Cultivating a ‘Culture of Appreciation’ in Your Corporate Family 

Cultivating a ‘Culture of Appreciation’ in Your Corporate Family 

Appreciation is a wonderful thing: it makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well. 


It’s not often we include leadership lessons in our blogs which are gleaned from preschoolers and their parents, but in this case, the four-year-old’s reply to a compliment given by her mother seemed extremely apropos. The scene went something like this: 

Mom:  “Harper, you have been so kind to your brother today.  You’re very helpful to me.” 

Harper:  “I know that.” 

Talk about confidence in one’s capabilities! Yet an essential reason for Harper’s self-assurance is that her parents have been intentionally cultivating a ‘Culture of Appreciation’ in their home.  They are also very specific when they tell their children what they appreciate about them (in this case, kindness and helpfulness)—and they do so on a regular, consistent basis. 

This same culture is what LEADon® encourages every leader to cultivate in their Corporate Family® too.  In other words, everyone on your team should know they are valued and appreciated, and this should be done regularly and consistently at every level of your organization.  In The LEADing Edge: 9 Strategies for Improving Internal and Intentional Leadership we contend that “learning to develop a culture of complimenting and appreciation is fundamental for successful leadership” (Wilke & Wilke, 2019, p. 134).  Those leaders who endeavor to develop and maintain an appreciative culture tend to inspire positive, productive team members who directly impact their company’s profitability. 

While productivity is vital for viability in any environment, it is crucial in today’s globally competitive marketplace.  So is finding long-term solutions to employee retention—particularly for the newest additions to the workforce, Gen Z (see our recent blog “Gen Zers at Work”). Fortunately, cultivating a Culture of Appreciation in your Corporate Family can readily assist with retention of team members because this “is an effective way to develop emotional connections between your employees and your company, which in return can motivate them to stay loyal and dedicated to the company culture” (read more details about cultivating an environment where people feel valued at 

At this point you may be wondering what specific steps you and your leadership team should take to nurture a Culture of Appreciation in your organization.  Here ae three R’s LEADon recommends you consider: 

  • Rapport 
  • Recognition  
  • Reward 

Rapport is all about connecting to others in your spheres of influence.  As Mike Robbin 

explains in his 2019 Harvard Business Review post, “One of the best things you can do for the people you work with is also one of the simplest: Put down your phone, turn away from your computer, and genuinely listen to them” (for more of Robbin’s recommendations, look for “Why Employees Need Both Recognition and Appreciation” at ). The bottom line? Take time to connect with individuals in your personal and professional life since this singular action can speak volumes about how much you truly value them. 

Recognizing others for their accomplishments or exemplary character is essential for an exceptional Culture of Appreciation. Such recognition can be private—like a word of thanks or email directly from someone on the leadership team.  Public praise for individuals is also important, since, as Voltaire so eloquently stated in the quote above, this helps make “what is excellent in others belong to us as well.”  No matter how you choose to acknowledge outstanding team members, be sure that all praise is concrete, emphasizing “a particular character quality or competency your organization wants to instill” (The LEADing Edge, p. 136). 

Finally, who doesn’t like being rewarded for their efforts—whether due to a particular achievement or character attribute?  And while every organization varies in how and how often they reward valued employees, we’d like to remind you that all rewards must be regular and consistent.  In other words, be sure your reward system is implemented as part of a corporate routine with compensations being distributed fairly to recipients.  You don’t need to break the bank to show your level of appreciation either:  a gift card to a local coffee store or restaurant is a treat, particularly if you add a personal note of thanks (we recommend taking LEADon’s online course LEADing with a Culture of Appreciation® for more specifics).  

“I know that” is the response LEADon would hope to hear when we told each member of your personal and professional family that they were highly appreciated by you.  While developing this kind of happy, healthy team takes time and effort, the results for cultivating a Culture of Appreciation may indeed be priceless.   If LEADon can help you in this valuable endeavor, please connect with us at 858.592.0700 or