The Appreciation Formula


When I was in my early 20s, I left a job solely because I felt undervalued and under-appreciated. When I look back on that experience, I realize that may not have been true. I probably needed a little maturity to understand what was really going on. Regardless, I left a field in which I received a degree, a good job with several years of experience in my pocket, and an opportunity to grow within that practice.

In fact, most people leave a job because of feeling under-appreciated by coworkers or leadership. However, we can actually retain more staff if everyone, bosses and coworkers alike, learned to be more appreciative of the people around them. What’s the proper way to do this? The Appreciation Formula.

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There’s a formula for that?

Think of it like frosting on a cake. You want it evenly spread, not too thick in any one spot. The formula is very simple. It’s the person’s name, followed by what you’re praising them for, and ending with why it makes a difference. Imagine hearing someone say, “Hey everybody, good job today.” That’s just white noise, a blanket praise.

Now listen to the difference here: Look the person in the eye, use her first name, tell her why you’re thanking her, and include why it makes a difference. It sounds like this, “Betty, the way you handled that angry patient today was fantastic. By the time we did her exam, she had calmed down, and things went much, much better. Thank you.”

Hear the difference? Though it sounds a little odd and rehearsed, in real life with the sincerity of the situation, it is a huge improvement over “Thanks a lot” or “Great job today.” Simple, right?

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Get out there and praise someone today. It’s the gasoline between paychecks and one of the easiest staff development tools that I offer.

An entrepreneur, keynote speaker and author, Laurie Guest, CSP is a “go-to-resource” for customer service excellence. For more than two decades, she has shared her practical point of view on customer service and staff development with audiences and companies across the country, blending real-life examples and proven action steps for improvement. Her latest book, The 10¢ Decision: How Small Change Pays of Big, presents her most sought-after and impactful strategies to find and retain the best staff and highest-quality customers while delivering exceptional guest experiences.

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