Why your Christmas gift means little to me
There is a popular relationship book called the 5 Love Languages. Maybe you have used it in your personal relationships... There is also a related book for the workplace. It's called the 5 Languages of Appreciation in the WorkPlace. I thought a review of this book would be timely given it's the holiday season and all. That time of year when everyone feels they should be giving and thankful, regardless of how shitty or awesome the year was. It's also likely that you know it's time to give the annual performance review and you are dreading it. It's all about appreciation and showing thanks, right? So it would be to your advantage to know how people prefer to be appreciated. So here goes. The HR Hound's spin on appreciation in the workplace, credit the 5 Languages of Appreciation.
At a basic level, the 5 Languages of Appreciation are 1) Words of Affirmation, 2) Tangible Gifts, 3) Acts of Service, 4) Quality Time and 5) Physical Touch (get your mind out of the gutter).
1) Words of Affirmation - Find out if the people you are leading appreciate verbal recognition or praise in meetings. They may just want a thank you email or shout out in a company meeting. Texts and tweets work too. Very. Simple.
2) Tangible Gifts - If someone on your team values gifts, put some good thought into their gift. It's more about the thought, than the price of the gift. Do they like movies? Buy them some movie gift cards. Are they a foodie? Buy them a gift card to a new restaurant. Maybe just buy donuts for them. You get the point. If they value gifts, buy them. If not...don't sweat it.
3) Acts of Service - Ask them if they need help and do something to help them. Maybe take a turn on doing a mundane task. That ole saying of "never ask someone to do something that you wouldn't do", rings true here. Show them you will work for them. This will go a few miles if they appreciate acts of service.
4) Quality Time- This one is what I value. Show me you care by spending time with me. Let's work together on some projects. Let's meet up for coffee or tea or something. Let's hang out.
5) Physical Touch- At work physical touch is tricky. Think about this in terms of high fives, hugs, hand shakes, fist bumps and pats on the back. Know your audience. Leave me hanging on a high five and you are at risk of pissing me off...
Merry Christmas. Know what people appreciate before you get them that gift. It might be as simple as a phone call, text, lunch or maybe send them a few cupcakes. As for me...Just hang out with me, text me, praise me and give me lots of fist bumps. You will show me you care. I value your gifts less than I value my time with you. Go ahead, call me the Grinch.
What language do you prefer?...