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Seven Strategies to Bring Introverted Employee Out of Their Shell

March 13th, 2020

If you have an introverted employee on your team, you may notice a few distinctive traits that allow her strengths to come forward, but may also keep her disconnected from others in the group. For example, she may not jump enthusiastically into boisterous brainstorming sessions; introverts often need time to process data and ideas before sharing them. Your introvert may also leave meetings as soon as they end instead of staying to engage in small talk and banter. She may optout of chats in the break room and Friday happy hour gatherings, and even if she’s friendly and pleasant, she may not actively seek out non-work-related social interactions with others.  

So what can you do to make sure your introvert stays in the loop? How can you make sure others on the team get to know her as a person? And how can you encourage her to see the value in banter and small talk? Here are a few tips.  

Let her know that she’s seen and respected. 

Let your introvert know that you see and respect her nature. Instead of saying (or allowing others to say) things like “Why don’t you ever spend happy hour with us? What’s wrong with you?” try something like: “I can see that you’re introverted and you appreciate space. I want you to know that whenever you feel like it, you’re always welcome to join us for happy hour. We’d love to see you!”  

Create balance instead of forcing your introvert to change.  

Introversion is as common as extroversion, but extroversion is often given more respect and leeway in office settings. Turn the tables now and then. Instead of encouraging your group to engage in endless pre-meeting banter, cut the banter short and get the meeting underway to show respect for your introverts and their time.  

Cultivate a non-threatening environment.

When introverts feel comfortable and they’re treated fairly, they tend to relax and open up, and they may be more inclined to share their thoughts and true personalities.  

Draw him out politely. 

If you’d like to hear more from an introvert on your team, simply say so. If he hasn’t contributed his thoughts or ideas to a discussion, turn to him directly and ask him if he has anything he’d like to say. Ask politely; don’t make demands or accusations as if he’s done something wrong.  

Listen when he talks.

Ask your introvertfriendly personal questions about his weekend plans or his hobbies and listen quietly when he answers.  

Reward and criticize in private.

Even when you have something positive to say about your employee’s accomplishments, do so privately. Don’t embarrass her in front of the group.  

Praise her other strengths. 

If your introvert doesn’t respond well to too much chatter or rushed intimacy, don’t let those become her signature qualities. Instead, draw attention to her math skills, creativity, infallible memory, or problemsolving abilities. When dealing with introverts, it always helps to put effort into building their confidence. 

 Contact Us Today to Get the Most Out of Your Team

For more on how to get the most out of every member of your team, introverts and extroverts alike, turn to the management pros at Merritt.   

Keep Your Employees Engaged All Summer!

May 11th, 2012

The summer sun is slanting through the plastic blinds of the office and the grey cubicles are bathed in a happy light. Casual Friday hems are moving north of the knee. Beautiful weekends seem to result in a rash of mysterious sick days on Monday. And on some especially lovely afternoons, the office is a ghost town by 4:59.

What’s going on? Summer in the workplace, that’s what. A beautiful season for life, fun, family, friends and fresh air. But not such a beautiful season for bottom lines.

When the summer starts rolling in and you have a business to run, your valuable human capital starts to seem a little less valuable. Daydreams set in, lunch hours get longer, and vacation schedules don’t always coordinate with company needs. So what can you do to keep your team engaged and focused between now and September? Try these helpful tips.

Keep Employees Focused During the Summer Months

1. Pick your battles. Don’t try to win every single warm weather-related conflict. If you really feel that sandals represent a serious dress code violation and undermine productivity, take action. But be realistic and be willing to let some things slide.  At the same time, when you’ve chosen to crack down on a certain issue, stand firm.

2. Control vacation schedules. Make sure you have a protocol in place for requesting time off and make sure your employees understand and follow it. Don’t let the stress of managing overlapping vacations get the best of you, and don’t let it compromise your commitment to your clients and customers.

3. Anticipate trouble ahead of time. If you know that a popular baseball game will happen next Friday and you suspect that many employees intend to leave early, put a plan in place to make sure the work gets done. Announce your plan to your employees well before the afternoon of the big game.

4. Make use of your mobile resources. The magic of modern technology allows us to stay in touch with employees when they’re on the go. So don’t just ignore that phone or Blackberry. Pick it up and reach out. Everyone in the office—including you—can get more done when communication and file sharing happen from anywhere.

5. Recognize that in the long run, employees who feel respected and trusted will work harder, care more, and demonstrate greater loyalty than those who feel oppressed or treated like children. Rein in the urge to become a dictator, and give your employees enough time to balance work and life. If you do this, they’ll pay you back by being better adjusted, better able to make commitments on their own terms, and more likely to think about work when they aren’t physically in the office.
For more help with staffing, retention and talent management, talk to the experts at Merritt. We can help you keep your company goals on track no matter the season.

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