The Five Languages of Appreciation

May 16, 2023

Do you ever feel like your hard work at your job goes unnoticed? You're not alone. Studies show that 80% of US employees don't feel appreciated enough. This is a serious issue, as appreciation is a basic human need. When we don't receive enough of it, we suffer and seek it elsewhere. However, feeling appreciated can lead to higher commitment, motivation, and performance levels. 

Companies should invest in making their employees feel appreciated, as it's critical for increasing productivity and employee engagement. This newsletter will explore the five languages of appreciation to help employers understand how they can make their employees feel valued.

The Five Languages of Appreciation

We'll describe the five languages and explain how employers can engage with this concept to increase employee happiness, engagement, retention, and productivity.

The idea of the "five languages of appreciation" comes from the book "The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace" by Gary Chapman and Paul White. This book explains that people have different ways of feeling appreciated, and it's essential to understand these languages to communicate effectively. There are five main languages of appreciation, and it's helpful to know them to figure out what works best for each employee in your company.

Words of affirmation and appreciation

Expressing words of affirmation is the most preferred way of appreciation among employees. Acknowledging and appreciating something they said or did or their positive character traits can have a lasting impact. It can be communicated privately or publicly, and written words of affirmation are effective for better memory retention. 

Quality Time and Activities

Showing appreciation can involve spending quality time with colleagues, such as one-on-one conversations, team lunches, or after-work activities. However, it's important to respect individual preferences and not pressure anyone into after-work events.

Acts of Service and Help

Offering or receiving help can make 22% of employees feel appreciated. Work according to their preferences and only offer help if you can complete the task. Communication is key.

Meaningful and Tangible Gifts

When giving gifts to the 6% who prefer tangible items, choose something meaningful and aligned with their interests. It doesn't have to be expensive; sentimental gifts work well. Consider non-tangible gifts, like time off to spend with loved ones. Choose a gift that means the most to the recipient.

(Appropriate) Physical Touch

Physical touch can convey appreciation, trust, and caring in the workplace. Safe examples include high-fives, fist bumps, pats on the back or shoulder, handshakes, and hugs. Respect those uncomfortable with physical touch, and don't take it personally if they communicate their discomfort.

As a reminder, it's important to keep in mind that individuals desire a sense of belonging and appreciation. When people feel engaged, they tend to be more productive. Furthermore, a thriving culture is one that promotes positivity🫶✨

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