Showing your appreciation

Whatever you think of Valentine’s Day, it is mid-February and love does seem to be in the air. In this article we look at the five languages of appreciation you can use to show your ‘love’ to engage and motivate your colleagues.

Making your employees feel valued is an essential skill for any manager – but what is the best method to express appreciation for a job well done or gratitude for a commitment to quality? Length-of-service awards, employee-of-the-month recognition and merchandise rewards do not always appeal to everyone in the whole organisation.

In their book The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace, Dr. Paul White and Dr. Gary Chapman highlight that different people have different ways they find appreciation most meaningful. They suggest you will get the best results if you choose the approach to recognition most valued by the recipient.

According to White and Chapman, the five languages are:

Words of affirmation

Praise, thanks and specific positive feedback shared one-to-one or in front of a group.

Quality time

Time spent in conversation, mentoring or working together – some of your colleagues feel valued if you take the time to spend with them.

Acts of service

Supportive actions, helping out when needed – some of your people will strongly feel that actions speak louder than words.

Tangible gifts

Giving the right gift that the recipient wants, which may be time off or a development opportunity, can send a powerful message.

Appropriate physical touch

A handshake of congratulations or a sincere pat on the shoulder.

By showing sincere appreciation and personal recognition to your staff you can enhance engagement and motivation.

Our challenge to you is this:

How can you express appreciation more often – and in the ways that are most valued by your colleagues?