DEV Community

Cover image for The Five Work Languages

Posted on

The Five Work Languages

There is a great need to be passionate and disciplined about work. Sometimes, we lose the adrenaline rush for work and complacency crawls in. This is because sometimes we forget our special work language. Work languages are the necessary evil that keeps us jived and with them available, allows us to put that extra effort needed for exceeding expectations. This is different amongst people and also similar to the existing love languages. Love for work is a conscious decision that is easier to commit to by understanding your inherent work language.

So, what work language do you speak?


Acts of value-added-service: People that speak this language are passionate about work when they realize that the service rendered by them would eventually fulfill a pressing organizational or societal need. Once there is this awareness, they are pushed to work more. However, such people may become complacent when they can’t see the value or the solutions the work they do provides.

Alt Text

Incentives: The set of people speaking this language are motivated by incentives. Incentives could be financial, promotional, etc. When people who are fluent in this language are aware of promised incentives, they push themselves to work more. To motivate such people, get them aware of the profit-sharing or other ad-hoc remunerations in the organization. As an Employer, be creative with your incentives. Study your work colleague to know how best to apply these incentives.


Time Passers: You speak the time passing language when you know what makes you work without knowing how much time has passed. Whether it is listening to music, eating junk, biting your nails, etc. This set of people get to spend quality time on work as long as they are not being deprived of their appropriate time-passers.

Alt Text

Words of congratulations: People speaking this language desire consistent positive words as they work. A little “I am proud of you”, “How did you even think about that?”, “Amazing!” is a superb positive reinforcement for them to push more. But contrary words is a big morale reducer for them.


Physical Environment: This set of people speaking this language work better in a tailored and conducive environment. For some, the environment could mean the quality of people, others could be a game console nearby or some natural plants placed around. They are most encouraged to work better in a conducive place.

As with love languages, work languages are a mutual endeavor. As you seek for your work language(s) to be understood, make sure you understand the languages of the people around you first.

So talk to me - In your work language. What work language do you understand?

Top comments (0)