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Improve your Staff Retention


What’s a business without staff? You may be the brains of the operation, but your staff is the OPERATION! It is sooooo important that you build a healthy relationship with each of your  staff members and understand them and their language. NO. Not that language. I’m talking about the 5 LANGUAGES of appreciation. 

It doesn’t matter if you’re the best boss in the world. This is crucial to know if you want to retain  your current staff. Don’t wait for the two-week notices or the complaints via email and text. Even if you are 100% sure that you and your team are all fine and dandy, your relationship with  them can always be better.

This is how you can improve your staff retention: 
  1. Words of Affirmation 
  2. Acts of Service 
  3. Receive Gifts 
  4. Quality Time
  5. Physical Touch 

You are probably thinking: what did I just read? Or perhaps you are thinking: how can these love languages retain my staff? So sit tight and see what the 5 love languages are, how they can be  used with your employees and examples that can apply to the workplace.


What are the 5 languages of appreciation?

The 5 languages of appreciation, also known as the 5 love languages, is a concept developed by  Dr. Gray Chapman. We all give and receive love differently. He simplifies how we give and receive love into five concepts (the list you see above). 

You may be a person who loves to receive gifts however you prefer to spend quality time with those you love and appreciate. Although these 5 love languages are used mainly for those in romantic relationships, they benefit employees within the workplace too. 

Nearly 8 in 10 employees work harder when recognized in the workplace. In addition, over 91% of HR professionals believe recognition and rewards make employees more likely to stay.

1. Words of Affirmation

What does it mean: This concept is just that: words or affirmation. You communicate your  appreciation and respect for the other person. Be positive, authentic, and genuine when affirming  your compliments, kudos, encouragement, and more. 

Examples of this language: Employees with words of affirmation as their primary love language appreciates verbal acknowledgment. If they lead the team discussion, verbally acknowledge that. Tell them how they shined and how they exemplified great leadership  qualities.

Publically recognize them, give them a shout-out, and post something on your business social media page. Employees with this love language are going to feel seen and appreciated. They are  more likely to stay because you understand them in a way they like to be acknowledged.

2. Acts of service

What does it mean: This concept consists of doing something for this person that you know they will like. Small gestures go a long way for employees with acts of service as their primary  love language. It’s the little things that count. 

Example of this language: Lend them a helping hand if you see them struggling with a task. Offer to cover their shifts or offer them the rest of the day off, especially if you see they can use it. 

Are they a coffee or tea person? Find out and surprise them with a cup or have it available for your staff in the break room. They will appreciate the small acts of service like these and feel  seen too.

3. Receive Gifts

What does it mean: This concept consists of, you guessed it, you giving inexpensive gifts. Tangible gifts are ideal for employees whose primary love language is receiving gifts. You don’t  need to provide them with gifts every month or anything like that. Ideally, work anniversaries and birthdays are a great start. 

Example of this language: Gift cards, snacks available for them in the break room, coffee, teas, and more are all great, inexpensive gifts you can offer your staff with this love language. Get to know what they like and reward them with it. They will appreciate you for it and want to do all  they can to ensure your business is at its best.

4. Quality Time

What does it mean: This concept consists of you carving out the time to give them your  undivided attention. They want to feel cherished and prioritized. Gifts, words of affirmation, and  service won’t do for employees who prefer this love language. 

Example of this language: Frequently check in with your team who prefers this love language. One-on-ones are great — host team get-togethers like outdoor activities, restaurants, happy hours, etc. If they receive your focused and undivided attention, they will give your business theirs, and  in the end, everyone will win.

5. Physical Touch

What does it mean: Lastly, this concept consists of physical expression. Employees whose love  language is physical touch prefer this over all the other languages. I’m aware that this may be  tricking since there is harassment in the workplace. However, there are still ways you can display  physical touch without coming off as a creep or offensive to your employee. 

Example of this language: High fives are tremendous and if you want to take this friendly gesture further, add a personal touch and create a handshake for you and that specific employee. Fist bumps are cool too and don’t overdo it. These gestures should be spontaneous and please be mindful of personal boundaries.


How do You know what Your Employees’ love language is?

So, you have a better and deeper understanding of the five love languages. You know the importance of each and how you can use them with your employees. But how do you know which one each employee would like to receive and how? 

Everyone is different and you should cherish these differences. There is numerous test you can use and have each of your employees fill out. Then, talk to them and just ask. You will be surprised at how many people know their love languages. 

The same amount of love and attention we put into our businesses, we need to put them in our staff. They are what make our business and it’s important to appreciate them. No, not through an employee-of-the-month board or a thank you. Figure out how they like to be appreciated and then appreciate them. The goal is to have and keep staff that adds to your success. 

So, what are you waiting for? First, find out the ways your staff prefers to be appreciated. Then, do this for the remainder of the year and see where it takes your team and business. Good luck and you got this!