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February, 2019

The Love Language of Performance Reviews

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The Love Language of Performance Reviews

Valentine’s Day and the month of February is all about showing that special someone how much you love them and what they mean to you. But what about showing employees a little love? In this blog series about love languages, we’re going to look at the five love language concepts and how you can incorporate them into the workplace.

What is a Love Language?Customer Login

Dr. Gary Chapman is the bestselling author of The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts, which discusses love languages as ways to express and experience love and appreciation. People around the world have taken his concept of the 5 Love Languages and have applied them to their personal and professional relationships.

The five love languages consist of:

Words of Affirmation
Acts of Service
Receiving Gifts
Quality Time
Physical Touch
What is your love language? Find out by taking the love language test.

The Love Language: Words of Affirmation

In part one of this five-part series, we’re going to focus on Words of Affirmation and apply this concept to the performance reviews process. A performance review should not only be used to affirm an employee’s contributions to the company but to also set goals for them to strive for and create accountability.

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How to Apply Words of Affirmation in the Workplace

Employees want to hear from their managers that they are doing a great job and that their work matters. When dedication is recognized and validated, it results in more productive and satisfied employees. Understanding the different types of love languages is the key to better understanding your employees and communicating with them effectively.

Performance Reviews: Down, But Not Out

Performance reviews are nothing new to the business world, yet some companies argue they have little impact on employees. You might find your own performance review process looks something like this:

The review is held at the end of the year;
Employees rate their performance on a scale of some sort;
Their manager jots down some notes on the performance review;
From the review, areas of improvement are identified and goals for the new year are set.
…and then the performance review is signed, placed in a file, and never looked at again.
Does this sound familiar? This scenario often happens, which leads to employees and managers not taking performance reviews seriously. Just because your company’s performance review process isn’t living up to its potential right now, doesn’t mean you need to get rid of the entire process. Redefine your company’s performance review and incorporate words of affirmation for a process that aligns with your business needs and is beneficial to employees.

Using Words of Affirmation in Performance Reviews

So what does this mean when we apply the love language of Words of Affirmation? In the world of performance reviews, companies need to be more proactive about conducting reviews on a frequent basis and holding employees accountable for reaching their goals. While performance reviews can be difficult to have, there is a way to make performance reviews a positive experience by applying the Words of Affirmation love language.

Step up your company’s performance reviews process using words of affirmation:

Provide Regular Feedback: Although most managers perform annual performance reviews, start providing regular positive feedback so your employees know they are producing quality work. Don’t wait until their annual review to give them positive feedback.
Be Transparent in a Positive Way: It can be hard to talk to an employee about a poorly executed project but it doesn’t need to be communicated in a negative way. Be transparent about missed opportunities in a professional, constructive way. Employees should know you are discussing missed opportunities to help them to become more successful in the future.
Set Goals: Performance reviews aren’t just an evaluation of an employee’s performance but a time to set goals for an employee’s future success. Setting goals with your employees shows you recognize their dedication and believe they are worth the investment of time and training.
Words of Affirmation must go beyond mere verbal praise. Employees aren’t just looking for positive feedback, they want career nurturing and development. They want to know they are a value-added resource and are contributing to the success of the company.

Read more on Ways to Focus on Employee Development on the APS blog.

Talking the Talk With Words of Affirmation

With better visibility into how employees are performing and what their goals are, management can make more informed decisions about raises and bonuses, employee incentives, training, even recruiting and hiring. When you speak the language of proactive and meaningful performance reviews, you end up with happy employees. And when you have happy employees, you’re definitely speaking their love language.

Next: Part 2, The Love Language of Employee Benefits.

How aps can help

APS has a mission: to make payroll and HR easier. We provide our clients and partners with intuitive technology delivered with personalized service and support. Our unified solution is designed to simplify workforce management tasks. Process payroll in hours, not days. Automate HR workflows to be more strategic. Elevate the employee lifecycle with a single-system platform. We are APS, your workforce partner.

Businesses choose APS as their workforce partner because of our focus on the customer experience. As a result, we continually maintain 98% customer retention and satisfaction rates.

For more information on how we can help make payroll and HR easier for your business, please visit or call 855-495-7921



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