The Five Languages of Appreciation at Work

Successful workplaces thrive on employee engagement. Leaders can effectively motivate and engage employees, by first understanding employees’ unique perspectives and preferences. What motivates one worker may fall flat for another. In their book, The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Work Place, Gary Chapman and Paul White share the five languages of appreciation. By speaking these languages and connecting with employees, leaders create a more positive work environment improving employee morale and productivity.

The Five Languages of Appreciation at Work

Here are the five languages of appreciation at work and how they can be used to effectively acknowledge and motivate employees:

Words of Affirmation

Words of affirmation are a great way to acknowledge employees for their hard work and dedication. A simple “good job” or “thank you” can go a long way in making an employee feel valued and appreciated. Public recognition during meetings or team gatherings can also be an effective way to acknowledge employees in front of their peers, but be sure to check. Some people prefer accolades in private.

Acts of Service

Acts of service are another way to show appreciation. Small gestures like helping with a project, assisting with technical problems, or delivering lunch or coffee can make a big difference in how an employee feels about their work and their team. These acts of service show that the employer is willing to go the extra mile to make their employees’ work lives easier and more enjoyable.


Some employees may value receiving gifts as a sign of being rewarded for their hard work. For example, this could include gift cards, tickets to events, or travel experiences are great ideas to help employees feel recognized for their hard work.

Quality Time

Quality time is another way to appreciate employees. For example, scheduling a lunch or extra one-on-one meeting can show employees that you value their time and effort. Employees feel a sense of belonging and, in turn, feel more engaged with their work and team. Stay interviews are a great way to spend quality time.

Physical Touch

Lastly, physical touch can be a way for some employees to feel appreciated. High fives, handshakes, fist bumps, or pats on the back can be effective ways to acknowledge an employee for a job well done. However, it’s important to remember personal boundaries and respect each employee’s comfort level with physical touch.

By taking the time to understand employee preferences, managers can improve employee morale and productivity, leading to higher employee engagement and a more successful and profitable business.

Learn more about how to boost employee engagement in your healthcare facility by contacting us today to learn about our customized consulting services. Or, schedule a free 30-minute consultation here.

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