The 5 languages of appreciation

Dr. Gary Chapman is the author of the bestselling book “The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate” (see my previous article The Five Love Languages). Recently he co-authored with Dr. Paul White a new book The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace: Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People.

The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace applies the 5 love language concept to the workplace.

The 5 Languages of Appreciation are:

  • Words of affirmation – use words to communicate a positive message to another person: praise for accomplishments, affirmation for positive character and personality traits. It can be done in private one-on-one, or publicly in front of others. It can be verbal or written.
  • Quality time – give individual time and undivided attention to another person: quality conversation, shared experiences, small group dialogue, working closely together, having fun together.
  • Acts of service – do something for another person. “Don’t tell me you care, show me.”
  • Tangible gifts – give the right gift to a person who truly appreciates it.
  • Physical touch – communicates a variety of positive messages
    in relationships – a sense of trust, closeness, connectedness and caring: handshake, high five, pat on the back, hug.

People in the workplace need to feel appreciated in order to enjoy their job, do their best work, and continue working over the long haul.

As a supervisor or manager, you need to communicate appreciation, encouragement and support for your employees whenever possible. If you want your employees to feel appreciated and valued, you must speak their primary appreciation language and encourage them in ways that are meaningful to them.

The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace helps you discover your and your coworkers’ primary appreciation language – the language that speaks most deeply to you emotionally, and your least valued language of appreciation – your potential blind spot.

When supervisors and managers can effectively communicate appreciation and encouragement to their employees, the following results can happen:

  • higher levels of job satisfaction
  • decreased cases of burnout
  • reductions in employee turnover
  • healthier relationships between managers and employees
  • improved attendance, performance and productivity
  • greater customer satisfaction
  • a more positive corporate culture and work environment.