It's back in fashion: appreciation in corporate culture and employee management. However, it is not only about making employees feel good. Appreciative behaviour even towards "hard-nosed" colleagues leads to higher motivation. But this is far from the end of the chain of pleasing things, it has only just begun. If you are motivated, you are willing to do more. Perhaps to work overtime for once, where one has otherwise hidden behind duty according to the rules. To "take sick leave" less and volunteer for one's company. Thinking for yourself instead of letting others do it for you.

Now a boss might say that our employees have it good with us. They shouldn't complain, after all they get their secure salary every month. But do the employees see it the same way? It is worthwhile to take a look behind the facade of the employees to see if the well-intentioned is actually received.

The reason is quite simple: we are living in a time of demographic change. The baby boomers born between 1960 and 1970 will be available to the labour market for another 10 years, and in many sectors there is already a noticeable shortage of skilled workers. What does this have to do with appreciation? People who can choose where they work are more likely to choose an employer who shows appreciation for their people. Where the boss recognises their work, where they can feel the full meaning of praise. Where communication of appreciation is cultivated between managers, employees and business partners. Where they feel like stepping through the company gate again on Monday morning and find it a shame on Friday afternoon that work is now interrupted at the weekend. Where fluctuation is lower because people feel that you mean well for them.

No manager should think that the corporate culture - whether "stinky" or appreciative - goes unnoticed to the outside world. Many companies are rated by applicants and current employees on internet portals like And especially in the regional environment, word of mouth still counts for a lot. This means that potential employees already have a realistic picture of what to expect. If it's appealing, workers will run towards you. If it is off-putting, you will run after the applicants. The level of appreciation in the company culture is a major key to which way the pendulum swings.

About the author

Andreas Otterbach

Andreas Otterbach is an expert in excellence in human resources and corporate management. His focus is on human resources and organisational development, especially the development of an appreciative leadership culture. He also supports specialists and managers in individual coaching sessions.

As a professor of business administration and corporate management at the Stuttgart Media University, Andreas Otterbach's research focuses on the success factors of hidden champions, especially in human resources management. Many insights can be derived from this that also benefit small and medium-sized enterprises. His book "Führend durch Wertschätzung" (2017) provides a good insight into this topic.

Andreas Otterbach is a business trainer and systemic coach, both certified by the German Association for Coaching and Training (DVCT). These skills enable him to work in a very personal and targeted way with the clients he supports.

Further stages of his education include a degree in business administration and a doctorate at the University of Bamberg. He also holds a degree in banking management.

For HR Consult Group AG, Mr Otterbach accompanies the area of "Leadership through Appreciation". Oriented on the Hidden Champions research, he supports companies and their executives in implementing an appreciative corporate and leadership culture. The group of "small world market leaders" shows exceptional characteristics in these core elements, which have also led to exceptional business success. And our clients benefit from this knowledge!

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