Eight-nine percent of managers believe employees leave for more money. However, only 12 percent of employees reportedly leave for financial gain. In reality, 88 percent of employees leave for reasons more psychological in nature, mostly not feeling trusted or valued. Even more alarmingly, almost 70 percent of the working population in the U.S. claims to receive no praise or recognition in the workplace (Buckingham and Clifton, 2001).
The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace: Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People, authored by Gary Chapman and Paul White, reinforces the importance of applying the ‘love language concept’ at the workplace. This book reiterates the value of effective communication for supervisors and managers to extend their appreciation and encouragement to the employees. As a result, higher levels of job satisfaction, fruitful relationships between managers and employees, and decreased cases of burnout can be observed.
Having a happy, content and motivated staff is vital for the survival of any running business, big or small. Appreciation is substantiated as an important underlying element for a productive work environment, as it encourages employees to work their best. Overlooking can lead to the birth of several liabilities in the form of unmotivated members, poor productivity, strained work relationships and an overall negative environment.
Given the fast and busy nature of running a small business, employers might forget what individual attention and appreciation means to staff members and other colleagues. The reward programs often fail to capture the essence of appreciation, which isn’t confined to a single event or material gifts.
In the book, the authors have identified five ways to show appreciation for individuals:
1.Words of affirmation. The use of reassuring words that aim to motivate and show gratitude to team members.
2.Quality time. Spending quality time with team members, discussing topics that are relevant or important to them is an effective way to extend consideration and appreciation.
3.Acts of service. Going out of the way to lend a hand to an employee will mean much more than just praise.
4.Tangible gifts. Tangible gifts can be made more meaningful if they are relevant to what an individual values in life outside work.
5.Appropriate physical touch. Some members are more responsive to appropriate physical touch, like high-fives, handshakes, fist bumps and pats on the back. It may convey a sense of partnership.
Andy Erlandson, general manager at Microsoft, praising the book said, “When my colleagues and I read this book, the idea of authentic appreciation really hit home for us. Too much of the time we focus on rewards and recognition only. These can be strong motivators, but they often only apply to a company’s top performers. We’ve changed our focus to landing authentic appreciation in a real way across our organization.”
In another positive review, Tom Nicholson, executive director of HR People and Strategy said, “This book shows how to build trust on a personal level in the workplace, and its principles apply for a wide variety of organizations.”
About the authors
Dr. Gary Chapman is a number-one New York Times bestselling author and the director of Marriage and Family Life Consultants, Inc.
Dr. Paul White is a psychologist, author, speaker and consultant involved with businesses, non-profit organizations, families and leaders across the world, helping them work on their respective relationships.
Both of them have focused their work on the cohesion of various dynamics of different relationships.
Written by Sana Ahmed, Sovereign Health Group writer