Gift-giving as a love language is as vital in the workplace as any other aspect of life.
According to a Harvard study, 82% of employed Americans don’t feel that their supervisors recognize them enough for their contributions. Meanwhile, 40% of employed Americans say they’d put more energy into their work if recognized more often.
With such staggering numbers, we started to ask ourselves why employees didn’t feel recognized by their leaders. What we found surprised us. The missing link between leadership and recognition had a lot to do with love languages.
We found so much information that linked employee engagement, motivation, and results to love languages that we decided to write a series about it for employers. In part three of this five-part series, we’re going to look at the love language of gift-giving. We’ll discuss how to recognize employees with this particular love language by offering them various employee compensation types.
What the 5 Love Languages Are
What is a Love Language?
A love language describes how a person receives love from others. While some prefer verbal praise, others enjoy earning awards. If we don’t know how someone likes to receive love, how can we give it to them?
Relationships grow better when we understand each other, and we do that through love languages. Here are examples of the five love languages at work:
- Words of Affirmation: This love language expresses love or appreciation with words. These words come in the form of compliments used to build someone up. One workplace example could be, “You are doing a fantastic job on that project. I like how you used metrics as a basis for your project objectives.”
- Acts of Service: This love language is a classic example of the phrase, “actions speak louder than words.“ It describes someone who feels appreciation in the form of actionable events such as help on a project or company initiatives and policies that improve overall employee wellbeing.
- Receiving Gifts: This love language means a meaningful or thoughtful gift makes its receiver feel loved and appreciated. However, this doesn’t always mean giving employees gifts wrapped in packages. Something as simple as buying an employee lunch or offering compensation rewards is an excellent example of the gift-giving love language in the workplace.
- Quality Time: This love language is about being present with those around you. Someone who has this love language might enjoy a one-on-one virtual conversation to discuss work-related topics or training to ask specific questions.
- Physical Touch: This love language expresses appreciation or love with physical contact. Though this can be a taboo workplace topic, it doesn’t have to be. Simple gestures like high fives and hand-shakes can accommodate this person, and if you’re not in the office, things like paid time off can help! We discuss This concept more in-depth in our blog, How Do You Incorporate the Physical Touch Love Language in the Workplace, Appropriately.
As you can see, love languages offer us various ways to show appreciation in the workplace. They give us insight into appreciation differences. This insight equips managers to handle multiple forms of recognition.
What’s Your Love Language?
Now that we recapped what a love language is, you might be curious about your love language. However, before you make this determination, it’s important to remember there’s a difference between how you feel loved and how you show it. While the gift-giving love language might be how you receive love, the way you show love could be words of affirmation.
It’s also possible to have more than one love language. You could have a mix of two or four love languages. Sometimes you might have qualities from all five.
That’s where a love language quiz can help. It shows you your highest-ranking love languages so you can learn to recognize the different forms of appreciation you need and give.
Want to Know Your Love Language?
Find out by taking the love language quiz.
How the Receiving Gifts Love Language Works in a Professional Setting
Now that you know the five love languages, it’s time to determine how you can use them to help employees in the workplace. More specifically, you need to show appreciation to employees whose love language is receiving gifts.
One of the best ways to express gift-giving in the workplace is to ensure your employees are paid correctly and on time. This approach sounds like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised how often we find business owners struggling with paycheck accuracy and promptness.
Employee compensation provides stability and security in people’s lives. When something disrupts that stability, it can leave you with frustrated employees. Businesses that make concerted efforts to create positive company cultures see a 22% decrease in the likelihood of employees seeking other jobs. Furthermore, improving fair pay perception can reduce the intent to leave by 27%. Pay transparency and a positive work environment lead to happy, productive employees.
Giving Gifts to Employees in the Form of Compensation
Compensation is often linked to a paycheck. However, there are various types of employee compensation. While timely pay is a part of compensation, paycheck consistency isn’t the only factor contributing to employee happiness.
Automated payroll and salary increases also affect compensation and workplace satisfaction. Let’s look at the subcategories of payment and see how they are beneficial for employee gift-giving.
When pay is accurate and timely, you establish a stable relationship between the company and your workers. For those whose love language is receiving gifts, the absence of a timely paycheck can be detrimental. Gift receivers tie compensation to their work ethic. Therefore, late pay appears as if they aren’t getting the job done.
We’ve found that most HR and payroll managers want to pay their employees on time for the work that they have performed. However, the root of the problem is usually the absence of a reliable payroll solution. Manual payroll can take days, causing delays in employee paychecks. An automated payroll solution turns manual processes into streamlined workflows and days into hours.
You can manage payroll and HR more efficiently by utilizing an online workforce solution. Paychecks are consistently accurate, and gift receivers know their work is appreciated. Employees whose love language is receiving gifts are more likely to stay loyal because they know their organization cares about an accurate and timely paycheck.
In addition to an investment in an automated payroll system, employers can also take compensation a step further by offering competitive pay or raises. Competitive compensation packages show employees their work is valuable to your organization. When employees know their efforts are worth a quantifiable amount, they will feel confident and fulfilled in their roles.
Compensation and Employee Retention
- Evaluate Your Current Plan: Evaluate achievements against payouts under current performance plans. See if you can identify any gaps or room for improvement.
- Communicate Openly: Tell employees you will make compensation adjustments and ask for their feedback. Their input can provide a unique perspective.
- Create a Salary Structure: Review company costs against revenue. Determine compensation for low-level, mid-level, and high-level positions. Share position compensation levels with your workforce so they know what goals they can achieve.
- Create Metrics: If you haven’t already, develop metrics to evaluate performance. Some metrics to start with are sales productivity, customer ratings like Net Promoter Score (NPS), and return on investment (ROI).
- Review Performance and Make Adjustments: Once you have adjusted your compensation accordingly, review employee performance and turnover rates to ensure the plan is understood. Indeed recommends evaluating your compensation plans every two years to keep up with inflation rates.
Alternative Types of Employee Compensation
Talking the Talk with Gift-Giving
When you invest in your employees through timely paychecks, salary increases, paid-time-off, incentivized bonuses, and monthly recognition programs, your business will reap a positive impact with engagement and retention.
Furthermore, when you combine the gift-giving love language with words of affirmation, you cater to multiple employees with different love languages. Actions speak louder than words, and when you learn to speak the “love language” each employee resonates with, the relationships with your staff will flourish.