‘The Five Love Languages’ written by Gary Chapman is often referred to as the bible of relationship theory within psychologist circles. It really is an exceptional read, and while this book provides many fascinating insights into our personal relationships, we can absolutely take a few leaves out of this book and implement them in the workplace too.
What Are the 5 Love Languages?
In Gary Chapman’s book, he suggests that there are five ways that people (particularly couples) show love towards one another. Love is shown through:
- Gift giving
- Quality time
- Words of Affirmation
- Acts of Service
The book explains how we all give and receive love in different ways, and in order for relationships to grow and be better, we need to understand each other and acknowledge that everyone gives and receives love differently.
Now that we know what the love languages are, how can we implement, identify and reap the benefits of these love languages in the workplace?
The 5 Languages of Appreciation in The Workplace
Gary Chapman combined forces with psychologist and business consultant Paul White to reinterpret the ‘5 Love Languages’ concept for the workplace in a new book - ‘The 5 Languages of Appreciation in The Workplace’. Each language outlines different ways to show appreciation to co-workers.
So, let's delve into all 5 of the love languages below and explain exactly how they have been interpreted for the workplace.
1. Gift Giving
Express genuine appreciation to co-workers and staff — even on a tight budget.
Small tokens of appreciation through gifts can be hugely uplifting for staff. The gifts you provide will depend on your budget, but it can be as simple as office snacks, sweets and random free lunches. You can even buy gifts for your staff during the holiday season or to celebrate a job well done. Adding a touch of personalisation can go a long way too, and it can show that you know and care about each of them and value them as a member of the team.
2. Quality Time
Increase loyalty with the employees in your organisation.
Make sure you set some time aside to spend quality time with each of your employees and hold events where everyone can spend time with each other and socialise outside of the work environment. It’s much easier to get along in the work environment if you know and understand each other on a social level to some degree. People feel more open to communicating with each other and are more likely to be loyal to the organisation when they feel like they can exchange in friendly banter with their colleagues.
3. Words of Affirmation
Reduce cynicism and create a more positive work environment.
This would have to be one of the easiest and simplest ways to show appreciation – through words. Positive speech and telling colleagues how much you appreciate them and the work they do can go a long way towards creating a more positive work environment. This positive sentiment needs to start from the top and set an example for how others in the workplace should interact with each other. By spreading positivity and good affirmations, cynicism and dissent in the workplace will dissipate.
4. Act of Service
Improve your ability to show appreciation for difficult colleagues.
It can be hard to implement these tactics if there are unresolved issues and tensions. You won’t necessarily be able to come in and implement all this right away and expect it to work. To avoid conflict here, move ahead slowly. You also have to be consistent. If you implement one or two of these actions as a one-off and don’t continue to deliver this act of service continually, it will completely lose its effect. When showing your appreciation, your actions have to be genuine too, or your staff will see right through you.
So, to recap, the three must-have steps to deliver on an ‘act of service’, particularly to difficult colleagues, is to be true from the heart, consistent over time, and pay attention to what’s important to your staff.
Convey the language of physical touch in appropriate ways.
While there’s no doubt that touch is vital in a relationship, you’re probably wondering how this one fits into the workplace? There are many ways to express appreciation through touch in the workplace – giving each other high fives to celebrate a job well done, a pat on the back for reassurance and appreciation, and even shaking another person’s hand correctly as a professional and meaningful greeting. These simple forms of appropriate touch shouldn’t be forgotten when showing appreciation to others in the workplace.
Make The 5 Love Languages Work in Your Workplace
Each language holds a different level of value to people, so it’s worthwhile finding out which one is the most appreciated by your employees. However, in saying this, business owners and managers should strive to show appreciation to staff in all 5 areas if possible, for staff to feel completely content, happy and secure in their role.
Here at Future Fitouts, we do our best to implement these ideals in our workplace, because a happy and productive work environment means better work, efficiency and outcomes for you – our clients! If you’d like to take advantage of our fitout services, contact us today!