Employee Experience

Introverted Employees: How to Manage Them

4 Mins read

Introverted employees are believed to be quieter, not belonging to groups or communities, and basically always minding their own business. The fact that introverts are pushed into ‘becoming’ more extroverted, is a harsh reality for so many. We at Employee Experience Magazine believe that introverted employees, just like everyone else should be motivated to stick to their truest and most comfortable state. Keep reading the article to learn best what introverted employees bring to the table, and how to successfully manage them. 

What do introverted employees bring to the table?

In the business world, professionals believe that you have to be loud, assertive, and high-powered to achieve what you want. That’s not always the case. There are many aspects that make introverted employees even more successful, and here’s why: 

Introverts build deeper relationships

Introverts favor developing deeper, one-on-one relationships, which is crucial for boosting employee engagement. Employees feel more connected to the leader since they are far more likely to get to know their team members personally. Extroverts are more likely to make more but less significant contacts.

Introverts have higher modesty

The best leaders engage in “servant leadership,” which is essentially putting their staff first and acting in their best interests. The characteristics of servant leadership, such as humility, are more prevalent in introverts, according to a study on the subject.

Introverts tend to be better listeners

Because they naturally listen better, introverts make excellent team leaders. On the other side, extroverted leaders frequently speak the most, rarely taking into account the views of their subordinates. They typically do better under a command-and-control style of management, as opposed to introverts who are more accepting.

Introverts are more original and more creative

Employees who are more reflective and deliberate tend to be quieter employees. You become more creative and are able to make better decisions as a result of that reflection. On the other hand, extroverts have a tendency to make more assertive decisions.

To be honest, I’m not an introvert myself – but I do have many introverted friends and colleagues. Very often in meetings and other gatherings, they are quiet. After discussing with them for the sake of this article (and not only), it seems that my introverted friends aren’t quiet because they’re not interested, or because they lost focus. They are intaking the information, data, or whatever else that is being discussed and processing it accordingly. 

Throughout the research, I also came across this great talk by Rick Turoczy who explains how introverts ‘collect and connect dots’, which not everyone notices. We suggest you watch the video.

How to manage introverted employees?

Allow time to reflect, organize, and prepare

Give your introverted employees some time to collect their ideas. This increases your chances of receiving excellent suggestions and answers from them. Give attendees a clear agenda in advance of meetings so they can prepare and effectively deliver their thoughts.

Even while you can’t completely prevent them, you can still use emergency meetings to your advantage by providing your introverted workers adequate time to reflect afterward. One or two days following the meeting, ask for their opinions.

The majority of people would believe that in this fast-paced society, the concept of “providing enough time” couldn’t possibly be effective. But which would you prefer: a hastily put-together solution to a problem or one that is sustainable, and carefully thought?

Utilize online communication

Use social media and other virtual communication channels, which are a godsend to introverts, to encourage more robust ideas from your reserved staff members. Introverts have more time and freedom to plan their answers and clearly communicate their ideas when they write out their responses as opposed to responding right away.

Respect and observe their silence

Additionally important to introverts is silence. Sadly, most people, particularly bosses, interpret silence negatively. When an introvert stays quiet, it’s usually because either everything has been said or they are too preoccupied to speak up. Therefore, appreciate their silence and foster an environment at work where there is no pressure to speak up when there is really nothing to say.

Have respect for their personal space

Long-term contact with people is known to easily energize introverts, who can then get easily exhausted. This makes open-plan offices difficult. If your company is set up in this way, give your introverted employees a quiet area where they can retreat for a while before returning to their busy work. It might be a tiny snooze station or just a quiet space to chill out. It is best if these locations have books. Additionally, it’s important to keep in mind that while collaboration is crucial in business, introverts perform at their best when working alone. So give them space to work without interrupting, as this can be bad for anyone’s ability to be creative.

Introverted Employee

When necessary, speak for them

You already know that the majority of introverts don’t enjoy promoting themselves. They would rather let their work speak for itself. However, it would be preferable if you took a stand for your introverted workers by allowing them the time and space to speak and share their views without being interrupted. When recruiting or hiring, keep in mind that although society favors the “charismatic” and “outgoing,” you shouldn’t let this stop you from giving quiet individuals considerable consideration. Recognizing and thanking them for their contributions and efforts without requesting that they point them out.

Conclusion

Organizations and businesses are becoming more cognizant of the requirements and strengths of introverted workers as a result of the recent favorable attention that introverts are receiving, which is changing people’s perceptions.

But it’s crucial to stress that these management strategies for introverts aren’t a sort of indulgence. These are merely suggestions for how managers and employers might help introverted workers maximize their abilities and talents, which can substantially benefit organizations and advance businesses.

Further Reading

Hard and Soft HRM Approaches: A Comparison
360-Degree Feedback: Pros & Cons
When, How and Why Employees Become Advocates – Part One

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About author
Fatjona Gërguri is the content writer for Employee Experience Magazine, covering the relevant topics about employee experience, organizational culture and general HR topics.
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