Authentic Appreciation

Authentic Appreciation is directly proportional to workplace productivity, job satisfaction and the health of the organization. By identifying which ‘language’ of appreciation is most valued by the individual, colleagues and supervisors can express gratitude and appreciation in a way that makes each person feel truly appreciated and valued.

In applying the 5 Languages of Appreciation to work relationships, we have found:

  • Individuals differ in how they prefer to be shown appreciation.
  • Employee recognition and appreciation are not the same!
  • Supervisors often try to communicate appreciation in the ways they like, but often “miss the mark” with their team members.

79% of employees who quit their jobs cite lack of appreciation
as a key reason for leaving.

Authentic Appreciation:
An Integral Tool for the
Leadership Toolbox

Visit Appreciation At Work World Headquarters at and to learn more.

Typically, most people have a Primary Language and a Secondary Language with which they are most comfortable and prefer.

5-languages-of-appreciationThe 5 Languages of Appreciation are detailed below.

Remember that the only accurate way to identify your language preferences is by generating your personalized Motivation by Appreciation Inventory.



At work, people express and receive appreciation in different ways. If you try to express appreciation in ways that aren’t meaningful to your co-workers, they may not feel valued at all. This is because you and your co-workers are speaking different languages.

The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace is the business version of the #1 New York Times bestseller, The 5 Love Languages. The Authentic Appreciation training gives you practical steps to make any workplace environment more encouraging and productive.


Words of Affirmation

Words, both oral and written, can be used to affirm and encourage those around us. Some people prefer personal one-on-one communication, while others value being praised in front of others (but it is important to know that relatively few people like to receive public affirmation in front of a large group).


Personal, focused time and attention with their supervisor is highly affirming for some. But others enjoy different types of time changing out – with their coworkers, working together as a team on a project, or just having someone take the time to listen to them. And the type of time desired can differ significantly depending on whether it is with colleagues or with their supervisor.

Acts of Service

Assisting in getting a task done can be extremely encouraging to a colleague. Helping a teammate dig out from being behind, working collaboratively on a project that would be difficult to do alone, or just working alongside with them on a task, are all ways to demonstrate appreciation for their efforts.

Tangible Gifts

The key to an effective gift in the workplace is the thought, not the amount of money spent. Taking time to notice what your colleagues enjoy (chocolate, coffee, cashews), observing their hobbies and interests (sports, books, crafts) and buying them a small related gift shows that you are getting to know them as a person and understand what is important to them.

Appropriate Physical Touch

While we acknowledge that physical touch is less important in work-based relationships, and the potential for abuse exists, we still find that appropriate physical touch is meaningful. Usually, it occurs spontaneously and in the context of celebration a high five, fist-bump, slap on the back, or congratulatory handshake. To not touch one another at all often leads to a cold, impersonal environment.