Developing a Culture of Appreciation

January 7, 2021 - Pastor Bill Mitchell

Developing a Culture of Appreciation

Pastor Bill Mitchell
January 7, 2021

In this first BocaLead session of 2021, we want to focus on a very old concept. In today’s world, full of technological innovation, we often forget we would be back in the dark ages without the basics like running water, indoor plumbing, and electricity. The same goes for business. In the rush to find the next new productivity or motivational tool, we often neglect one of the oldest principles in the world: showing appreciation.

Without the ability to make our employees, customers, and everyone we work with feel appreciated, the foundation of our businesses would be on shaky ground. Today, we’re going to look at how to understand appreciation, common misconceptions, and how we go about showing appreciation in a practical way.

Misconceptions in Showing Appreciation

1. Money is the #1 motivator for all employees

The truth is, while money is important, it is not THE most important reason someone may choose to work at a particular company. We’ve often seen people in highly paid positions leaving their jobs due to a lack of job satisfaction or a sense of worth and appreciation. You may be asking: “Why would I thank someone for doing a job they’re already being paid to do?” Our Answer: encouragement goes a long way in making someone feel they have worth; that they are doing a good job. Other than being the right thing to do, making others feel appreciated can often to lead greater job satisfaction, increased motivation, and longevity in their position.

2. The primary purpose of communicating appreciation is to make your employees feel good.

While people who feel appreciated do often “feel good” about themselves and the work they’re doing, this is a by-product, and not the goal of expressing appreciation. We can’t make everyone happy, no matter how hard we try, but we here at BocaLead believe in the power of affirming others in the work they’re doing, regardless of the position they’re in. To this, you may respond: “How am I supposed to show appreciation to others when I don’t feel appreciated myself?” Our Answer: If you are in an environment that is negative or toxic, it’s up to you to break the cycle. Start focusing on others and how you can help and encourage them, and you will likely see a change for the better in your work environment. If you don’t, then it may be time to look for another place to work.

3. The primary purpose of communicating appreciation is to increase productivity.

It has been seen that sometimes, more appreciated employees can also be more productive because of that appreciation, but once again, this is a potential outcome, and not the main goal. We should be expressing appreciation for others because we want to encourage them and lift them up, not because we want to get something out of them. A question you may have is: “How can I show appreciation when business is down?” Our Answer: We at BocaLead know times are tough but showing appreciation doesn’t have to cost anything. It can be done through a passing word or a note. It’s often in times like these, when many are working harder for less, that appreciation is most needed.

4. The belief that certain career groups, occupations, or personality types are more receptive to appreciation than others.

This misconception is basically just a positive way of saying, “My employees don’t need to be thanked.” In reality, everyone needs appreciation, no matter how well or poorly paid they are, and regardless of the industry they’re in. You may be thinking: “My team doesn’t respond as much as others towards appreciation.” Our Answer: Maybe you’re just not showing them appreciation in a way that resonates with them.

Practical Ways to Demonstrate Appreciation in the Workplace

1. Personal Affirmation:
 A kind word, or a simple “thank you.”  
2. A Note of Affirmation:
Whether it’s through text, email, a card, or a letter, the written word goes a long way. With all the technology we have, handwritten notes are still the most powerful.  
3. Public Show of Appreciation:
While telling someone you appreciate them in front of their peers can be a great way to tell them, “well done,” be careful to examine your motivation. Make sure your intention is to honor; not manipulate.  
4. Time:
Whether it’s a five-minute meeting or an hour over coffee, spending time with someone is a great way to show them you appreciate them.  
5. Serving:
When you see someone who is working hard and doing a great job, validating their work by lending your own skills and abilities to serve them is another good way to demonstrate appreciation. Make sure that in doing this, it’s clear your intention is to cheer them on, and not make them feel they’re not doing enough.  
6. Gifts:
Even if it’s just a small token that can be displayed on their desk, gifts can be a good way to show your appreciation for someone. However, once again, make sure you are giving them a gift to honor them, not manipulate them.


Understanding Appreciation:


Authentic appreciation communicates respect and value for the person. When we demonstrate to each and every person in our office that we respect and value them, and are willing to do something about it, the whole attitude of the office will rise.

The Three C’s for Affirming Someone at Work

1. Their Competence:
Affirm they’ve not only done what they’re supposed to do; they’ve done it well.
2. Their Character:
Acknowledge their honesty, sincerity, dedication, helpfulness, goodness, and other positive character qualities.
3. Their Calling:
When you can clearly see someone is “made” for something, tell them. As with the others above, make sure your motivation here is to encourage, not to manipulate.                                                                                                                                                                                              

We at BocaLead know this topic is one that can bring up more questions like, “How do I know the best way to encourage or show appreciation to someone?” (Answer: observe them and get to know them. They’ll telegraph the answer to you through their words and body language). So, we’ve included a video clip below of some of the most popular questions and answers we received during this BocaLead session with Pastor Bill.


As we move forward in this new year, let’s ask ourselves how we can help, encourage, and show appreciation for one another. If we can all do this together, perhaps we can make our community a better place to live, work, and worship in 2021.


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