Recently, I was introduced to “The 5 Languages of Love” by Gary Chapman, based on the idea that everyone has a primary love language. Months went by and I now find myself at a PR agency and adjusting to the office culture. Then one day I realized that the five languages could easily be applied to the workplace. In that spirit, I’ll be taking you through the five languages and how Diamond Public Relations incorporates them.
Being honest, we all love receiving gifts and feeling special to a certain extent – it can easily turn a bad day into a great one. You don’t have to get your coworkers overpriced gifts with the hope of fitting in, because let’s be honest – that’s not appropriate. But, if you happen to know a coworker is obsessed with a certain celebrity or band and you come across a small item that reminds you of them, go ahead and purchase it or even let them know you found it (the thought always counts!). Something small that says ‘Hey, I thought of you and figured you’d love this’ is always okay. So, if you find yourself struggling about this in your office – chocolate anything is always appropriate.
* Shoutout to Jody for sending a bouquet of flowers for birthdays. It definitely shows how much a company president cares for his/her employees.
If you’re struggling trying to decide between working in-house or at an agency, agency life takes the cake for this language of appreciation, especially at DPR!
Get prepared for oodles of laughs in the lunchroom and spending plenty of time outside the office together. During the day you’re going to be busy with work, so there won’t be much time to mingle and get to know your coworkers on a personal level. Here at Diamond, we have FitClub. As long as four people are interested in taking a workout class together then the company will cover the cost of the class. We also have DPR Cares, an initiative started by Sasha (* shoutout to you girl), where the team works with nonprofit organizations or performs community work. Working as a team, whether it be for personal fitness goals or with the community are great ways to get to know your coworkers outside of the office and I definitely recommend joining in as many as you can!
If you don’t know where to begin with this language, stick to the basics: a simple high-five and a fist bump. If you’re more comfortable with your coworkers you can even give a hug and or a kiss on the cheek, a la true Miami style.
Just observe body language and if they’re relaxed and reciprocating, then physical touch probably ranks high on their list of languages…if not…proceed with caution and just be mindful.
*Shoutout to Lisa for the endless high fives.
Words of Affirmation
This language of appreciation is all about using your words…this one shouldn’t be too hard, considering we work in communications.
In this digital age where we are constantly sliding in the DMs spoken praise can go a long way, especially for those who consider words of affirmation as a primary language. Don’t go overboard – a simple ‘good job’ on writing a pitch and receiving coverage or praising a colleague for handling a tough client call is as simple as it can be.
In my month on the job I’ve noticed Diamond PR takes words of affirmation seriously. If an employee secured great coverage for several clients there’s a company wide email congratulating them on their hard work.
Acts of Service
Remember that saying your mom used to say, ‘actions speak louder than words’…? Well she was right, and it’s here to bite you in the rear. This is the perfect mantra when working in PR – it shows people you care and you keep your word.
Something as simple as getting all your tasks done by the deadline you’ve set with your higher-ups, staying late to help a colleague who is swamped and needs help, using your tech skills to help colleagues with computer problems, or helping by cleaning up after an in-office event.
All of these actions, though they might seem minute, speak volumes! It pretty much tells the recipient that they’re important, worth the effort and that you care.
So don’t say you’re going to do something and get distracted (because let’s be honest that happens to all of us) but instead stick to your word and help a PR sista (or bro) out!!
* Shout out to all of DPR for helping us newbies out – I appreciate you!
Important note: What makes one employee feel appreciated in the workplace is not necessarily the same for another. A workplace that embraces the diversity of personalities is an enjoyable environment to work in! If you’re interested in taking the assessment to identify your primary love language, you can take the assessment online.