The Five Love Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace
I recently delved into the topic of love languages in the workplace, the theme of Gary Chapman’s book, “The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace: Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People.”
I explored this topic with fellow Barry University graduate student Eboney Daniels, who works in human resources at Miami-Dade County Department of Transportation & Public Works. She feels the concept of The Five Love Languages is important in every aspect of life to help better understand a person and how they want to be appreciated.
At work, Eboney said she felt most appreciated through words of affirmation. She believes love language is a preference. She observed that most women crave and show appreciation through acts of service. She also felt that many men prefer quality time through team bonding.
There also seem to be generational differences, as people age 18-29 are usually still trying to figure out who and where they want to be in life. Eboney’s favorite quote is, “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken,” by Oscar Wilde.
Awareness of the five love languages at work can not only help with self-awareness, but create empathy with coworkers. This naturally creates a workplace culture where employees feel valued and appreciated. Even during COVID times as we collaborate virtually, our work days start and end with a smile if we feel respected and understood. Having your love language met is often described as filling your “love tank.”
Here is how we use the love languages at work:
An employee with this love language enjoys receiving someone’s undivided attention.
Suggestion: Plan a Zoom meeting if you are unable to social distance in person.
Acts of Service
An employee with this love language feels happy when people support them with actions, and they enjoy helping others.
Suggestion: Let them help! Supervisors can also offer support or review an employee's work, share helpful resources or even offer to re-delegate responsibilities.
Words of Affirmation
An employee with this love language gets happy when they receive a positive word.
Suggestion: Verbally affirm people in person, via phone or even virtually. Written ways can include emails, texts or handwritten notes.
An employee with this love language enjoys physical contact. However, this love language is challenging during the pandemic.
Due to rising awareness about combating sexual harassment in the workplace, some managers may believe physical touch at work is never a good idea. However, safe ways to use physical touch to show appreciation include a “good job” elbow bump or even “eye-contact” at a virtual meeting.
An employee with this love language will experience joy when they are given tokens of appreciation.
Supervisors or co-workers can leave little gifts (like a new pen). If working virtually, you can forward useful articles or even send a free birthday e-card to Starbucks.
Curious what your love language is? Take the free online quiz: https://www.5lovelanguages.com/quizzes/couples-quiz/
Lori Marie Huertas, a local bilingual leader with a masters in counseling psychology, is sharing a series of articles with EverythingBrevard.com readers to explore how the five love languages — acts of service, quality time, physical touch, gifts and words of affirmation — impact teachers, military families, husbands and wives, the workplace and children.
Read more articles in our digital magazine.