In their book, The Five Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace, Chapman and White (2019) – who wrote the book The Five Love Languages – found that the same languages apply to employees. If you’re not familiar, they state that we all need to give and receive ‘love’ differently, and found the five ways are:
- Acts of Service – doing, helping out, doing the work assigned
- Quality Time – time with the boss or the team, having meaningful conversations
- Words of Affirmation – thank you, great job, acknowledgement
- Gifts – time off, coming in late or leaving early
- Physical Touch – handshake, pat on the back. high five
Of these, they found that the highest two are Words of Affirmation and Quality Time. These are so easy to give but carry so much meaning. Letting employees know they are valued is easy, and not just words or money; send a card to their home, text a valued message, include them in a project or ask their opinion on a decision, allot them time in your schedule (weekly, if possible) where you can learn more about them and their desires/goals and how they are doing).
I think many organizations ‘cookie-cut’ their benefits and offerings, believing they satisfy everyone; truth is, we are all different, with differing ways of thinking, working, and needing ‘love.’ Taking time to learn these differences will go a long way to meeting their needs and engaging them to you and the organization.
So, on this Valentine’s Day, send some love to your employees; I’m sending out to you as leader, as well. Keep up the great work you are doing!
If you’re ready to up-level your leadership and that of your team, reach out as we’re here to support you.