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019: What Your Team Needs to Thrive, Part 5: Appreciation Continued

The Bill Perry Show

Release Date: 04/23/2019

What do your employees want most? In part five of this series, we uncover surprising findings on team culture and get to the heart of how you can make your employees happy.

In a study conducted by the University of Minnesota, managers and employees were asked to rank work-related needs like job security, good wages, promotion, help with personal problems, appreciation, and feeling in on things (desire for connection). Employees ranked these factors on how important they felt each issue was in the workplace. Managers ranked them according to how important they thought their employees would rank each issue.

The result? Leadership and employees had a completely different view of factors that mattered most at work. These three things mattered most to employees:

  1. Appreciation
  2. Feeling in on things, desire for connection
  3. Help with personal problems

In contrast, those three things were at the bottom of the order in responses from leadership.

In this podcast episode, I talk about why leaders often overlook these factors. As a leader, you can save time and money by better understanding employee needs. Appreciation and recognition are the least expensive yet most effective tools in your battle for employee engagement and satisfaction.

Leaders often assume employees value survival and safety-level needs, such as good wages and job security, above other factors in the workplace. This is where the disconnect comes in. Employees’ top needs often relate more to belonging, importance, and self-actualization.  

Communicating a sense of belonging begins with being interested in your team members on an individual and personal level. Leaders can avoid high employee turnover and recruitment costs by fostering a sense of belonging and comradery in their teams.

How to Meet Your Team’s Needs for Appreciation

How you can start to effectively meet your team’s needs: 

  • Know the dos and don’ts of communicating appreciation. For appreciation to have value, it has to be specific and meaningful to employees. Appreciation that is too simplified or general can actually be counterproductive.    
  • Start conversations. Know your team members on an individual and personal basis so they feel a sense of belonging.
  • Speak their language. Understand the 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace and how they can help your employees feel valued.
  • Encourage connection. Create occasional opportunities for team members to have fun and connect around moments other than work.


I want you and those alongside you on your journey to deeply enjoy the life you have been given. Feel welcome to drop me a line on social or email me if you would like to get started on creating a happier, healthier team.

As always, we’re here to help you get to a “better you, better team, better business, better life.”

Resources in this episode: Gary Chapman & Paul White’s book, The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace.