Your workforce is divided into two types of personalities—introverts and extroverts. Both are fairly easy to spot. Extroverts feel energized by the company of others and thrive in social situations. They’re comfortable speaking up at meetings and other gatherings and are often the first to share their thoughts and ideas.
Introverts are much the opposite. They feel more comfortable in smaller groups or even alone. Gatherings tend to rob them of energy, and they feel the need to regroup and refresh afterward. They don’t always feel comfortable speaking up, so their thoughts and ideas may go unspoken in front of others.
Though it may seem upon first glance that introverts don’t have as much to contribute, this simply isn’t true. And by failing to tap into the insight of your introverts, your robbing your company of valuable knowledge. So, what can you do to help your introverted employees feel more comfortable, helping them contribute?
Seven Ways to Motivate Introverted Employees
You can put your introverts at ease with these suggestions from a leading provider of Atlanta hiring support:
Hold Meetings in Various Ways
It’s classic to hold in-person meetings. But these types of situations easily put introverts on edge. Luckily, you have options, such as conference calls or video calls. You may wish to hold meetings in a variety of ways (other than just in person) to give your employees who don’t prefer social situations a chance to breathe and feel more comfortable speaking up.
Offer Flexible Work Scheduling
A busy office environment can be invigorating for some, but not for others (such as your introverts), who prefer a calm, quiet environment to be able to focus. If you’re able, allowing employees to work from home on occasion can help boost productivity.
Circulate Meeting Agendas Beforehand
The expectation to think fast on their feet strikes terror into the heart of most introverts. Instead, they tend to be thoughtful, preferring to plan out what they want to say. You can help your introverts contribute at meetings when you circulate the agenda ahead of time, giving them time to gather their thoughts.
Limit Project Team Sizes
When you break employees up into teams to complete projects, limit the size of these groups. First, it will help to ensure everyone’s ideas are considered, and second, it will help your introverts feel more comfortable contributing.
Allow Days without Meetings
Understand that a meeting isn’t just the hour you’ve scheduled it—for an introvert, it’s also time beforehand to prepare and time afterwards to reboot. To help your introverts stay productive, allow workdays where no meetings are planned.
Use Alternate Communication Methods
Talking in person is one way to communicate, but it can be intimidating for an introvert. Phone calls and email are opportunities where they can get their thoughts down and really shine.
Rethink Your Office Layout
An open floorplan encourages conversation, which can work for some. However, introverted employees often need a quiet space to concentrate and work. Cubicles give introverts the privacy they so often crave. You can still provide open spaces for breaktime.
Make Your Workplace Friendly for All
This will help you maintain harmony and keep the flow of ideas fresh and effective.
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