physical item. It could be, you know, let's say somebody's starting to coach soccer for their kids soccer team, and you find a cool website that you know, has some drills and stuff like that. And so you send them the link for that. So it's just something really about a person person. You're getting to know them what's going on in their life and be able to share about that.

Eric Watkins:

What percent of people would you say are tangible guess?

Unknown:

Most Recent researches, it's just 8%. Oh, wow. Yeah. And so that actually creates some problems or challenges. And then a lot of I mean, sales is a different kind of animal, but in a lot of rewards programs, they're spending a lot of money on stuff that people, you know, don't really care, they're gonna take it, but it's not really going to motivate them.

Eric Watkins:

Right. That's very interesting. And then the last one is physical touch. Yeah. work its way into the workplace. Yeah. So

Unknown:

obviously, that's always the most interesting discussion. And we decided, you know, talking about, do we include that in the model or not? And we did for two reasons. One is Dr. Chapman studied anthropology and really believes in it due to that we didn't want to advocate a touch of society, even in the workplace, because appropriate physical touch, in a healthy relationship, and in an appropriate way can be meaningful, especially I mean, times when, you know, whether it's a traumatic event or something, you know, and, you know, very hit on shoulder, but also it happens. And what it is, is largely spontaneous celebration, right? So it's when you, you know, high five, a fist bump, congratulatory handshake. And, you know, so it's there, it does differ regionally, and also culturally, you know, in the south, I lived in Atlanta for a while, you know, they do a lot of side hugs down there. In New York. Physical Touch looks like this. Okay, you know, I mean, that's about as close as you get. But you know, our Hispanic and Latin friends are more warm and touchy. And so, greeting with, you know, sort of a cheek kiss. And so no touch at all feels very cold and impersonal to them. So, but the rule is always the recipient is the one who determines what's appropriate. Sure, some people just, I've had people say, I don't want anybody anywhere, anytime touching me. So it was fine. Make sense. And it's less than 1% of the population as far as their primary language.

Eric Watkins:

So when you look at, you just take a step back and look at it as a whole, if you were to tell every leader, hey, if your team members feel more appreciated, they're going to be more engaged, they're going to perform better, they're going to be happier at work. I think majority would be like, that makes sense. But then, inevitably, what we talked about was 85% of companies still don't do it or don't do it well enough. Right. What do you think gets in the way of people being able to do this?

Unknown:

Well, I think there's, yeah, I think it's partly history that, you know, we've had such a strong recognition, rewards, push for last 2030 years. And it worked for a while, but and, you know, culture has changed. And I think the big obstacle is understanding that it's about the person is not just performance, and also that the communication and motor communication needs to be individualized. That is what that person wants. So you don't just send a, you know, a blast email to the team. Hey, where to go? We we met our goals for the quarter, that's fine. It's a good starting point. But that doesn't get it for somebody who stayed late in entering data so that the report got in. Right. And maybe they just would like, in actually one form of tangible gift that is a little bit side door, but it's free time. Right? I mean, it's flex time, you know, they worked hard. Maybe they get to take off early Friday afternoon, that kind of stuff. Sure. So I think understanding the need to be able to individualize it, and that that's it is scalable, you know, so we can do that.

Eric Watkins:

What about the people that say, I'm just too busy? Yeah, what's going on? I'm too caught up in work.

Unknown:

Yep. That's actually the, the number one reason that people give when I'm doing training is when I find time to do this, and I tell them, hey, you know, as a psychologist, I'm supposed to be sort of an expert in behavior change, both individually and group wise. And so that's a challenge. I gotta pay attention that Well, I can tell you that. We're not here to create another to do lists where you don't need, you know, almost always have to we got a regular one on our project. One, you don't need appreciation, what we've figured out and I think partly why things are as successful as I have been is that we teach people how to do what they're already doing, are almost doing and just tweak it a little bit. So that maybe people send notes or they stopped by a check and see if somebody's doing, but find out what each person needs. And I think the other part of it is, you've got to get past your mind that as the manager supervisor, you're supposed to do it all because you can't. Right. And also, when somebody's having a bad day, who knows first I mean, it's their their colleagues, right? It's Not their supervisor. So we want to teach and empower team members how to show appreciation and encouragement to one another.

Eric Watkins:

Yeah, I thought that was really interesting. I thought that was a great point, and that that's becoming more and more important these days as well, what are some best practices and how to get colleagues involved in really appreciating one another?

Unknown:

Well, you got, you got to involve them in the training process, you know, and help them understand what's going on. And, and that their key for working for the team. I mean, I think part of the challenge in the past has been, people have looked to managers and supervisors to provide all of this, which either there's some managers that aren't interested at all, which is fine. Or they just can't, but we want to, we want to share the responsibility, so that it helps them. So the biggest thing companies can do and leaders can do is provide both the time and the training, as well as just, you know, getting assessments for for people. A code for our basic assessment comes in the book, we have sort of more expanded deeper kinds. And I'd be glad to, I don't know if people want to just email me, Yes, Dr. Pol at Gmail, and I can get that to you. I'll send up send a sample report, and let people look at it. And, you know, I mean, like, cost 25 bucks a person, I dialed down to about 20, if you buy a bunch, and which is not a lot these days in comparison to some of the other stuff. And you don't have to think about your whole organization, actually, the best way that we found do this is to sort of take it team and a team on time and sort of walk across. Because we can help you learn some ways to, to apply it to your culture as you go.

Eric Watkins:

So anyone listening out there, if they wanted to, I was gonna wait for the end. But we're right here. If they wanted to do this, obviously go get the book, read it. You got a few other books out there as well. But if they wanted to just get this assessment, start implementing it is the best way for them to email you. Yeah,

Unknown:

I could if they email me, yes. Dr. Pol, at Gmail, I can send them a sample report. And and then send them you know, the link to where they can buy coats for the team? Because not everybody wants to read the book. Sure.

Eric Watkins:

Sure. I would read the book, though. I would I would absolutely read the book. It's a good read. It's not 1000. Yeah, it's a it's impactful and tactical. So one question I had, you know, you've implemented this with a lot of businesses. I'm an internal employee, I fill out this survey, it comes back that I really love written affirmation. And everyone knows now, to me, it almost seems less genuine now that everybody knows how I am appreciated. Have you? Yeah, you missed it all or?

Unknown:

Yeah, yeah, I think we still address it in the book, it's called the weirdness factor. And that is, you know, once you sort of go through the training, it's like, oh, if I, you know, try to communicate appreciation, they're gonna think I just did it, because we went through the training, or they're trying to brown nose manager or whatever. And, and I understand that it feels a little weird. But, you know, it's sort of like, you know, if you're in a group, and you're one to exercise, and the, you know, if you never start, it doesn't go well. So, I just tell people, it actually takes a little more courage, if you've sort of done that versus sort of underneath the surface. And I, you know, give people the benefit of doubt. You know, I mean, the issue is, you don't want to look like you're just going through the motions. And so I, in our tree, I'll say, you know, tell people, you may think I'm just doing this, because we just had this training, but I really do value or appreciate. And hopefully, though, they'll help you out with that.

Eric Watkins:

I love that. That's good. So I'm curious, what's one of the biggest turnarounds that you've ever seen? How bad like, talk about how bad the workplace was, and then what you were able, you know, with implementing this, what you were able to get it to?

Unknown:

Yeah, you know, there's actually a fair number of places well, I mean, I've got a credit union comes to mind, I got a law firm that comes to mind that, you know, part of it was just that they had huge turnover rates, they could not keep frontline employees and and we were able to both stop that and help sort of create a more creative, positive culture that people enjoy part a part of the fun of this is having fun with it in sort of incorporating into your culture. Like I said, the miners with the stickers, bad places, do sort of posters of places do t shirts, we had one group dinner saw sort of crazy, you know, and and you can have fun with it, but uh, I think what happens in I guess this, this is part of it, is when we focus on authenticity, we give those who aren't into it a pass, I just say, Hey, if you're not into this, fine, don't try to fake it, it's not gonna go well just step to the side, and say, It's not my deal. Don't be obstructive about it and say that this is stupid, you know, but just watch. And actually, what happens is, then those people often sort of get on board, some, because they see that it's not just a flavor of the month kind of thing, or just, you know, we're putting on an act. And so, but so you've got to have some flow, for people that aren't interested versus if you try to implement it top down for everybody. That undermines authenticity right there. And so it's not a great way to go.

Eric Watkins:

Sure. What one common thing that we've seen in this day and age and you see out there is anxiety in the workplace becoming more and more prevalent, you know, probably no coincidence that we're all on our smartphones every day getting pinged every five seconds, but what have you seen, you know, how this can help with that? And how that can help with employees dealing with this?

Unknown:

Yeah, that's a great question. Nobody's ever asked that before. So I think, and I appreciate you specifying anxiety versus mental health issues, I have a bias, that mental health issues is sort of just a nice way of avoiding really talking about the topic versus anxiety or depression or anger or whatever. But anxiety, I think it plays in that we give a model to be able to communicate specifics what you value about that person versus a global Hey, you know, glad you're part of the team, you're a great employee that bounces off of people's foreheads. It doesn't stick, right. But you give people a model of a tool to communicate specifics that really fit. You know, and it can be as simple as hey, Jennifer, thanks for, you know, cleaning up the conference room last night after the meeting, because that helped us be ready for our meeting that we had their first thing this morning. And it's like, it's not a it's not a huge deal. But she put forth effort. And she knows that you noticed it. Right. And so when people feel valued, at least some of their anxiety depends on what they're anxious about, can go down that they feel like, okay, you know, they see what I'm doing. And, you know, I feel seen.

Eric Watkins:

That's great point, because I feel, you know, when people are in the dark, they typically always assume the worst. And I think that's, that's a perfect example of, I believe you said, Jennifer could be worried about, you know, does anyone know that I cleaned the conference room for an hour after everybody left and right, like, do they even care about me? Do they know what I'm doing? No, that's, that's a really great point. So where would if you're a business out there, you know, we we talk to business owners who are trying to our audience is really small businesses small to medium sized businesses that are trying to get to $50 million, and they may be at 500,000. Or they may be at 5 million, and they're only going to have more and more employees as they grow. What would you say would be a good first step for people who really want to adapt? Making their employees feel appreciated?

Unknown:

Yeah. So our sort of Mother website is appreciation@work.com. That's the word at not that time, but appreciation network.com have information about the assessment tool, we have actually a variety of training and implementation tools, because of just size of organizations, you know, and we have one specifically for virtual totally virtual teams as well. And I think, you know, take a look at it, start small with whether that's just, you know, three, five, whatever, have your management team or leadership team, take a look at it, and then just go from there and just sort of work the plan doesn't have to be a major overhaul. But you know, we just find that people find the resources to be helpful and effective. And they sort of sell themselves, which is the kind of product you want to sell. Right. So, so I think just start, take a few steps as you go from there.

Eric Watkins:

Okay. Great. Well, Dr. White, this has been a pleasure. I'm a huge fan of the book, and thank you for being a part of the growth show as one of our growth guests. Any closing thoughts?

Unknown:

You know, well, first, Thanks, Eric. I appreciate that and your support. I always just say it's it's better to start somewhere with someone than to make a big plan and never it never gets going. So start somewhere with it. And I'll give you three, three potential people one is just a person they what they do, if they didn't do what they did your daily work life was be tougher, it'd be good for them. Secondly, if you've got a key team member, you don't want to lose, remember that 79% of people leave you better, you know, hone in on them, or they're on the trading block. And then third is just maybe somebody's discouraged that they're working hard, but they keep running into obstacles. And encouragement is about the present appreciation sort of more about the past, just, you know, identify them and find out a way to communicate some how you value them.

Eric Watkins:

So why don't you unpack unpack that real quick, you said encouragements about the present approach. Yeah. So

Unknown:

appreciation tends to be were focused on what they've done or demonstrated or encouragement is coming alongside in the presence and saying, hang in there, you know, I know you're hitting these but you know, do this, let's go, let's go grab some lunch together and, and not necessarily talk about work. That's what we found. A lot of people would like to go to lunch, but they don't want to talk about work. So do that.

Eric Watkins:

That's great. And then how do you do you use these five languages for encouragement as well? Or is that sort of?

Unknown:

Yeah, same, the same actions can can go both ways.

Eric Watkins:

That's awesome. Well, thank you, Dr. Y. I appreciate it. Not bad for a Kansas fan. Bad interview. I'll take that. Okay. All right. Well, I appreciate your time today. Have a great day.

Unknown:

The gross show was sponsored by creative sweets big agency flavor bite size price.

(Cont.) [Growth Guest] Dr. Paul White of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace
(Cont.) [Growth Guest] Dr. Paul White of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace