Can’t Get Anything Done? Your Work Language Is The Secret to Your Productivity

Work-life balance is great and all, but when you’re on a deadline or trying to move up the career ladder, everything in your life besides your job gets put on the back burner. Sometimes just when you need to be the most productive, that’s when you hit a slump. and you need some new strategies for boosting your energy in the workplace. When it comes to preventing burnout and fueling motivation at work, we’ve been missing a crucial ingredient all along: work languages.

Similar to how knowing your love and stress languages can lead to healthier, more fulfilling relationships, knowing your work language can help you have a healthier, more fulfilling career. Each language provides an explanation for your personality, your values, and your motivators for success. Understanding your work language might just be the secret to getting you more excited about the day-to-day grind in your career, or the push you need to take your job to the next level. Here’s everything you need to know about the five work languages.

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Meet the Expert

Zoe Grant

Zoe Grant is an HR business partner at Click Consult, with more than a decade of recruitment experience under her belt. She’s an expert in an expert in building company reputation, culture, and succession.

How to determine your work language

If you think you need a PhD or medical professional to identify your work language, think again. Determining your work language is a fairly simple task, and it starts by paying attention to what you respond favorably to at work. Likewise, take notes of what your co-workers respond well to when you’re collaborating. Getting a better idea of how your peers operate in the workplace will make it easier for you to work with them without unnecessary friction.

It’s about finessing your way to more motivation, not muscling through burnout in order to reach your goals.

If you want to know your work language, pay attention to which conditions you thrive in. Determining if you work better alone or with others, under pressure, or when there’s a massive reward at the end will give you a clearer indication of what motivates you and when you’re most productive at work. Figuring out what brings you the most joy in your career will also make it easier to determine the nuances of your work language.

The five work languages, explained


People who have achievement as their work language are go-getters. According to Career Expert and HR Business Partner at Click Consult, Zoe Grant, people with this work language love reaching targets and hitting milestones. They flourish with goal accomplishment and love being intellectually stimulated, solving problems, and completing complicated tasks.

If you’re an achiever, Grant recommends setting manageable goals and keeping track of your progress. This could mean anything from tackling a complicated task to turning in a project early. Whatever the case may be, having something to work toward will keep you motivated and enhance your productivity; your eyes will remain on the prize. Also, be sure to celebrate both big and small wins; this will remind you of how far you’ve come and empower you to keep going.


You know those people who love displaying their accomplishments and likely have a trophy case at home? This is them. Grant explained that people with this work language feel best when they receive praise or public acknowledgment for their efforts. While they appreciate awards, a simple “thank you” from their boss can go a long way. Ultimately, they thrive when they feel valued and important.

According to Grant, getting consistent input is key to boosting productivity if recognition is your language. “Schedule one-on-one meetings with your manager to discuss your performance, and seek constructive criticism and ways you can improve,” she said. Knowing what you need to work on will drive you to do even better. Likewise, you can also let your manager know how much you appreciate their shoutouts in the company slack channel or how grateful you are when they congratulate you on a big win.


“If constantly improving and learning new skills are your main motivators, then growth might be your work language,” Grant said. People with this work language never stop learning, honing, and expanding their skill set. They love learning and never shy away from a challenge or opportunity to learn something new. They’re the first ones to sign up for skill classes, workshops, and training programs.

If growth is your language, take advantage of all the training opportunities your company offers. Attend meetings and trainings to expand and improve your skills, and partake in professional development to learn how you can improve in your current role or expand into other areas. Doing this will advance your career, which in turn will motivate you even more and likely prevent boredom or burnout. The more curious you feel like you can be at your job, the more likely you are to be productive.


This work language is exactly what it sounds like. According to Grant, people with this work language are the ultimate team players. They thrive in brainstorming sessions and love bouncing ideas off of their co-workers. Being individually recognized for their accomplishments doesn’t matter to them. Rather, they find more joy in witnessing a group project come to life, knowing it was a team effort that everyone collaborated on to get the job done.

If you’re a big collaborator, fostering open and honest communication with your team is crucial for success, according to Grant. “Share your thoughts, ideas, and concerns, and advocate for regular team meetings where everyone can share updates on what they’re working on, discuss challenges they’re facing, and collaborate on solutions to problems,” she recommended. If you are working on a solo project, try reaching out to other members of your team and see if they’d be willing to brainstorm with you. This will keep your creative juices flowing.


Unlike collaborators, people with freedom as their work language thrive when they’re working solo. They love having ownership over their own projects, crave independence, and love being able to manage their own workflow. Because of this, they’re more likely to choose a remote job or one with flexible hours that can fit around their schedule. Ultimately, busy office life only decreases their productivity.

If freedom is your work language, Grant suggests consistently producing high-quality work, regularly checking in with updates, and communicating your goals and expectations clearly and effectively. This will demonstrate that you’re capable of working independently and can take on solo projects with ease. Plus, it’ll also help you better present your case for working remotely or hybrid. “Make sure your manager understands your need to fly solo, and how it contributes not only to your productivity, but also your happiness at work,” Grant said.

How knowing your work language can change the way you work

According to Grant, one of the biggest benefits of understanding your work language is that it can improve how you communicate at work and with your co-workers and bosses; you can clearly articulate your thoughts and needs because you know exactly what they are. Strong communication creates harmony in the workplace, making it easier to work with others.

You’ll be less stressed and overwhelmed when you’re working in alignment with your personality, values, and motivators.

Knowing your work language can also lead to greater job satisfaction. You’ll be less stressed and overwhelmed when you’re working in alignment with your personality, values, and motivators. When you’re feeling and working this way, things will fall into place with your career. You might get that work-life balance you’ve been searching for, the promotion you’ve been working toward, or land a job at the company that aligns with your values.

Ultimately, all of this is key for boosting productivity—it’s about finessing your way to more motivation, not muscling through burnout in order to reach your goals. Understanding how you work best and what you need to succeed will increase your productivity, enhance your creativity and critical thinking skills, and improve your performance. So the next time you’re ready to take things to the next level in your career, don’t just try to work longer hours. Check on your work language instead.

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