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Why Taking the 5 Love Languages to the Workplace Actually Works

Knowing how someone wants to be loved or appreciated can be just as important as knowing their strengths.

How can knowing your employees’ love languages be important at work?

It’s all the rage in the HR community to ensure that each employee knows how to effectively communicate with each other.

Most of us have taken the MyersBriggs Type Indicator®. At McKinney, we have taken a step further and have taken the DiSC® profile to assess our personalities and the Gallup CliftonStrengths assessment to discover our top strengths. Knowing these details about our team members can be invaluable and can most definitely improve morale and productivity in the workplace.

However, while at a dinner with a new partner, one of my dinner mates asked if we had ever taken the 5 Love Languages® assessment at work. I hadn’t considered it before, but after further investigation, I realized that his suggestion was genius. The 5 Love Languages® assessment evaluates “how you really understand the expressions of love from others.” The Five Love Languages are Quality Time, Physical Touch, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, and Words of Affirmation.

Knowing how someone wants to be loved or appreciated can be just as important as knowing their strengths. Do the members of your team want to be publicly recognized in a company meeting, or would they prefer to be taken out for a cup of coffee to celebrate a job well done? Being responsible for building the culture at McKinney Capital & Advisory, I decided to ask our team to take the 5 Love Languages® assessment and see what we could learn. Here are the biggest takeaways I learned:

  • The majority of our team (myself included) have Quality Time as their primary love language. It’s the one-on-one time with a manager or a peer that matters most to us here at McKinney. Our employees will feel most appreciated by being taken out for lunch or meeting one-on-one for coffee.
  • The second highest love languages at our company are tied between Words of Affirmation and Physical Touch. It appears that members of our team do appreciate hearing how well they are doing and receiving a pat on the back.
  • The least common love language amongst our team is Receiving Gifts. Does that mean that our team doesn’t appreciate receiving bonuses for jobs well done? Of course not. Instead, I would assume that our team will feel less appreciation in the receiving of physical items than they would from a thoughtful conversation over coffee.

My most significant takeaway is that members of our team want face time. They believe that building lasting relationships comes from quality time spent together, long talks, positive feedback, and most likely would prefer a hug rather than a more formal handshake. Whether dealing with a coworker or an external client, quality of relationships can make or break your workday. Knowing how people need to feel appreciated and heard can be pivotal for the success of any company.

How do the members of your company need feel love and appreciation?