Eight Ways Employers Can Set Their Introverted Employees Up For Success

Eight Ways Employers Can Set Their Introverted Employees Up For Success

While introversion should not be considered a negative trait, in the world of business, where so many daily tasks require people-to-people interaction, introverts can quickly find themselves drained of energy. Figuring out methods to cope with this issue isn’t always easy. Employers can help, however, by ensuring their work environment and duties are introvert-friendly.

To accomplish this, employers should keep a few helpful tips in mind. Below, eight members of Young Entrepreneur Council share some strategies for helping introverted employees succeed in the workplace and achieve their goals, and how that may benefit the entire team over the long term.

1. Talk To Them In Small Groups Or Individually

Introverts are brilliant, they’re just not verbose. I think the best way to bring out the best in them is to talk to them in small groups or one on one, if you can. In the long run, this is the best way to ensure that there’s a balance of opinion within your team and increased diversity in terms of opinion. Often, teams will have many ideas, with a majority of them coming from the “talkers” of the department, even if they’re not experts. This is because they talked and nobody else did. It is your responsibility to get people to talk, and one on one is the way to go if that’s their comfort zone. – Asim Rais Siddiqui, Tekrevol

2. Don’t Surprise Them

People seem to have this notion that introverts are antisocial because of their love for solitude, but that’s completely false. Introverts enjoy the company of people—just the right ones, that is. They usually have amazing ideas that are bursting to get out. To help them succeed in the workplace, you need to understand them. One thing they don’t like is surprises. Don’t get into the habit of calling for last-minute meetings or asking them to discuss details of a project when they’re not prepared. Give them at least 30 minutes to an hour before a meeting to write their thoughts, comments, complaints, etc. This will help them clear their mind and present more clearly. This helps the entire team understand their quiet teammate better, as well. – Kyle Goguen, Pawstruck

3. Nurture Their Strengths

Being a good team leader means nurturing each individual’s strengths. If you have an introverted employee, I wouldn’t recommend giving them a task that requires interfacing with large groups. Instead, give them tasks you know they will be successful at. The more a given employee achieves and the more supported they feel, the more confident they become. And a confident, supported employee is more likely to do well when they do need to handle something outside of their comfort zone. Being encouraged to use a different part of your brain can be invigorating. But be intentional about when you are feeding into an employee’s strengths and when you are challenging them. The whole team will thrive when individuals are being supported. – Ryan D Matzner, Fueled

4. Allow Them To Recharge

Something I’ve seen too often is extroverts trying to put introverts in situations that “make them more social” or force them to put themselves out there more. But the best way to respond to an introvert is to let them be who they are and give them time and space to energize and fill themselves back up by being alone. If an introvert is working around a lot of people day in and day out, have somewhere for them to go to recharge. Give them tasks that allow them to not be around others. Everyone’s personality is different and should be respected and honored. – Diego Orjuela, Cables & Sensors

5. Leverage Other Communication Platforms

While introverted people may not always feel comfortable in in-person social situations, they tend to thrive when communicating via phone or computer. You can help your introverted employees succeed by enabling them to communicate via chat messaging and other electronic forms. At our workplace, we have a family channel on Slack and also ask casual questions once a week. This gives everyone a chance to share more about themselves without feeling overwhelmed. It’s a matter of finding more ways to engage with online platforms to get your more introverted colleagues to express themselves and connect with others. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

6. Share The Meeting Agenda Early

One-on-one meetings with more introverted team members are, of course, an important complement to larger group discussions. But one thing I’ve found to be especially essential is the early development and circulation of a collaborative agenda for these meetings. Specifically, I’ve observed that introverted employees benefit from more time to plan their thoughts in advance. So, when preparing for these one-on-ones, I encourage employees to update the agenda doc while also adding some questions or thoughts of my own well before the day of the meeting. This gives them sufficient time to ruminate on the ideas raised and map out their own thoughts to share. – Lindsay Tanne, LogicPrep

7. Have Smaller Breakout Meetings

In our company, we like to let our teammates interact closely with each other during the town hall. These are short chat sessions in which the entire team is randomly split into smaller groups of four or five people. They can then interact with each other on random topics. Because these groups are small ones, people feel more comfortable talking to one another without being shy or feeling intimidated. It’s a great way to let our introverted employees open up and interact with others more confidently. – Josh Kohlbach, Wholesale Suite

8. Give Them A Position That Plays To Their Skills

Introverts tend to spend more time in their heads analyzing observations in the office or out in the field. You can think of ways that disposition to thoughtfulness can be of benefit to the organization. Maybe they’re more interested in analytical work and can help crunch numbers in production or marketing campaigns. Maybe they like people but aren’t very chatty. Then customer service or sales is a great position for them. They’ll listen more and ask better questions. Text is usually a better way of communication for your introverted staff, so when you can send an email or a Slack chat; it beats a FaceTime call. The most important part of helping introverts succeed in the organization is to promote your staff based on tangible results and not just social skills. – Samuel Thimothy, OneIMS

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