Dr. Paul White

World-Class Psychologist, Speaker, Trainer & Author

Dr. Paul White is a psychologist, speaker, and leadership trainer who “makes work relationships work”. He has written articles for and been interviewed by Bloomberg’s Business Week, CNN/Fortune.com, Entrepreneur.com, Fast Company, FoxBusiness.com, Huffington Post LIVE, U.S. News and World Report, and Yahoo! Finance.

As a speaker and trainer, Dr. White has taught around the world, including North America, Europe, South America, Asia, and the Caribbean. His expertise has been requested by Microsoft, NASA, L’Oréal, Starbucks, Boeing, ExxonMobil, DIRECTV, and numerous other multi-national organizations.

Dr. White is the coauthor of the best-selling, The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace, which has sold over 375,000 copies (written with Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the #1 NY Times bestseller, The 5 Love Languages) and has been translated into 17 languages. Based on their extensive research and expertise, Dr. White and Dr. Chapman have developed practical ways for leaders and employees to communicate authentic appreciation that leads to increased employee engagement, lower staff turnover, more positive work environments, and higher profitability.

Their Appreciation at Work training resources have been used by numerous corporations, medical facilities, schools, non-profit organizations, and government agencies, over 700 colleges and universities, and in over 60 countries. Additionally, their online assessment, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory, has been taken by over 185,000 employees worldwide and is available in eight languages.

In addition to his work on helping leaders build healthy workplace cultures, Dr. White has researched, written a book (Rising Above a Toxic Workplace), and developed online training materials for dealing with toxic workplaces, dysfunctional employees and toxic leaders. Cited as a thought-leader in the area of developing healthy workplace relationships, his speaking style has been described as “world-class expertise providing practical, easily-implemented information with the right touch of humor.”

His resources (online courses, presentations and webinars) are routinely approved by ICF, SHRM and HRCI for professional credit.

Key Notes:

Supporting and Encouraging Remote Employees through Authentic Appreciation

The world of work has changed dramatically in the past year, with tens of millions of individuals working remotely and often from home. Most leaders are familiar with employee recognition programs but do not understand the difference between recognition and authentic appreciation.

Dr. Paul White, a renowned psychologist, author, speaker, business coach, and consultant who makes work relationships work. A highly sought-after keynote speaker and leadership trainer, Dr. White’s been interviewed by Bloomberg’s Business Week, CNN/Fortune.com, Entrepreneur.com, Fast Company, FoxBusiness.com, Huffington Post LIVE, U.S. News, and World Report, and Yahoo! Finance. Based on his extensive research and expertise with Dr. Chapman, they have developed a unique way for organizations to motivate employees, leading to increased job satisfaction, higher employee performance, and enhanced levels of trust. In this episode, Dr. Paul shared:

  1. a) Common misconceptions leaders often hold about appreciation 
  2. b) How both leaders and colleagues can encourage one another in ways meaningful to each person
  3. c) Practical benefits to the organization when team members feel truly valued and appreciated
  4. d) Key components to supporting and encouraging remote employees.

Here are the key takeaways from his presentation:

  • Employee Recognition is not the same as Authentic Appreciation.
  • About 90% of the organizations in the U.S. have Employee Recognition Programs. Some are smaller scale, and some are elaborate. But the issue is that most of the programs don’t work.
  • Most Employee Recognition programs don’t work. They don’t make individuals feel appreciated.These programs were designed in the ’60s and ’70s to improve performance and help people reach goals.
  • People do and can get recognized that doesn’t make them necessarily feel valued individually.
  • Almost 65% of North Americans felt they didn’t receive any recognition at their workplace last year. This can also mean that even though organizations delivered or appreciated it, employees didn’t receive it.
  • Recognition is about performance. Recognition programs are designed to recognize employees when they achieve a goal or achieve accomplishments.
  • It’s good I’m recognized for my performance, but I hope I have value beyond that.
  • We believe that appreciation is about the person. We are humans, and we have several personality characteristics that may not be directly related to productivity. We want to help fill in the gaps between Recognition for Performance that actually hits only 14 to 15% of the top of all employees.
  • Most middle-level employees don’t hear anything because they’re not the top performers, but they add value.

Common misconceptions about appreciation:

  1. Relationship between appreciation and recognition
  2. The goal of appreciation
  3. Appreciation is the sole responsibility of managers and supervisors.

Practical benefits to the organization:

  • Most leaders assume that the goal of Appreciation is to make people feel good or happy, which is not the primary goal.
  • The goal of appreciation is to create a healthy, well-functioning organization. It’s like having oil in a machine. Without oil, there’s no friction among machine parts, and they don’t move. It creates heat and spark. Appreciation is the oil of the organization.
  • When people feel appreciated, there’s a more positive cooperative atmosphere.
  • Team members work together well. Tasks get done. Goals are reached. Individuals are motivated to grow and do their best. And performances are addressed, and challenges are overcome.
  • Clients and strategic partners have positive experiences with you.

Practical benefits to the organization when staff valued and appreciated:

  • Improved relationships and employee engagement 
  • Decreased staff turnover
  • Diminishes internal tension and conflict
  • Increases productivity and profitability
  • When people feel valued, they produce more. Improves customer satisfaction rate.
  • Managers/leaders enjoy their work more.

How both leaders and colleagues can encourage one another in ways meaningful to each person:

  • Most managers think that employees leave for more money. In reality, only 12% of employees say they go for money. It’s the lack of appreciation, the emotional driver, that makes that happen.
  • What motivates people and makes them feel valued and appreciated are two vastly different issues.
  • Almost 51% of managers believe that they do a good job of recognizing employees’ work well done. On the contrary, only 17% of employees do a good job of recognizing employees.
  • This gap shows that managers are doing things, but it’s not really hitting the mark for the people they’re trying to touch.
  • Feeling Appreciated is the #1 factor that contributes to job satisfaction.

If appreciation is critical, why isn’t it communicated more?

  • Top reasons: 
    1. Belief: Employee Recognition is sufficient.
    2. Don’t know how to.
    3. Seems fake, “put on.”
    4. People don’t think it’s that important.
    5. Busyness
  • Not everyone feels appreciated in the same way.
  • Leaders believe that for most team members, words are the primary way they feel appreciated. However, in reality, over 50% of the team members, words are not the main way they feel valued.

5 Languages of Appreciation at Work:

  • Words of Affirmation
  • Quality Time – Individual time often with supervisors, getting input and feedback, maybe instructions. In the younger generation, it’s more about spending time together.
  • Act of Service – small acts that make employees feel valued. 
  • Tangible Gifts – It’s not about compensation, bonuses, or raises. Tangible gifts are small things that show you’re getting to know your colleagues. It can be snacks, coffee, gift cards, or anything.
  • Physical Touch – High five, fist bumps, handshakes.

Common Challenges

  1. Managers and supervisors feeling overwhelmed.
  • Appreciation is the sole responsibility of managers and supervisors.
  • People actually want to know they are valued by their supervisors and colleagues.
  1. Busyness
  2. How to stay connected with and encourage remote team members.
  • Appreciation and encouragement are pretty much the same in action. There’s one primary difference, though. Appreciation mainly focuses on the past. While encouragement focuses on the present and future.

Key components to supporting and encouraging remote employees:

  • Proactive: In a remote setting, you have to be more proactive. 
  • Peers: People want to be connected with their peers. 
  • Personal: Interactions that are not work-related.

Implications for coaches

  • Help your clients grow in soft skills to lead effectively.
  • Use group presentations & training for leaders as an introduction to your competency and value-added skills.
  • Utilize an inexpensive, practical assessment that will assist your clients in understanding themselves and others better.
  • Provide options for training that can be done remotely.

To receive this presentation and a sample inventory report by Dr. Paul White, you can email him at yesdrpaul@gmail.com with the subject “CTA.”

The way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and engagement. – Charles Schwab

You can purchase the copy of Dr. Paul’s The 5 Languages of Appreciation at Work Book from here:


We hope you found our webinar with Dr. Paul insightful and enlightening.

Did you miss our episode with Dr. Paul White? Watch the entire video here to get detailed information on tools and framework that Dr. Paul White shared for coaches, leaders and managers.

A big shout out to Dr. Paul White for discussing and sharing insights on such a fundamental topic! And talk about the importance of appreciation at the workplace.

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