Is there a Place for Love in the Workplace?

Love can be a tricky term to associate with the workplace, but it does not mean that it does not belong. In a recent conversation with Sicora Consulting Crew member, Adam Baker, he recalled the most interesting class that he took in college. A course titled Intimate Relationships, Adam spoke about The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace and where they resonate at work.

In short, this book takes the concept of New York Times Best Seller, The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman, and details the different preferences that others have for giving and receiving love while helping you understand how you can demonstrate appreciation for each type. The five types are:

  • Words of Affirmation
  • Quality Time
  • Acts of Service
  • Physical Touch
  • Receiving Gifts

Over the years, Sicora has researched and held many conversations around Care. When measuring Care within the 8 Factors of Engagement model, Care is consistently scored as one of the highest factors showing that it has a direct tie to high levels of engagement. Sicora has spoken to Millennials who make conscious choices to align themselves to organizations who value and demonstrate care (along with a strong Purpose, this creates a sense of Belonging). This theme of care in the workplace also came out in our research study on Trust. Named the Care Continuum, it highlights the extremes we experience in the workplace that extend from hate to love. What all of these models show is that love, or care, is a significant factor in successful results and employee engagement.

So, this idea of love language in the workplace fits right in with the models and concepts that we use at Sicora, in particular the 4 Colors of Insights.

We asked Adam what his work love language is. “I identify most with quality time and acts of service. It’s really great to collaborate with others, but taking that extra step to do something that others will take joy and recognition from is really powerful and makes a big difference.”

Just like there is no right or wrong in your 4 Colors or Leadership style, it does not matter which of your love languages is your most preferred. What matters is that you can recognize and appreciate the unique language that your co-worker has so that you can help them feel better cared for and engaged.

Whatever word you are most comfortable using – care, appreciation, or love – at the end of the day, we all want our thoughts and ideas to be cared about, and to be recognized that we are a whole and individual person. When an organization or co-worker expresses concern for others, individuals are able to care about the work that they do and who they serve. A ripple effect, this creates a more significant impact on your organization, co-workers, and customers. Keep your heart in the workplace. It will serve you and others well.