The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace: Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People

This month, Anna Kosova, CAE of Capital Association Management shares her review of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace: Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People by Gary Chapman and Paul White.

Now more than ever, it is extremely important to both recognize and appreciate your team members. The cost to recruit and train new employees is simply too high. However, many managers do not distinguish between recognition and appreciation. Recognition relates to an employee’s job performance and length of service with the company, while appreciation values each employee as an individual. Appreciation could and should be implemented often and can also be used as encouragement on off days.

Employees want to feel appreciated, but they also have their preferred ways of receiving appreciation. For some, appreciation may come in the form of an award or a certificate. Others may relish an opportunity to attend a conference or a networking event. And yet others want a financial reward. To achieve maximum results, remember to express appreciation in the language of the intended recipient.

So what are the 5 languages of appreciation in the workplace?

Acts of service
1. Don’t tell me you care; show me.
2. Ask before you try helping.
3. If you do help, do it their way.
4. Complete what you start; half-done projects can be discouraging.

Quality time
1. Be genuinely interested in the well-being of your employees. For example, ask “How are you doing?” or “How are things going?”
2. When conversing with employees, give them your undivided attention, maintain eye contact, observe their body language, and listen and affirm their feelings.
3. Offer small group dialogue and encourage feedback. Ask your employees “What can we do to make the company better?”
4. Create shared experiences by scheduling group outings and team lunches.

Words of affirmation
1. Praise for accomplishments and results. For the best outcome, praise must be specific; not just “Great job,” but “Great job for helping that member,” or “Great job for completing this project on time.”
2. Offer affirmations for character: honesty, integrity, or hard work.
3. Lend praise for personality: doer, optimistic, or organized.

Tangible gifts
1. Give gifts that are personal and will be valued by that particular employee. For some, a good gift may be a ticket to a hockey game, and for another – a shopping spree at Macy’s.
2. Don’t give thoughtless gifts such as leftover tradeshow items.

Physical touch
1. Even though physical touch can be one way to demonstrate care and empathy, be very careful about using it, as it can lead to unwanted behavior.

One’s language of appreciation can vary with time and within the changing work environment. Several years ago, I would have appreciated a tangible gift, and now I prefer time off with my family. It is a good idea to check in with your team members periodically to determine if their preferred language of appreciation has changed or remained the same.

Appreciation from peers is just as important as appreciation from supervisors, so teach your team members how to effectively encourage one another.

Lastly, incorporating the language of appreciation into your team’s dynamic might feel weird in the beginning. However, if everyone is committed to improving the company culture, and if everyone wants to feel appreciated, one has to start somewhere. Start small and go from there.

By | 2023-05-19T13:48:55+00:00 April 25th, 2023|CAM INDUSTRY TIPS|Comments Off on The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace: Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People