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5 Love Languages for the Office and How to Use Them
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Summary: Learn how you can use the 5 love languages to show your employees that you appreciate all they do.

You may have heard of the five love languages when it comes to romantic relationships, or even friendships, but did you know that the same concept can be applied at the office? No, don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you have to hug your coworkers. The five love languages are best applied to the office in the form of appreciation, especially when it comes to anyone that you supervise. This concept is described in depth in Gary Chapman and Paul White’s The Five Languages of Appreciation: Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People.

Although the process of finding out your employees’ appreciation languages and then how you can best apply them may seem like a difficult and long process, the benefits of putting in the extra effort can be considerable. When people feel truly appreciated, they have a tendency to work harder and invest themselves more greatly in their work. Plus, once you know how each employee likes to be appreciated, the groundwork has been done and you will both continue to benefit for a long time.


To get you started, here are the Five Languages of Appreciation:

  1. Quality time. Those employees that love quality time are the ones who light up in a meeting or who are always seeking one on one time with you. They are best rewarded through just that: time with you – whether it’s a strategizing meeting or a coffee break to get to know one another.
  2. Receiving gifts. To these people, gifts are a symbol of appreciation and the idea that you are thinking of them and vice versa. For these employees, consider recognition through things they can earn, like gift cards.
  3. Words of affirmation. Positive comments are the most used form of recognition in the office, and typically the easiest and most simple form of appreciation. Some people just need to hear from you that you appreciate their hard work to feel rewarded.
  4. Acts of service. These are the people who like to help others out, such as offering to take those envelopes to the post office or give anyone a ride to an event. These people love opportunities to help and would feel rewarded with a day of volunteer service at an organization they love.
  5. Physical touch. I can already hear it, some of you are thinking, “I see a lawsuit waiting to happen!” Let’s keep it appropriate, people. For those employees who rank physical touch as the highest, they may appreciate a simple handshake or pat on the back. Additionally, they may learn better kinetically, so giving them physical projects or 3D models would be most beneficial to them.


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