5 Languages of Appreciation in your Pet Business

I often hear about businesses in the ‪#‎PetIndustry‬ that are falling apart. 

"We are not getting enough funding to survive!"

"Our volunteers are useless!"

"My floor manager has a serious attitude!"

"Our sales manager is always grumpy"

"My production team has no initiative"

Many people do not realise that it is not your PRODUCT or SERVICE that makes your organisation a success. Yes product and service plays a big role, but its actually THE TEAM in your business that is what makes or breaks an organisation.

And Team Management is vital no matter if you run a Rescue Organisation or an exclusive Food Brand.

Take a look at these tips that could be a life changing experience for you and your organisation, just by adding a little human touch to being the leader of your team.

How many of you have heard of, or make use of, the 5 Love Languages in your personal life?  This is a profound way of successful communication of love to your family and friends.  It takes you to a new level of loving, but to master the art of speaking another person's love language, takes practice. 

It's not easy to just start ‘pretending’ to love someone, but the act of trying is already one step closer to a great relationship.  I say 'pretending' because it's an art to show appreciation to someone else if its not what you would normally do for yourself.  We always like to treat others as we would like to be treated - dont we?  Well, for most of us it's the case.  However in the Love Languages concept it's a little different.  Here you have to treat someone like they would like to be treated, and not necesarily how you would like to be treated - or spoken to...

I did some research on Dr Gary Chapman’s concept of the The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts and was curious if one could use it in your Pet Business too.  The good news is there is a definite means of communication that can be applied in business to help others feel appreciated.


The basis of the Love Languages concept is to understand that what makes one person feel loved (or in business, appreciated) does not necessarily make another feel loved (or appreciated). 

If your employees in your Pet Business feel appreciated, they will:

  • have a bigger commitment to your company,
  • they are far more likely to reach their potential and
  • have a higher level of job satisfaction.

I would suggest, to fully understand this concept, that you purchase the book The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace: Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People today.

To avoid a long discussion on the subject, here is a short explanation of each, as well as examples of the Languages of Appreciation that you can make use of in your Pet Business. 

The differences:

  • The 5 Love Languages is used for personal use with family and friends.
  • The 5 Languages of Appreciation is used in a working environment.
  • The relationship of the 2 parties.  For example, if a person’s love language is physical touch, they might not be so keen to enjoy physical touch in the work place.
  • The position of the person. Depending on what role you play at work, will also have an effect on the various Languages of Appreciation.
  • Work relationships are more formal to personal relationships.


What is Quality Time to a fellow colleague?

People who enjoy Quality Time as their language of appreciation will enjoy spending time with fellow co-workers.  This could be:

  • meetings,
  • projects,
  • team building or
  • socially spending their tea or lunch breaks together.


How can you show Acts of Service?

For the act to be valued by the recipient, it could take up any one of these forms:

  • Ask them if they need assistance.  The act of asking has already made them feel appreciated. 
  • One might also actually do something for the recipient the way they want it to be done. 
  • Asking the recipient how much time they would need to complete a task – and giving them that time – could also be considered showing appreciation. 
  • Take note to not repeatedly help them when you think they are doing a task wrong (or need help), this could have the opposite effect.


When is it best to use Words of Affirmation?

In a working environment, the best place to affirm one’s appreciation to a co-worker is when you are in a group context:

  • meetings,
  • in front of clients or
  • at an awards ceremony. 
  • Written communication via email or texting should not be discounted to be effective too.


What Gifts are appropriate at work?

The reward and recognition of appreciation is more valuable than the actual gift in a working environment.  The giver should try to understand the interests or hobbies of their co-workers that are "Gifts People", which could help toward giving a suitable gift.  Often gifts related to experiences such as vouchers, movies, or a dinner is appreciated.  Do not discount the value of a cup of coffee or hot chocolate when they are too busy to help themselves!



How do you show appropriate appreciation with Physical Touch?

People do not enjoy physical touch in a working relationship as it is stepping over the line from business to personal.  A pat on the back or a high five works wonders if it needs to be used as an act of appreciation.

How to determine the Language of Appreciation of your staff or co-workers?

  • Take note of what makes people smile.
  • Take note of what makes people frown or show a level of unhappiness.
  • Draw up a questionnaire (Based on the 5 Languages of Appreciation) and ask each person to answer. 
  • You can buy this online survey to complete a questionnaire and get a comprehensive answer.

There is no hard and fast rule to figure out the 5 Languages of Appreciation unless you have studied the subject and read the book (a few times) The 5 Languages of Appreciation in Your Pet Business , but understanding that this is a fantastic way to improve relationships in your organisation in the Pet Industry, will help take your business to that next level.

Wishing you all the best in your Pet Business!

Juanita Aitkenhead (Ed.)



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