Employee Appreciation = Great Service!


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This Friday, March 1st is Employee Appreciation Day. It’s not too late to think of ways to show your appreciation to staff. This is particularly important for your customer service staff. Why? Study after study show that engaged and appreciated employees provide better service to customers. This of course is common sense. If I am happy at work and am treated well, and am shown appreciation in a way that is meaningful, I will be more like to spread the love!

I just finished reading a fantastic book on this very subject. It is titled The Five Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace. If this title sounds vaguely familiar to you, it may be because co-author Gary Chapman also wrote the best selling book: The Five Love Languages. I have to say, when I picked up this book while traveling through an airport, my expectations were not very high. I figured the author had made a chunk of change helping people with their personal lives and thought he would explore cashing in on the business market. The good news is, my expectations were far exceeded. I highly recommend the book and hope you will look it up on Amazon and buy it (for half of what I paid at the airport!). In the space below I will share a few nuggets that you may find of interest, especially as you plan for Employee Appreciation Day on Friday.

The authors note that 70% of employees in the U.S. receive NO praise or recognition in the workplace. Can you believe that? Sounds like the 70s management of ‘Do a good job because I am paying you’ is not quite dead yet!

Here are a few sequential facts that are discussed:
A. Lack of praise and recognition leads to low job satisfaction
B. Lower job satisfaction leads to higher turnover
C. Higher turnover has a negative impact on customer satisfaction.

In other words A+B+C=D or in this case an F in customer service!

On the other hand, Management By Appreciation (and the authors even have an MBA assessment) leads to decreased turnover, increased positive realtionships in an organization and increased customer satisfaction.

If all this is true, and it is only common sense that it would be, then we better make sure we are actively demonstrating appreciation at work. But be careful here because the most interesting thing about the book is discussion about how everyone seeks appreciation in different ways (thus the 5 Languages of Appreciation). One example: While one employee would love to be recognized in front of all fellow employees at a dinner, even the thought of such would be terrifying to another employee. You get the picture. It is critical to find out what method works for each individual employee or your efforts and even your dollars may be wasted.

The book notes that appreciation is different than recognition. Recognition has emphasis on an individual’s performance and appreciation focuses on the individual’s value. It is also noteworthy that where recognition often can carry a high cost, appreciation rarely does.

Recognition is important, however, so you may wish to also check out suggestions from Recognition Professionals International on how to recognize your staff. Whatever you do, make March 1st a memorable day for your employees!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Teresa Allen
Teresa Allen is a nationally recognized customer service speaker and customer service author. Allen is owner of Common Sense Solutions, a national training and consulting firm focused on bringing common sense to business and life. Allen is author of Common Sense Service: Close Encounters on the Front Lines and is co-author of The Service Path: Your Roadmap for Building Strong Customer Loyalty.


  1. Teresa, thanks for your kind words about Dr. Chapman’s and my book. I’m glad you found it helpful. We are finding that most employees are starving for positive feedback and many managers are frustrated because what they have tried didn’t seem to help. A key is giving the appreciation in the language and actions important to the recipient (which is why we developed the MBA Inventory – to identify each person’s preferred actions) AND for the message to be viewed as genuine. Thanks again for your support!


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