Workplaces need to celebrate all employees, regardless of their comfort level in social settings. Extroverted individuals thrive in social situations, even feeling energized by them. Speaking up and showing their stuff can be easy since they have no issues interacting with others. On the flip side, introverted individuals—who have just as much to contribute—may have a harder time showing it. Introverts need alone time and can suffer from people exhaustion, getting worn out from too much social activity.
How to Recognize an Introvert
Once you identify who your introverts are, you can take steps to make work life a little easier for them. Introverts are those who prefer to work on their own or with small groups of co-workers. They may feel lost as part of a larger group. In conversations, introverts are very careful about how they respond and may take longer than extroverts to ponder what to will contribute. They also prefer written communications to spoken—and express themselves better in email or using social media.
Five Ways to Manage Your Introverted Employees
Since workplaces are often built around meetings and social contact, introverts can feel uncomfortable and stifled. But as a manager, you can take steps to help all your employees shine. Here’s what you need to know about managing introverts.
- Listen, and give time for responses. Since they prefer to consider answers carefully before they say anything, pause after you ask a question to an introverted employee; an introvert will need a few seconds to gather their thoughts. If you rush along too quickly, your introvert may say nothing at all, rather than quickly blurt out an answer they may regret.
- Give them a running start. Being forced to think on their feet in front of others can strike fear into the heart of any introvert. For this reason, meetings are not always the most productive place for ideation. However, you can help introverted staff function better at meetings by providing an agenda of meeting topics beforehand. This can help them prepare and increase the probability they will speak up.
- Focus on written communications. Introverts will frequently leave a meeting, mull over what was discussed and send an email to their manager with their thoughts and ideas. This is common, since introverts express themselves much easier in written communications rather than verbal.
- Assign a mentor. Along with learning how to relate to your introverted staff, you can help your introverts learn to function more effectively in the workplace. A mentor can help coax an introverted employee out of their shell and help them learn effective communication methods.
- Allow for alone time. Introverts need to get away, as social interaction can exhaust them. Being able to take time to work through assignments on their own will help your introverts contribute effectively.
Make Your Workplace Friendly to All
Your staff will always be comprised of a wide array of different talents, and that’s the way it should be. After all, you can generate much stronger ideas through a combination of introverts and extroverts. By allowing all your staff to share their personal gifts in their own way, you’ll create a work environment that’s much more productive for all involved.
Looking For New Workers?
Whether introverted or extroverted, you need adequate workers to keep your business booming. So when it’s time to staff up, contact McGrath Systems. We place engineering, IT, HR, administrative and light industrial workers with positions that match their skills and experience. To learn more, contact us today.