The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace

“The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated.” ~ William James


Why is feeling appreciated so important in workplaces? Because we all want to feel our work is valued and we are making a contribution.

In his book, 7 Habits if Highly Effective People Stephen Covey says –

“Next to physical survival, the greatest need of a human being is psychological survival – to be understood, to be affirmed, to be validated, to be appreciated.” (page 3993).


What are the 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace

The five languages of appreciation in the workplace, are the same as the 5 love languages. The 5 languages of appreciation are self-explanatory, but here’s a brief description of what they mean:

  • Words of Affirmation: Expressing verbal compliments or words of praise and appreciation.
  • Quality Time: Giving someone your undivided, focused attention (e.g. having a celebratory dinner together or a quality conversation).
  • Tangible Gifts: Giving gifts is symbol of appreciation (e.g. giving a gift that aligns to the person’s values – sports tickets, a retreat etc.).
  • Acts of Service: Completing tasks and/or actions to show your appreciation (e.g. providing help with projects (as long as it is asked for and warranted and if you start to help, make sure you finish what you start)..
  • Physical Touch: Feeling affection through appropriate physical touch (e.g. a firm handshake, a pat of the back or a “high five”).


Over to You…

Next time you choose to appreciate someone in your workplace, you might like to make sure it aligns to their language of appreciation. You can find out more in the book the 5 languages of appreciation in the workplace.


If you would like more information like this, why not join our Toolkit?


References –

Chapman, G., & White, P. (2011). The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace – Empowering Organisations by Encouraging People. Chicago, USA: Northfield Publishing.

Covey, S. (1989). The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change. New York, USA: Simon & Schuster.

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