Managing by Appreciation: Appropriate Touch


Each one of us has a primary appreciation language that speaks to our souls, that touches our being.  The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace are: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Acts of Service, Tangible Gifts, and Appropriate Touch.

Over the last five weeks, we have talked about learning the best way to appreciate our employees through learning their primary and secondary language of appreciation.

Why are we focusing on this?

Appreciation is a fundamental human need. In the workplace, those who are recognized for their work and as a valued member of the team are highly likely to experience increased levels of productivity and motivation. Being shown appreciation not only makes work tolerable, but it can make going to work a great experience and cultivates employee loyalty.

Many of our co-workers and employees may be dealing with rough home lives or they grew up in unhealthy environments, and the appreciation you show could mean much more than you think. Why not take the time to get to know your people?  I guarantee it will be the best investment you can ever make in the life of your company.

Even if you are not an owner, supervisor, or manager, you can still bring change to your workplace. Three weeks ago, we had a reader stop in our office after reading our article that week. We encouraged him to be bold and tell other employees about the 5 languages and challenge them to take the test.  When an owner sees his/her employees treating each other with appreciation, it will reverse influence in the company.

The final language of appreciation is called “Appropriate Touch”.  If there ever were a touchy subject in the workplace in 2015, it is touching between employer/employee.  Please read carefully.

There are appropriate touches, even in the workplace: a firm hand shake, a high-five, and a light tap on the shoulder or back. Be sensitive to everyone around you but these should be safe ways to communicate your appreciation without being offensive. If you’d like to learn more about the psychological and physiological benefits of appropriate touch in the workplace, Fast Company offers an in-depth look in their article Touch the People You Work With (Not in a Creepy Way).

Keep in mind, every man and woman in this world has a primary language of appreciation and a secondary language of appreciation. You have two ways to communicate appreciation to those that need it.  Work at this just like you would any skill and it will become natural.

One of the greatest privileges that I have had over the last several years is introducing this concept in many workplaces and homes.  If you would like to learn how your company more effectively appreciate your employees using the 5 Languages of Appreciation, just contact me at  This exercise can be culture changing. Remember, if you want to build a strong team, they need to feel appreciated.

For more information about the 5 Languages of Appreciation, please go online to

About the Author, Jim Brangenberg

Jim's Mission: To transform Christian-run businesses through mentoring Christian Business Owners (CBOs) by incorporating the servant leadership of Jesus Christ in their businesses, their home life and their walk with Christ.

Jim Brangenberg