The 5 Languages of Appreciation In The Workplace

When I was first introduced to the 5 Love Languages, I was a bit skeptical. My initial instinct was, “Isn’t being a good provider enough to strengthen the relationship between myself and my wife?” I was brought up to think that actions speak louder than words, and the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as they would do unto you.” To say that reading Dr. Chapman’s book was enlightening to me would be  a vast understatement.

But the epiphanies didn’t stop there. I was introduced to the 5 Languages of Appreciation In The Workplace, written by Dr. Paul White and Dr. Chapman, when we had the honor of interviewing Dr Chapman on the Multifamily Zone podcast.

What a timely book it has been for our company. As most business owners should realize, people are the most important asset in any business.  At Jake and Gino, we stress three keys to scaling any business:

  1. People
  2. Systems
  3. Culture

As you can see, we put people at the top of the list. The truly great companies, such as Chick Fil a, and Publix Supermarkets, empower their employees, treat them with respect, and value their opinion. It is much more than just a job; some say it feels as if they are part of a family. How do they achieve this success with their employees?  The 5 Languages of Appreciation in The Workplace is a great place to begin learning and implementing ways to cultivate an amazing work environment.

Dr. White points out in his book that the cost of replacing employees is the #1 non-productive cost for businesses and organizations. It is tied directly to declining productivity and a lowering of morale. Coupling the exorbitant costs with the fierce competition for skilled labor should make any entrepreneur out there run to the bookstore (or Amazon), and begin to implement the languages of appreciation.

The languages need to permeate throughout the entire organization. It all begins with managers and supervisors, but it can’t stop there. Dr. White found the importance of peer appreciation, and goes on to explain the power of appreciation from colleagues. Communication will improve dramatically, and morale will increase!

Let me list the 5 languages of appreciation:

  1. Words of Affirmation
  2. Quality Time
  3. Receiving Gifts
  4. Acts of Service
  5. Physical Touch

The 5 languages of appreciation are ways that we can show our fellow workers how we value them. One person may feel appreciated with words of kindness, while another may like a hand written thank you card. The goal is to make the appreciation personal, and understanding the person’s language of appreciation will help you achieve it.

Dr. White issues an important word of caution in the book. You want to communicate authentic appreciation, where everyone involved wins, and not fall into the trap of “making people feel good.,” where all you are looking for is personal gain. Your goal is to convey a sense of respect and value for the person, and the appreciation does not always have to be focused on the work accomplished.

I also enjoyed Dr. White discussing how the workplace has changed since the younger generations have begun entering the workforce. Younger employees are more apt to work in teams and with others to complete tasks, and he states that the supervisor-employee relationship is declining due to the fact that more younger employees are being hired. To me, this means  that it is now more imperative than ever to teach employees to learn these five languages of appreciation and use them amongst their peers.

Dr. White continues on in the book to teach the reader how to figure out what their primary language of appreciation is, and to discover what your coworker’s language is.  There is also appreciation when a company is dealing with remote employees and virtual teams.  There are benefits to working remotely, but there are also major challenges. The key is to be proactive and to follow the other advice that Dr. White has laid out in the book.

I have shared the book with my entire team at Jake & Gino, and a few of them are creating a book club to dive into how they can improve their communication with their coworkers. If you are looking to retain key employees, and create a company with an amazing culture, one that lives its core values, then The 5 Languages of Appreciation In The Workplace is the next book on your reading list.

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