Extroverted employees are often characterized as being successful and high performing, but this doesn’t mean that companies want to ignore the introverts on their workforce.
Often defined as shy, passive and even antisocial, these quiet workers can be an asset. The same qualities that make them introverts also makes them skilled at problem solving, creative thinking and strategic planning.
One of the goals of any company is to know how to use the skills of all their employees, without making them feel like they are being singled out, and this means making everyone feel like they are part of a team.
Introverts and the Workplace
It is not always easy for employers to identify the introverts on their workforce. It is not uncommon for some people to exhibit many of the same characteristics associated with having an extroverted personality, but still identify personally as an introvert. Even though this can make it difficult for managers there are some things they can do to make everyone feel comfortable.
Ignore the “Open Workspace” Trend
Open workspaces might be more cost effective for businesses as they grow. It is a cost-effective way to fit in a growing workforce without having to relocate the company to a larger, more expensive building. The only problem is that this is often not a comfortable work environment for many introverts.
These employees typically need a quiet place to work that is free of distractions, and added stimuli. An open office removes any privacy and this often makes it difficult for introverts to focus, and perform at their best. This type of workplace setting can also make it harder for a company’s quiet employees to form close bonds with their co-workers. Without the sense of being part of team these valuable employees are often left feeling alone, and dissatisfied with their jobs.
Methods Other Than Live Feedback
Company meetings where live feedback is encouraged not only makes employees feel like key members of the team, it also inspires loyalty and can improve productivity. Extroverted employees seldom have any problems expressing their opinions and ideas, but introverts are less likely to speak up at these events. This means that companies are missing out on the creative and profitable ideas these employees often have, but are uncomfortable speaking about in front of a large group. Businesses that have another method for employees to discuss their ideas more privately and comfortably can take advantage of all their valuable resources, and make everyone feel like they are part of the team.
Deliver Negative Feedback Privately
A few research studies have noted that extroverts are better at handling criticism than introverts. While introverts may shy away from being in the spotlight for any reason, this doesn’t mean that they are weak or unable to withstand the pressures of their jobs. Having employee feedback and review meetings in private can ensure that everyone feels comfortable, and not like they are being singled out.
Companies that take their employees’ personality differences into consideration and make the necessary adjustments typically see increased employee engagement and a better work environment, along with a lower turnover rate.