You may or may not have heard of the book The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. The concept is simple: we all have a “love tank” that is filled whenever we receive love the way we want to receive. Likewise, we can fill up another person’s love tank by giving them love the way they want to receive it. While this may seem like common sense when comes to romance, you might be surprised to learn that it also applies to the workplace and can have very tangible benefits to your company’s culture and bottom line.
What are the Five Love Languages?
Everybody is unique and we are all motivated by different emotions. Still, there are five basic ideals that lay beneath it all and make us feel appreciated. According to Gary Chapman’s book, these ideals are:
- Words of Affirmation - These employees prefer to hear kind words and receive verbal encouragement from their coworkers or supervisor. Frequent feedback is much appreciated.
- Acts of Service - These employees value team bonding and like to know their manager and coworkers are looking out for them. Team bonding exercises and employee mentoring is what these employees enjoy most.
- Receiving Gifts - These employees like tangible rewards for their hard work. Cash, gift cards and new tools to make their job easier are valued most.
- Quality Time - These employees like undivided attention from their managers and coworkers. These employees respond well to frequent one-on-one meetings and reviews.
- Physical Touch - These employees respond best to firm handshakes, high-fives or pats on the back for a job well done. Team huddles and frequent pats on the back are how they most like to be acknowledged.
How Does this Affect Productivity?
Employers can maximize workplace productivity by recognizing their employees’ ideal form of praise or encouragement and catering to that. When everyone’s needs are met and the entire team is communicating effectively, the entire organization can reach it’s full potential.
Here are three ways that knowing your employees’ love language can maximize productivity:
- It Makes Them More Engaged in Their Work. Employees who feel that their managers care about their personal lives are up to three times more engaged in their work. Companies that recognize their employees’ emotional needs tend to experience less turnover, higher output and a greater morale than companies that do not.
- It Increases Company Loyalty. Taking care of your employees means more than offering competitive salaries and benefits. Research shows that employees who feel a sense of belonging in the workplace are more loyal and less likely to leave their jobs.
- It Makes them Feel Valued. It goes without saying that when a person feels their hard work is making a difference and that their efforts are appreciated by management, they will be happier and more likely to go the extra mile whenever necessary.
Happy Employees are Productive Employees
The key to maximizing productivity in the workplace is to see your employees as people first and workers second. When people feel valued and appreciated, the quantity and quality of their work will increase. We also find it easier to reach out and support our teammates when we are happy with our personal performance. Eventually, as team members start to work together and collaborate more often, they start to see the benefits of shared labor and will become more invested in the team’s success.